2018 Hyundai Ioniq

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MSRP: $22,200 - 28,300




Critics' Rating: 8.6
Performance: 8.2
Interior: 7.8
Safety: 10.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Hyundai Ioniq Review

The 2018 Hyundai Ioniq is an affordable eco-friendly car available in three different variants. Top attributes include excellent safety scores, outstanding fuel economy, and an upscale cabin. Some nonhybrid rivals offer more overall, hence the Ioniq's midpack ranking.

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent fuel economy and mpg-e ratings
  • User-friendly infotainment system
  • Solid safety and predicted reliability scores
  • Disconnected handling and ride quality
  • Limited back-seat space

Is the Hyundai Ioniq a Good Car?

The Ioniq is a good car. This hatchback offers three highly efficient powertrains (hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric) and has a decent amount of get-up-and-go for a hybrid. The cabin looks great and uses quality materials throughout, while the infotainment system is easy to use. On the flip side, the car has unimpressive driving dynamics and a somewhat cramped rear seat.

Should I Buy the Hyundai Ioniq?

The Ioniq is a solid buying choice even if you’re not solely considering hybrid vehicles. Like all Hyundai vehicles, the Ioniq touts an excellent warranty. Shopping around never hurts, but the Ioniq holds up well in comparisons against rivals like the Nissan Leaf and Toyota Prius.

Compare the Ioniq, Leaf, and Prius »

Should I Buy a New or Used Hyundai Ioniq?

The Ioniq Hybrid and Ioniq Electric were introduced as all-new models for 2017, and the Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid joined the lineup for 2018. A sunroof is also available for the 2018 model year. There are no other notable changes.

You can potentially save thousands of dollars by buying a used vehicle, but be aware that you may have trouble finding a used Ioniq since it debuted so recently. If you're interested in a used model, be sure to visit our overview of the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2017 and 2018 Ioniq »
We Did the Research for You: 20 Reviews Analyzed

Our Hyundai Ioniq review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from 20 sources and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety features, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision. Our comprehensive Ioniq overview incorporates data and reviews from all model years of the current generation, which runs from 2017 to 2018.

Why You Can Trust Us

The Best Cars team – a division of U.S. News & World Report – has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007. With more than 75 years of combined automotive experience, our editors, writers, and analysts rank a wide variety of new and used cars and issue three annual awards: Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands. To keep our recommendations unbiased, we decline expensive gifts from carmakers, and a third party handles our advertising.

How Much Does the Hyundai Ioniq Cost?

For 2018, prices for a new Hyundai Ioniq start at $22,200 for the Ioniq Hybrid and $24,950 for the Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid. The 2018 Ioniq Electric starts at $29,500 and is only available in California. 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). Alternatively, 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.

Hyundai Ioniq Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Hyundai Ioniq or Toyota Prius?

The Toyota Prius is probably the most famous hybrid on the planet, and for a while, it was the benchmark for rivals like the Ioniq. Now, the Ioniq gets better gas mileage – for a lower base price. The Hyundai gets marginally better safety and predicted reliability scores, but the Prius offers slightly more maximum cargo space (in certain trims) and adequate rear-seat room. These rivals are very close in our overall rankings, so you likely won't go wrong with either. If you're looking at the Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid, you'll want to compare it with the plug-in Toyota Prius Prime.

Which Is Better: Hyundai Ioniq or Nissan Leaf?

The Nissan Leaf is an all-electric car, like the Ioniq Electric. The 2018 Leaf marks the start of a new generation. It delivers energetic performance, a self-driving system, and an improved battery range of 151 miles (27 miles longer than the electric Ioniq's). It costs more than the Ioniq, but if you can afford the Leaf's higher price, you should give it a look.

Compare the Ioniq, Prius, and Leaf »

Ioniq Interior

How Many People Does the Ioniq Seat?

The Ioniq is a four-door, five-seat hatchback. Reviewers found that back-seat space can be limited, and the bar that splits the rear window in two can obstruct outward visibility.

Ioniq and Car Seats

LATCH hardware in the rear seats of the Ioniq includes three tether anchors, all of which are easy to identify. The two outboard seats also come with lower anchors, and though you'll have to dig a little to find them in the seat cushions, the anchors are otherwise easy to use.

Ioniq Interior Quality

Quality is sterling in the Ioniq. A combination of a clean layout, high-grade materials, and comfortable seats gives this compact car a premium feel. Eco-conscious shoppers will also appreciate that many of the interior materials are eco-friendly.

Ioniq Cargo Space

The hatchback body style of the Ioniq is a blessing when it comes to your cargo. At 26.5 cubic feet, the Ioniq Hybrid is one of the most spacious vehicles in our hybrid and electric car rankings. The battery pack takes up some of this space in the Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid and Ioniq Electric. That said, the 23-cubic-foot trunk in these models is still larger than those in the Volkswagen e-Golf and Ford C-Max Energi.

Ioniq Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

It doesn't take long to become a pro at using Hyundai's infotainment system. The interface is easy to navigate, with a nice array of redundant buttons and knobs for when you don't want to use the touch screen. As a bonus, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included, with embellishments like wireless charging for your phone and an eight-speaker Infinity stereo among the options.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto? Then, see the Best Cars With Apple CarPlay and Best Cars With Android Auto.

Read more about interior »

Ioniq Performance

Ioniq Engine: Peppy, but Somewhat Reserved

Powertrain options for the 2018 Ioniq include hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric. All three feel smooth and zippy, though you don't get quite the same off-the-line punch in the Ioniq Electric as you do in a Kia Soul EV. The Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid deliver a little more oomph, especially when you change the drive setting from Eco to Sport mode.

Ioniq Gas Mileage: Outstanding Fuel Economy

The Ioniq Hybrid is one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles you can buy, with an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 57 mpg in the city and 59 mpg on the highway. With the Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid, you'll get 119 mpg-e, with its combined electric and fuel costs saving you about $100 per year over the non-plug-in model. You'll save another $150 or so a year by going with the Ioniq Electric instead of the plug-in. Its 136 mpg-e is impressive, and its all-electric range of 124 miles is comparable to the ranges of the Volkswagen e-Golf and BMW i3.

Ioniq Ride and Handling: Smooth and Enjoyable

Driving the Ioniq feels about the same as driving any traditionally powered compact car. That's a good thing if you don't like the grabby feel typical of regen brakes. Plus, Hyundai gives you three settings for its regen brake system, so you can adjust how sharply the Ioniq slows when you release the throttle. On rough pavement, the Ioniq tends to bounce around, and it exhibits generally floaty handling with little feedback from the road. You may need to make constant adjustments to stay in your lane on the highway.

Read more about performance »

Ioniq Reliability

Is the Hyundai Ioniq Reliable?

The 2018 Ioniq earns a predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power. A score of three is average for a new car.

Hyundai Ioniq Warranty

All Hyundai Ioniq models come with a five-year/60,000-mile new-car warranty, a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, and a lifetime warranty for the lithium-ion battery pack.

Read more about reliability »

Ioniq Safety

Ioniq Crash Test Results

The Ioniq Hybrid performs marvelously in every crash test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, earning a Top Safety Pick label in the process. Neither the Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid nor the Ioniq Electric has crash test ratings.

Ioniq Safety Features

The Ioniq comes standard with a rearview camera. Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot detection, rear cross traffic alert, lane change assist, lane keep assist, smart cruise control (Hyundai's adaptive cruise control, which includes stop-and-go capabilities), and adaptive headlights are available in select models.

Read more about safety »

Which Hyundai Ioniq Model Is Right for Me?

The Ioniq lineup incorporates three types of powertrains. Kicking things off at $22,200 is the Ioniq Hybrid, which comes with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. It has the lowest starting price in the group but is not eligible for any federal tax credits. Three trim levels are available: Blue, SEL, and Limited. See below for more details on each trim.

The Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid has the same engine and transmission as the Ioniq Hybrid, but it comes with a larger lithium-ion battery pack. With a full charge, this grants about 29 miles of electric-only driving. The base plug-in model adds about $2,800 to your price tag, but its available $4,543 federal tax credit more than offsets that increase, making this the smartest buy of the bunch. Available trim levels for the Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid are base ($24,950) and Limited ($28,300)

The Ioniq Electric – a battery electric vehicle with a single-speed transmission – comes in the base ($29,500) and Limited ($36,000) trim levels. If you're able to take full advantage of the $7,500 federal tax credit, you'll spend less on an Ioniq Electric than on an Ioniq Hybrid. Note that this model is currently only available to residents of California.

Hyundai Ioniq

Standard features of the Ioniq Hybrid Blue, as well as the base Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid and Ioniq Electric, include a 7-inch touch-screen display, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, HD Radio, satellite radio, a rearview camera, and a proximity key with push-button start. Dual-zone automatic temperature control is standard in both hybrid models, while the all-electric model features single-zone automatic temperature control.

Hyundai Ioniq SEL

Only the Ioniq Hybrid has a midlevel trim. Notable features of the SEL ($24,000) include a power-adjustable driver's seat with lumbar support, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, blind spot detection, and rear cross traffic alert.

Hyundai Ioniq Limited

The top-of-the-line Ioniq Limited is available as a hybrid ($27,550), a plug-in hybrid ($28,300), or an electric car ($36,000). Leather seats, heated front seats, blind spot detection, and rear cross traffic alert are standard. A sunroof is included in the hybrid and optional in the plug-in and electric models.

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 2018 Hyundai Ioniq specs and trims »

The Final Call

If you're shopping for a fuel-sipper but want the benefits of a regular compact car, you should take the 2018 Hyundai Ioniq for a spin. There are three versions of the Ioniq, and its newest edition, a plug-in hybrid, may be the best of the three, delivering extra oomph while maintaining its fuel-efficient status. With the Ioniq Electric, you'll enjoy a solid all-electric range at a reasonable price. You can pay more for an EV with a 150- or 200-mile range, but you'll have a hard time matching the Ioniq's interior quality. Rounding out its standout attributes are excellent crash test scores (for the hybrid model) and an impressive warranty.

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

  • "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
  • "The Ioniq PHEV is a solid competitor to the Prius Prime. And we certainly like the tasteful exterior design as well as the sportier vibe." -- Autoweek
  • "A smart and sporty 4-door hatchback, the 2018 Hyundai Ioniq gives environmentally conscious shoppers a choice among three affordable models: a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid and a pure electric vehicle. It takes on the popular Toyota Prius, as well as the Chevy Bolt, Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt and the similar Kia Niro in the growing market for electrified fuel-efficient small cars that offer real-world practicality." -- Kelley Blue Book
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