2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Review: Better Than A Prius?

by Morgan Carter

One of three electro-centric compact hatchbacks from Hyundai, the Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid are the most readily available in the range. Perhaps not as focused as the dedicated EV, the affordability of it, starting at just $23,200, and supreme gas mileage, make these two Ioniqs the most likely to be purchased. In its most basic form, the Hybrid Blue trim gets impressive fuel economy of 58 mpg combined, even besting the popular Toyota Prius. The entry-level model also comes with a fair number of safety features and a decent infotainment suite, but the best tech is reserved for the pricier Limited trims. While mileage may vary, every model is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine paired with an electric motor, developing a combined 139 horsepower, while the PHEV will manage 29 miles on electricity alone. Only a front-wheel drivetrain is available, and a somewhat unrefined six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission rows the gears.

2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2019 Ioniq Hybrid?

While the entire Ioniq range has seen updates this year, those made to the hybrid variants are mostly skin deep or quality-of-life improvements. Every Ioniq receives a new mesh grille and updated front and rear fascias. Inside, there have been some stylistic updates, too, with a new console upper cover, dark chrome instrument panel trim, and Piano key controls. The standard seven-inch touchscreen interface has been enlarged to eight inches, and a 10.25-inch model with navigation is standard on the Limited. The base-level Blue trim gets quite a few new driver-assistance features, like lane keeping assist, high beam assist, and forward collision avoidance. The SEL expands on this with lane follow assist and pedestrian detection, while the Limited gets front and rear parking sensors, and highway driving assist. Regenerative brake level control paddles are standard on every model.

Pros and Cons

  • Impressive 57/59/58 mpg on Blue model
  • Above-average cargo capacity
  • Improved standard infotainment suite
  • Even more standard and available safety features
  • More curb appeal than a Prius
  • Usable 29-mile electric range on PHEV
  • Low performance, and not fun to drive
  • Low-budget interior
  • Cramped rear seats

2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Trims

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Hybrid Blue
1.6-liter Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$23,200
Hybrid SE
1.6-liter Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$25,150
Plug-In Hybrid SE
1.6-liter Inline-4 Plug-in Hybrid
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$26,500
Hybrid SEL
1.6-liter Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$28,400
Plug-In Hybrid SEL
1.6-liter Inline-4 Plug-in Hybrid
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$29,500

Ioniq Hybrid Exterior

All Ioniq models boast the brand-new mesh-type grille, as well as new front and rear bumpers. The standard model rides on 15-inch alloy wheels and comes outfitted with automatic halogen headlights. The SE adds LED daytime running lights to this, while the SEL upgrades the head- and taillights to LEDs, too. Active grille shutters are standard across the range, as is the integrated rear spoiler. The SEL and Limited set themselves apart from the lower trims by sporting chrome sills and door handles, respectively. Only the Limited trim gets the larger 17-inch alloy wheels, which come with bespoke designs. And, while it may be the cheapest and mildest model, the Blue gets unique badging to flaunt a buyer's preference for efficient fuel economy over luxuries.

2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Frontal Aspect Hyundai
2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Aft View Hyundai
2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Front-End View Hyundai
See All 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Exterior Photos

Dimensions

Like the rest of the Ioniq range, the hybrid model is underscored by a 106.3-inch wheelbase, with an overall length of 176 inches. It's a bit girthy for a compact hatchback, measuring 71.7 inches wide, while the height of 56.9 inches is par for the course. However, the hybrid is quite a bit lighter than its siblings, weighing in between 2,996 and 3,115 pounds, depending on trim. The PHEV variants run even heavier, between 3,318 and 3,417 lbs.

  • Length 176.0 in
  • Wheelbase 106.3 in
  • Height 56.9 in
  • Max Width 71.7 in
  • Front Width 61.5 in
  • Rear Width 62.1 in

Exterior Colors

Once again, the Ioniq's color palette is nothing to write home about. Five colors are available at no extra cost, including Scarlet Red, Black Noir, Summit Gray, Stellar Gray, and the eye-catching Intense Blue. However, the previously free Ceramic White is now a $300 option. The Pug-in models cannot be dressed in Scarlet red, and some exterior color choices do restrict interior options, so keep that in mind.

  • Ceramic White
  • Black Noir Pearl
  • Summit Gray
  • Intense Blue
  • Stellar Silver
  • Scarlet Red Pearl

Ioniq Hybrid Performance

Performance across the Ioniq range is pretty standard, with only one powertrain on offer. The four-cylinder gas engine comes paired to an electric motor, developing a combined 139 hp, although the plug-in's electric motor is slightly stronger and supplements the combustion engine a little more. However, the six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is geared to maximize fuel economy which adversely affects acceleration and responsiveness to throttle inputs. With the drive mode set to the higher-performance Sport mode, the Ioniq still takes close to nine seconds to get up to 60 mph, according to independent testers. This is still quicker than the Toyota Prius, though. Only front-wheel-drive is offered, which isn't surprising considering the powertrain's very limited outputs.

2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Forward Vision Hyundai
2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Rear View Driving Hyundai
2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Side View Hyundai

Engine and Transmission

Every model in the Ioniq Hybrid range gets the same powertrain. The 1.6-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine develops 104 hp and 109 lb-ft torque on its own, but it comes paired with an electric motor that puts out 43 hp and 125 lb-ft for a combined figure of 139 hp. In the Plug-in, a stronger 60-hp electric motor is used, but the combined outputs remains the same. The combined output figure for this powertrain is 139 hp. While this is enough power to get the lightweight hatchback around town, it's certainly not enough to do so quickly. Passing on the highway will require some patience, at the very least.

Rowing the gears for the compact vehicle is a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, which directs power to the front wheels only. The gearbox bears most of the blame for the Ioniq's poor performance. It shifts at the most awkward times in an attempt to maximize economy over just about every other driving factor.

  • Engines
    1.6-liter Inline-4 Gas, 1.6-liter Inline-4 Plug-in Hybrid
  • Transmission
    6-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain
    FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

Coupled with the Ioniq's unimpressive performance is a very uncommunicative steering system. Cars designed for town driving generally have pretty light steering, but the Hyundai's feels like trudging through a quagmire. This often leads to overcorrection when initially light inputs go largely ignored.

The brakes are equally unimpressive. The regenerative capabilities aren't very efficient, resulting in staggering to get the most out of the friction. On the plus side, the 2020 model of the Ioniq gets level control paddles for the regenerative brakes. The somewhat iffy brakes are only further exacerbated by the low grip of the tires.

All of this is rounded out by an overly busy ride. On anything but the smoothest of roads, the Ioniq feels every little bump. For such a light vehicle, the suspension feels ill-tuned, with mid-corner bumps jarring occupants rather violently. If the cabin were more plushly appointed, it might help negate some of this, but the Ioniq is not a luxury vehicle, and it never feels remotely like one.

Ioniq Hybrid Gas Mileage

Only one powertrain is available to the Ioniq range, but it performs a little differently on the entry-level Blue trim, thanks to its lower rolling-resistance tires. In this configuration, the Ioniq Hybrid beats even the acclaimed Toyota Prius, with an EPA-estimated 57/59/58 mpg across the city/highway/combined cycles. The Prius tops out at 56 mpg in the combined cycle. However, the rest of the Ioniq Hybrid line-up falls just shy of Toyota's famed hybrid, getting 55/54/55 mpg. Still, that's nothing to sniff at. With an 11.9-gallon fuel tank, the Ioniq will carry you across 655 miles before needing to refuel, while the penny-pinching Blue trim can go an extra 35 miles before needing to find a gas station.

The Plug-in Hybrid models get a slightly less impressive combined 52 mpg, with 119 MPGe combined running on electric power. Running purely on electric power, the plug-in can travel up to 29 miles. It also gets a slightly smaller 11.4-gallon tank, meaning that its total range is 630 miles. The larger 8.9 kWh battery in the plug-in takes two hours and 15 minutes to charge from a Level 2 outlet.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    11.9 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 57/59 mpg
* 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Blue Hatchback

Ioniq Hybrid Interior

The interior of the Ioniq is nothing special. It is well-built, with a fair number of standard features, but it is neither lavish nor overly spacious. Those up front will have little to complain about, but those in the back will bemoan the low roof and raised seats to make space for the battery. The choice of materials seems to follow the trend of affordability, too, with plenty of hard plastics on display. At least the trunk doesn't suffer too much. The infotainment suite is easy to use, thanks to the large eight-inch touchscreen, and the rest of the controls for the features being laid out for ease of access.

2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Dashboard Hyundai
2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Front Seats Hyundai
2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Central Control Panel Hyundai
See All 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

As a compact hatchback, the Ioniq Hybrid isn't the most spacious of cars. Those up front will have little to complain about, with ample head- and legroom to spare, as well as six-way power front seats as standard. When you take into account the smart positioning of the driver's seat, this makes the Ioniq a comfortable driver. However, those in the back would make a strong case against it being a good car for passengers. The rear seats lose quite a bit of headroom to the sloping roof, and legroom isn't impressive, either. This is fine if it'll only ever be you and the kids, but try transporting a few adults around town and complaints will pour in within minutes of setting out. The upper trims get access to heated front seats. Accessibility fairs much the same as spaciousness, with wide-opening front doors making entering and exiting easy for the front seats, but the rear doors are more narrow, which is only exacerbated by the sloping roofline.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 42.2 in
  • Front Head Room 39.1 in
  • Rear Leg Room 35.7 in
  • Rear Head Room 37.4 in

Interior Colors and Materials

The Hyundai Ioniq may not be one of the brand's more premium models, with plenty of hard, cheap plastics on display. However, it's still well-built and feels solid. All but the top-most trim comes upholstered in premium cloth, in a choice of either Gray or Black. The Limited retains the same palette but upgrades to genuine leather. A leather steering wheel and gear shifter are standard from the SE upwards, too.

Ioniq Hybrid Trunk and Cargo Space

In its PHEV configuration, the Hyundai Ioniq is relatively practical for a hybrid vehicle. However, it isn't the most spacious hybrid on the market, offering 26.5 cubic feet of trunk space, as opposed to the Prius' 27.4 cubic feet. But the Hyundai has enough space for most day-to-day needs, easily accommodating a week's worth of groceries, or more. The cargo area is also easily accessed thanks to the large aperture created by the liftgate. If you need a little extra space, the rear seats can be folded in a 60/40 split, but due to the positioning of the battery pack beneath the seats, this doesn't free up a lot of space. Due to the larger battery, the Plug-in Ioniq sacrifices a bit more trunk space, supplying only 23 cubic feet. It's not a huge difference, but it does cost the hatchback some points when the PHEV already struggles against the competition.

There are a variety of small-item storage options around the cabin. Passengers in the front get access to a large bin near the gear shifter, supplemented by a somewhat narrow center console bin, and a wide slot set within the dashboard. Each of the four doors has a pocket large enough to fit a water bottle, and there is a glovebox, although it's a bit on the small side. Strangely enough, there are no standard cupholders in either row of seats.

2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Rear Passenger Seats Hyundai
2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Front Seats 1 Hyundai
2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Side View 1 Hyundai

Ioniq Hybrid Infotainment and Features

Features

There are a fair number of standard features on the Ioniq Hybrid, with basic conveniences including proximity keyless entry, push-button start, and power windows. Dual-zone climate control comes standard, along with cruise control, but this is upgraded to adaptive cruise control on the SEL. Similarly, the six-way power driver's seat is upgraded to a ten-way seat at the same trim level. The Blue and Plug-in SE get a 4.2-inch driver-information display, while the rest of the range gets a seven-inch model. The safety suite improves as you move up the trim levels, starting with lane keep assist, forward collision avoidance, and high beam assist, with blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, and pedestrian detection added along with way. A power tilt-and-slide sunroof is available at the higher trim levels.

Infotainment

Even the entry-level Ioniq Blue comes standard with the larger eight-inch touchscreen interface that supports Bluetooth streaming, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. A six-speaker sound system channels the audio for the majority of the trims. The SE expands the listening options with HD Radio and SiriusXM, while navigation is added when you upgrade to the Limited. The top-tier trim also gets the largest 10.25-inch touchscreen interface and upgrades to the eight-speaker premium Harman Kardon sound system. USB ports come standard across the range, but a wireless charging pad is added to the SEL and Limited.

Ioniq Hybrid Problems and Reliability

While the 2020 refresh of the Ioniq has yet to receive a dependability rating from J.D. Power, the score of 71 out of 100 from last year should carry over mostly unchanged. This compares relatively well with Hyundai's chief rival, the Toyota Prius, which gets a score of 74. As yet, no recalls have been issued for the 2020 model, but the Ioniq Hybrid was called back last year for the possibility that the rear wheel lug nuts may be loose. While the standard limited warranty is only valid for 60,000 miles/60 months, the powertrain, hybrid components, and battery are all covered for 100,000 miles/120 months. Unlimited roadside assistance is offered for the first 60 months of ownership.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    10 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    7 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Hybrid/Electric Components:
    10 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles

Ioniq Hybrid Safety

For yet another year, the NHTSA has not tested the Hyundai Ioniq for crash safety. However, the IIHS has been pretty thorough. In every test conducted, the organization awarded the hatchback a top score of Good. In 2019, the IIHS also awarded the car its Top Safety Pick award.

Key Safety Features

The standard list of safety features on the Ioniq isn't astounding, but it covers all the bases. Each model comes with ABS, stability and traction control, and seven airbags: dual front, driver knee, front side, and side curtain. The base model starts out with lane keep assist, a driver attention system, a rearview camera, high beam assist, and forward collision avoidance. The SE adds blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, while the SEL further adds pedestrian detection and lane following assist. The Limited rounds out the standard safety features with highway drive assist, and front and rear parking sensors.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid a good car?

The Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid certainly looks impressive on paper, with a low starting price, a fair number of safety features, and competitive cargo capacity. However, once you take it for a test drive, you'll quickly discover that the Ioniq is not all it seems to be.

In fact, the first signs of disappointment appear the moment you climb inside. The cabin may be well-made, but it looks and feels cheap thanks to poor choices in materials and some cost-cutting. Get moving, and the disappointment grows. Acceleration isn't lively, at all, and handling is subpar, at best. Compounding this is shoddy ride quality, with all but the most velvety of roads often inducing some car sickness in even the most iron of stomachs.

It's not all bad, though. The compact hatchback gets truly impressive fuel economy, especially in its highly efficient Blue trim. And for 2020, even this entry-level model gets some desirable safety features like forward collision avoidance. Add to this the relatively large trunk for a hybrid vehicle, and the Hyundai Ioniq certainly feels like an affordable and versatile daily driver for those on a budget.

Still, the Toyota Prius manages to keep the crown, in our opinion, with a higher quality interior, better ride comfort, and more standard features. So the slightly higher starting price, and slightly lower fuel economy, don't feel like much of a downside.

🚘What's the Price of the 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid?

With only four models to choose from, and little in the way of customization within trim levels, the price of Hyundai is pretty set at each level. The entry point to the hybrid range is the Hybrid-exclusive Blue trim, with a starting MSRP of $23,200. The SE is a new trim positioned between the base Blue and the previously mid-tier SEL, with its starting price set at $25,150. Thanks to this extra step in the range, the SEL doesn't feel that much more expensive at $28,400, while the top-tier Limited breaks the $30k mark at $31,200. The Plug-in models are priced slightly higher, with the base model SE starting at $26,500. The truly mid-tier SEL will set you back $29,500, while the top-of-the-range Limited asks for $32,950. These prices don't include tax, registration, licensing, incentives, or Hyundai's $995 destination charge. As a hybrid vehicle, the Ioniq may also qualify for additional tax rebates in certain states, although the previously available federal tax rebates are no longer applicable.

2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Models

For 2020, the Ioniq Hybrid is offered in four trim levels: Blue, SE, SEL, and Limited. The Plug-in models comprise SE, SEL, and Limited only, totaling seven hybridized Ioniqs available. Despite two different power philosophies, both ranges get the same 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. On the Ioniq Hybrid, this is paired with a 32 kW motor, while the Plug-in Hybrid gets a 45 kW motor. Both powertrains develop a combined 139 hp, though, which is directed to the front wheels via a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

The most affordable and efficient model is the Blue, which is available to the standard Ioniq Hybrid only. It rides on 15-inch alloy wheels wrapped with rolling-resistance tires. Automatic halogen headlights come standard, along with high beam assist. Other safety features include lane keep assist, forward collision avoidance, a driver attention system, and a rearview camera. Inside, the cabin is upholstered in premium cloth, while automatic dual-zone climate control regulates the temperature. The infotainment suite comprises an eight-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, paired with a six-speaker sound system.

SE trims get LED daytime running lights, and the safety suite is expanded with blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. The front seats gain heating, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter come standard. The 4.2-inch driver-information display is upgraded to a seven-inch model, and SiriusXM and HD Radio are added to the infotainment. The Plug-in SE gets lane following assist and pedestrian detection, but it forgoes the blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. It also sticks with the standard driver-information display.

The SEL upgrades to LED head- and taillights, while a power tilt-and-slide sunroof lightens up the interior. A wireless charging pad supplements the standard USB ports, and pedestrian detection, lane following assist, and adaptive cruise control bolster the driver-assistance features. The Plug-in SEL doesn't get the sunroof, but it does add blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, as well as the seven-inch driver information display.

At the top of the range, the Limited gets larger 17-inch alloy wheels as well as highway drive assist, and front and rear parking sensors. Inside, leather upholsters the seats, and rear HVAC vents improve air circulation. A 10.25-inch touchscreen with built-in navigation replaces the standard fare, and an eight-speaker Harman Kardon sound system channels the audio. Only at this tier does the Plug-in Hybrid get access to the sunroof.

See All 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

There are no official packages for the Ioniq Hybrid, so what you see is, generally, what you get. A small number of standalone accessories can be tacked on, such as a $150 cargo cover, a $50 cargo net, or carpeted floor mats for $155. However, if you actually want to improve upon the base offering of the trim you're interested in, you're out of luck. The only way to get access to some of the Ioniq's more desirable features, such as leather upholstery or the larger infotainment suite with the upgraded Harman Kardon sound system, is to upgrade to an entirely different trim.

🚗What Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Model Should I Buy?

Since there is no way to really customize your purchase, the best model for you will primarily come down to what you really need. If affordability is your main goal, then look no further than the Blue trim. With the lowest starting price of $23,200, don't expect to get an impressive array of features. However, it does still come with automatic dual-zone climate control, power front seats, smartphone integration, and forward collision avoidance. Where it beats its more expensive siblings is fuel economy, boasting an impressive 58 mpg combined mileage. However, if you want the best value for money while still getting some of the higher-tech features, then we suggest looking at the SEL. You skip out on the leather upholstery and upgraded infotainment suite, but you do get blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, the much more comfortable leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a power sunroof that makes the compact hatchback feel a little roomier than it is. In terms of which powertrain we'd opt for, while the plug-in gets a pure electric range of 29 miles, the smaller gas tank and smaller trunk somewhat compromise its upsides, and yet the more powerful electric motor doesn't really contribute to a vastly improved driving experience. We'd rather save on costs and get the regular hybrid.

Check out other Hyundai Ioniq Styles

2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Comparisons

Toyota Prius Toyota
Hyundai Ioniq EV Hyundai
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid139 hp57/59 mpg$23,200
Toyota Prius 121 hp58/53 mpg$24,325
Hyundai Ioniq EV 134 hp145/121 mpg$33,045

2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid vs Toyota Prius

The most direct competition to the Hyundai Ioniq is, indisputably, the ever-popular Toyota Prius. It may be true that Hyundai managed to beat Toyota's impressive fuel economy figures with its Blue trim, but the rest of the Ioniq range falls a little short of the Prius in terms of economy. It doesn't help that the Ioniq also falls behind in just about every other area, too. The Prius is far more premium inside, with much better materials used in production and a little more space to go around. It doesn't get all the fancy tech of the Hyundai, though, such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, or all the advanced driver-assistance features, but those aren't things economy-minded shoppers really value. With much better handling and a far more comfortable ride, the Toyota Prius will still impress.

See Toyota Prius Review

2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid vs Hyundai Ioniq EV

Unlike its hybrid siblings, the Ioniq Electric is a pureblood hatch, using nothing but electricity to get around. As such, it gets a much larger 62 kWh battery, which gives it a total range of 226 miles. This is below average for an electric vehicle and far below the range of the hybrid Ioniqs. However, the Ioniq Electric's actual mileage figures are quite commendable, getting 145/121/133 MPGe across the city/highway/combined segments. It also doesn't lack power compared to the hybrids, with the 100-kW electric motor developing 134 hp and 218 lb-ft. The Electric also supplies a decent amount of cargo space for an all-electric vehicle. It's 23 cubic feet may match the low capacity of the Plug-in Hybrid, but against other electric vehicles like the Tesla Model 3, it fairs quite well. If you never plan on traveling outside your town, then the Ioniq Electric is actually cheaper to own, although quite a bit more expensive to buy.

See Hyundai Ioniq EV Review

Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Popular Comparisons

2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Video Review

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Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid