QOTD: Does Hyundai's 2021 Ioniq Hybrid Deserve Awards?

Jason R. Sakurai
by Jason R. Sakurai

Hyundai’s 2021 Ioniq hybrid and plug-in hybrid received the Best Hybrid Car and Plug-In Hybrid awards from U.S. News & World Report. Our question is, are they the best hybrids or not? Did the right car(s) win?

In this year’s Best Hybrid and Electric Cars awards, U.S. News & World Report identified seven eco-vehicle categories and made selections by combining overall scores, starting prices, gas mileage, and EPA charging and range data. Comparisons were between 73 hybrid, plug-ins, and electric cars. The winners represented a combination of quality, value, and efficiency in their segments.

According to U.S. News & World Report, numerous automakers are rolling out their plans for the electrification of their lineups over the coming decades, and even today many of the newest cars to hit the market offer a level of hybridization or fully electric drive. With the number of vehicles to choose from and to some degree demand increasing, the quality of these cars and SUVs is starting to get better. Timed around Earth Day, the magazine lauded progress in sustainability. Their focus was on efforts in the fight against climate change in highlighting the best hybrid and electric vehicles that can reduce drivers’ carbon footprint.

The 2021 Hyundai Ioniq hybrid’s starting price is $23,400. It has an EPA-estimated combined MPG rating of 59. The 2021 Hyundai Ioniq plug-in hybrid has a starting price of $26,700. Its EPA-estimated combined MPG rating is 133 MPGe. Also named U.S. News‘ 2020 Best Hybrid Car, the Ioniq hybrid is the only repeat winner.

The 2021 Chevrolet Bolt was the best electric vehicle selection. Best luxury EV went to the 2021 Tesla Model Y, while the Ford Escape Hybrid won best hybrid SUV, and the best luxury hybrid winner was the 2021 Lexus ES hybrid. Among luxury plug-ins, the 2021 Audi A7 was tops.

Did U.S. News get it right?

[Images: Hyundai]

Jason R. Sakurai
Jason R. Sakurai

With a father who owned a dealership, I literally grew up in the business. After college, I worked for GM, Nissan and Mazda, writing articles for automotive enthusiast magazines as a side gig. I discovered you could make a living selling ad space at Four Wheeler magazine, before I moved on to selling TV for the National Hot Rod Association. After that, I started Roadhouse, a marketing, advertising and PR firm dedicated to the automotive, outdoor/apparel, and entertainment industries. Through the years, I continued writing, shooting, and editing. It keep things interesting.

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2 of 16 comments
  • Imagefont Imagefont on Apr 20, 2021

    I’ve driven a Kia Niro a few times, always an LX, Avis rental. Same exact drivetrain as this Ioniq Hybrid. Nice drivetrain, in the Niro it delivered a consistent 42mpg. The computer indicated close to 50mpg, but it lied to me. The computers are worthless, you have to note your mileage and fuel usage and do the math, that’s the only way to know. Only a Toyota Prius delivered real world mileage close to the EPA rating.

  • Amoore100 Amoore100 on Apr 23, 2021

    Why no Insight/FCX Clarity? Honda's separation of their plug-in and ordinary hybrid lineups would make comparison more difficult, but I've heard that their modern hybrid powertrains are quite a bit better than Hyundai's and obviously avoid the Toyota stigma.

  • Charles The UAW makes me the opposite of patriotic
  • El scotto Wranglers are like good work boots, you can't make them any better. Rugged four wheel drive vehicles which ironically make great urban vehicles. Wagoneers were like handbags desired by affluent women. They've gone out of vogue. I can a Belgian company selling Jeep and Ram Trucks to a Chinese company.
  • El scotto So now would be a good time to buy an EV as a commuter car?
  • ToolGuy $1 billion / 333.3 million = $3 per U.S. person ¶ And what do I get for my 3 bucks -- cleaner air and lower fuel prices? I might be ok with this 🙂🙂
  • VoGhost Matt, I'm curious why you write that inventory levels are low at 74 days. Typically, 60 days is the benchmark for normal inventory.