MSRP
$22,400
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2019 Hyundai Ioniq Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.8

The 2019 Hyundai Ioniq has three efficient alternative-fuel powertrains, and all three provide good acceleration. Handling is good overall and this Hyundai drives like a regular car despite being a hybrid.

  • "From behind the wheel, the 2019 Ioniq Hybrid is refined and comfortable with few indications that its complex powertrain is using both an electric motor and a gasoline-powered internal-combustion engine to get you down the road. Basically, it feels like a regular compact car, and that’s a good thing." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Ioniq is a dedicated hybrid that really doesn't drive like one. In eco drive mode, it's smooth, silent and pleasant. Treat the right pedal kindly and the EPA says you'll see 58 mpg combined -- two better than the Prius Eco." -- Autoweek (2017)
  • "My favorite thing about driving the Ioniq Hybrid, however, is its suspension tuning. This car lacks the heaviness and clumsiness commonly felt in a hybrid vehicle's ride and handling characteristics. Instead, the Ioniq Hybrid feels light, lively, athletic, and balanced. It zips around corners and feels playful and responsive." -- New York Daily News (2017)

Acceleration and Power

The Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid both feature a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, an electric motor, and a six-speed automatic transmission, with an output of 139 horsepower. The hybrid gets up to 57 mpg in the city and 59 mpg on the highway. The plug-in gets 119 MPGe and has an all-electric range of 29 miles.

The Ioniq Electric has a 118-horsepower electric motor mated to a single-speed transmission. It gets 136 MPGe and has a total electric range of 124 miles. Most critics think that the Ioniq has good acceleration from a stop regardless of the powertrain. Most reviewers also note that you should utilize Sport mode for the most acceptable performance.

  • "There's ample power for daily driving, engine-to-motor transitions are smooth, and brake response is nicely linear, but there is some tire noise. Throttle response, transmission shifts and steering response feel livelier in Sport mode, although fuel economy takes a hit." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Ioniq feels reluctant and sluggish around town, requiring more pedal input than expected when in default mode. Sport mode provides much more natural acceleration but sacrifices efficiency. … Shift quality, responsiveness and acceleration smoothness are inconsistent. It seems like the transmission is easily tripped up, especially immediately after hard braking." -- Edmunds (2018)
  • "One of our complaints about dual-clutch automatics is a lack of low-end acceleration when paired with a small engine, but the Ioniq's electric motor solves this nicely: It delivers plenty of low-end torque, so the Ioniq moves off smartly from a stop." -- Autotrader (2018)

Handling and Braking

All Ioniq models come standard with front-wheel drive. The Ioniq takes turns with enthusiasm, but its steering is numb and requires frequent corrections. Some test drivers think that the ride quality is good, while others bemoan how the car overreacts to bumps in the road.

  • We have little complaint about the Ioniq's suspension, which rides smoothly and evenly. We didn't have many tight, twisty turns on our press preview drive, but what curves there were the Ioniq handled well. Our big complaint is one we've made about other Hyundais: the steering. On the open highway, the Ioniq darts to and fro, requiring constant tiny corrections that can make long drives a real chore." -- Autotrader (2018)
  • "The Ioniq's handling is benign but has low limits. Its tires howl in protest even in moderately quick turns. It turns into a corner cleanly and without much hesitation. But when it encounters bumps, it reacts like a much heavier car, with exaggerated up-and-down ride motions." -- Edmunds (2018)
  • "The Ioniq Electric is easy to drive, tracking nicely on the highway despite its small stature. The placement of its battery pack means a low center of gravity, and the body feels nice and stiff as it eases through corners. While the hybrid models feature a multi-link rear suspension, the Ioniq Electric has a simpler torsion-beam rear to make room for its larger battery; as a result, it tends to bound a tiny bit more over uneven pavement." -- Autoblog (2017)
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