Affordable Hybrid Car of the Year: Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in
The Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in is the 2018 Auto Express Affordable Hybrid Car of the Year, with the MINI Countryman and Toyota Prius commended
The Ioniq is a very important car for Hyundai, spearheading the brand’s electrification push on three fronts. The Toyota Prius rival is available with three powertrains: a conventional hybrid, a plug-in and even as a full battery electric vehicle. But it’s the PHEV version which deserves your attention as our Best Affordable Hybrid.
Under the bonnet a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine is paired with an electric motor to offer a total output of 139bhp. The performance is more than enough to make the Ioniq PHEV a brilliant commuting option, with enough power on tap to mix it with fast-paced traffic. Thanks to the electric motor it’s quiet and refined in town, with rapid, stutter-free acceleration away from the lights.
The petrol engine helps at higher speeds and means there’s no range anxiety that you might get with a similarly sized full EV, either. However, the efficiency on offer is even more impressive.
Hyundai claims an all-electric range of 39 miles, and official fuel economy is 256.8mpg. While this is ambitious, our time in the real world with an Ioniq PHEV has revealed that it’s very fuel efficient, averaging an effortless 80mpg-plus over 4,000 miles so far. CO2 emissions of 26g/km bolster the Ioniq PHEV’s green credentials and mean it’s an extremely cost-effective company car choice.
Boot space is 341 litres, so it’s as practical as many family hatchbacks, and unlike rivals such as the Toyota Prius Plug-in, the Ioniq PHEV seats five.
It’s well equipped, too, with even the ‘entry-level’ Premium spec featuring a great haul of kit.
While the Ioniq could be a little more fun to drive, we can’t deny the Hyundai’s competency. With value for money factored in, the hatchback is an incredibly affordable plug-in hybrid choice.
Hyunda Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid Premium (£25,345)
The Ioniq Plug-in is available in two highly specced trim levels. We’d recommend settling for the more affordable Ioniq PHEV Premium over the flagship Premium SE, because it still gets an eight-inch colour touchscreen infotainment system with navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, keyless entry and wireless phone charging. Both models offer the same EV range.
Mini Countryman S E
For something a bit plusher, the MINI Countryman S E plug-in hybrid is a sensible option. A 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine and an EV drivetrain offer 221bhp and four-wheel drive, enabling 0-62mph in 6.8 seconds. All-electric range is claimed to be 25 miles, while the agility and tight body control of the regular Countryman are retained.
Our pick of the Prius range is the standard non-plug-in hybrid. It delivers great practicality and strong driving dynamics, given the efficiency on offer. You can add affordability to its list of attributes, while with electric power off the line, it’s refined around town and provides a boost on more open roads.
Auto Express New Car Awards 2018
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- 1IntroductionWhat are the best new cars to buy in the UK today? The 2018 New Car Awards have the answer...
- 2Car of the YearThe Auto Express Car of the Year for 2018 is the all-electric Jaguar I-Pace
- 3City Car of the YearThe Volkswagen up! is the 2018 Auto Express City Car of the Year, with the Kia Picanto and Skoda Citigo commended
- 4Supermini of the YearThe Ford Fiesta is the 2018 Auto Express Supermini of the Year, with the MINI 5-door and SEAT Ibiza commended
- 5Convertible of the YearThe MINI Convertible is the 2018 Auto Express Convertible of the Year, with the Audi A3 Cabriolet and Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet commended
- 6Compact Family Car of the YearThe Volkswagen Golf is the 2018 Auto Express Compact Family Car of the Year, with the Mercedes A-Class and Skoda Octavia commended
- 7Family Car of the YearThe Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport is the 2018 Auto Express Family Car of the Year, with the Skoda Superb and Toyota Prius commended
- 8Compact Executive Car of the YearThe Mercedes C-Class is the 2018 Auto Express Compact Executive Car of the Year, with the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Jaguar XE commended
- 9Executive Car of the YearThe BMW 5 Series is the 2018 Auto Express Executive Car of the Year, with the Mercedes E-Class and Volvo S90 commended
- 10Estate Car of the YearThe Skoda Octavia Estate is the 2018 Auto Express Estate Car of the Year, with the BMW 5 Series Touring and Volvo V60 commended
- 11Small SUV of the YearThe Citroen C3 Aircross is the 2018 Auto Express Small SUV of the Year, with the SEAT Arona and Volkswagen T-Roc commended
- 12Mid-size SUV of the YearSkoda is on a roll, and the Karoq is proof that the Czech brand knows exactly what it’s doing in the field of family SUVs.
- 13Large SUV of the YearThe Skoda Kodiaq is the 2018 Auto Express Large SUV of the Year, with the Peugeot 5008 and SsangYong Rexton commended
- 14Small Premium SUV of the YearThe Volvo XC40 is the 2018 Auto Express Small Premium SUV of the Year, with the BMW X1 and MINI Countryman commended
- 15Mid-size Premium SUV of the YearThe BMW X3 is the 2018 Auto Express Premium Mid-size SUV of the Year, with the Jaguar F-Pace and Volvo XC60 commended