REVIEW: 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid is Fuel Efficient and Affordable

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The Hyundai Ioniq is the first vehicle available as a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric. The Ioniq aims to be all things to all people, ensuring those who want that fuel efficient green car will find it in the Ioniq.

We spent some time behind the wheel of the Ioniq plug-in hybrid, which is new for this year. Last year Hyundai introduced the hybrid and electric, but waited until the 2018 model year to finish the lineup.

Looking for a new or used car? Check out BestRide’s listings search here.

The number one thing people focus on in a plug-in hybrid is fuel economy and the Ioniq posts strong numbers. It gets an EPA-estimated 110 MPGe, which is an impressive number. It also has an all-electric range of 29 miles so you can do a fair amount of the day’s errands without relying on your gas engine. That’s efficient and good for the environment.

This hatchback has 23.0 cubic feet of cargo capacity with seating for five passengers, although the back seat is a tight fit for three. It’s especially tight for taller passengers who will notice the sloping roofline cutting into headroom. Up front, however, the Ioniq is downright roomy with plenty of space for even taller occupants.

Seating is comfortable, but not plush. There’s heavy bolstering to keep you in your seat on tight corners, but this isn’t a sports car. The Ioniq is a fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid and, for better or worse, it drives like one.

That means there’s not a lot of power off the line. Combined system horsepower on the Ioniq with its electric motor and 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine is only 139 horsepower. Even an aggressive foot on the gas doesn’t yield a quick response. Merging into highway traffic is a challenge and accelerating at highway speed for passing is even more challenging.

On the plus side, the Ioniq doesn’t use the continuously variable transmission commonly found in hybrids. Instead, Hyundai opted for a six-speed automatic transmission. It’s a good one with smooth, quiet shifts that don’t intrude into the calm of the cabin.

Also on the plus side is the Ioniq’s styling. On the outside, it’s an attractive sedan without any odd angles to somehow try and make this look like a sports car. Inside, there’s nothing flashy, but it’s comfortable and appealing. There are also plenty of storage cubbies making good use of all available space.

When it comes to pricing, the Ioniq plug-in hybrid starts at an affordable $24,950 for the base model or $28,300 for the Limited. That makes the Ioniq affordable both in the dealership and over the long-term when you get to drive past the pump rather than stopping.

While the hybrid version of the Ioniq is widely available, the electric and plug-in hybrid are more limited. The electric is only available in California while the plug-in hybrid is currently only sold in the 10 ZEV states. Check with your local dealership to see which versions of the Ioniq are available in your area.

Looking for a new or used car? Check out BestRide’s listings search here.

The 2018 Hyundai Ioniq plug-in hybrid rounds out the Ioniq lineup. It’s an attractive, fuel-efficient option with pricing that makes it an affordable choice, assuming you can find one.

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Nicole Wakelin

Nicole Wakelin