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Hyundai brought updated versions of its batteries-included hatchback to the LA Auto Show. The Ioniq Hybrid, Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid, and Ioniq Electric got mini-makeovers and boast a longer list of available and standard features. The Consumer Reports Cars team will be looking at these closely, as well as dozens of other models, this week.
The changes should help the Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-In compete against rivals from Honda and Toyota. But even with a longer range and a bigger battery, the Ioniq Electric still only has a 170-mile range. For just $4,000 more than an Ioniq Electric, buyers could step up to the Hyundai Kona Electric, which we think is a much more practical EV.
The Ioniq has been on the market since 2016 without any changes. The updated looks seem like an improvement, but we won’t know until we drive it whether Hyundai has done anything to update the Ioniq’s long stopping distances, its unsettled ride, or the rough shifts from the hybrid’s six-speed automatic transmission.
The basic shape of the Ioniq remains unchanged since its debut in 2016. No matter which powertrain buyers choose—hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or electric—every Ioniq has an aerodynamic teardrop shape that looks a lot like the Toyota Prius.
All three cars get new LED headlights, taillights, and daytime running lights, plus new bumper designs and wheel and color choices. The hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars get an updated mesh-style grille, while the Ioniq Electric gets a new front panel pattern where the gas-engined car’s grille would be.
Entry-level cars no longer have a small 7-inch infotainment screen; it has been replaced by an 8-inch screen. Instrument panels and controls have been updated as well, but there aren’t any major changes.
What Drives It
Engines and transmissions are carried over from 2019 for the Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid. The Ioniq Hybrid still gets an Environmental Protection Agency-estimated 58 mpg (we measured 52 mpg overall in our tests), and the plug-in version still gets 29 miles of pure electric driving range after a full charge.
The Ioniq Electric gets a larger battery—it has gone from 28 kWh to 38.3 kWh—and the horsepower rating of the electric motor has increased from 118 hp to 134 hp. The car’s range has grown, as well, from 124 miles to 170 miles. That gives the Ioniq Electric more miles per charge than the Nissan Leaf or Honda Clarity, but less range than a Hyundai Kona Electric.
Safety & Driver Assist Systems
Every Ioniq now comes standard with forward collision warning (FCW), automatic emergency braking (AEB), and lane keeping assist (LKA). Higher trim levels now offer front parking sensors, adaptive cruise control that will work in stop-and-go traffic, and Highway Driving Assist, which can control steering, acceleration, and braking, and automatically adjust distance to a vehicle ahead.
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