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MSRP: $22,400 - 36,815

8.2

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.3
Performance: 8.1
Interior: 7.8
Safety: 9.9
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2019 Hyundai Ioniq Review

The 2019 Hyundai Ioniq ranks near the middle of the compact car class because of its limited rear-seat space and numb steering. Still, it has ample cargo space and plenty of user-friendly features.

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent fuel economy ratings
  • Lots of cargo space
  • Intuitive infotainment features
  • Limited second-row space
  • Floaty handling and ride

New for 2019

  • Newly optional driver attention alert and automatic high beam assist
  • More advanced safety features standard in SEL trim

Is the Hyundai Ioniq a Good Car?

The Ioniq is a good compact car and stacks up well with hybrids and nonhybrids alike. Few cars can match the Ioniq's fuel economy, and there are plug-in and electric versions for shoppers who want to be even more eco-friendly. The plug-in and EV models also accelerate quickly. The Ioniq’s hatchback design affords a lot of cargo space, but it suffers from a lack of rear headroom and a bouncy, unconfident ride.

Should I Buy the Hyundai Ioniq?

The Hyundai Ioniq should appeal to anyone looking for a hybrid, especially because it costs less than nearly all other hybrids in the class. If you're looking for excellent fuel economy, you'll also want to check out the Toyota Prius. The Nissan Leaf is another option to consider, and it provides more all-electric driving range than the Ioniq's electric version.

Compare the Ioniq, Prius, and Leaf »

Should I Buy a New or Used Hyundai Ioniq?

The Hyundai Ioniq was introduced as an all-new car for the 2017 model year. A plug-in hybrid model joined the lineup of the 2018 Ioniq, and both driver attention alert and automatic high beam assist were made newly optional for the 2019 model year. Aside from those changes, there aren't many differences between Ioniq models. You can likely save thousands of dollars by shopping for a used Ioniq and still get a very similar car.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Ioniq »

We Did the Research for You: 15 Reviews Analyzed

We analyzed 15 Hyundai Ioniq reviews – along with performance specs, fuel economy estimates, and more – to help you decide if the 2019 Ioniq is the right new car for you. This 2019 Hyundai Ioniq full review incorporates applicable research for all model years in this generation, which spans the 2017 through 2019 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To remain objective, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team manages the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Hyundai Ioniq Cost?

The 2019 Hyundai Ioniq hybrid starts at $22,400, which makes it one of the least-expensive alternative-fuel compact cars. Higher trim levels of the hybrid model start at $24,950 and $28,550, respectively. The 2019 Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid retails for $25,350, and the Ioniq Electric starts at $29,815.

You may be able to save some money on either plug-in model if you're eligible for a tax credit (read our article to learn more about how tax credits for plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles work). Or, check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great deals at your local Hyundai dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Hyundai deals page.

Hyundai Ioniq Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Hyundai Ioniq or Toyota Prius?

The Toyota Prius used to be the gold standard against which all other hybrids were measured, but newer models like the Ioniq compare very favorably with it. Both cars get some of the highest fuel economy ratings of any hybrid – 57/59 mpg city/highway for the Ioniq and 58/53 for the Prius. Both offer comparable amounts of cargo space and a decent amount of back-seat room. There are advantages to each when it comes to tech and features. The Ioniq has standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which you can't get at all in the Prius. However, upper trims of this Toyota feature a brilliant 11.6-inch touch-screen, and all models come standard with numerous crash prevention features. Deciding between these two may come down to personal preference. If you're interested in the plug-in or electric Ioniq, you'll want to check out our separate review of the plug-in Toyota Prius Prime.

Which Is Better: Hyundai Ioniq or Nissan Leaf?

The Nissan Leaf is an electric car that bests the Ioniq Electric's driving range by about 25 miles. That's one of the few reasons to consider a Leaf over any Ioniq because this Nissan sits near the bottom of our rankings. You're still limited to only around 150 miles, so the Leaf isn't an ideal option for those looking to take lots of long road trips. It has an unimpressive cabin quality and few standard features, but it does offer the ProPilot Assist system. This makes the Leaf almost self-driving through a combination of features that control speed and braking as well as keep you in your lane. The Leaf and the Hyundai Ioniq Electric have similar starting prices at just under $30,000, but both the hybrid and plug-in Ioniq models have much lower prices and they'll only cost you a little more in fuel every year. You're better off choosing one of those over the Leaf. 

Compare the Ioniq, Prius, and Leaf »

Ioniq Interior

How Many People Does the Ioniq Seat?

The 2019 Ioniq seats five people. The cabin feels open and airy, and there's plenty of head- and legroom for a taller driver or passenger. Seating comfort is good, but the lower seat cushions lack support over long drives. Rear outward visibility is a minor issue due to a large horizontal bar that splits the hatch glass into two sections. Rear-seat space is generally mediocre but typical for a compact car. Taller riders will probably feel cramped.

Ioniq and Car Seats

The Ioniq has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat attachments on the rear outboard seats and a dedicated tether anchor for the middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the system the second-highest rating of Acceptable for its ease of use. The lower anchors are set deep in the seat, but it's easy to attach the car seats otherwise.

Ioniq Interior Quality

The Ioniq features lots of recycled and environmentally conscious materials, including interior pieces made of wood, volcanic stone, and raw sugar cane. A few critics think that cabin pieces are drab or low-rent, but most reviewers commend the interior quality overall. Fit and finish is solid, with everything assembled tightly. 

Ioniq Cargo Space

A hatchback design helps the Ioniq deliver more cargo space than nearly every other compact car. The standard hybrid model has 26.5 cubic feet of cargo space, while the batteries in the plug-in and electric model reduce space to 23 cubic feet. The cargo opening is restricted due to a low roofline and a high trunk floor, which makes it difficult to lift in heavy cargo.

While the Ioniq certainly offers a lot of room for your stuff, other hybrid hatchback rivals are on par with it. The Toyota Prius has 24.6 or 27.4 cubic feet depending on the trim, while the Nissan Leaf offers up to 23.6 cubes.

Ioniq Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The Ioniq comes standard with lots of cool amenities, including an easy-to-use 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It's easy to navigate through menus and there are physical buttons and knobs to adjust audio or climate settings. An optional system includes an 8-inch touch screen along with an Infinity premium stereo, navigation, and wireless charging.

Read more about interior »

Ioniq Performance

Ioniq Engine: Peppy Power

There are three powertrain options for the 2019 Ioniq: a traditional hybrid, a plug-in hybrid, and an electric model. The hybrid and plug-in each have a total of 139 horsepower, and both come standard with a six-speed automatic transmission. The Ioniq Electric squeaks out 118 horsepower from its electric motor and a single-speed transmission. Thanks to immediately available torque, any of the Ioniq models can get going from a stop with little drama.

Ioniq Gas Mileage: Better With a Battery

The standard Ioniq Hybrid gets up to 57 mpg in the city and 59 mpg on the highway. Those are among the best fuel economy numbers of any hybrid on the market. For comparison, the Toyota Prius gets up to 58 mpg city and 53 mpg highway.

The Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid has a fantastic fuel economy rating of 119 MPGe, with an all-electric range of 29 miles. Charging the Ioniq Plug-in takes around eight and half hours from a standard 110- or 120-volt outlet, and 2 hours and 18 minutes from a 220- or 240-volt source.

The all-electric Ioniq has one of the highest MPGe ratings of any electric car – 136 MPGe. It has a so-so range of 124 miles, and it charges in around four and half hours. The Ionic Electric bests the Nissan Leaf's 112 MPGe, but it doesn't match the Leaf's all-electric range of roughly 150 miles.

Ioniq Ride and Handling: Good Brakes, Numb Steering

The Ioniq drives mostly like a traditional gas-powered car. Its hybrid-specific regenerative brakes don't exhibit a lot of the mushiness or vague feel that these systems are typically known for, and you can throw the car into a corner with confidence. Still, there's little feedback from the pavement and steering feel is numb. In road tests, the Ioniq tends to bounce noticeably when traversing broken pavement. It also requires lots of minor steering corrections and inputs when going at high speeds or on a freeway. 

Read more about performance »

Ioniq Reliability

Is the Hyundai Ioniq Reliable?

J.D. Power gives the 2019 Ioniq a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five.

Hyundai Ioniq Warranty

Hyundai covers the Ioniq with a five-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. The lithium-ion battery pack comes with a lifetime warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Ioniq Safety

Ioniq Crash Test Results

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2019 Ioniq a Top Safety Pick, giving it the highest rating of Good in six crash tests and the second-highest rating of Acceptable for how well the headlights illuminate the road ahead. Models equipped with the optional automatic emergency braking have a Superior rating for front crash prevention.

Ioniq Safety Features

All 2019 Ioniq models come standard with a rearview camera. However, a whole host of other active safety and driver assistance technologies come in higher trims. These include rear parking sensors, adaptive headlights, automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, driver attention monitoring, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, and automatic emergency braking.

Read more about safety »

Which Hyundai Ioniq Model Is Right for Me?

The 2019 Hyundai Ioniq is available with three different powertrains: a standard hybrid, a plug-in hybrid, and an all-electric version. Trim levels vary by model, which we detail below. Your decision will probably come down to how fuel-efficient you want the car to be, or the range and capabilities you want. The regular hybrid model will cost you around $750 per year in fuel expenses, the plug-in about $650, and the electric model roughly $500. Although the base electric model will save you around $250 in annual fuel costs compared to the base hybrid, it will take you almost 30 years to realize any cost savings because of the steep difference between the two models’ starting prices.

Hyundai Ioniq

The 2019 Hyundai Ioniq hybrid starts at $22,400. Standard features include cloth upholstery, six-way manual-adjustable front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity key entry, push-button start, and a rearview camera. A standard 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system comes with Bluetooth, a USB port, HD Radio, satellite radio, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay.

The 2019 Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid starts at $25,350 and the Ioniq Electric starts at $29,815. Those models come standard with heated front seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Hyundai Ioniq SEL

The Ioniq hybrid is the only model with a midrange SEL trim (MSRP: $24,950). Additional features include LED daytime running lights and taillights, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a 7-inch digital instrument cluster display, adaptive cruise control, driver attention monitoring, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, and automatic emergency braking.

Hyundai Ioniq Limited

The Ioniq hybrid Limited retails for $28,550. It comes with leather seats, a sunroof, and automatic high beams. The Limited Ultimate package ($2,200) includes rear parking sensors, adaptive headlights, and an 8-inch touch-screen system with navigation, an eight-speaker Infinity sound system, and wireless device charging.

The Ioniq plug-in Limited starts at $29,350 and adds leather seats, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, a 7-inch digital instrument cluster display, LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, driver attention monitoring, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, and automatic emergency braking. The Limited Ultimate package costs $2,975 and includes the same features as it does for the hybrid.

The range-topping Ioniq Electric Limited costs $36,315 and comes with pretty much every feature you can get in an Ioniq.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Hyundai dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Hyundai deals page.

See 2019 Hyundai Ioniq specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2019 Hyundai Ioniq is a good car and a great hybrid. It delivers solid acceleration and returns phenomenal fuel economy ratings in its hybrid, plug-in, and electric variants. Straightforward features, lots of cargo space, and a nice interior make this Hyundai a solid choice for an everyday driver.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "Not as futuristic as the Toyota Prius, the 2019 Hyundai Ioniq offers hybrid efficiency in a sleekly styled hatchback that is reasonably priced and loaded with cool features. Toss in Hyundai’s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain and lifetime battery coverage, and the Ioniq suddenly becomes a no-brainer." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "With its sights set squarely on the Toyota Prius, the … Hyundai Ioniq proves the Korean carmaker isn't afraid to shake things up. In aiming for the segment leader, the Ioniq Hybrid and Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid have leapfrogged a number of competitors, although in terms of interior space, the Ioniq still lags behind the Prius. The Ioniq's biggest advantage over the Prius is its price point, and yet Hyundai doesn't ask customers to sacrifice style, features or fuel economy in return. The Ioniq further extends its green footprint by using a number of recycled and natural materials as part of its interior construction. It also comes standard with a 10-year/100,000-mile warranty." -- Autotrader (2018)
  • "As with many green cars, the buyer of the Ioniq plug-in will want to make sure the car's reality is in alignment with their expectations. Those who want a plug-in to act like a fully electric car at least for short distances probably should look instead at the Volt or the Prius Prime. But if you're into the idea of plugging in regularly merely to put a major dent in your fuel budget, this PHEV works wonders without weirdness." -- Car and Driver (2018)

Buying

Expert Advice

Last Updated: March 29, 2019

Decreasing Demand: The Hyundai Ioniq trio – made up of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and fully electric models – is the second best-selling hybrid and electric car, behind the Toyota Prius. Ioniq sales have decreased 6.7 percent this year relative to the same span in 2018.

Research more buying advice »
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