Auto Express managed to get their hands on a South Korean spec model of the Ioniq Hybrid for a test drive and the Prius may be in for some competition.
Instead of a continuously variable transmission found in the Toyota Prius, Hyundai paired their six speed dual clutch automatic gearbox with a 104bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine and 43bhp electric motor.
This gear box is more commonly found in pure petrol/diesel cars and Hyundai claims to be the first company to build one that shifts fast enough to be used in a petrol electric hybrid vehicle. When put to the test, the gearbox shifted smoothly between electric and petrol power with none of that droning found in the Prius.
Its system is intuitive, switching between engine and battery power and coasting when going downhill. This reactive thinking from the car’s system also helps you save in fuel with an average fuel economy of 63.3mpg, a bit higher than the Prius Mk3’s 59.3mpg and the Ioniq is aiming for a lower CO2 emission output too.
While the exterior and interior design give it a sense of sportiness, you won’t find the same sportiness in Eco mode. It basically does what the name suggests, but once you shift the Ioniq into Sport you can feel the engine upping its power output for a more engaging ride.
These figures are based on the Korean model but if everything remains unchanged, then the Ioniq could overtake the Toyota Prius in the Hybrid market. As for it's price, the Ioniq starts from £13,260 to £16,144 in Korea.