When the word Hybrid is said automatically people think about the Prius. But Hyundai wants to change that, new for 2017 is a set of three Hyundais that will attempt to change the eco-car.
The Ioniq as mentioned comes in three flavors. First a hybrid, just like the Prius it uses a regular ole gasoline engine powering a 6-speed automatic and it’s assisted by a small electric motor powered by a battery pack underneath the rear seats. Secondly is the EV model, with no combustion engine it’s the pure electric model that allows the Ioniq to go an estimated 200km range. And last but not least is a model that slots right in between and it’s the Ioniq that combines the two by being a plug-in-hybrid.
The overall shape of these three is similar to other eco-minded cars. “Eggy” is what some journalists call it but it allows for maximum interior space and minimum drag. The EV mode pictured in white also has it’s front teeth completely knocked out and in replace a high gloss black mouth guard. While the grey is the hybrid, more of a usual grille with active shutters behind to help with the economy.
The Ioniq is quite pretty, the hybrid models sport a set of 17″ alloy wheels which stands out from the rest. To help minimize wind resistance, the gaps around the body and wheels are tight to sooth the wind over the body and gaps.
Inside the cars is not too shabby. Quality of the materials are better than Hyundais of old and there’s a feeling of rich plastics not found in its competitors. The EV is distinct with the copper accents while the Plugin hybrid gets blue accents.
Seats wise the Ioniq has comfy units which are also heated but using this feature can consume quite a bit of precious energy reducing the range.
For the back, there’s plenty of room for adults, and the outboard passengers also get heating elements in higher-end trims.
Infotainment wise the Ioniq is similar to other Hyundai’s. A 7″ unit is standard while our Tech model tester comes with an 8″ unit. The system has a dedicated efficiency page to show energy consumption and direction of power. In the EV model, it also shows predicted range and the amount of power that’s being regenerated.
For all models, a Qi wireless charger is available allowing charging for your mobile devices. For the Hybrid model, the shifter and centre console is pretty standard looking while the EV is funky.
Because the EV doesn’t really need a shifter, Hyundai took this time to develop a four button layout on the centre console replace the conventional shifter. Between the dash and the console is a surprising amount of room, perfect for a purse or even a decent size backpack.
For the Hybrid model, there’s a Sports mode that changes the cluster to above, similar to F-sport models found in some Lexus vehicles it show’s the engine’s rpm in the centre rather than the speed when in normal mode.
Even the EV model plays with a power gauge in sports mode. The gauge shows the amount of power used at any time, could actually be quite fun to look at as you mash the throttle and the gauge shows 100% power used. Just don’t do that often as the range will decrease dramatically.
While the hybrid model gets paddle shifters to control the 6-speed automatic, the EV model has regen paddles that adjust up to 3 levels of regen allowing for 1 pedal driving. This is quite different than standard cars, simply by varying the amount of throttle used the vehicle can use the regen to slow the vehicle down. While this is happening it can even trigger the brake lights!
Trunk space is quite large for such a small car. For the EV model, the floor is a bit higher due to the battery pack but both models are hatchbacks and the rear seats fold down to maximize cargo space.
Driving the Ioniq is similar to other vehicles. It’s no different than another car which makes it better than dedicated eco cars. It behaves as it should and there are no surprises. However, both models provide a surprising amount of torque to the front wheels which could overwhelm the eco tires quickly. Driving the cars in sport mode increases throttle response and weights up the steering wheel for a sportier driving experience. But let’s be honest, these cars are meant to be driven in eco mode.
The Hybrid puts out a total of 139hp and 195lb-ft of torque to the front wheels via a 6-speed automatic, while the EV puts down 118hp and 215lb-ft of torque. The EV does feel quicker thanks to the electric motors and it’s also faster to 100km/h by .3 of a second. What’s most impressive is the cars are able to accelerate to highway speeds from the city very quickly. With adequate traction and large amounts of torque it actually does push you back in your seat as the vehicle accelerates.
Being a car made for efficiency these two do not disappoint. The hybrid a very respectable 4.3L/100km combined while the EV was able to get about 200km of range. Although, range anxiety can still happen, at 200km it’s capable of running for a few days before it needs to be charged. There are three different options for charging the EV as well. A regular 112 plug can charge the EV however it takes a full day to charge the car possibly up to 24 hours, with a 240 outlet it can charge the vehicle in 4.5 hours and if a DC charge port is available. It can be as quick as 35minutes so the options are plentiful.
The pricing for the Ioniq is quite competitive. The hybrid starts at $24,299 and the EV starts at $35,649. While most people the hybrid would be enticing enough some might opt for the EV for a pure electric driving experience. However at the time of writing this article charging stations are still limited in greater Vancouver and an electric plug could be hard to find. But for those who are capable of charging at home, this EV would still be a wise choice.