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Hyundai IONIQ Hybrid – A nifty nimble premium value in the small car segment


Hyundai is offering three ways to go ‘green’ in this year with their sporty 2019 IONIQ Hatchback available in Hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid and Electric for eco-conscious but performance savvy customers.

Hyundai’s approach to success in the small vehicle segment has been to go green.  Some of the vehicles include the KONA Electric which was just named the 2019 NACTOY Utility of the Year at the Detroit Auto Show.  Others include the Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in plus the fuel cell powered 2019 NEXO crossover arriving this year.  

Hyundai loaned us a 2019 IONIQ Hybrid Blue Limited to test drive recently. The Blue Limited is the top-of-the-line IONIQ with MSRP $28,550. Ours had everything they offered including the only available package of extras – Limited Ultimate – bringing the delivered price to just $31,760. 

Powertrain Performance

The powertrain on our test Hybrid Limited delivered quick and nimble performance around town and on the highway in all situations.

Its smooth hybrid powertrain produces 139 horsepower through a combination of a 32kW electric motor integrated with a 1.6L direct injection gasoline engine.  IONIQ Hybrid uses a 6-speed EcoShift Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) instead of the more commonly used CVT transmission – providing a more spirited drive experience.  Fuel economy on the IONIQ is rated at 55 mpg.

In addition, the IONIQ has two drive modes, ECO and SPORT.  ECO delivers a responsive drive experience with best fuel economy.  We preferred the SPORT mode that resets the integration of the electric motor and gasoline engine for maximum power and adjusts shift points in the DCT for added performance. Using the standard paddle shifters, the driver can further enhance their experience.

2019 Hyundai IONIQ

We noted the 7-inch instrument cluster display changed colors and adapted the gauges to reflect the drive mode selected. When in SPORT, the display changes to a revolving digital speedometer surrounded by an analog-type tachometer showing the engine rpm in red.

Hyundai uses a lithium-ion polymer battery which is not only lighter than non-polymer, but it can be shaped which has allowed its placement under the rear seat – yielding near 123 cubic feet of interior space. In addition, its placement lowers the center of gravity for better road handling.

2019 Hyundai IONIQ
Ride and Handling

The IONIQ Hybrid suspension features MacPherson struts with coil springs and gas-filled shocks front with a multi-link system with dual lower control arms and gas-filled shocks in the rear.  Steering is rack and pinion giving a nimble turning diameter of 34.8 feet. Braking is all disc ABS with Electronic Brake Force Distribution.

Our IONIQ Hybrid Limited ran on 17-inch Eco-spoke alloy wheels fitted with 255/45R17 Michelin Primacy MXM4 high silica tires.  Supporting ride control features included a Vehicle Stability Management System, Electronic Stability Control and a Traction Control System.

Smooth, agile and solid are words we would use to describe the ride and handling of our IONIQ Limited.

2019 Hyundai IONIQ
ECO Driven Styling

The fluid hatchback profile of IONIQ hints at its aerodynamic efficiency.  Hyundai says it delivers a high aerodynamic efficiency of 0.24 Cd through the use of a three-stage active air flap integrated in the grille, front wheel air curtains, spoiler diffuser, side sill moldings, floor undercover and closed-wheel design.

Some of the physical features include the signature hexagonal grille and C-shaped LED daytime running lamps, the Bi-Xenon HID headlamps with high beam assist, heated side mirrors, solar glass, and the unique design wheels.

2019 Hyundai ICONIQ

Hyundai refers to the interior of IONIQ as ECO-centric.  Simplicity of function coupled with innovative use of ecological-sensitive and/or recycled materials was the directive. 

Functionally, IONIQ offers segment leading interior volume near 123 cubic feet. Front seating is exceptionally comfortable with excellent head and leg room.  Behind the 60/40 folding second row is a class leading near 27 cubic feet of cargo room easily accessed by the wide high-lifting hatch.

Our IONIQ included Power Tilt/Slide Moonroof, 10-way Power Driver Seat, heated front leather seating, LED Interior Lighting, Dual Temperature Automatic Climate Control, 4.2-inch LCD Trip Computer, 7-inch LCD Instrument Cluster Gauges and more.

2019 Hyundai ICONIQ

Materials used on the interior were chosen with an ecological-sensitive focus.  For example, interior door covers are of recycled plastic with powdered wood and volcanic stone to achieve a premium look and feel superior to typical materials construction.

Operation of the air-conditioning offers efficiency through its ECO and Driver Only settings that allow reduced loads on the overall powertrain if desired.

2019 Hyundai IONIQ

Infotainment and connectivity elements on our IONIQ Blue Hybrid Limited included an 8-inch touch screen display with Blue Link Guidance Navigation and an 8-speaker Infinity Premium Audio with Clari-Fi.

Feature elements included support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, HD Radio, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, Smartphone USB and auxiliary input jacks and wireless charging (Qi) for smartphones.

Also included were the Hyundai Blue Link Connected Car – Care, Remote and Blue Link Guidance Packages.

2019 Hyundai IONIQ

The Hyundai IONIQ is rated a 2019 Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Key safety elements for 2019 include Hyundai’s Smart Cruise Control, Dynamic Bending Light Headlights with High Beam Assist, Driver Attention Alert, Automatic Emergency Braking with Full Start/Stop, Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

Also available are Tire Pressure Monitoring by individual tire, Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Rear Parking Sensors, Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist,


Warranties for the IONIQ Hybrid include 10-year/100,000-mile Powertrain and Hybrid Systems protection as well as a Lifetime Hybrid Battery Warranty.

Learn more and build your own 2019 IONIQ here: https://www.hyundaiusa.com/ioniq-hybrid/index.aspx

2019 Hyundai ICONIQ
2019 IONIQ Lineup

The Hyundai IONIQ for 2019 comes three ways, Hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid and Electric.

Hybrid trims are Blue (MSRP $22,400), SEL (MSRP $24,950) and Limited (MSRP $28,550).

Hybrid Plug-in trims (52 mpg combined fuel economy) are Plug-in (MSRP $25,350) and Plug-in Limited ($29,350).  More detail here: https://www.hyundaiusa.com/ioniq-plug-in-hybrid/index.aspx

Electric trims (136 MPGe) are Electric (MSRP $29,850) and Electric Limited (MSRP $36,315).  Go here for more detail: https://www.hyundaiusa.com/ioniq-electric/specifications.aspx

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