So I have driven quite a few hybrid vehicles lately I’ve never actually driven a pure electric vehicle or EV before so I was a bit excited when Hyundai gave me the keys to the IONIQ Electric for the week.
Hyundai have doubled down on the IONIQ by not just bringing out an EV model but also a Hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of it as well.
On the outside I quite like the sloping fastback profile, the frontend features LED day time running lights DRL’s, front bumper air ducts (which create an air curtain around the front wheels to improve high-speed aerodynamic efficiency), and active grill shutters which will open when the engine needs more cooling. While the frontend isn’t too bad I’m a fan of the grey grill I would prefer it to be black.
The 16inch alloy rims are Aerodynamically designed to minimise air turbulence, The rear end features LED tail lights, integrated rear spoiler and a matte grey insert to tie in with the front end another one of those personal things I would prefer it to be black and it would suit the gleaming white paint work better as well.
On the inside the IONIQ is where Hyundai have extended the car green credentials through the use of eco friendly materials. With sugar cane by products accounting for 25% of the raw materials for the soft touch door trim panels and recycled plastic, powdered wood and volcanic stone contributing to 10% of the plastics used elsewhere inside. Bio fabrics were used to make the carpets and head lining where sugar cane by products made up 20% of the raw materials.
The slip behind the flat bottomed leather clad wheel that’s not only comfortable to hold but the right thickness for me, behind the wheel your greeted by a 7 inch high resolution TFT LCD that provides information including energy flow, battery state and Eco drive info as well as a digital speedo.
The slim dash line brings your eye sight to the main focus of the interior the 10.25inch multimedia touchscreen that dominates the centre stack with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and full Bluetooth connectivity which can be accessed via steering wheels buttons you hardly have to take your hand’s off the wheel.
I found the system very easy to use and connecting my phone via android auto took no time, the standard fit satellite navigation system works wonderful and also features a ‘Charging Station’ category allowing you to identify nearest Type 2 charging stations from your location which I did use and it worked great.
The bottom of the centre stack features the climate control aircon buttons that are touch controls, which integrate well into the centre stack and the piano black finishes just adds to the look.
The leather appointed seats are comfortable and supportive being the premium model they also the front seats are air ventilated and heated and there is also a memory function to keep you fav driving position.
The rear seats are comfortable and offer a decent amount of legroom but the fastback styling means rear passengers have to watch their heads getting in.
Storage wise the Ioniq has plenty of storage available with a big glove box, console storage bin with a USB connection, door pockets with bottle storage, dual cupholders near the gearshift, wireless charging bay, a tray for other items which has two 12-volt sockets and a USB connection.
The back seat has plenty of options as well including a map pocket on the back of the front passenger seat, door pockets, 2 cupo holders in the fold down centre arm rest boot space is an ample 462 litres with the seats up and grows to a healthy 1417 litres with the 60/40 split folding rear seats.
Under the bonnet is where all the magic happens and the IONIQ electric is powered by a 100kW electric motor connected to a 38.3kWh lithium-ion polymer battery.
Since it was my first experience with an all-electric I wasn’t sure what to expect on the road but the advantage of and electric engine is you have all that wonderful torque available from the moment you push that go pedal which means not only can the IONIQ easily with traffic and sit on the speed limit on the freeway it can also get along quite rapid if you want.
The IONIQ Electric uses regenerative braking to add charge to battery while driving which works really good, using steering wheel mounted paddles you adjust the level of brake force while on the move.
By using the left hand paddle, you’ll increase the regenerative braking effect while as the right hand paddle will decrease the regenerative level, coasting further to maximise efficiency.
The IONIQ Electric, with a choice of Eco, Normal, Sport and all new Eco+ drive modes to choose from which maximise the performance of IONIQ.
Eco setting the controls to the most efficient balance, while Normal mode harmonises responsiveness and efficiency, Sport mode offers instant throttle response. The all new Eco+ drive mode maximises vehicle range by setting a 90 km/h speed limit, switching off the air conditioning, heating, and fans (user override-able), as well as optimising the default regenerative braking level.
As far as charging goes time it takes the Ioqniq to charging varies depending on what method you use.
Hyundai sells what they call an emergency charge cable which lets you charge from any standard 10a power point not exactly how long it would take from dead empty to 100% but it took just over 5hrs to charge it to 100% from 73% when I charged it at home.
You can also buy a home charger unit from Hyundai for your garage which will charge it to 100% in just over 6 hours.
The Ioniq can also be charged from a 100kW fast charging station and which will charge the Ioniq to 80% in 54min or 57 min from a 50kW charging station quoted range for the Ioniq is just over 370km depending on how you drive it. But that means that most people using it for a commute in the city would probably only need to charge it once a week my commute is not that long so I recon I could go 2 or 3 weeks in between charges.
If you want to take a longer trip however it would require some planning though.
On the road and the Ioniqs has benefited from Hyundai’s local suspension tuning program and it rides awesome I found it great to drive it soaks up small bumps and even bigger surface imperfections with ease, the steering has decent feel and will go where you point it, remember this is not a sports car so it’s not going to handle like one it makes one hell of great cruiser.
Safety wise Ioniq has 5 star ANCAP rating and comes with huge list of safety features including 7 airbags ABS, brake assist, EBD, as well as traction and stability control, Hill-start Assist Control, Blind Spot Collision Warning, Forward Collision Avoidance Assis’ (city/urban/interurban/pedestrian) Lane Following Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Collision Warning and Smart Cruise Control.
It gets full and bonus points from me for having front and rear parking sensors as well a rear vision camera.
Warranty wise the ioniq comes with Hyundai’s ‘iCare’ ownership program 5 year/unlimited km warranty, with 12 months roadside assist and a (complimentary) 1500km first service included.
The Ioniq battery warranty extends for eight years/160,000km.
Service intervals for the Ioniq Electric are every 12 months and cost $160 each year for the first 5 years. Servicing your car with a an authorised Hyundai dealer will get you 10year sat nav update plan and a roadside support plan.
The Ioniq was my first step into an all electric car and I can’t help but can’t come away more impressed, Ioniq electric is great car that is comfortable to drive and ride in has a decent amount of room is well equipped and comes with a bucket load of safety features.
Price wise the Elite version starts at just over $53,300 while the Premium model I tested starts at just over $57,000 and yes cars when you compare them to a similar sized conventionally powered car then yes it looks a little expensive but compared to others in it’s class it’s priced well.
Really if you are in the market for an electric vehicle you should have the ioniq on your list for more information on the Ioniq visit Hyundai’s website www.hyundai.com/au/en .