The compact 2017 Hyundai Ioniq hatchback — offered as a hybrid (reviewed here), a plug-in hybrid and a pure EV — serves notice to the long-dominant Toyota Prius that there's a new green contender in town. In this small but growing corner of the market, Hyundai has delivered a compelling alternative.
Opt for the SEL or Limited trim level and you'll enjoy an EPA-estimated 55 mpg in mixed driving, beating the standard 2017 Prius by a full 3 mpg. But the headline-grabber is the efficiency-optimized Ioniq Hybrid Blue with an EPA-rated 58 mpg combined, edging out the similarly conceived 2017 Prius Eco (56 mpg) and setting a new record for a hybrid vehicle that lacks plug-in capability. Interestingly, the Blue model is also the cheapest Ioniq Hybrid trim and may well end up being the most popular.
The Ioniq's story isn't just fuel efficiency, though. Even in base Blue trim, it's a nicely loaded hatchback with plenty of cargo room, more than the regular Prius in fact (but less than the Prius Two Eco and its more compact lithium-ion battery pack; the regular Prius uses a nickel-metal hydride pack). And if you crave a fancier driving experience, you can get the Ioniq with features such as heated front seats, a sunroof, leather upholstery, blind-spot monitoring and a navigation system.
You might also like that Hyundai fits the Ioniq Hybrid with a six-speed automatic transmission. Most hybrids use a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). CVTs are ideal in many ways, though some drivers dislike the way they exacerbate engine noise during quick acceleration. In contrast, the Ioniq provides a more traditional feel coming from distinct gear shifts and ratios. In another nod to its conventional feel, the Ioniq interior looks similar to that of the Sonata or Elantra. That's not a bad thing compared to the techno-futuristic design tics that make us flinch in other hybrids.
Overall, we're very impressed with the new 2017 Ioniq. It's proof that high fuel efficiency, style and utility need not be mutually exclusive.
trim levels & features
The 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid is a small four-door hatchback with 26.5 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seatbacks folded down. The array of features varies depending on which version of the Ioniq you choose. The Ioniq Hybrid is available in Blue, SEL or Limited trim.
Standard features on Blue trims include 15-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, keyless entry and start, automatic climate control, 60/40-split folding rear seats, a rearview camera, a 7-inch touchscreen interface, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, Bluetooth, a USB port, and satellite and HD radio.
SEL trims add LED daytime running lights and taillights, heated side mirrors, heated front seats, a power driver seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a rear center armrest, and chrome interior and exterior accents. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are also included, while an optional Tech package for the SEL adds traffic-adapting cruise control, automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning.
The top Limited trim bundles the SEL's features and adds larger alloy wheels, a sunroof, xenon headlights, leather seating, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, LED cabin lighting, and Hyundai's Blue Link telematics features. An optional Ultimate package includes the SEL's Tech package features as well as turn-swiveling headlights, rear parking sensors, driver-seat memory settings, wireless device charging, an Infinity eight-speaker sound system, and a higher-resolution 8-inch touchscreen with navigation system.
The Ioniq Hybrid uses a 1.6-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and a six-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission as its primary motivation. Augmented with a 32-kilowatt electric motor fed by a lithium-ion battery pack, the Hybrid powertrain delivers a Prius-like total output of 139 horsepower.
noise & vibration
ease of use
getting in/getting out
child safety seat accomodation
audio & navigation
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.