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Entry price: $22,400

Price as tested: $25,960

This week we’re behind the wheel of the 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid, a smaller liftback sedan that delivers 55- to 58-MPG combined and retails for prices that won’t break your wallet. Introduced just three years ago, Ioniq looks to be a serious contender and could impact the hybrid market quicker than anticipated thanks to several hybrid trims and Hyundai’s noted warranties.   

With three distinct Ioniq models to choose from, consumers can choose from our tester Ioniq Hybrid ($22,400 entry), Ionic Plug-In Hybrid ($25,350 entry) and Ioniq Electric ($30,315 entry). Currently, the Ioniq Hybrid offers a $1,750 incentive, dropping the base price to $20,650 on current in-stock vehicles through July 31.    

Notable is Hyundai’s 100,000-mile, 10-year internal combustion engine powertrain and 5-year, 60,000-mile entire car warranty. Additionally, and equally important, is Hyundai’s Blue-Drive Hybrid system warranty that also comes with its heralded 100,000-mile, 10-year protection. This hybrid assurance should put consumer’s minds at ease as replacing an out-of-warranty hybrid system could be an expensive repair. 

As for the actual battery itself, it’s backed for a lifetime.   

All Ioniq trims include Apple/Android compatibility, Smartphone and USB inputs, rear defroster, Bluetooth, smart key push button start, HD SiriusXM satellite radio, rearview safety camera, 7-inch LCD touchscreen, dual climate control, 60/ 40 rear seat, and all the expected airbags.

Our SEL tester upgrades amenities to include LED daytime headlamps, LED tail lights, heated side mirrors, leather steering wheel, paddle shifters, upgraded 7-inch instrument cluster, 4.2-inch hybrid usage display, heated front seats, Hyundai infotainment and much more. On the safety end, our SEL adds automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and lane change assist.

Likes: Great price, standard features, warranty, decent looks.

Dislikes: Top safety features unavailable on Blue, My Hyundai Blue Link only available on Premium.

Greg Zyla writes weekly for More Content Now and GateHouse Media. Contact him at greg@gregzyla.com or at 303 Roosevelt St., Sayre, PA 18840.

 

Auto Bits

Autopilot driving danger?

Driving on autopilot may be the future, but a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety finds driver assist systems send mixed messages and foster a sense of confusion. The public has a hard time understanding that driving with autopilot still requires full concentration, attention and, in the case of Tesla’s Autopilot, their hands on the wheel. 

Defined as “a device for automatically steering ships, aircraft and spacecraft” and “the automatic control provided by such a device,” the word “autopilot” suggests to drivers that they can turn their thoughts and eyes off the road, the study found. Thousands of drivers were polled to gauge what they knew about Autopilot, Nissan’s ProPilot Assist, Cadillac’s Super Cruise, BMW’s Driving Assistant Plus and Audi’s Traffic Jam Assist driver assist systems.

The driving public is split about 50-50 on whether it is safe to drive with a driving assist system in control without using any steering input. About 1 in 3 says that talking on a cellphone is safe while using Autopilot. About 17% consider texting safe while the car is in control, and more than 1 in 20 polled felt that watching a video or taking a nap would be safe.

— John Goreham, BestRide.com

 

Did You Know

On July 22, 1894, the first major automobile race with prizes and a promoter was organized.