Entry price: $22,400
Price as tested: $25,960
This week we’re behind the wheel of the 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid, a smaller liftback sedan that delivers 55- to 58-MPG combined and retails for prices that won’t break your wallet. Introduced just three years ago, Ioniq looks to be a serious contender and could impact the hybrid market quicker than anticipated thanks to several hybrid trims and Hyundai’s noted warranties.
With three distinct Ioniq models to choose from, consumers can choose from our tester Ioniq Hybrid ($22,400 entry), Ionic Plug-In Hybrid ($25,350 entry) and Ioniq Electric ($30,315 entry). Currently, the Ioniq Hybrid offers a $1,750 incentive, dropping the base price to $20,650 on current in-stock vehicles through July 31.
Notable is Hyundai’s 100,000-mile, 10-year internal combustion engine powertrain and 5-year, 60,000-mile entire car warranty. Additionally, and equally important, is Hyundai’s Blue-Drive Hybrid system warranty that also comes with its heralded 100,000-mile, 10-year protection. This hybrid assurance should put consumer’s minds at ease as replacing an out-of-warranty hybrid system could be an expensive repair. As for the actual battery itself, it’s backed for a lifetime.
All Ioniq trims include Apple/Android compatibility, Smartphone and USB inputs, rear defroster, Bluetooth, smart key push button start, HD SiriusXM satellite radio, rearview safety camera, 7-inch LCD touchscreen, dual climate control, 60/40 rear seat, and all the expected airbags.
Our SEL tester upgrades amenities to include LED daytime headlamps, LED tail lights, heated side mirrors, leather steering wheel, paddle shifters, upgraded 7-inch instrument cluster, 4.2-inch hybrid usage display, heated front seats, Hyundai infotainment and much more. On the safety end, our SEL adds automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and lane change assist.
The top-end Limited trim adds more amenities like a sunroof, automatic high-beams, HID headlights, leather seats and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with a HomeLink transceiver. It starts at $28,550 and your Hyundai dealer will explain everything when you visit, including any other dealer incentives.
Hyundai’s Blue-Drive hybrid system consists of an Atkinson-cycle 104-horsepower,109 torque,1.6-liter, inline four-cylinder that merges with a 240-volt Lithium 32-kilowatt battery for an additional 43 horse, 125 torque electric assist. The result is 139 net horsepower, but you wouldn’t know it when you hit the throttle. Ioniq is fairly peppy initially thanks to combined 195 lb. ft. of torque although as RPMs rise, Ioniq slows a bit and arrives at 60 mph in about nine seconds.
Power is sent to the front wheels thanks to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic, which differs on the positive side from the many CVT style transmissions that power most economy cars and hybrids. This transmission performed well during our week long test and the standard paddle shifters allowed us to better control our shift points for added driving fun.
Impressive is Ioniq’s overall driving characteristics, as it is both comfortable and decent in the handling department. Its MacPherson front strut suspension mates with a multi-link rear setup, helping put traction to the road thanks to Michelin X-Green Energy Saver 195/65/R15 tires on nice looking, two-tone “Eco Spoke” wheels. These Michelin tires offer great roll resistance and are intended for hybrid and small economy cars. When you need to stop, Ioniq features four-wheel ABS disc brakes with electronic brake force and all the traction controls.
Another notable finds Ioniq as the most efficient non-plug-in hybrid car available for sale in the U.S. The entry Blue model EPA rating is 58 MPG combined while 55 MPG is the number for the SEL and Limited trims due to heavier curb weights. Still, these are highly noteworthy numbers for a nice smaller hybrid and even though Ioniq is categorized as a “Large Car” by the EPA on my price sheet, it is clearly a smaller, compact to smaller midsize vehicle in my opinion.
Inside, the cabin is pretty much all business although very nice in its final presentation. The SEL offers several extras as noted above along with comfortable cloth seating and most everything a modern sedan offers it occupants. Rear seat room is good, and a power driver’s seat is standard on the SEL.
If you opt for the top line Limited, you’ll receive as standard the My Hyundai with Blue Link mobile app for your Smartphone. You can lock or unlock the doors (nice if you lock the keys inside), do a remote engine start with climate control settings, and handle car maintenance scheduling, too. The Blue Link connected car service works on your compatible Smartphone, Smartwatch, and even Amazon Echo. Blue Link also offers destination services so you can locate your Ioniq, even if stolen. (But please let the police handle the stolen car deal!) If you don’t order a Limited, these features are not available.
Important numbers include a wheelbase of 106.3 inches, 3,031 pound curb weight, 11.9 gal fuel tank, 34.9 ft. turn diameter, 5.6 inch ground clearance and 26.5 cu. ft. of cargo space.
In summary, Hyundai Ioniq is a well-built hybrid that competes head-to-head with the Prius. It was a pleasure to drive and came in at a final retail of just $25,960 with $125 for floor mats and $885 delivery included. If you buy one, the SEL is your best value based on safety considerations alone.
Regardless of choice, with a 600-mile travel range between fill-ups, you won’t be visiting many gas stations anymore.
Likes: Great price, standard features, warranty, decent looks.
Dislikes: Top safety features unavailable on Blue, My Hyundai Blue Link only available on Premium.
Greg Zyla writes weekly for More Content Now and GateHouse Media. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 303 Roosevelt St., Sayre, PA 18840.
Test Drive: 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid SEL
Entry price: $22,400