In a market dominated by the Toyota Prius, Hyundai has had their work cut out for them. Their answer to the Prius came in 2017, in the form of the Ioniq. And, surprisingly, the Ioniq has managed to outdo the Toyota Prius in terms of fuel efficiency. While the Prius gets a maximum combination of 56 miles per gallon, the Ioniq bests that with its combined 58 mpg. Not bad, right?
But there are more things to like about the 2019 Hyundai Ioniq. This three-trim-level line-up boasts a pretty impressive array of standard technology, including smartphone app integration through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. These inclusions feel like thoughtful touches from Hyundai since other automakers still do not include things like smartphone app integration as standard features on their lower-level trims.
Also, a lot of buyers will probably enjoy the traditional sedan styling of the Ioniq - something which the Prius lacks. When you get behind the wheel of the Ioniq, you do not feel like you are commandeering a hybrid vehicle. The massive cargo area, which might seem a bit basic in its functionality, offers 26.5 cubic feet of space on each trim level.
With three well-priced trim levels to choose from, settling on the right one might be easier said than done. The base Blue trim has an attractive price tag, and the SEL and line-topping Limited trims offer quite an impressive list of standard infotainment features and driver aids.
So, which 2019 Hyundai Ioniq trim level is the best fit for your needs? Let us break down all three trims and compare their specs and features. By the end of this article, you should have a clearer idea of which trim level is the right one to invest your hard-earned money in.
Compare the 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Blue vs SEL - What is the difference?
The Blue is the 2019 Hyundai Ioniq's base trim level. With a starting MSRP of just over $22,000, a lot of customers are going to be attracted to this modest price tag. But, of course, there is the SEL trim, which has a starting MSRP of about $2,500 more than the Blue. While these are both good trim levels to check out, it is important to know what you're investing in and to get the best deal possible.
Honestly, they're both pretty well-equipped trim levels, but the SEL has the advantage with the sheer number of things it adds. The Blue trim isn't exactly lacking, however. The base Blue trim level comes with the same standard 1.6-L gasoline powered engine (which generates 104 hp and 109 lb-ft of torque) and interior-permanent magnet synchronous motor (which has a power output of 32kW and 125 lb-ft of torque). Together with the 240-volt lithium ion battery, this powertrain garners a combined 139 hp. Front-wheel drive comes standard, as does a 6-speed EcoShift dual clutch transmission. However, in order to get paddle shifters, you do have to upgrade to the SEL or Limited, as they are not available on the Blue trim.
On the outside, the Blue and SEL trims share quite a few common features. Both sit atop 15-inch Eco-spoke wheels, have wheelbases measuring 106.3 inches, get 5.3 inches of ground clearance, and are 176 inches in length. Each has manually-folding power side mirrors painted to match the body, solar control glass, projector headlights with daytime running lights, automatically controlled headlights, and approach lights for the door handles. The SEL, however, gains heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals and LED daytime running lights and taillights.
These two trims also have quite a few similarities inside of their cabins. For example, both the Blue and SEL trims come with a dual automatic temperature control system, defrost for the rear window, power door locks and windows, premium cloth upholstery, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, illuminated vanity mirrors up front, an illuminated ignition, a tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel with controls mounted onto it, and proximity key entry with a push button start function. The SEL upgrades from the Blue's six-way adjustable driver and front passenger seats by making them power-adjustable 10 different ways and including lumbar support. The SEL also has heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a leather-wrapped shift knob.
As far as infotainment features go, both vehicles are fairly well-stocked. The Blue and SEL share standard features like USB and auxiliary inputs, AM/FM radio, HD radio, SiriusXM Satellite Radio with a complimentary 3-month trial, a 7-inch touchscreen display, and smartphone app integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The only real difference between the two vehicles in this regard is that the SEL comes with a 7-inch LCD instrument cluster.
Available safety features, on the other hand, differ quite significantly. The Blue has a few desirable ones, such as a blind spot mirror for the driver, a rearview camera, electronic stability control, traction control, brake assist, and remote keyless entry with a built-in anti-theft alarm system. The SEL ups the ante by including automatic emergency braking, smart cruise control, lane keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, and driver attention warning. For being a mid-level trim that is modestly priced, the fact that these driver aids come standard makes for a pretty sweet deal. Of course, if you want to maximize all your vehicle's safety features, you can upgrade to the Limited trim.
Compare the 2019 Ioniq SEL vs Limited Trims. What is the difference?
The Limited sits at the top of the 2019 Hyundai Ioniq line-up. As you can imagine, with the same powertrain and drivetrain, the Limited has a similar ride quality as the SEL trim. The one thing that does make a minor difference is that the Limited equips larger 17-inch alloy wheels. Sure, they do not lend as much to the vehicle's overall fuel efficiency as the 15-inch wheels, but they to create a fairly smooth ride quality. And, with them equipped, the Limited is still miserly when it comes to fuel, as any good hybrid should be.
On the exterior, the Limited has the same measurements as the two lower trim levels. The only real difference is that it has a curb weight of 3,115 pounds, whereas the SEL comes in at 3,031 and the Blue at a svelte 2,996. Most of the body's features are the same as well, including the integrated spoiler on the rear, chrome belt molding, heated side mirrors, aero-type windshield wiper design, and LED taillights and daytime running lights. There are some fairly significant upgrades, however. The Limited adds standard exterior features like chrome accents on the door handles and HID headlights. Essentially, these features add a little bit to the Limited's luxurious nature.
The cabin of the Limited integrates a few more creature comforts as well. The only real difference in size comes in the form of about an inch less of head space in the front seats. The interior features, though, bring an additional sense of luxury to the Limited. This trim level gives you a power sunroof that tilts and slides, auto down/up on the front passenger window, leather upholstery on the seating, LED interior lighting, and premium door sill plates. If you want, you can choose to equip a rear cargo cover, an integrated memory system on the driver seat, and HVAC vents mounted onto the floor console in the rear seat.
Of course, there are even more standard infotainment features to be found on the Limited than on the SEL. The Limited comes standard with Hyundai's Blue Link Connected Car Service and an automatically dimming rearview mirror with a compass and HomeLink built into it. There are options available for upgrading to an 8-inch touchscreen display with built-in navigation, Clari-Fi Music Restoration Technology, and an 8-speaker Infinity premium sound system with a subwoofer and center channel. You can also opt for a wireless charging device if you want one.
Also, there are a few more standard and optional safety features that come with the Limited trim level. Automatic high beam assist comes standard. Options are available for equipping rear parking sensors and a dynamic bending light. Other than that, much of what you find on the SEL comes as standard equipment on the Limited trim level.
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Which One Should You Choose?
The Blue, SEL, and Limited trim levels are all respectable choices if you are looking to buy a brand new hybrid sedan. To be certain, the 2019 Hyundai Ioniq will once again prove to be a strong competitor for the Toyota Prius, which now seems to be lagging behind in terms of power, technology, and even fuel efficiency.
But which trim level on the Ioniq is going to give you the best overall deal? Sure, the Blue is the most affordable and the Limited has the most standard equipment. However, the SEL trim really gives you the most bang for your buck. The amount of standard features feels just right for a vehicle of its price, and the ride it gives you is pretty pleasant. The vehicle's stellar fuel efficiency is just the icing on the cake.