Tuesday, December 18, 2018

2018 Hyundai Ioniq Hatchback Limited: The Brand's First Dedicated Hybrid Vehicle

Highlight: The Ioniq is available in three variations: a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid and an all-electric vehicle.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $ 31,560 (Base Model: $23,085)

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard Safety Features: ABS; airbags; traction control system; a tire pressure monitoring system; vehicle stability management system; an electronic stability control system; traction control; a driver’s blind spot outside mirror; and a hill start assist system

Standard Equipment (Base Model): 15-inch wheels; a 6-speed automatic transmission; a manual operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel; cloth seats; manually operated front seats; folding exterior mirrors; an integrated rear spoiler; and a variety of driving modes

Standard Equipment (Limited): 17-inch wheels; a rearview camera; an electronic blind spot detection system; a lane change assist system; a power sunroof; a keyless entry system; a keyless ignition starter system; leather seats; rear seat center armrest; an automatic temperature control system; and heated front seats                                                                                                                                                                                                                               


Options On Test Vehicle: an automatic emergency braking system; a lane keep assist system; a radar activated cruise control system; rear parking sensors; a navigation system with an 8-inch touchscreen display; an 8-speaker Infinity sound system; a wireless charging system; memory setting driver’s seat; Blue Link Guidance package; and carpeted floor mats

Other Trim Levels:

SE, SEL and Limited

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: AM/FM/HD with a satellite radio

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

USB Connectivity: Yes

Android/Apple CarPlay: Yes

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 10 years or 100,000 miles

Hybrid Warranty: 10 years or 100,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 1.6-liter, 4-cylinder/104-hp

Recommended Fuel: Regular

Standard Fuel Mileage: 57-city/59-hwy

What’s New: Everything about this vehicle is all-new, including the name.

Why: Hyundai’s first dedicated hybrid joined the line up in 2017. The Toyota Prius fighter is also available as a plug-in hybrid and an electric vehicle. And unlike the once popular Prius hybrid, the design of the Ioniq is not polarizing or resembles a space ship. For the 2018 model year, its basically a carryover model with no significant changes.

The stylish Ioniq, which is available in three trims, can easily accommodate five. Like all of today’s current Hyundai models, the layouts of the controls and gauges are easy to follow. The operation of the infotainment system, which houses the audio, navigation and ventilation, are user friendly too.  

Hyundai’s Ioniq is powered by a slightly smaller 4-cylinder engine than the Prius. While the fuel-efficient engine only pumps out a puny 101-horsepower, don’t fret. Once behind the wheel one will notice it is more than adequate.

With Hyundai’s first dedicated hybrid being late to the table, the Korean automaker made sure that both the fuel mileage and the overall fuel range exceeds that of the Prius. According to fueleconomy.gov, the Prius has a combined fuel average of 52 mpg, when compared to the 58 mpg from the Ioniq. On a full tank of gas, the Prius can travel 588 miles. Ironically, Hyundai’s latest dedicated hybrid can go almost 700 miles, before a refuel is needed. We must note the tank size of the Ioniq is slightly larger than the Hyundai. The Hyundai has is capable of carrying 11.9 gallons, as compared to the 11.3 gallons from the Toyota.

Moreover, the economically priced, which along with its sibling from Kia, the wagon-like Niro, has the best hybrid warranty in the industry. The Ioniq is packed with a number of amenities. Depending on the trim, leather seats, a power sunroof and an electronic blind spot system are available.

But: The split view rear window creates a blind spot for the driver. And the front center armrest needs to be lengthened or repositioned to accommodate a variety of drivers.

Verdict: While consumers taste have shifted toward crossovers, SUV and trucks, Hyundai has designed and produced a fuel-efficient value packed hybrid that is competitive to the once popular Toyota Prius. The conventional styling, the lower price point, the array of amenities and the warranty makes this a best buy for those seeking to stretch out their miles.

Competition: Kia Niro and Toyota Prius


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