What is it? The Ioniq is Hyundai’s dedicated green plaform, spawing a plug-in and a full EV along with this conventional hybrid.
Base Price: $28,335 As Tested: $31,460
Highlights: The Ioniq Hybrid features a 1.6-liter engine delivering an 104 hp and 109 lb.-ft. of torque along with an electric motor making 43 hp and maximum torque of 125 lb.-ft., powered by a lithium-ion polymer battery with 1.56 kWh capacity.
Our Opinion: Like almost all hybrids, the Ioniq takes a couple hours to recalibrate to — the brakes, accelerator and even the steering, all of which are just video-gamey enough to require conscious retraining before you can drive it smoothly and “normally;” once you’ve acclimated yourself, though, it’s a great-driving little ecomiser. I commuted twice in traffic, and then hauled a trio of kids to gymnastics class, and by the time I turned it in the following morning it was as natural to drive as any good compact. Plus, despite some jackrabbit launches using the Sport mode (hardly sporty, but it’ll get you moving in a hurry), I averaged a very impressive 51.3 mpg in roughly 80 miles of driving.
Hyundai doesn’t have fuel prices working in its favor, but the fact that the Ioniq’s most direct competitor, the Toyota Prius, was absolutely pummeled by the ugly stick in its latest redesign should work in its favor. Green-leaning consumers who can’t stomach the sight of a Prius will find the Ioniq just unconventional enough in exterior design to deliver some quirk factor without compromising fuel economy.
It’s a solid effort by Hyundai, and a great time to go after the class leader while it’s vulnerable. I’m looking forward to trying the plug-in model and the pure EV.
–Andrew Stoy, digital editor
OTHER VOICES: I don’t have too much to add to Mr. Stoy’s excellent observations except to say I was a bit disappointed when I saw the sticker price. Figured it would come in at less jingle. Of course there are the tax credits to consider…
Anyway, this seems much more a quote unquote regular hybrid, certainly in terms of looks. It’s just sort of a normal-looking hatch rather than one shaped to scream “look at me! Ain’t I eco conscious?!? You should like me for that!!!”
The Ioniq drives more normal, too, in my opinion. Acceleration is decent, the regen brakes and stop/start are smooth as is the dual clutch. According to autoweek.com Hyundai said it went with a dual clutch over a CVT because CVTs have fixed ratio ranges, forcing engineers to pick mpgs or acceleration. Hyundai thinks it can tune its dual clutch for great highway mpg and keep good launch characteristics. So there you have it.
Anyway. The ride is soft and fluid, arguably more so than other midsize-ish hatches, pleasant around town. Not outstanding, but agreeable. Competent.
The interior is normal too. Good room, comfy seats, a dash layout like other Hyundais, shifter like most other cars instead of some goofy hybridish stalk…
One advantage Hyundai has is its lifetime warranty on the battery.
Overall this is arguably as good as a hybrid gets. Back to the price for a sec: Looking on the Hyundai site there are less costly Ioniqs, starting at $22K and change. I’d like to drive them. So far so good, though.
–Wes Raynal, editor
Options: Ultimate package including automatic emergency braking, smart cruise control, lane departure warning, headlights with dynamic bending light function, rear parking sensors, navigation system with eight-inch touchscreen display, Infinity premium audio with eight speakers, wireless device charging, integrate memory system for driver’s seat cargo cover, floor console-mounted rear vents, Blue Link guidance package ($3,000); carpeted floor mats ($125)
On Sale: Now
Base Price: $28,335
As Tested Price: $31,460
Drivetrain: 1.6-liter I4, six-speed dual-clutch automatic, 32-kW electric motor, 1.56-kWh battery pack
Output: 104 hp @ 5,700 rpm; 139 hp (total output); 109 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm; 125 lb.-ft. (electric motor)
Curb Weight: 3,285 lb
Fuel Economy: 55/54/55 mpg(EPA City/Hwy/Combined)
Observed Fuel Economy: 51.3 mpg
Pros: Doesn’t scream “I’m a hybrid!”
Cons: Still takes time to adjust to the brakes, acceleration, steering
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