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Inside The 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid & Plug-in Hybrid

Even in this day and age of commercially-available electric vehicles like the Tesla Model 3 and Nissan Leaf, sales of hybrid vehicles rose steadily by 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017. This represents a 12.4 percent rise in total sales with 368,137 hybrid vehicles sold last year.

It is interesting to point out traditional hybrids are the most popular among the three types of green cars including EVs or electric vehicles and PHEVs or plug-in hybrid vehicles.

This is the primary reason why Hyundai is hard at work in improving the safety, comfort, practicality, and driving enjoyment of the 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid. The Korean automaker is also updating the features of the 2019 Ioniq Electric to make it one of the most desirable EVs that money can buy.

Hybrids Just Want To Have Fun

From a performance perspective, the biggest caveat of hybrid vehicles is the lackluster and anesthetized driving experience. The standard CVT transmission in most hybrid cars is partly to blame, but Hyundai addressed this matter by bolting on a six-speed EcoShift DCT dual-clutch transmission in the 2019 Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid.

The new transmission features low-viscosity oil and low-friction bearings to offer a mix of fuel economy and sporty responses. The driver can also select between two transmission modes: ECO and SPORT. The former will optimize the gear selection to deliver better fuel economy while the latter will hold lower gears longer to give you a sportier driving experience.

Want more control? SPORT mode will also ensure the gasoline engine remains ON while the electric motor will offer power assist when you need it most. Both the Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid models are also equipped with paddle-shifters if you feel the need to shift all six gears at your behest.

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2019 Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid. Photo: Hyundai Motor America.

Power To The People

The 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid, and Ioniq Electric are all equipped with a compact and highly efficient battery and electric motor. All models come with a lithium-ion polymer battery that is 20 percent lighter than non-polymer variants with lower battery memory sensitivity, better charge and discharge efficiency, and a high maximum output for better responsiveness.

The batteries are located underneath the rear seats to offer an interior volume of 122.7 cubic feet, which is more than the Toyota Prius according to Hyundai. The new Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid and Ioniq Electric is still able to offer a generous interior volume of 119.2 cubic feet despite being equipped with a larger battery system than the Ioniq Hybrid.

The new Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid is powered by a Kappa 1.6-liter, direct-injected four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle motor that cranks out 104 horsepower and 109 lb-ft. of torque. The electric motor is rated at 44.5 kW which helps supplement an additional 60 horsepower of shove.

The electric motor on all Ioniq models is a permanent magnet synchronous unit that is smaller and lighter than conventional motors. It features a rectangular-section cooper wire to decrease the thickness of the core components by up to 10 percent.

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2019 Hyundai Ioniq Electric. Photo: Hyundai Motor America.

Charge Me Up

All 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Electric models are now equipped with a Level-3 DC fast-charging system and SAE Combo Level-3 DC 100kW fast charger. This means you can juice up the lithium-ion polymer battery up to 80 percent in just 23 minutes. I bet your high-end smartphone can’t do that, huh??

For added convenience, the charging system also comes with an integrated In-Cable Control Box (ICCB) that allows you to use a standard household socket.

Hyundai is also working closely with ChargePoint to offer a wider vehicle charging network with more than 32,000 locations in the United States. Still in a rush? The charging network also includes more than 400 Express DC fast-charging sites so you can juice up your Ioniq in about the same time it takes for you to wolf down a succulent 72-ounce steak.

Safe In The Heat of The Moment

The 2019 Hyundai Ioniq comes equipped with a bewildering array of active and passive safety features. The rigid and lightweight body is achieved by utilizing advanced high-strength steel to minimize cabin distortion in a collision.

Advanced safety features are numerous, and include Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist, and Blind-Spot Detection with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert. New for 2019 is Driver Attention Alert and High Beam Assist.

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Photo: Hyundai Motor America.

Economy & Efficiency

The 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid with a more powerful 44.5 kW electric motor has an all-electric range of 29 miles and 119 MPGe in EV mode. This vehicle can easily run 52 MPG in hybrid mode. The new Ioniq has a 0.24 coefficient of drag, among the best in a mass-produced vehicle.

The 2019 Ioniq Hybrid is equipped with a less powerful yet still potent 32 kW electric motor that produces an additional 43 horsepower and 125 lb-ft. of torque for a combined output of 139 horsepower and 58 MPG, which is the highest fuel economy rating of any non-plug-in vehicle sold in the USA, according to Hyundai.

If you happen to be considering an EV for your next vehicle, you should take a closer look at the 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Electric. It offers pure electric power courtesy of a 28.0kWh lithium-ion polymer battery and 88kW electric motor that produces 118 horsepower and 218 lb-ft. of torque. This EV has an estimated range of 136 MPGe.

No matter which Ioniq model you choose, it is safe to assume that fuel consumption is the least of your concerns.

Sea of Voices

Since you’ll be spending a lot of time driving your 2019 Hyundai Ioniq, the car comes equipped with a high-definition seven-inch TFT information cluster. The display changes to a revolving digital speedometer with an analog-type tachometer if you engage SPORT mode.

Further enhancing driver and passenger convenience is “natural-language server-based voice-recognition technology.” This package comes standard on all 2019 Ioniqs equipped with a navigation system. Also available is Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Blue Link, and wireless charging for Qi-compatible devices.

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Photo: Hyundai Motor America.

New Look

The 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid features a hexagonal grille, vertical C-shaped LED daytime running lamps, low-beam LED headlamps, and 16-inch alloy wheels. The Ioniq Hybrid can be distinguished with standard Bi-Xenon HID headlamps and C-shaped LED positioning lamps and two-tone 15-inch or 17-inch alloy wheels.

Finally, the 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Electric has a sleeker grille design, HID Xenon headlamps, LED tail lamps, and 16-inch Eco-spoke wheels.

Pricing & Availability

The 2019 Hyundai Ioniq is available now for a starting MSRP of $21,150 (Blue trim level). By comparison, the SEL starts at $23,700 while the Limited starts at $27,300.

Alvin Reyes is the Associate Editor of Automoblog. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine. 

Photos & Source: Hyundai Motor America.