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2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

$22,400 - $28,550
Price Range (MSRP)
Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Review

by Roger Biermann

Of Hyundai's bespoke electro-centric trio that makes up the compact Ioniq range, the Ioniq Hybrid is the most widely available and least focused of the lot. But that could be to its benefit; as the Ioniq was an early attempt at electrification that has since been surpassed in the EV stakes by all including Hyundai themselves. So the Ioniq Hybrid packs the potential of hybridization but mixed with Hyundai's penchant for reliability, comfort, and impressive economy figures, now dialed up further. It's also vastly cheaper than its two siblings, and with three available trims, there's the versatility of choice. The Ioniq Hybrid is the one to directly rival the Toyota Prius, and with the Blue model's combined 58 mpg estimate it would seem a task all too easy for the Ioniq. With power coming from a 1.6-liter gasoline engine mated to an electric motor, the combined power output rests at 139 horsepower, channeled to the front wheels through a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Changes: What’s the difference vs 2018 Ioniq Hybrid?

While the Ioniq range as a whole continues from 2018 largely unchanged, minor refinements have been made to the specification and levels of safety equipment for the 2019 model. Google's POI search has been replaced by HERE, Server-based Voice Recognition for improved efficacy. The Hybrid's trim lines have also been updated, with the SEL Tech package amalgamated into the standard SEL offering. The SEL and Limited models now get improved safety features for 2019 in the form of autonomous emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, smart cruise control, and driver attention warning. Additionally, high beam assist is now available in combination with HID headlights on the Limited trim.

Pros and Cons

  • Ultra-efficient Blue model gets 57-59 mpg
  • Decent cargo volume
  • High level of safety on from SEL trim
  • Looks better than a Prius
  • Quality standard infotainment
  • Unrefined braking and transmission
  • Poor performance without compromising economy
  • Terrible levels of driver engagement
  • Shoddy looking and feeling interior
  • Floaty handling and poor ride quality
  • Cramped second-row seating

Ioniq Hybrid Exterior

While other brands intend for their bespoke hybrid and electric offerings to look alien in an effort to set them apart from the pack, Hyundai's philosophy is more conventional. LED daytime running lights are standard on all models but the base Blue trim, but it's only the Limited trim that upgrades the headlights to HID units. To aid efficiency, all Ioniq Hybrids feature active grille shutters. In Blue and SEL trims, the Ioniq Hybrid rides on 15-inch alloy wheels with differing designs for the two trims. The Limited upgrades to 17-inch alloys in a Limited-specific design.

The base Ioniq Hybrid Blue features gloss black window surrounds and shaped lower doors devoid of cladding, while the SEL gets chrome beltline molding and lower door molding included. Both base editions feature body-colored door handles, while the Limited swaps these out for chrome items. From the SEL trim, the rear lights become LED units. Aside from the change in tail lights, the rear of all three trims remains largely unchanged, though the Blue model gets special badging.

2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Front View Driving
2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Side View
2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Rear View Driving
See All 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Exterior Photos

Dimensions

Like its PHEV and Electric siblings, the Ioniq Hybrid measures 176-inches in length and rides on a 106.3-inch wheelbase. It measures 71.7-inches wide - broad for a vehicle in this segment - while standing 56.9-inches tall. Ground clearance is an ample 5.3-inches. Where it differs from its siblings is in its weight, bearing a curb weight of 2,996-3,115 lbs, approximately 400 lbs lighter than the Plug-In and only 100-200 lbs lighter than the pure EV Ioniq variant.

Exterior Colors

The Ioniq Hybrid is offered with a simple exterior color palette of six colors; Ceramic White, Symphony Air Silver, Summit Gray, Intense Blue, Scarlet Red Pearl, and Black Noir Pearl. All paint options are no-cost extras, with the pick of the bunch being the Intense Blue or Black Noir Pearl.

  • Ceramic White
  • Black Noir Pearl
  • Summit Gray Pearl
  • Symphony Air Silver Metallic
  • Intense Blue Metallic
  • Scarlet Red Pearl

Ioniq Hybrid Performance

2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Front View Driving
2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Rear View Driving
2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Engine

Engine and Transmission

Each of the three models comprising the Ioniq Hybrid range comes equipped with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder Atkinson cycle gasoline engine and a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The four-cylinder develops 104 horsepower and 109 lb-ft of torque and is paired with an electric motor supplementing the system with 43 hp and 125 lb-ft of torque. The maximum combined system power output is 139 hp with all power being directed to the front wheels. Hidden beneath the rear passenger seats is a 1.56kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack that enables electric drive up to speeds of 75 mph under light throttle application.

While the Ioniq Hybrid's economy might be its focus, the drivetrain is infuriating to use effectively. It's primarily the fault of the dual-clutch automatic gearbox which is jerky at low speeds and shifts awkwardly in an attempt to maximize efficiency, but almost always at the wrong moment. The engine itself offers up some decent performance, but throttle inputs are poorly programmed and unless you punch the gas through the firewall, you're going nowhere with any great measure of pace. It feels reluctant to push on, and when you do get frustrated and make more liberal use of the throttle, you compromise economy.

Hyundai could've tuned the system for a bit more of a natural feel, or at least one that feels more usable, particularly around town.

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

Handling and Driving Impressions

Aside from the tepid performance and frustrating gearbox, the steering is immensely vague and uncommunicative. The system is tuned for accurate weighing, but it feels like in the battle for efficiency, the steering wheel got divorced from the front wheels and lost custody of the kids too - there's just no communication. There's a mushy feeling on-center, with minor inputs yielding no response. On wavering surfaces, the Ioniq deviates from its line and you have to overcorrect constantly because of the lack of response just off-center.

Additionally, the ride is immensely busy, with relatively low weight not compensated for in the suspension tuning. On mirror-smooth surfaces, it responds as naturally as any other vehicle might, but mid-corner bumps negatively affect handling with a bounciness resulting in a porpoising motion that's bound to induce car-sickness on poorer road surfaces. The low-grip tires don't aid handling much either, and the limits of adhesion are low.

The brakes are another particularly low point for the Ioniq Hybrid. Unlike the EV version of the Ioniq, there's almost no energy recuperation off-throttle without brake application, and the blend between regeneration and friction braking is unnatural and severely stepped from one to the next. Heavy braking doesn't feel very confident either, primarily due to the soft suspension resulting in heavy nose-diving that's bound to unsettle most drivers in an emergency.

Ioniq Hybrid Gas Mileage

Every aspect of the drivetrain is geared towards efficiency, with the Ioniq Hybrid's pièce de résistance is the Blue model's EPA estimated economy of a combined 58 mpg, besting even the most efficient of Toyota Priuses at 56 mpg. The SEL and Limited offer marginally lower economy figures, both averaging an estimate of 55 mpg, which is still mighty impressive and enables a range of up to 655 miles on an 11.9-gallon fuel tank, while the Blue model can achieve up to 690 miles with mixed city and highway driving.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    11.9 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 57/59 mpg
* 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Blue Hatchback

Ioniq Hybrid Interior

2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Dashboard
2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Gear Shifter
2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Steering Wheel Controls
See All 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

Some Hyundai models boast premium interiors, but the Ioniq isn't one of them. Despite feeling solid, the plastics are hard and look cheap, and the standard cloth surfaces feel low rent. But the steering wheel feels superb in hand, and the driver's perch is comfortable and offers standard height adjustment making it easy to find a good driving position. There's the availability of leather and heated front seats too up the trim ladder. The split rear window works to great effect to increase rear visibility, aided by the fact you're unlikely to have rear passengers. That's because the rear of the cabin is immensely cramped, with a poor seating position and sloping roof adults will want to avoid sitting back there at all costs. There are however two full sets of LATCH anchors to affix child safety seats to.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater

Ioniq Hybrid Trunk and Cargo Space

The Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid offers the most cargo volume of the Ioniq family, due to a smaller battery pack giving more space behind the second row of seats. There are 26.5 cubic feet of space back there, which is marginally less than the 27.4 cubic feet the Toyota Prius offers. But the cargo bay is large and the liftback styling gives a wide loading aperture to a square loading area capable of housing five carry-on sized pieces of luggage with some room to spare. Larger items will need to be lifted quite high though, as the hatch opening is rounded substantially at the lower corners which can make loading heavier items a bit awkward. The rear seats fold in a 60/40 split and do fold flat, but space is still limited due to the rear bench being perched high atop the battery pack. The storage is fairly large, but it's shallow, which could pose a problem for some larger items.

The cabin has numerous storage holes, with a large well in front of the gear selector, a narrow console bin and narrow, but wide slot on the dash finding much use. The door pockets can only hold a water bottle though, and the glovebox is on the small side. The rear of the cabin only has two small door pockets and a seatback pocket/net on the back of the front passenger seat.

2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Trunk Space
2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Maximum Cargo Space
2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Rear Passenger Seats

Ioniq Hybrid Infotainment and Features

Features

Standard specification is decent in the Ioniq Hybrid, with features like dual-zone climate control, power windows, tilt-and-telescopic steering, cruise control, keyless entry, and a rearview mirror all standard on all trims. But it's higher in the line-up that you'll find amenities such as power driver seat adjustment, heated seats, and a seven-inch LCD driver display cluster, all available on the SEL. The Limited gets access to the most equipment, with a power sunroof, optional driver seat memory, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and wireless device charging. Driver assistance features are available on the higher trims, including automatic high beams, driver attention warning, blind spot monitoring and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.

Infotainment

Across the Ioniq Hybrid range, standard infotainment is taken care of by a seven-inch infotainment touchscreen with six speakers. The system features AM/FM/SiriusXM satellite radio/HD Radio functionality and accepts inputs via USB, auxiliary and Bluetooth media streaming. Furthermore, the system is fully compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which is just as well since navigation is only available as an option on the top trim. Standard on the Limited model is complimentary use of Hyundai's Blue Link Connected Car System. The optional Ultimate Package for the Limited trim upgrades the media system to an eight-inch touchscreen with built-in navigation. The package also equips an Infinity premium audio system with eight speakers, along with Clari-Fi music restoration technology. For those with compatible devices, the package also includes a QI wireless charging pad.

Ioniq Hybrid Problems and Reliability

J.D. Power gave the Ioniq Hybrid an overall quality rating of just 70 out of 100, which is the lower boundary for what they define as 'average'. The Toyota Prius is rated above that standard with a score of 74, however, the Prius does have a history of being top of the reliability charts several years down the line.

Hyundai's extensive 10-year/100,000-mile drivetrain warranty from its standard combustion models continues over to the Ioniq Hybrid, while the battery has an unlimited warranty.

To date, there have been two recalls on the Ioniq Hybrid in its current generation, for 2017 and 2018 models. In one incident, an electrical fault results in increased resistance which in turn overheats the battery and the rear seat and potentially leads to fire. The second incident pertains to an oil leak from the clutch actuator that may also lead to a fire. There have been no recalls issued at the time of writing for the 2019 Ioniq Hybrid.

Ioniq Hybrid Safety

The NHTSA has not tested any of the Hyundai Ioniq range. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has, however, awarding the Ioniq Hybrid a 2019 Top Safety Pick with superior frontal crash prevention aids. The standard raft of seven airbags, ABS, EBD, brake assist, stability control, and traction control all apply to the Ioniq, but the notable aspects of its safety-equipment are the standard items on the mid-spec SEL model, which equips smart cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, driver attention warning, blind spot warning, and rear cross-traffic alert as standard from the 2019 model.

Verdict: Is 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid a good car?

Ultra-efficient, impressive styling, and on higher trims at least, loaded with safety features. What's not to like from Hyundai's Ioniq Hybrid? As it turns out, quite a bit, as the interior feels cheap and nasty, and the drive is substandard in many ways, like the awkward suspension and poorly modulated brake feel, and not least of all the poor throttle responses. There are some redeeming factors, such as the technology integration and great safety features available, and the abundance of highly practical cargo volume is a big plus for fans of practicality. This could well have been the best rival to the Toyota Prius, and the base price undercuts that of the Prius by a good margin if you're willing to sacrifice levels of equipment. But the Prius just seems to offer more in just about all areas but price and economy, and you're better off looking at the Toyota - it's just a more complete vehicle in every way.

What's the Price of 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid?

Hyundai offers the Ioniq Hybrid in three trims, with prices ranging from $22,400 for the Blue model to a base MSRP of $27,800 for the Limited, with the SEL slotting neatly in the middle at $24,950. Prices exclude tax, licensing, registration, and a $920 destination charge, as well as any dealer-specific offers or incentives levied against the Ioniq Hybrid. A range of attractive specials and lease offers are also available.

2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Models

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Hybrid Blue
1.6-liter Inline-4 Hybrid
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$22,400
Hybrid SEL
1.6-liter Inline-4 Hybrid
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$24,950
Plug-In Hybrid
1.6-liter Inline-4 Plug-in Hybrid
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$25,350
Hybrid Limited
1.6-liter Inline-4 Hybrid
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$28,550
See All 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Trims and Specs

What Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Model Should I Buy?

Hyundai offers the Ioniq Hybrid in three trims: Blue, SEL, and Limited

The Ioniq Hybrid Blue might be the cheapest in price, and it's true that it's also the barest in specification, but it focuses heavily on economy and cuts out the frills in order to beat the Toyota Prius. For the money, you make do without LED taillights or even LED daytime running lights. Inside, you get cloth upholstery with six-way manual adjustment for the driver's and front passenger's seats, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, push-button start, and a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with AM/FM/SiriusXM/HD Radio capabilities and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay Functionality. A step up to SEL gets a ten-way power adjustable driver's seat, the front seats are heated, and there's a seven-inch LCD instrument cluster display. Last year's SEL Tech Package has now been integrated as standard, so the SEL also gets automatic emergency braking, smart cruise control, and lane keeping assist, along with driver attention warning, blind spot detection, and rear cross-traffic alert. For comprehensive safety and all the features you really need, the SEL is the pick of the three trims for us. The Limited focuses on upgrades to make the Ioniq a little classier and more refined. To that end, you get 17-inch alloy wheels, HID headlights with automatic high-beam assist, a power tilt-and-slide sunroof, leather seating surfaces, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and LED interior lighting all standard, but the features don't justify the extra price.

Check out other Hyundai Ioniq Styles?

2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Comparisons

2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid
2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid vs Toyota Prius

The Prius' most direct rival comes in the form of the Hyundai Ioniq, but the Hyundai can't match the standard set by the Toyota. While the Ioniq Hybrid Blue might be marginally more efficient, the Prius drives better, offers better performance, a smoother drive, and more confident handling. It feels more premium inside too but lacks Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, neither of which are catered for in the Prius. The Ioniq may look less offensive, and offer fantastic safety and driver assistance systems, but the Prius is the one you'll want to live with on a day to day basis.

See Toyota Prius Review

2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid vs Honda Insight

Honda has revived the Insight, now as a stylish, Civic-sized hybrid that receives an abundance of passenger and cargo space the Ioniq can't match. It offers better build quality and a higher class cabin, and while its infotainment system may be clunkier than the Ioniq's, it's a small faux pas in an otherwise stellar package. It's better to drive with greater driver involvement, higher levels of composure, and better performance, and while it can't match the Ioniq's gas mileage, it does feel easier to live with and more enjoyable to pilot. In this instance, the Honda beats the Hyundai by a substantial margin as the better vehicle.

See Honda Insight Review

Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Popular Comparisons