We were impressed with the Ioniq Hybrid when we tested it three years ago, and the wait for a plug-in electric hybrid (PHEV) version has brought a refresh with several exterior and interior upgrades and an available 10.25-inch infotainment touch screen. The 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid can go an estimated 30 miles on a full charge, and gets you the increased fuel economy of a hybrid once battery-only power is depleted. It also achieves an impressive 52 mpg EPA-estimated combined fuel economy, has useful and straightforward tech, and comes with an abundance of standard features, making it a stronger buy than the Toyota Prius Prime, and our new Editors’ Choice winner for the segment.
The 2020 Hyundai Ioniq PHEV comes in three trim levels, all with a 1.6-liter, 4-cylinder engine that puts out a paltry 104-horsepower. But when paired with a 45kW/60-hp electric motor, total horsepower jumps to 139, and power is sent to the front wheels via a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth for hands-free phone use and music streaming, Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics system, a USB input jack and charging ports, AM/FM HD Radio, SiriusXM satellite radio, and a 4.2-inch LCD instrument cluster display. Standard active safety features include forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, driver attention warning, auto high beams, and a rearview camera with dynamic guidelines.
The SEL trim starts at $29,500 and adds LED headlights, chrome beltline molding, side mirrors with turn signal indicators, a 10-way power driver seat with lumbar support, a 7-inch LCD instrument cluster, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink, wireless device charging, blind spot detection, and rear cross traffic warning.
Honda Clarity PHEV and the Ioniq’s corporate cousin the Kia Optima PHEV should also be considered. Given that the Ioniq PHEV has longer EV-only range, a better infotainment interface (with Android Auto, which isn’t available on the 2020 Prius Prime), an automatic transmission, and our top-of-the-line test car costs about $1,000 less than the Prime Limited, we give the nod—and our Editors’ Choice award—to the 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid.