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2019 Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid Limited Review by David COLMAN +VIDEO


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2019 Hyundai Ioniq

A Green-vehicle review for car shoppers concerned with fuel economy, hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles and gasoline and diesel exhaust emissions

A Hybrid for Owners Who Enjoy Anonymity

By David Colman
Special Correspondent to THE AUTO CHANNEL


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2019 Hyundai Ioniq
Hyundai offers three distinct versions of their Prius beater, the Ioniq. At the lower end of the price range, the Hybrid retails for $21,400. Moving up to a Plug-In Hybrid Ioniq will cost you $25,350. The Limited version of the Plug-In that we spent a week driving carries a base price of $29,350. Here's the equipment the Limited adds over and above the base model Plug-In: auto emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, smart cruise control and driver attention warning - which has been added for 2019. If you desire a completely electric Ioniq, Hyundai offers one with a base price of $30,315. All versions of the Ioniq qualify for a federal tax credit of $4,453 plus additional state tax breaks. It's worth noting that the lithium ion polymer battery pack of the Ioniq carries a lifetime warranty. The powertrain comes with a 10 year/100,000 mile warranty, and the rest of this vehicle carries a 5 year/60,000 mile warranty. It's encouraging to note that Hyundai also provides free roadside assistance for 5 years as well.

The two Hybrid versions of the Ionic carry identical horsepower (139hp) and torque ratings (125lb.-ft.). The all electric model offers less horsepower (118hp) but much greater torque (218lb.-ft.). The bottom line here is whether you can live with the all electric's limited range of just 124 miles on a full charge. The Ioniq Limited we drove offered a stupendous full tank range of 630 miles. After driving the Limited on many missions during our week, we still managed to return the car to Hyundai with 230 miles showing on the range estimate. For green buffs, the downside of the Plug-In we drove is its limited pure electric range: a full charge yields just 29 miles of travel. Replenishing the battery of the Plug-In requires 9 hours at 120 volts (Level 1) or 2 hours and 15 minutes at Level 2 (240 volts).

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2019 Hyundai Ioniq
Our test vehicle rated 52 MPG overall rating from the EPA. With its 10 out of 10 EPA rating on fuel economy and greenhouse gas, the Ioniq will save you $3,750 in fuel costs over 5 years when compared to the average new vehicle. Best of all, this exceptional frugality does not require you to make concessions to outlandish green lifestyle design cues. About the only idiosyncratic styling feature of the Ioniq is the horizontally split rear window of the hatchback. In every other respect, the Ioniq is delightfully free of the bizarre flourishes other manufacturers use to distinguish their green cars. In fact, the classically proportioned Ioniq is one of the best looking small sedans on the market today in any price range. Ditto for its interior treatment, which utilizes recycled material to create a waffle-weave dash that is clean, different, and visually appealing.

the Ioniq is something of a surprise in the operation department. Instead of the usual unpredictable Hybrid brake feedback, the regenerative 4 wheel discs of the Ioniq offer firm pedal feel. There's a baby deer in my neighborhood who will testify to the stopping power of this Hyundai. When the deer jumped in front of the Ioniq, which was travelling 40mph, the disc brakes helped me do a great job of keeping avoiding a collision. Very impressive stopping power, indeed. Credit should also go to the Ioniq's Michelin Green X Energy saver radials (205/55R16). Mounted on Oh-So-80's looking white "Eco-Spoke" alloys, the Michelins provided decent cornering power and very good braking traction. You'll also appreciate their TW 480 tread life longevity.

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2019 Hyundai Ioniq
I wish I could lavish the same high praise on the performance of the 1.6 liter inline 4 cylinder engine. Even with the 125lb.-ft. torque boost from the permanent magnet synchronous electric motor, acceleration from a stop is less than scintillating. It takes a little longer than you would like to get this 3,070 pound sedan motivated. To help in the cause, Hyundai provides the Ioniq with a very useful 6 speed sequential gearbox which can be manipulated manually via the provided paddles behind the steering wheel. At low cruising speeds, snatching 2nd or 3rd gear with these paddles will provide the kind of immediate propulsion you crave in heavy traffic.

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2019 Hyundai Ioniq
The Ioniq, with 119 cubic feet of cabin space, and 23 cubic feet of cargo volume, is decidedly larger inside than the Toyota Prius Prime, Chevrolet Volt or Nissan Leaf. In addition to this abundance of interior space, Hyundai has chosen to equip the control panel with easy to use buttons and switches that will see to your every need without forcing you to remove your eyes from the road. Thankfully, Hyundai engineers have eliminated all traces of Buck Rogers from the interior as well as the exterior.

2019 HYUNDA IONIQ PLUG-IN HYBRID LIMITED

    ENGINE: 1.6 liter Gas Direct Injection 4 Cylinder Inline plus 44.5kH Electric Motor
    HORSEPOWER: 139hp
    TORQUE: 125lb.-ft.
    FUEL CONSUMPTION: 119MPGe/52MPG Gas Only
    PRICE AS TESTED: $33,335



HYPES: A Hybrid for Owners Who Enjoy Anonymity

GRIPES: Needs More Power

STAR RATING: 8.5 Stars out of 10