2019 Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid vs. 2019 BMW i3

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW i3 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The i3 doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

To help make backing safer, the Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The i3 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid’s optional driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The i3 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid and the i3 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, blind spot warning systems and rear parking sensors.

Warranty

The Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The i3’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

Hyundai’s powertrain warranty covers the Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid 6 years and 50,000 miles longer than BMW covers the i3. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the i3 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 2 times as many Hyundai dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 11th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 8th.

Engine

The Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid’s 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 11 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 184) than the i3 standard electric motor.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the i3 (123 city/114 hwy vs. 124 city/102 hwy MPGe).

The Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid has 9.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the i3 Range Extender (11.4 vs. 2.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid has larger tires than the i3 (205/55R16 vs. 155/70R19). The Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the i3 (205/55R16 vs. 175/55R20).

The Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the i3’s standard 70 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid has standard front gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The i3’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid flat and controlled during cornering. The i3’s suspension doesn’t offer stabilizer bars.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid’s wheelbase is 5.1 inches longer than on the i3 (106.3 inches vs. 101.2 inches).

Chassis

The design of the Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid amounts to more than styling. The Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .24 Cd. That is significantly lower than the i3 (.29 to .33) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid a Mid-size car, while the i3 is rated a Subcompact.

The Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid has standard seating for 5 passengers; the i3 can only carry 4.

The Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid has 12.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the i3 (96.2 vs. 83.6).

The Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid has 1.7 inches more front legroom, 2.5 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom, 3.8 inches more rear legroom and 5.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the i3.

Cargo Capacity

The Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid has a much larger trunk than the i3 with its rear seat up (23 vs. 15.1 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

The Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children in the rear seat from operating them. BMW does not offer a locking feature on the i3’s standard power windows.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid has standard extendable sun visors. The i3 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The i3 doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The i3 doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Recommendations

The Hyundai Ioniq outsold the BMW i3 by over two to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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