Friction stir spot welding (FSSW) is a multi-input multi-response process. Effective multi-response optimization of welds is desirable to create welds with a balance of quality responses. In order to eliminate the subjectivity (uncertainty and engineering judgment) with the existing multi-response Taguchi-based Grey relational analysis, principal component analysis (PCA) was integrated into it. The PCA helps in determining the effective optimal weighting values required for the estimation of Grey relational grade (GRG). As a result, tool rotational speed, plunge depth and dwell time were employed as input parameters while failure load (FL), expelled flash volume (EFV) and effective bonded size (EBS) of conical pin friction stir spot-welded joint of AA2219-O alloy were the chosen output responses. EFV was minimized while FL and EBS of the joints were maximized using this hybrid multi-response approach. From the analysis of variance of GRG and its response graphs, the significant parameters and their levels were obtained. Experimental results confirmed the effectiveness and robustness of this method. In addition, three critical zones were observed on the fracture surfaces of joints, namely, tool impelled unbonded zone, partially bonded zone and effective bonded/nugget zone. The weld nugget failed by circumferential nugget shear mode.