If maximum fuel economy and value are your priorities, the 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid is the car for you.
So what’s new with this year’s model? Well, this generation of the Hyundai, introduced in 2017, is still basically the same great car, with one big exception: last year’s optional SEL Tech package is now standard on the SEL trim.
Now that is all well and good, but I was treated to testing a Limited trim model. So, of course my vehicle includes all the features of the lower trims.
But they went even farther with my test vehicle, with the addition of the really cool Ultimate Package. It includes sweeteners like headlights with dynamic bending light function, rear parking sensors, navigation system with 8-inch touchscreen display, Infinity premium audio with Clari-Fi music restoration technology and 8 speakers, and integrated memory system for driver’s seat.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. The 2019 Ioniq Hybrid comes in three trim levels. The base “Blue” trim is the most fuel-efficient of the group, with an EPA rating of 58 mpg combined compared to the other models’ 55 mpg estimates. Then there’s the SEL, which doesn’t cost much more and includes several advanced safety features among its upgrades. Topping the Ioniq range is the loaded-up Limited.
Since it launched in 2017, the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid has been a key rival to the popular Toyota Prius — but as far as fuel economy goes, the Ioniq is definitely a winner. In addition, the Ioniq’s interior has Hyundai’s typically thoughtful design and high amount of tech, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. And for some, the Ioniq’s more conventional styling compared to the Prius will be another bonus.
Every Ioniq Hybrid comes with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. They are augmented by an electric motor fed by a lithium-ion battery pack. Total system output is 139 horsepower.
Standard features on the base Blue trim include 15-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, selectable driving modes, a driver information display, height-adjustable front seats, 60/40-split folding rear seats, a rearview camera, a 7-inch touchscreen interface, Bluetooth, a USB port, and satellite and HD radio.
Stepping up to the SEL adds LED daytime running lights and taillights, heated side mirrors, an upgraded driver information display, steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a charge-only USB port, a rear center armrest, and chrome interior and exterior accents. Many driving aids are also included.
On top of the SEL’s features, the Limited trim adds 17-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof, xenon headlights with automatic high-beam control, leather upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, LED cabin lighting, and Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics.
Also inside the Ioniq, you’ll see the controls are laid out well, and its height-adjustable and long-travel driver’s seat should accommodate people of all sizes. The Ioniq’s placement of controls is clear and logical with lots of large buttons.
Driving-wise, the Ioniq’s is a relatively light car whose road handling gives the impression of a heavier, blunter car. And Sport Mode provides a good dose of natural acceleration.
Manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $28,500, but with the addition of the $2,200 “Ultimate Package,” total price for by Ioniq popped up to just over $32,000, when destination charges also added in.
Grant Miller is the publisher of Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277 or via email at Grant@CommunityNewspapers.com.