By on April 20, 2021


IONIQHyundai’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]

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16 Comments on “QOTD: Does Hyundai’s 2021 Ioniq Hybrid Deserve Awards?...”

  • avatar

    The Ioniq Hybrid is competing with the Prius. At this point the Prius sells mainly to people who want low TCO. Many of them are TNC drivers; some are just ordinary private cheapskates. So the only thing I want to know about the Ioniq Hybrid is whether it has lower TCO than the Prius. Especially for long-term owners, I’m gonna guess the answer is no due to maintenance and repair costs.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    FWIW, Alex Dykes (AoA) once chose the Ioniq Hybrid over the Prius.

    I have no experience with the hybrid version, but the electric version is excellent for a compact EV. Workmanship, ease of use, and operating costs are tops.

    A bonus – the Ioniq doesn’t look dorky like the latest Prius.

  • avatar

    To me, the best thing about traditional hybrids is their fuel range. An Ioniq Blue can go nearly 700 miles on a tank and most are somewhere in the area of 600 miles.

    • 0 avatar
      Mike Beranek

      I’ve cleared 600 with my Buick LeSabre, 18 gallon tank. Averaged 28.5 MPG over a 5,200 mile trip.
      I could use this Ioniq on my daily commute, though.

      • 0 avatar

        Did the same with my old LS 460, which would return 31 mpg on the freeway if you drove in a properly wafting manner. It was the ultimate proof that highway fuel economy is more about aero than powertrain.

  • avatar

    Points in the Ioniq’s favor for the DCT instead of the usual CVT transmission.

  • avatar

    Per the Consumer Reports survey numbers, there’s no question you’d want a Prius over this thing 10 years from now, no matter how repulsive it looks. Of course, that’s pretty damn repulsive. Both of them make a Camry Hybrid look good by comparison, especially since neither one has enough rear headroom for your non-circus-performing friends.

    • 0 avatar

      The Prius line has racked up some impressive high mileage reliability in taxi service. If it really is all about 10, 15, 20 year total cost, I’m thinking Prius is the champ, not dissing the Hyundai, they just haven’t been in this game long enough to have solid data.

  • avatar

    Award for most obsolete green technologies. It is the award for companies who don’t know how to make EVs.

  • avatar

    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.

  • avatar

    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.

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