2018 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Review

Pros & Cons

  • The most affordable Ioniq also offers best-in-class hybrid mpg
  • Nice range of options available for top trim levels
  • Even by hatchback standards, the cargo area is quite large
  • Lots of available tech features and driver aids
  • Seats and ride are generally uncomfortable
  • Allows in a bit too much road noise
  • Unnatural braking feel
Other years
2018
Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid for Sale
2018
List Price Range
$17,000 - $20,998

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Which Ioniq Hybrid does Edmunds recommend?

The Blue trim sips less fuel than the others (its EPA combined rating is 58 mpg compared to other models' 55 mpg), but it's a little too lightly optioned for our tastes. And when you're talking about cars this fuel-efficient, 3 mpg really isn't much. If it were our money, we'd upgrade to the SEL. It's a small price jump (and just a few dollars more than a base Prius) to add a ton of features, including heated front seats, a power driver seat and blind-spot monitoring. The SEL's optional Tech package adds a few more driving aids.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

6.7 / 10

Two decades in, the Toyota Prius still dominates the small hybrid market. Other automakers have introduced competing models — notably the Honda Insight, Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid and Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid — but none put a significant dent in the Toyota's runaway sales success. Hyundai thinks it's finally cracked the Prius code. Now in its second year of production, the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid is the Prius' closest rival, with plenty of tech and safety features, quicker acceleration and a lower price point.

The 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid is a compact hatchback that earns the distinction as the most fuel-efficient non-plug-in hybrid on the market. In the EPA's combined cycle, the Ioniq Hybrid earns estimates of 55-58 mpg compared to the Prius' 52-56 mpg. Keep in mind, however, that incremental fuel gains at this level are not very significant. Even Ioniq drivers who put a ton of miles on their cars would see monetary savings in the tens of dollars each year.

More relevant is the Ioniq Hybrid's price, which is quite a bit less than that of a comparable Prius. The Ioniq's traditional exterior and interior design will also appeal to those turned off by the Prius' more adventurous styling, while techies will appreciate standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. (The Toyota offers neither.)

Alas, the Ioniq Hybrid stumbles in several critical areas that the Toyota doesn't. Rather than a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) that most hybrids use, the Ioniq uses a six-speed, dual-clutch automatic. On top of harsh shift quality, the transmission has a difficult time figuring out which gear it wants to be in, especially after heavy braking.

Speaking of the brakes, every hybrid uses regenerative brakes to recharge the battery before handing it off to the mechanical brakes that bring the car to a full stop. In the Ioniq, this handoff isn't smooth. Combine this with the jerky downshifts, and passengers might question your experience driving cars. We also aren't fans of the Ioniq's busy ride and unsupportive seats.

While the 2018 Ioniq's price and fuel economy are obvious advantages, we suggest giving the Ioniq a thorough test drive before you choose it over the more established Prius.

2018 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid models

The 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid is a compact hatchback with a hybrid powertrain and seating for five. The base Blue model is the most fuel-efficient of the group, with an EPA rating of 58 mpg combined compared to the other models' 55 mpg estimate. It's equipped with a few desirable features, including keyless entry and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The SEL doesn't cost much more and includes heated front seats and blind-spot monitoring among its upgrades. The top-trim Limited is a bit pricier but adds a ton of features, such as a sunroof, leather upholstery and xenon headlights.

Powering the Ioniq Hybrid is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and a six-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. It's augmented by a electric motor fed by a lithium-ion battery pack. Total system output is 139 horsepower.

Standard features on Blue trims include 15-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, selectable driving modes, a driver information display, height-adjustable front seats, 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, an upgraded driver information display, steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles, heated front seats, a power driver seat (with two-way power lumbar), a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a charge-only USB port, a rear center armrest, and chrome interior and exterior accents. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are also included. An optional Tech package for the SEL adds adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and a lane departure and mitigation system.

On top of the SEL's features, the Limited trim adds 17-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof, xenon headlights, leather upholstery, 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 adaptive headlights, rear parking sensors, driver-seat memory settings, rear air vents, a cargo cover, wireless device charging, an Infinity eight-speaker sound system, navigation and an 8-inch touchscreen.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Blue (1.6L inline-4 hybrid | 6-speed dual-clutch automatic | FWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Ioniq Hybrid has received only minor revisions. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Ioniq Hybrid.

Driving

5.5
The Ioniq's weakest area is its everyday driving demeanor. It accelerates tepidly unless you floor it; steering is vague yet well-weighted. A relatively light car whose bumpy-road handling gives the impression of a heavier, blunter car. The current Prius is significantly superior in this category.

Acceleration

6.5
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. In our testing, the Ioniq accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 8.7 seconds, which is about a second quicker than a Prius.

Braking

5.5
Pedal effort is springy and on the light side. The way it blends regenerative and friction braking feels unnatural. And under moderately heavy to full panic braking, the nose dives pretty dramatically, which can be unsettling.

Steering

5.5
The mushy on-center steering feel adds a challenge to maintaining lane position at freeway speeds. The effort is suitable at all speeds, never too light or too heavy. But it's nearly completely lifeless, communicating little about the road and the state of grip to the driver.

Handling

6.0
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.

Drivability

5.5
There's a distinct lack of regenerative braking when coasting so you have to be on the brake pedal more often. Shift quality, responsiveness and acceleration smoothness are inconsistent. It seems like the transmission is easily tripped up, especially immediately after hard braking.

Comfort

6.0
The Ioniq's unsupportive seats and conflicted ride quality won't win over any hearts, though its climate control interface stands out for its simplicity and innovative driver-only mode. The good isolation from engine vibration is overshadowed by the road noise, which is noticeable at all speeds.

Seat comfort

6.0
The flat-bottom seat cushion lacks lower thigh and lateral support. The backrest portion is better and the cloth upholstery feels durable, but we felt squirmy after a couple of hours. The back seat is flat, upright and quite firmly padded. Also, the front seat adjustments are manual on this trim.

Ride comfort

5.0
The Ioniq's ride is somewhat busy, and it'll go up and down in an exaggerated manner on lumpy road sections. It's also a little floaty at times, which means it exhibits the kind of ride movements that might make sensitive types nauseated.

Noise & vibration

6.0
Road noise and patter are transmitted into the cabin to an undesirable degree. The engine is relatively muted by comparison, though it's still audible. The engine is well-isolated in terms of vibration; it doesn't shake the cabin when it comes online. Wind noise is reasonably well-suppressed.

Climate control

8.0
It has a nice, simple layout with large buttons and two easy-to-use knobs for temperature. The clever driver-only setting saves energy. It shows no problems battling summer temps and keeping the cabin cool with a minimum of fan noise. We like that dual-zone automatic climate control is standard.

Interior

7.5
Functionally, the Ioniq's interior succeeds. Its controls are laid out well, and its height-adjustable and long-travel driver seat should accommodate people of all sizes. There's also ample head- and legroom up front. Backseat passengers don't fare nearly as well.

Ease of use

8.0
The Ioniq's placement of controls is clear and logical with lots of large buttons. The infotainment screen is high-resolution and doesn't wash out, and the menu flow is simple (no navigation). The redundant hard keys are a nice touch, too.

Getting in/getting out

7.0
The front doors are usefully long and open wide, and the wide but low sills and minimal seat bolsters help access. Access to the rear seat is more narrow; the narrowness, combined with the gently sloping roofline and high seat, hampers entry to a degree.

Driving position

8.0
It's easy to find a suitable driving position thanks to a good range of adjustment in both the seat and the tilt-and-telescoping steering column. As a bonus, the steering wheel also offers terrific grip shapes.

Roominess

7.0
There's ample legroom and headroom for tall drivers, thanks in part to the lack of a sunroof. Inside the car feels airy, and the pedal box for the driver's feet is sufficiently wide. Six-footers in the backseat are somewhat cramped with limited headroom and toe room. Decent kneeroom, though.

Visibility

6.0
The front windshield pillar bases and rearmost pillars are a bit chunky and can be obstructing. But there's a decent rear view, thanks to split glass in the hatch. (The bisecting beam is an unfortunate byproduct.) The backup camera view is smallish and not especially sharp, but it's adequate.

Quality

7.0
Many of the Ioniq's drab, gray plastics and cloth surfaces look and feel low-rent, though their assembly is commendably tight. The console bin lid and door panel creak readily when touched.

Utility

7.0
Its cargo hold is relatively basic but sizable enough to swallow most everyday items you'd want to transport. The cabin nooks up front are an appropriate number, though backseat occupants don't have nearly as many options.

Small-item storage

7.5
A tall, narrow console bin and open, narrow slot are surprisingly useful; so is the well forward of the shift selector. The door pockets are useful for water bottles only, and the glovebox is basic. The back seat has only two tiny door pockets and a net on the back of the passenger front seat.

Cargo space

7.0
The back seat is split 60/40 and folds nearly flat. The hatch opens high so tall people won't hit their heads on it, but the liftover height is on the tall side. The cargo hold measures 26.5 cubic feet (vs. the Prius' 24.6 cubes) and is wide, if not that tall, at the aft-most point.

Child safety seat accommodation

7.0
The outboard seat LATCH anchors are buried deep between the cushions and are somewhat hard to reach. The top tether points are obscured by a retractable cargo shade.

Technology

7.5
Its screen may be small, but it's well-lit and responds well to touch inputs. Device integration and phone pairing are simple and support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The native voice controls function well but are limited in what they can control.

Audio & navigation

7.0
The small infotainment screen supports swiping gestures and responds reasonably quick, making the most of its size. The audio system has a brassy sound quality, with minimal bass. There's no native navigation system, but you can navigate using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

Smartphone integration

8.0
Bluetooth pairing is simple and fast, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility is standard. There are USB and auxiliary ports and two 12-volt accessory outlets, which is nice.

Driver aids

A good number of optional driver aids are available for the SEL and Limited trims, including adaptive cruise, blind-spot monitoring with lane change assist, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, and a rearview camera with rear cross-traffic alert.

Voice control

7.0
Voice recognition (VR) supports only basic commands (phone calls, switching audio source) natively, but it responds well. In any case, that's where Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come in. You can access your smartphone's VR by holding the Ioniq's VR button for a few seconds.

EdmundsScorecard

Overall6.7 / 10
Driving5.5
Comfort6.0
Interior7.5
Utility7.0
Technology7.5

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

The difference is in the reviewer
Melvin Rogers,08/09/2018
Limited 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM)
I had several test in Hybrid Cars, Hyundia, Toyota, Chevy and Ford. It really came down to 3 cars Hyundia,Chevy and Ford. I test drove all 3 again. The way i made up my mind was to compare Price, Waranty,and how much i liks the car. Price and Waranty left out Ford and Chevy. That left Hyundia, Hyundai, Hyundia. I read all the reviews on Hyundia Consumer Report , Edmunds, ETC. If i had not read the actual customer reviews i may not have bought the car. It seemed 100% of owners loved the car. I have noticed almost none of the problems brought out by the Professionals reviewers. No body brings up the warranty maybe because Hyundia has the best one and the only one that gives a life time warranty on The Hybrid battery. Have you priced one of those babys. I have LTD. Package the seats are very comfortable I'm only 5'5" and that may have a lot to do with it. I love my Ioniq and actually look for excues to drive it.
Not in Toyota's Pocket
Ryou,07/21/2018
SEL 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM)
I own an Ioniq SEL. I could not be happier. I have driven a Prius a few times and found it just too anemic entering a highway or passing. I found the Ioniq far superior in this regard. I love the way this car drives it is comfortable and quiet; I could not be happier. As to steering, the reviewer is spitting hairs. If you want sports car handling buy a sports car like my spider 124. As to mileage, it really depends on where and how you drive. I live in the hills in Tennessee and there I average around 46 miles per gal. But when I am in FL or some place flat I average just over 50. Do not underestimate the value of the life time warranty on the battery. This insures your lower cost of ownership will not evaporate with a battery replacement. How a car looks to you is subjective but really I have to believe with most people the nod has to go to the Ioniq---by a long shot. Cargo space is very good. I traded my 2018 CRV in on the Ioniq. Before I did, I measured the the actual floor space with the seats down, in it and the Ioniq. Both the floor space, and the hatch opening width, were within an inch. Obviously because of height and body shape, the Civic beat the Ioniq in overall cubic feet (around 10 cubic feet greater). But the point is in most type of loads the Ioniq fares pretty well in cargo space. Unless I would need to pack a load to the ceiling I can carry pretty much what I did with my 2018 CRV (also a great vehicle). Bottom line: more bang for your buck with a Ioniq compared to Prius. The above was written as a comment on the Car Gurus review. I did not agree with the assessment in total but they did give the nod to Ioniq over the Prius. I thought the Edmunds' review was further off the mark. The Edmunds' reviewer mentioned the Ioniq as having tepid acceleration. All hybrids in this class have tepid acceleration. But the Ioniq has much better pickup than many and certainly the Prius. Do yourself a favor and drive both the Prius and Ioniq for a true assessment. Make sure you get on and off a major highway a few times and judge which car would be safer entering a busy highway. The Ioniq has a dual clutch automatic transmission as opposed to the Prius which has a CVT. A note on Continuously Variable Transmissons: Reviewers love them, but they do not mention their effect on pickup which they generally impact negatively. I have driven many, I am a Honda Guy. But there are tradeoffs. I also believe the Edmunds reviewer exaggerated the harshness of the shifting. As a matter of fact I thought it has performed very well for a vehicle of this type. Is the transmission as smooth as a Luxury Hybrid like a Lexus? No. But do you have 60,000 to blow on a car? --Then by all means....
Ioniq is unique ION Tech
chuck eder,06/13/2018
SEL 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM)
The visual feedback from the mileage and what is driving the car - the electric battery or the engine or both, encourages you to drive efficiently to get the 51 or 52 miles per gallon. The power and acceleration with that double clutch electric/gas engine gives you all you need to get on the freeway and around a popup target. Don't listen to those that say it has wind and road noise. You are supposed to drive this puppy with the windows closed for fuel efficiency. You have to have the satellite radio station service for 24/7 commercial free talk shows, music, etc. The blue tooth is excellent for streaming phone and music devices to the radio & speakers. My wife drives this car more than I do as she likes it better then or fancy SUV. You have to get the Tech package - especially the auto-stop feature, lane-assist, rear backup cross traffic sensors. If you're not buying that in any new car, you need to ask yourself why you're buying a new car.
Great find and buy
Channel Surfer Dude,08/19/2018
SEL 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM)
We really are getting 56 MPG! Great acceleration ...comfortable... I love everything about this car.

Features & Specs

MPG
57 city / 59 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed automated manual
Hybrid
N/A
MPG
55 city / 54 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed automated manual
Hybrid
N/A
MPG
55 city / 54 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed automated manual
Hybrid
N/A
See all Used 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid features & specs

Safety

Our experts like the Ioniq Hybrid models:

Automatic Emergency Braking
Applies the brakes automatically to avoid or lessen an impact if the onboard camera and radar sensor predict an imminent collision.
Blind-Spot Detection
Helps prevent side collisions by prompting a visual (driver-side mirror) and audible alert when a vehicle is driving alongside.
Lane Change Assist
Determines the speed of an approaching vehicle in an adjacent lane and warns if a lane change isn't safe.
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

Used 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Overview

The Used 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid is offered in the following submodels: Ioniq Hybrid Hatchback. Available styles include Blue 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM), Limited 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM), and SEL 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM).

What's a good price on a Used 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid?

Price comparisons for Used 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid trim styles:

  • The Used 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Limited is priced between $20,998 and$20,998 with odometer readings between 29512 and29512 miles.
  • The Used 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid SEL is priced between $17,000 and$17,000 with odometer readings between 27150 and27150 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrids are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid for sale near. There are currently 2 used and CPO 2018 Ioniq Hybrids listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $17,000 and mileage as low as 27150 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid.

Can't find a used 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrids you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid for sale - 7 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $11,228.

Find a used Hyundai for sale - 4 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $11,759.

Find a used certified pre-owned Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid for sale - 11 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $22,384.

Find a used certified pre-owned Hyundai for sale - 3 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $23,367.

Should I lease or buy a 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Hyundai lease specials
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