Hybrids have been a thing for the past two decades largely because of the success of one nameplate – the Toyota Prius. Now, as years have passed, the competition has been heating up.
There’s a raft of worthy rivals that will seek to collide with the latest evolution of the iconic Prius – Chevrolet’s Volt (no, not the Bolt EV, the almost forgotten plug-in brother) or the revival of the Honda Insight, just presented in prototype form at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. But this time around we’re here to discuss a regional skirmish – between the Japanese alumni and the up and coming South-Korean students Kia Niro and Hyundai Ioniq. All of them fight in the exact same segment, but direct comparisons have been few, so it’s nice to see them band together.
All of them have just about the same size, along with the same principle for the powertrain – a four-cylinder gasoline engine running the Atkinson combustion cycle mated to an electric motor and a set of batteries. The difference is the Korean duo have a 1.6-liter engine and the Prius makes use of a larger 1.8-liter. In terms of pricing, it seems the Hyundai Ioniq is looking to make a name for itself, being the most affordable, followed by the Niro that makes use of its “crossover” credentials to warrant the tag and the Prius – fame has to be paid. For the conclusions, jump to the video and give us your opinion in the comments section.