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Toyota Prius: Top Alternatives for 2021/2022

Toyota Prius Alternatives

Toyota Prius Alternatives

The Toyota Prius is the de facto hybrid car standard for the world. In its third decade of sales, the Prius is still a formidable competitor.

Toyota has a plug-in hybrid-electric trim called the Prime, as well as all-wheel drive trims for the snowbelt buyers.

Here, we'll highlight some of the best alternatives to the Toyota Prius.

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Why Consider a Prius Alternative?

The Takeaway: Prius fans are many, but some shoppers simply want an alternative to the defacto green car of the globe.

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The Prius counts among its many pluses outstanding reliability. We spoke to Douglas Love at Consumer Reports and asked him if the Prius was special. He confirmed that it is almost unique. You see the Prius has an unbroken streak of perfect reliability scores that spans two decades. If there is a more reliable vehicle, we haven’t found it.

One reason that shoppers look for Prius alternatives is, in fact, the Prius’s success. They want a green car that isn’t found on every corner. Californian’s in particular, may be growing tired of the Prius excellence. The car was often the top-selling car in the state.

Another reason for shoppers to consider a Prius competitor is for a battery-electric alternative. Although the Prius Prime has an efficiency greater than many battery-electric vehicles, some folks are so dead set against any petroleum use they simply won’t shop for a vehicle that can accept it.

Toyota Prius vs. Competitors

ModelMPG or MPGeConsumer Reports Reliability Rating (5 is best)IIHS RatingPrice Range
Toyota Prius
133 MPGe
5
Acceptable
$26K - $35K
Tesla Model 3
142 MPGe
3
Top Safety Pick Plus
$42K - $74K
Hyundai IONIQ and Kia Niro
112 MPGe
3
Good
$27K - $45K
Toyota RAV4 Prime and RAV4 Hybrid
94 MPGe
3
Top Safety Pick
$31K - $43K
Toyota Corolla and Camry Hybrids
52 MPG
5
Top Safety Pick Plus
$25K - $35K

1. Tesla Model 3

The-Tesla-Model-3-Alternatives-to-the-Toyota-PriusThose who want to break free of the Prius’ stereotypes can do so by spending more money on a Tesla Model 3. These shoppers won’t save money on a Model 3. In fact, its average transaction price is about 50% higher. Nor will they save money on energy. A Prius Prime can operate on the same electrons and is pretty affordable when it operates in hybrid mode. What Tesla Model 3 buyers are trying to achieve is a better driving car.

Many trims of the Model 3 are thrilling to drive. All of them drive very well. Whether you are trying to make an SR+ trim fit a tight budget or have the coin to upgrade to a Performance trim, any Tesla Model 3 is cooler than any Prius - if you care about such things. In bumper-to-bumper traffic, it’s hard to argue a Model 3 is “faster.”

Except for other Tesla models, Tesla says that one of its most frequently traded-in models by Model 3 buyers is a Prius.

The Takeway: If you want to follow the migrating green car masses, the Model 3 is the way to do so.

2. Hyundai IONIQ & Kia Niro

The-Hyundai-Ioniq-Alternatives-to-the-Toyota-PriusThe Hyundai and Kia brands are owned by the same parent company (Hyundai). We normally avoid grouping two different brands together, but the Hyundai Ioniq and Kia Niro lines are so similar it would be a disservice to our readers if we didn’t spare them the reading time.

Hyundai and Kia offer the Ioniq and Niro models as hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and battery-electric versions. We’ve tried all three flavors, and all three impress us. Of the two, we prefer the Niro for its more practical small wagon design, but the allure of three years of included maintenance from the Hyundai brand is nothing to ignore.

We drove a Kia Niro EV back to back with a Tesla Model 3 SR+ and preferred the Niro. They are almost identical in size, almost identical in performance, and if EV incentives apply to you, the Niro is the better value.

The Takeaway: If you are looking for a close copy of the Prius line, the Hyundai Ioniq and Kia Niro offer you that.

Current Hyundai IONIQ Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021HyundaiIoniq Electric
2021HyundaiIoniq Hybrid$3,000 0.00%$209/month for 36 months, $2,499 due at signing11/1/2021
2021HyundaiIoniq Plug-in Hybrid

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Hyundai deals.

Current Kia Niro Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021KiaNiro$1,500 0.00%$189/month for 36 months, $2,999 due at signing11/1/2021
2022KiaNiro$1,000 0.90%$199/month for 36 months, $2,999 due at signing11/1/2021
2021KiaNiro Plug-In Hybrid0.00%$199/month for 36 months, $2,999 due at signing11/1/2021
2022KiaNiro Plug-In Hybrid0.90%$209/month for 36 months, $2,999 due at signing11/1/2021
2020KiaNiro EV
2021KiaNiro EV0.00%$209/month for 36 months, $3,499 due at signing11/1/2021
2022KiaNiro EV0.00%$219/month for 36 months, $3,499 due at signing11/1/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Kia deals.

3. RAV4 HybridRAV4 Prime

The-Hybrid-and-RAV4-Prime-Alternatives-to-the-Toyota-PriusWhen Prius sales began to decline, battery-electric advocates could not have been happier. They assumed that the Prius sales had gone over to battery-electric cars like the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Bolt (the Model 3 had not yet arrived). While that was certainly true to some degree, the real answer as to where missing Toyota shoppers went was to other Toyota models.

The Prius decline in sales and the ramp-up of the popularity of the outstanding Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle coincide perfectly. As the buying public who leaned green starting to look at crossovers for their versatility, Toyota already had the solution at hand.

The RAV4 Prime and RAV4 Hybrid enjoy sales in America on a scale no other green crossover does. The pair offer buyers a very wide range of prices and capabilities, and all of them have both a spare tire and all-wheel drive.

The Takeaway: Shoppers who like the idea of a Prius but want a crossover buy RAV4 Hybrid and RAV4 Primes. Why not join them?

Current Toyota RAV4 Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021ToyotaRAV41.90%$269/month for 36 months, $2,999 due at signing11/1/2021
2021ToyotaRAV4 Hybrid1.90%11/1/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Toyota deals and average prices paid.

4. Chevrolet Bolt & Bolt EUV

The-Chevrolet-Bolt-EUV-Alternatives-to-the-Toyota-PriusAs this is written, the folks at GM are struggling with battery issues, and every Bolt has been pulled from sale. We sincerely hope this issue passes and the Bolts return to the marketplace.

Like the Prius, the Bolt has an outstanding reliability record.

Unlike the Prius, we find the Bolt and Bolt EUV to be very enjoyable to drive in all situations. The all-electric torque of the pair makes them perfect for inner-city point and shoot driving, and their added matter mass makes them feel solid on the highway and on back roads.

The Bolt and Bolt EUV also have the best infotainment systems in the industry.

The Takeaway: The Bolt and Bolt EUV offer an all-electric option that Toyota has so far refused its shoppers.

Current Chevrolet Bolt Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021ChevroletBolt EV
2022ChevroletBolt EV
2022ChevroletBolt EUV

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Chevrolet deals and average prices paid.

5. Toyota CorollaCamry Hybrids

The-Toyota-Camry-Hybrids-Alternatives-to-the-Toyota-PriusIf you really wish to stay with a green car and not a crossover, but the Prius’ quirky look turns you off, don’t leave the Toyota family.

Both the Corolla Hybrid and Camry Hybrid offer everything that you can find in a Prius Hybrid in more traditional clothing. We won’t embellish the point.

Also, you can expect the same great reliability ratings as the other Toyota models listed above.

The Takeaway: Don’t forget that you can get a Toyota hybrid car in many styles other than a Prius.

Current Toyota Corolla Hybrid Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021ToyotaCorolla Hybrid
2022ToyotaCorolla Hybrid$5002.90%11/1/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Toyota deals and average prices paid.

Current Toyota Camry Hybrid Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2022ToyotaCamry Hybrid$500$279/month for 36 months, $2,999 due at signing11/1/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Toyota deals and average prices paid.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are other cars like the Toyota Prius?

The vehicles most closely matched to the Toyota Prius are the Hyundai Ioniq and Kia Niro. Differences between the Kia and Hyundai copies of the Prius include a different transmission and better infotainment.

Is Toyota discontinuing the Prius?

Toyota has not announced any plans to discontinue the Prius. The Prius remains one of the top-selling cars of any type, green or otherwise. There are numerous brands that don’t have a single car model that sells as well as the Prius.

Is the Toyota Prius the worst car?

Prius detractors think so. Many members of the driving public don’t see efficiency, safety, and reliability as positives.

What else do Toyota Prius owners drive?

We polled Prius owners within social media clubs and asked what else they owned. To our surprise, many own sports cars, muscle cars, and even diesel pickups. The Prius is often a role-filler in a family fleet.