2022 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid & Plug-in Hybrid
Are these the ultimate Toyota Prius rivals?by Amreetam Basu, on
Switching to a complete EV might be a bit of a stretch, since EVs are costlier alternatives to gas-operated regular cars. But, fear not. If you have Toyota Prius on your list, then you must add both the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid on it. Plus, the Prius lineup is still suffering the ugly design approach of Toyota, while Hyundai has kept the Ioniq Hybrid neat and exciting, minus the performance. Unfortunately, Hyundai decided to pull the plug on the full-electric Ioniq to make way for the Ioniq 5 EV. A 1.6-liter naturally aspirated four-pot remains the beating heart of all the Ioniq hybrids, along with an electric motor. But, what impresses us is the outstanding fuel economy the whole range can deliver, especially the MHEV Blue trim. A whopping 60 miles per gallon on the highway has been rated by the EPA, which is about seven miles per gallon more than what the Prius can deliver, although being better in performance. Both, the Plug-in Hybrid and the Hybrid have good-looking cabins, and the overall experience is a lot better than the competition, we would say. So, should you get yourself either of the Ioniq hybrids? We are here to confirm that.
2022 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid & Plug-in Hybrid
What’s New for the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid?
Unlike the outgoing model year which brought much-needed updates to the Ioniq hybrid ranges (addition of wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay), the 2022 model year brings no changes whatsoever. The Ioniq EV ceases production for the 2022 model year to pave the way for the all-new and more advanced Ioniq 5 EV. The 2022 Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid are a part of the first-generation model, which was introduced back in 2017.
2022 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid Trims
|Hybrid Blue||1.6-liter naturally aspirated inline-four Hybrid||Six-speed automated manual||FWD||$23,600|
|Hybrid SE||1.6-liter naturally aspirated inline-four Hybrid||Six-speed automated manual||FWD||$25,550|
|Plug-in Hybrid SE||1.6-liter naturally aspirated inline-four Plug-in Hybrid||Six-speed automated manual||FWD||$26,800|
|Hybrid SEL||1.6-liter naturally aspirated inline-four Hybrid||Six-speed automated manual||FWD||$28,800|
|Plug-in Hybrid SEL||1.6-liter naturally aspirated inline-four Plug-in Hybrid||Six-speed automated manual||FWD||$29,800|
|Hybrid Limited||1.6-liter naturally aspirated inline-four Hybrid||Six-speed automated manual||FWD||$31,200|
|Plug-in Hybrid Limited||1.6-liter naturally aspirated inline-four Plug-in Hybrid||Six-speed automated manual||FWD||$33,250|
Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid Exterior
The 2020 facelift brought the whole Ioniq range to look sharp and stand out in the competition (Ahem… Prius). The refreshed front bumper features a new grille design, which has become wider. The standard headlights are halogen ones, but come with automatic high beams. LED DRLs are a part of the SE trims, while full-LED lights are reserved for the SELs. The higher trims also fancy themselves with boomerang-styled LED fog lights on the fake side vents. Apart from the standard Blue trim, all the other trims benefit from a lot of chrome along with integrated turn signals on the mirrors. The beautiful-looking 17-inch alloy wheels are available with the SEL and the top-spec Limited trims only, or else you get 15 inchers with the lower trims. The Ioniq hybrids are not exactly sedans, but are hatchbacks, and the statement becomes clear when you take a look at the rear fascia. The roofline has the sloping effect, but nothing aggressive to cut the headroom. The taillights look great and are so much better than the Prius.
For a compact hatchback, the Ioniq is quite a long car, measuring 176 inches in length. The wheelbase measures 106.3 inches, which is exactly the same size as that of the Prius. The Ioniq hybrids are 71.7 inches wide and are 56.9 inches tall while weighing 2,996 pounds (base variant). The PHEV variants hold a larger battery underneath, and hence the weight goes up to 3,417 pounds with the Limited trim.
|Ground Clearance||5.3 in.|
|Front Width||62.1 in.|
|Rear Width||62.1 in.|
|Curb Weight||2,996 lbs.|
You can spec your new Ioniq hybrids with six color options, from which the Ceramic White is a $400 option. The rest of the five colors: Stellar Silver, Intense Blue, Black Noir Pearl, Scarlet Red Pearl, and Amazon Gray are available free of cost. However, you cannot spec the Plug-in Hybrid models with the Scarlet Red Pearl.
|Ceramic White||Black Noir Pearl|
|Stellar Silver||Scarlet Red Pearl|
|Intense Blue||Amazon Gray|
Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid Performance
With the Hyundai Ioniq hybrids, there is no oomph following the naturally aspirated 1.6-liter four-pot. However, combined with the electric motor, the power figures get a small but considerable boost to 139 horses, be it the mild-hybrid or the plug-in hybrid models. It is surely better than the Prius, but nothing to boast about. We would also blame the six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox for the slower throttle response, which has been tuned to make gear shifts pretty early, hence extracting every bit of mileage. As a result, 0-60 miles per hour has been recorded in 8.9 seconds, while taking 16.8 seconds to reach a quarter-mile. We wouldn’t complain about its slouch performance in the city, where it will be driven mainly. If you are planning to go for long highway drives, make sure to meditate before hopping onto the driver’s seat.
Engine and Transmission
While both the mild-hybrid and the plug-in hybrid models feature the same 1.6-liter naturally aspirated inline-four engine, there are differences in the power distribution. With the former configuration, the gas engine puts out 104 horsepower and 109 pound-feet, while the electric motor puts out 43 horses and 125 pound-feet. The plug-in hybrid models put out the same 139 horsepower and 195 pound-feet, but the power distribution between the combustion engine and the electric motor differs. With the latter combination, the electric motor puts out 60 horses. All variants come with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox along with a front-wheel-drive system.
|Engine||1.6-liter naturally aspirated inline-four w/ electric hybrid|
|Transmission||Six-speed automated manual|
|Horsepower||139 hp @ 5,700 RPM|
|Torque||195 lb-ft @ 4,000 RPM|
|0-60 mph||8.9 seconds|
|Top Speed||16.8 seconds|
Handling and Driving Impressions
Uninspiring steering feedback coupled with sluggish performance is a nightmare for the Ioniq hybrids. But if you want frugality at this price point, there are not many options to choose from. That said, both the mild-hybrid and the plug-in hybrid models feel great in the city limits. The steering wheel feels hefty, even when the speeds are lower. The ride quality is set to the softer side, and the Ioniq hybrids soak most of the unnoticed rough patches without troubling your back. We didn’t like the braking performance either, as they lack bite when applied suddenly. Apart from the base Blue trim, there is regenerative braking fitted as standard across the other trims. Fun fact: they can be tweaked using the steering-mounted columns. One major con that is quite noticeable is the mediocre cabin refinement. You will know it better when you drive any of the Ioniq hybrids through traffic.
2022 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid Gas Mileage
Both the Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid perform outstandingly when it comes to delivering good fuel economy. The base Blue has been rated the best among the other mild-hybrid trims with 58 miles per gallon for the city, 60 miles per gallon for the highway, and combined figures of 59 miles per gallon. If you compare the figures to the L Eco Prius, the city mileage is the same 50 miles per gallon, but the highway mileage is a win for the Ioniq Hybrid Blue with a seven miles per gallon lead. The higher Ioniq mild-hybrid trims are rated slightly lower 54 miles per gallon in the city, 57 miles per gallon on the highway, and 55 miles per gallon combined. The Prius still falls behind with seven miles per gallon lower in the highway mileage test. However, we are thrilled by the Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid’s economy. It is frugal, but not as much as the Prius Prime. We think that the extra 18 horsepower output of the Ioniq might be the cause. The EPA has rated it with 123/115/119 for city/highway/combined categories. On the other hand, the Prius Prime delivers an exceptional 145/121/133 for city/highway/combined.
The mild-hybrid Ioniqs are offered with an 11.9-gallon gas tank which can take you about 700 miles, while the plug-in hybrids can deliver up to 580 miles and 29 miles of a pure electric range because of their larger 8.9 kWh battery pack. The battery pack takes about 2.3 hours to fully charge with the 240V outlet. The plug-in hybrids pack a slightly smaller 11.4-gallon tank.
|Ioniq Hybrid (Blue)||58||60||59|
|Ioniq Hybrid (SEL)||54||57||55|
|Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid||123||115||119|
Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid Interior
We like the cabin of the Ioniq hybrids. In fact, we love it when it is compared to the Prius, in terms of design and intuitiveness. Although there are a lot of hard plastics on display (dashboard top and door panels). But we are glad that the dashboard design is similar to other Hyundai cars currently selling (not to forget the alien dashboard of the Toyota Prius). There is a nice-looking flat-bottomed steering wheel, along with an analog-digital instrument console and a big eight-inch touchscreen at the center. The only things we found to be weird are the paddle-shifters behind the steering wheel, which are fitted as standard from the SE trim. These shifters are to be used to adjust regenerative braking, and they do not allow manual gear shifts.
Seating and Interior Space
We wouldn’t say that the cabins of the Hyundai Hybrid and the Plug-in Hybrid are uncomfortable, but there isn’t much room in the rear row. The standard cloth seats are nice and have good cushioning, and come with manual adjustability. The higher trims are offered with leather seats and power-adjustability for the front seats. Even heated seats are available for your convenience. The driver and the front passenger will hardly complain about the cabin space, as they will have 38.2 inches of headroom, 56.1 inches of shoulder room, and 42.2 inches of legroom. For the rear row, there are 37.4 inches of headroom, 55 inches of shoulder room, and 35.7 inches of legroom. For below six-foot passengers, the rear row would be just adequate. Getting in and out of the Ioniq hybrids is pretty easy, but the narrow rear row is not convenient for taller passengers.
|Headroom||38.2 in.||37.4 in.|
|Shoulder Room||56.1 in.||55.0 in.|
|Hip Room||53.8 in.||52.9 in.|
|Leg Room||42.2 in.||35.7 in.|
Interior Colors and Materials
The Ioniq Hybrid and the Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid are very familiar when it comes to the build quality. A lot of plastics are infused inside the cabin, but the overall look is refined, if not the feel. The lower trims offer dark gray or black seats, while the Limited has the same color contrasts available but with leather upholstery. You will find a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a shifter from the SE.
Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid Trunk and Cargo Space
The available cargo capacity of the Ioniq hybrids is not ground-breaking. The mild-hybrid variants have 26.5 cubic feet behind the rear row, while the plug-in hybrids have slightly smaller 23 cubes. Compared to its arch-rival, the Prius, the mild-hybrid Ioniq has a cubic foot less space. The Prius Prime, however, has three cubic feet less cargo space than the Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid. Both the Ioniq hybrid variants pack enough space for your weekly groceries or luggage for your weekend family get-outs. The cabin is quite practical too, with a spacious glove box, a center console bin, cup holders, and door pockets.
2022 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid Infotainment and Features
As standard, there are quite a few important features that come fitted to the Ioniq hybrids, such as a 4.2-inch driver information display, keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, and cruise control. Other driver assistance features include automatic high beams, lane-keeping assist, forward collision warning, and more. From the SE, there are quite some improvements in the feature list with the leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle-shifters, 10-way power-adjustable driver seat, bigger seven-inch driver information display, heated front seats, and even LED DRLs. The SEL and the Limited trims offer top-of-the-line features such as a wireless charging pad, a sunroof, LED ambient lights, power-folding mirrors, and parking sensors.
Hyundai has done a great job in adding a fairly big eight-inch touchscreen as standard. And, with that comes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, that too with wireless connectivity. Other standard features include a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth playback, and USB connectivity. The SE trim onwards will add SiriusXM, while the SEL offers a wireless charging pad. If you don’t want to miss out on all of the above features, the top-spec Limited trim will add a navigation system, a premium eight-speaker Harman Kardon audio unit, and an even bigger 10.25-inch touchscreen display. The overall interface is so fluid and burdenless that we couldn’t stop ourselves judging the Prius’ system, which is slow and unintuitive.
2022 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid Problems and Reliability
Fortunately, there is no recall history of the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid. In fact, no recall has been recorded since the 2020 facelift, which makes it extremely reliable. The South-Korean brand offers up to five years or 60,000 miles of basic warranty, a total of ten years or 100,000 miles of warranty for drivetrain or hybrid components, and up to three years or 36,000 miles of free maintenance warranty. Hyundai also offers seven years or unlimited mileage for corrosion and up to five years or unlimited mileage for roadside assistance.
|Basic||Drivetrain/ Hybrid Components||Corrosion||Roadside Assistance||Free Maintenance|
|Length||5 yr.||10 yr.||7 yr.||5 yr.||3 yr.|
|Mileage||60,000 mi.||100,000 mi.||Unlimited||Unlimited||36,000 mi.|
2022 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid Safety
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did not make the effort to crash-test the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid. The IIHS, on the other hand, has rated the Ioniq hybrids with “Good” but skips the “Top Safety Pick” award. The agency has also rated “Superior” in the crash avoidance and mitigation section.
Key Safety Features
Even if you get the base Blue mild-hybrid trim, you will have access to the full driver assistance suite that includes features such as driver attention warning, automatic high beams, forward collision mitigation, lane-keeping assist, and cruise control. The SE trim adds blindspot monitoring and a rear cross-traffic alert system. The SEL offers adaptive cruise control, while the Limited gets the Highway Driving Assist, which is like Tesla’s Autopilot, but not as intrusive and advanced. Other necessary safety features are stability control, tire pressure monitoring system, six airbags, and dusk-sensing headlamps.
Verdict: Are the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid Good Cars?
We think that both the Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid are good cars when the competition has the Toyota Prius. The Ioniq hybrids are better looking, have more engine power, are more efficient (mild-hybrid models), and come well-equipped for sub $30,000 hatchback. The only downside that we want to mention is the cabin quality. Although everything has been put together pretty well, the hard plastics make it feel cheaper than the Prius. The Prius has a weird-looking cabin, but the materials used are better than the Ioniq hybrids. If you want a budget mild-hybrid hatchback with best-in-class mileage, the Ioniq Hybrid is the way to go. But, we wouldn’t say the same for the Plug-in Hybrid models.
What Are the Prices of the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid?
The starting price of the Ioniq Hybrid is $23,600 for the base Blue trim. Then comes the SE at $25,550, and the SEL being priced at $28,800. The top-spec Limited will set you back $31,600, and the price is justified for all the premium features it packs. The Plug-in Hybrid Ioniq is slightly costlier at $26,800 for the standard SE model. The SEL is priced at $29,800 while the Limited holds a price tag of $33,250. All the prices mentioned above are without the destination and other charges.
2022 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid Models
Both the Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid models are identical, with similar features on offer.
The Blue trim is the standard trim available for the mild-hybrid models only. It packs features such as 15-inch wheels, an eight-inch touchscreen display, a 4.2-inch driver information display, and manually adjustable front seats. Other features include dual-zone automatic climate control and Bluetooth connectivity.
The SE models of both the Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid share features such as LED DRLs, leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters, heated front seats, and heated exterior mirrors. The Plug-in Hybrid SE has a couple of unique features such as adaptive cruise control, which is available on the SEL Hybrid, along with 16-inch wheels. On the other hand, the SE Hybrid offers a ten-way power-adjustable driver seat and a seven-inch driver information display, which are not available on the SE PHEV.
All the SEL models gain 17-inch wheels, LED headlights, and a wireless charging pad. The Hybrid SELs have LED ambient lighting, a sunroof, and pedestrian detection mitigation. The Plug-in Hybrid models of the same trim feature an auto-dimming rearview mirror, the seven-inch driver information display from the Hybrid SE, along with the 10-way power-adjustable driver seat.
The Limited models of both the Ioniq Hybrid and the Plug-in Hybrid offer premium features such as leather upholstery, a big 10.25-inch touchscreen display, navigation system, advanced adaptive cruise control system with lane-keeping assist, and an eight-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio unit.
There are no optional packages offered by Hyundai for both the Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid. You have got no choice but to choose the trim of your liking.
What Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid Models Should I Buy?
If you are planning to buy an Ioniq Hybrid, we would recommend the SE. It packs all the standard driver assistance features and adds blindspot monitoring and a rear cross-traffic alert system. Other important features include a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver seat, and a bigger driver information display. For the Plug-in Hybrid models, the SE is the standard model, and it is still the recommended trim.
2022 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid Comparisons
|Model||Horsepower||MPG (Combined)||Price (MSRP)|
|Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid||139 hp||Up to 119||$23,600|
|Toyota Prius||121 hp||Up to 133||$24,525|
2022 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid vs 2022 Toyota Prius
Both the Ioniq hybrids and the Prius have their share of strong and weak spots. The Ioniq is a better-looking hatchback with a lot of features baked-in, including better performance. The Prius is an ugly mess (sorry Toyota) with a weird design language carried over to the interior as well. But unlike the Ioniq hybrids, the materials used are better and that is the only reason the Prius is a little expensive alternative. The Prius Prime, which is a rival to the Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid, is the ideal PHEV as it delivers better mileage than the Ioniq.