By Asian Journal Auto Editor
The new 2018 Hyundai Ioniq hybrid is fresh to the market compact five-door and arrives in either the gas-electric powered version, PHEV (Plug in electric Hybrid vehicle) or an all-electric version (Check for availability in some provinces.)
The Ioniq uses a new 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine, mated to a hybrid power system and lithium-ion-polymer battery. As with all hybrids, it can run on gasoline, electricity, or a combination of both, and it automatically switches between them as needed. The gas engine produces 104 horsepower on its own, while the 45 KW electric motor adds extra power. The Ioniq bucks the trend by using a six-speed Ecoshift dual-clutch transmission instead of a CVT for greater efficiency.
The Ioniq Hybrid comes in a couple of trim levels, starting at the $24,299, for the hybrid, which offers best-in-class fuel efficiency: 4.1 L/100km (hybrid blue model, combined). $31,991 of the plug in Electric Plus and $35,649 for the PHEV electric model offering a Combined 1.7 L/100km fuel economy and 200km range. We tested a top tier Limited DCT priced at $36,499, with options and delivery the final tally was $38,204. The electric charging port for the PHEV is located in the front driver side fender, while the charging cable lives in the trunk. Total charge time for a full battery is around seven hours on a standard household outlet, faster with a higher-voltage quick charger. The battery allows for the Ioniq to travel around 47 kilometres of electric driving, at up to 120 km/h. before it switches over the gas engine/motor combo.
Interior wise, unlike some hybrids, the Ioniq goes for a clean, conventional look that’s refreshingly easy on the eye. There is a refined, high class ambience and feel to the cabin with plenty of occupant room and storage. The dash features efficient analog instruments with various eco-driving displays and battery hybrid performance monitors. All Ioniq models include heated seats, while the upper levels also offer a heated steering wheel and rear seats which is rather generous of Hyundai. There are nice soft-touch materials on the dash and doors, cool color coordinated accents, and a bright TFT screen for the instrument cluster, that changes colours and details depending on the drive mode. The upscale Limited trim as tested added an impressive roster of equipment such as: adaptive cruise control, automatic climate control, larger 8-inch infotainment screen, Air conditioning, a 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat a power glass sunroof, leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, a tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel with audio and cruise controls. Bluetooth, proximity key entry with pushbutton start, BlueLink telematics, multiple 12-volt outlets, wireless ‘Qi’ phone charging, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, and a high-quality audio are among the Limited’s standard kit.
Safety is extremely high on the Ioniq, and it comes with a plethora of standard and optional safety gear (Depending on trim level) including Electronic Stability Control, Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-traffic Alert, Lane Change Assist, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Smart Cruise Control, seven airbags, Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist, dynamic turning headlights, and more.
On the road, the Ioniq offers a quiet comfortable ride. Initial acceleration from a standing start is via electric power alone—until the gas motor kicks in around in 30km – 47 km depending of factors such as weather and terrain. The transition from electric power to gas engine and vice versa is pretty seamless. The handling is competent, although sporty drivers will find the steering much lighter compared to more performance orientated rivals.
Overall, the Ioniq is very impressive, and another home run for Hyundai. It is good looking car with a simple, yet elegant interior. The price point and what you get in terms of value is stunning. Drive less than 47 kilometers a day and you could theoretically use no gas at all, simply electric power! What could be better than that?
2018 Hyundai Ioniq hybrid: Priced from: $24,299 – $36,499.