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2020 Hyundai Ioniq Trim Levels with Comparisons & Configurations.

2020 Hyundai Ioniq Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: Blue vs SE vs SEL & Limited

What 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Trim Level Should you Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

Introduced to the buying public in 2016, the Hyundai Ioniq has worked hard to bypass more established hybrids. For instance, the legacy Toyota Prius. It has kept up with this ever-growing class of vehicle. However, with the 2020 Hyundai Ioniq, the South Korean manufacturer might bypass the others in the virtual dust.

Three reasons for this. First, the Ioniq has been completely redesigned for the 2020 model year. Second, thanks to Hyundai's well-known prices, consumers can purchase a high-end Ioniq trim for less than a standard sedan. Third, the hybrid comes in four different trims -- the Blue, SE, SEL, and Limited.

This guide is presented to detail the key differences between the Ioniq's trim levels. When done reviewing, consumers should have a clearer idea on the right version of the hybrid sedan required for their driving needs.


Compare the 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Blue versus SE Trims. What is the difference?


Like other vehicles from different manufacturers, the engine properties of the first two Ioniq trims don't differ. The Blue and SE have a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine with 104 horsepower and 109 found-feet of torque. It doesn't seem like much, but consumers need to remember that this gas engine is backed up by an electric motor/battery.

That powertrain component in the 2020 Hyundai Ioniq is the same for both trims. It outputs 43 horsepower, about 32 kilowatts, and creates 125 pound-feet of torque. This, along with the standard engine, are tired to a six-speed Eco Shift automatic transmission with dual clutch.

Fuel Efficiency

When looking at a hybrid, consumers should expect a huge ramp-up in fuel economy. The Blue and SE trims of the Hyundai Ioniq are no exception. However, there is a slight difference in the miles per gallons between the Blue and SE. The former trim gets 57 mpg in the city and 59 on the highway. The SE gets two miles less in the city and five miles on the highway.

However, these rates may change depending on how much brake-induced driving there is, for this is how the battery gets its power. This is lessened on the highway since the brakes aren't used.


The only difference between the Blue and SE are steering wheel-based paddle shifters. The Blue doesn't have these while the SE does. It allows the driver to shift between standard and economy modes while on the road.

Exterior Design

The outside of the 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid differs somewhat between the two trims. They both have active grille shutters to control airflow and increase fuel efficiency. They also have solar control glass to absorb the sun's heat and keep the vehicle's interior cool.

The Blue has one item that neither the SE nor any other trims has -- projector headlights with built-in daytime lamps. These are much brighter than standard headlights. In addition, they are less likely to blind other drivers.

On the other hand, the SE has some features the Blue doesn't. One is heated side mirrors, which are important on days when ice and snow cover those surfaces. Another are windshield wipers with aero-type design. These remain stable and clean the front window better than standards.

Interior Styling

Together, both trims come with dual climate control, steering wheel-mounted controls, and sun visor extensions. The last are quite important when the sun is in a spot where the standard size can't reach. The Blue and SE also cloth-covered seats. The driver and passenger have the ability to adjust theirs in six different positions.

The SE has a few enhancements over the other trim. For instance, it's front seats are heated. Furthermore, the steering wheel and shift knob are wrapped in leather. However, the most important feature, at least to some consumers, is a rear center armrest with cupholders.

Audio and Infotainment

Like other manufacturers, there are some big differences in audio and infotainment between the two trims. Both have an eight-inch touchscreen display that is compatible with hands-free Bluetooth operation as well as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. After that, the SE has the advantage.

It has a larger LCD instrument cluster -- seven inches as opposed to four in the Blue. It also offers a three-month trial subscription to Sirius XM and a three-year Blue Link plan. This allows the vehicle owner to perform various tasks from their smart device.


The 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid is one of a few vehicles on the market that contains several driver assist aids in its lowest trims. Both the Blue and SE have forward collision avoidance, lane assist, auto high-beam adjustment, and driver attention warning. The only aids the SE has that the Blue does not are blind spot collision and rear cross-traffic avoidance.

What these trims do have in common is a plethora of collision-detection devices. For instance, the Ioniq features front and rear crumple zones and a number of airbags that protect all vehicle occupants. An energy-absorbing steering wheel minimizes injuries to the driver during a front-end accident. Add to this a high-definition rear-view camera with indicator lines to alert of an impending collision.

Then there's the suite of tools that keep the car on the road. In addition to ABS and traction control, both used to prevent skidding on slick surfaces, the Blue and SE trims feature electronic stability control and brake force distribution. The latter used to evenly pass the energy of a sudden stop across the discs of all the Ioniq's wheels. Along with brake assist, which increases stopping pressure, these tools can minimize the risk of a collision.

Overall, the SE is the best choice over the two trims. With the extras it provides, the difference in starting MSRP is less than $2,000.

Compare the 2020 Hyundai Ioniq SE versus SEL Trims. What is the difference?

Most of the features between the SE and SEL are similar. Yet, there's a $3,000 difference between the trims. Why the discrepancy?

It starts with the exterior of the SEL. Instead of 15-inch Eco-spoke wheels the SE has, the SEL has 17-inch alloy models. Furthermore, LED headlights and taillights come standard.

Inside the 2020 Hyundai Ioniq SEL, the front driver and passenger windows have a one-touch down/up mode. It also has an auto-dimming rear-view mirror with the HomeLink wireless remote system. As to technology, the SEL offers occupants the ability to wirelessly charge their devices.

The SEL offers a few standard driver aids that are not available in the SE. Forward collision avoidance with pedestrian detection is the most important of these. Another specialty is a smart cruise control that maintains proper speeds and braking when highway traffic shifts.

Another safety aid available in the SEL is lane following assist. This tool helps the driver maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of them. In addition, it only maneuvers when space is available to do so.

For the extra safety and interior options, the SEL is a better investment than the SE.

Compare the 2020 Hyundai Ioniq SEL versus Limited Trims. What is the difference?

Like the trims above, there's a $3,000 difference between the SEL and Limited trims of the 2020 Hyundai Ioniq. However, are the differences worth the price change?

The hybrid's exterior features auto-folding mirrors and puddle lights that illuminate the ground below the car. In addition, the door handles are accented with a chrome border.

Inside the Ioniq, occupants will notice heating/AC vents in the floor, console, and rear seats. Furthermore, instead of cloth upholstery, the seats are covered in leather. The driver's seat has a memory system that recalls height and lumbar adjustments.

The audio system is also enhanced in the Limited trim. Consumers get a Kardon eight-speaker system with a central channel and subwoofer. On top of this, the size of the center touchscreen increases to over 10 inches.

There are only two safety differences between the SEL and Limited trims. The latter features highway drive assist, which maintains speed and lane stability while driving. The other is a parking distance warning for both the front and rear.

Though there seem to be significant differences in the Limited trim, they're designed for a consumer who wants a sportier hybrid instead of something they drive they use to transport their family. Thus, in this situation, the SEL is the best trim to go with.

2020 Hyundai Ioniq: Which Trim to Choose?


Overall, it doesn't matter what trim is chosen. Since there's only a $8,000 difference between the Blue and Limited, all of the 2020 Hyundai Ioniq styles are up for grab. There's one reason for this -- the hybrid engine.

This doesn't change for any trim. Therefore, there's a built-in return on investment. Though, if consumers looked carefully enough, they might eliminate the Blue. Out of all the trims, it's the only one without regenerative braking. It's the mechanism that converts the energy of slowing down to store in the battery or use immediately.

Thus, the playing field is narrowed down to three. Well, let's call it two trims, the SE and the SEL. The Limited can be separated from the pack as it takes a sportier turn. Should this be the way consumers want to go, the Limited is certainly worth a personal look and test drive.

In the end, the SEL is the best trim to select within the styles of the 2020 Hyundai Ioniq. Why this version when the differences are limited? It's the fact that those differences make a significant impact. Especially in the driver assist aids.

The Ioniq is designed to be a vehicle that drives toward the future of semi-automated, fuel-less transportation. In addition, with the amount of standard driver aids at even the Blue level, Hyundai is working toward a zero-collision environment. As a result, the SEL should be the trim consumers select as it has the most driver aids.

Nevertheless, this is just a guide for those looking for a hybrid. It's not here to make a definitive decision for the reader. What will make that happen is a person examination of all 2020 Hyundai Ioniq trims.

A review of images and specifications from the internet won't do. Consumers need to visit a dealership and look at all the trims. In addition, they need to take a test drive, especially if they have never been in a hybrid before.

This will allow them to get used to the regenerative braking and how to determine if they're on fuel or battery power. They understand how cruise control works in such a vehicle. Plus, they can play with the semi-automated driving aids that help reduce collisions.

Once this is done, consumers can go in a few directions. First, they'll fall in love with the 2020 Hyundai Ioniq SEL and drive it off the lot. Second, they'll realize they're not ready for a hybrid yet. Third, they'll decide to keep looking.
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