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Sibling Rivalry: 2022 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid vs Ioniq Hybrid

Which of these Hyundais is the right one if you’re looking for a new compact hybrid?

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A quarter-century has passed since the first mass-produced gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle, the 1997 Toyota Prius, was introduced. Since then, the electrification of vehicles has expanded to the point where almost every automaker has some form of hybrid vehicle on sale. Witness Hyundai, which offers not one but two compact hybrid siblings.

Redesigned for the 2022 model year, the Hyundai Elantra has shaken up the compact sedan class with bold styling, generous equipment, and affordable pricing. This 7th-generation Elantra is also spacious, safe (top scores in crash tests), and cheap to own. With models ranging from pleasantly capable to the corner-carving N trim, plus this Hybrid trim in between, this newest front-wheel-drive (FWD) 5-passenger Elantra has an appeal that’s broad and deep.

The Ioniq was Hyundai's first-ever dedicated hybrid vehicle. Debuting for the 2017 model year, the 2022 version continues to be a compact hatchback with exceptional fuel economy. The FWD Ioniq can also be a plug-in hybrid with a bigger battery and the ability to run an estimated 47 kilometres solely on electric power. There was an all-electric version of the 5-passenger Ioniq available up to last year. But that model's been discontinued with the all-new Ioniq 5 full-electric vehicle's debut this year.

So, Elantra or Ioniq? Read on to find out if which of these Hyundai compact hybrid siblings is the one to buy.

 

Price

Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Pricing for the 2022 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid sedan starts at $24,799 in Canadian dollars for the Preferred base trim. Standard equipment includes Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist with Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, 16-inch alloy wheels, and a heated leather steering wheel. The only other available trim is the $27,099 Ultimate, which adds a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, Adaptive Cruise Control with traffic stop and go, sunroof and leather seating surfaces.

The $25,649 starting price of the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid, in base Essential trim, is higher and doesn’t offer as much content (like Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist with Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist, wireless smartphone connectivity) as its Elantra Hybrid sibling. The Elantra’s price advantage continues through the Ioniq trim range, with the Ioniq Hybrid Preferred at $28,799 and the top-rung $33,049 Ultimate costing more than the corresponding Elantra trims.

Also, note that the Hyundai hybrids are covered by an extra-long 5-year/100,00-kilometre comprehensive warranty.

Winner: 2022 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid

 

Interior 

Compared to its older Ioniq Hybrid sibling, the new 2022 Elantra Hybrid’s interior illustrates how far along the South Korean automaker's interior designers have come. Inside, the Elantra Hybrid gets a modern and technical look. From its low seating position, it's easy to note the slim dash vents and low door handles. There's also a high centre console and two available 10.25-inch digital displays connected under one piece of glass, further enhancing the modern theme.

Much like the Ioniq Hybrid’s exterior, its interior is mostly conventional. However, some sustainable materials are deployed in various places, such as composites made from sugar cane, volcanic stone, recycled plastics, and wood. The prominent feature of the Ioniq Hybrid’s dashboard is the freestanding infotainment touchscreen. Buttons and switches are kept to a minimum as much as possible and arranged tidily.

Although the Hyundai compact hybrid siblings cast very similar shadows, there are notable differences in their respective interior capacities. The Elantra offers more room for passengers up front over the Ioniq. Conversely, as a hatchback, the Ioniq offers more rear cargo space (750 litres) than the less voluminous Elantra trunk (402 litres).

Winner: 2022 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid

 

Performance & Fuel Economy

As these Hyundai compact hybrid siblings share the same powertrain, the differences in on-the-road performance and fuel economy are almost negligible. Both use a 1.6-litre 4-cylinder engine with an electric motor energized by a lithium-ion polymer battery for a total output of 139 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. Power goes through a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission to the front wheels only.

The base 4-cylinder gas engine found in most 2022 Elantra trims is tuned with more of a preference for fuel economy than motoring kicks. But the Hybrid model is even more impressive. Not only is the hybrid system incredibly smooth in the way it transitions from gasoline to electric power and back, but it also develops the same amount of thrust as the sporty N Line, which is excellent for moving off from a standstill.

As a vehicle dedicated to sipping the absolute least amount of fuel possible, the Ioniq Hybrid scores a bit better at the pumps than its Elantra sibling. In addition to its sleek hatchback shape, the Ioniq’s active front grille shutters optimize thermal and aerodynamic efficiency. As a result, the Ioniq scores a remarkable 4.0 litres per 100 kilometres combined city and highway fuel economy estimate, compared to the Elantra Hybrid’s 4.4 rating.

Winner: 2022 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid 

 

Ride and Handling

What impresses us most about the new Elantra Hybrid is this: If you paid no attention to the vehicle before you drove it, you might not even know it’s a gas-electric hybrid. The interaction of the hybrid system is just that smooth. And thanks to its electric assist, the Elantra Hybrid feels like a standard Elantra with much more torque. Although the Elantra Hybrid has a multilink rear suspension in place of the standard Elantra’s torsion-beam rear axle, no significant differences are felt in the suspension tuning.

If it weren’t for the possibility of drivers forgetting what happens at gas stations because they don’t visit them as much as they used to, the Ioniq Hybrid could be mistaken for a typical little runabout. Keep in mind: the Ioniq Hybrid is a steady, fuel-sipping conveyance, not a corner-carver or a freeway blaster. The 6-speed automatic transmission is pleasantly responsive. And, like its Elantra sibling, the way the drivetrain moves between electric and gasoline propulsion is barely perceptible.

Winner: Tie

 

Overall Winner: 2022 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid

Both hybrid versions of the 2022 Hyundai Elantra and 2022 Hyundai Ioniq offer great value with relatively low prices and outstanding fuel economy.

If you want the most fuel-efficient Hyundai compact hybrid and the practicality of a hatchback body style, the Ioniq Hybrid is easy to recommend.

However, the Elantra Hybrid, with its more modern interior, and lower pricing, is the one we’d recommend.

 

Specs

2022 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid

2022 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

Engine

1.6-litre I4 + Electric motor

1.6-litre I4 + Electric motor

Horsepower

139 hp

139 hp

Torque

195 lb-ft

195 lb-ft

Transmission

6-speed dual clutch automatic

6-speed dual clutch automatic

Drivetrain

Front-wheel-drive

Front-wheel-drive

Fuel Economy

4.4 L/100 km (4.5 city, 4.2 hwy)

4.0-4.2 L/100 km (4.0-4.3 city, 3.9-4.1 hwy)

Warranty

5 years/100,000 kilometres

5 years/100,000 kilometres

Max Seating Capacity

5

5

Curb Weight

1,345 kg

1,359 – 1,370 kg

Wheelbase

2,720 mm

2,700 mm

Overall Length

4,675 mm

4,470 mm

Width

1,825 mm

1,820 mm

Height

1,420 mm

1,445 mm

Headroom, Front

1,030 mm

994 mm

Headroom, Rear

947 mm

951 mm

Legroom, Front

1,074 mm

1,073 mm

Legroom, Rear

964 mm

907 mm

Shoulder Room, Front

1,434 mm

1,425 mm

Shoulder Room, Rear

1,412 mm

1,396 mm

Cargo Volume

402 L

750 L

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