Hyundai IONIQ Plug-In Hybrid – Why Buy?


Efficient And Anonymous

Are you looking for a green car but aren’t quite ready for a pure electric car? Then a plug-in hybrid may be the answer for you. These thrifty offerings pack traditional hybrid systems – a gas engine and an electric motor – but comes with a rechargeable battery pack that can via a plug, providing enough electric range to cover the average commute.

The 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In is one of the latest. Like the other two members of the Ioniq family, it’s calm styling and relatively normal driving character belie the fact that it’s so advanced.

The Ioniq Plug-In still uses a 1.6-liter, naturally aspirated four-cylinder to produce 104 horsepower and 109 pound-feet of torque, just like the Ioniq Hybrid. It has a bigger electric motor – 45 kilowatts to the Hybrid’s 30 – but the torque output is the same, at 125 lb-ft, as is the total system horsepower, at 139.

But where the standard Ioniq Hybrid has a meager 1.56-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery, the Plug-In gets a much heartier 8.9-kWh setup. That grants it up to 29 miles on a full charge, which we found more than usable for everyday tasks during our testing. Hyundai says a standard wall plug will recharge the battery in about 8.5 hours, although our tester was a little bit faster than that. And if you have access to a 220-volt outlet, a full battery is available in just over two hours.

Despite this all-electric ability, the Ioniq Plug-In doesn’t feel substantially different from the Ioniq Hybrid, or for that matter a gas-only compact sedan. It’s not especially powerful, but the electric torque means passing maneuvers aren’t a chore. And the ride is mostly comfortable for everyday use, although the outright handling ability is low. But for most consumers, that’s not going to be an issue.

The Ioniq Plug-In is an excellent way to try out all-electric driving without taking the plunge for a full-electric car. To find out more, watch our latest episode of Why Buy.

Categories: Buying Advice, Hyundai


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25 Comments on "Hyundai IONIQ Plug-In Hybrid – Why Buy?"

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Prius prime is much better and more eficient. Way more eficient.

“Way more efficient”? Hardly. 133MPGe vs 125 is only 6% more. And that is offset In hybrid mode where Ioniq is better by 7% (58MPG vs 54 combined).

Add to that the Prime’s ugly looks, and I’d take the Ioniq.

No, the phev version has a 52 mpg combined on gas. Your numbers are for the regular hybrid. Still a pretty impressive phev.

Without a PTC electric heater or heat pump, the Hyundai is a no sale! This is a California car!

What about all other ICE cars on the roads? Are those CA only too?

The issue is for us in colder climates, the Hyundai has no electric heater. It means if you turn the heater on the engine starts. In Iowa that means running the engine about half the year. My Clarity PHEV only starts the engine if it is incredibly cold, or about 3 or 4 weeks out of the year (those days that are typically well below 0F). The Clarity PHEV has an electric coolant heater it uses.

Yes, i know… a little inconvenient but not a deal barker. The Clarity will use its engine if your foot slightly slip on the accelerator so they all have their issues.

“a little inconvenient”??? LOL That’s a major inconvenience for plug-in buyers who are looking to drive in EV and use as little gas as possible. Otherwise, they would just buy the hybrid version and avoid paying for and hauling around a very expensive brick in the backseat/boot.

Let’s not fool ourselves in thinking these buyers want a true ev. The buyers of these cars know exactly what they want and that is an electric gasser. They are just too afraid to commit to evs so the go for the next best thing. You also have to realize that in CA the Ionic phev is cheaper than the regular hybrid after credits. I’m not complaining as I don’t really care how people end up driving evs as long as they do end up there.

We have the Ioniq EV since last summer and we did not encounter any problems with heating during winter. We live in Sundsvall /Sweden. During summer we are just under 1.2 kWh /10km and during the winter we were at just under 1.5 kWh /10km. This winter were quite cold and snowy.

He talks about the PHEV version not the one you have.

Imo the biggest drawback is the fact it’s barely possible to see anything out the rear window. And like all parallel hybrids it’s not really that green. People who drive very far very often however might not have a better option than a PHEV though.

Good car, but the BEV is the better choice for 98% of people.

Cars like these really are about lower cost of ownership for money misers. Cheap to purchase and cheap to run. The higher MPG means less emissions. However, with today’s technology, they are far from being the greenest cars out there. They still use gas and there are now plenty of cars available that do not.

Stop with the Parallel hybrids, they are generally more efficient than series hybrids. The best sort of hybrid is Series/Parallel like the Prius, Volt, Clarity, etc. The reason is it can run series if it deems most fit or it can run in parallel. Often times due to the gearing of the engine and motor, running the engine directly to power the wheels is more efficient than generating electricity to turn the motor. My i3 is pathetic running on gas, it gets 30 or 40 mpg. My Clarity (1000 lbs heavier) will often get 10-12 mpg more at the same speed of 75 mph. I usually get 42 mpg in the Clarity and about 30 or 32 mpg in the i3 at those speeds.

Your i3 is pathetic on gas by design… and I’m not so sure that’s a bad thing.

I own the Ioniq BEV and when you say “it’s barely possible to see anything out the rear window”, I do not feel that is an accurate description at all, but rather a far exaggeration. I can see 80% of the vehicle behind me and I have no problems with rear visibility, that is plenty enough. Maybe I’m used to the shape and slope of the rear from an Acura Integra, however, its actually great at night because the strip in the middle blocks people’s headlights trying to blind you. “It’s barely possible to see anything out the rear window” is not true.

Also any time it heats the cabin, it turns on the engine.

Cheap and crude way to do it.

How much did they save? Maybe 500 bucks?

If that even.

The replacement heater part for my Clarity PHEV is like $2000. Granted, that probably means $500 to Honda, but still. It isn’t negligible to them.

Primarily it means adding another partial coolant loop, so you will have some controllable valves, extra piping, the water heater, etc. This is the best way to do so with a PHEV as you can share the same heater core in the interior that the engine uses.

Alternately, you could use a PTC heater (heat air directly), but that would require that in addition to the heater core from the engine, so it would add even more cost most likely. For Clarity, the BEV uses PTC + Heat Pump, and the PHEV an electric water heater + engine (share the same heat exchanger/core in the cabin).

We tried out both the all-electric IONIQ and LEAF befeore settling on the Leaf due to availability and larger boot space. But I’d gladly take the IONIQ. Can’t imagine not getting the all electric version though.

You’d probably have to though because Hyundai is barely delivering the EV.

Sales break down of The 2018 Hyundai Ioniq for New Zealand.
Full BEV 60%
Plug-In Hybrid EV 24%
Hybrid 16%

I still can’t get over how this is considered a “conservative” styling. Ever since the Prius appeared, basically every other car to have this profile has been a hybrid or plug-in, so it’s absurd to think that it isn’t instantly recognizable as a “green” car. Sure, it could be even more unique like the Leaf, but no one is fooled into thinking that this isn’t electrified in some way or another.