Hyundai Ioniq Electric
What is it?
The zero emission Hyundai Ioniq Electric is an interesting member of the new Hyundai Ioniq range which is available in three electrified versions – a world first – with this the all-electric version. The others being the petrol-electric hybrid we’ve also driven and a plug-in hybrid electric version that’s expected next year.
The Ioniq is a key part of the Korean manufacturer’s plan to offer 28 ‘eco-friendly’ models by 2020.
The hybrid version impressed us when we got behind the wheel – see Hyundai takes the hybrid fight to Toyota. But what do we make of the full-electric version?
The 28kWh electric motor produces the equivalent of 119bhp and it’s torquy too – boasting 295Nm. Yet despite all this power, Hyundai claim a 174-mile electric range, plus an 80% recharge in just 33 minutes. It certainly feels quick accelerating from standstill – 62mph comes up in just 10.2 seconds. Swap into sport mode and the Ionic Electric accelerates faster still – chopping almost a second off the acceleration, plus you can experience the full fat 295Nm of torque.
Of more interest to business buyers is the 7% tax band.
Like the Ioniq HEV, the all-electric version is best described as competent rather than exciting. Despite the extra weight of the battery pack, because it is mounted so far down, body control remains impressive – with body roll kept in check. The ride also remains impressively refined and relaxed.
The Ioniq looks like its hybrid sister car, so is best summed up as sharp and modern enough to go with the drivetrain. Aerodynamics appear to have shaped the nose of this Hyundai, with the electric version getting its own even sleeker sealed silver version of the Hyundai family grille – which extends back to under the distinctive headlights. The cut outs for the band of LED lights that form the driving lights remain. The side of the Ioniq is equally interesting, with sharp flanks and stand out wheel arches. Plus the coupe-like curvy roofline. At the back, you’ll spot the Ioniq by high-set rear lights and split glass tailgate.
Hyundai Ioniq ElectricHigh-end interior
Inside, the Ioniq impresses with the modern design and quality detailing. Even the touch-screen infotainment has a pleasingly high-end feel. This Hyundai hatch feels pleasingly spacious too, with a 350 litre boot.
It is offered with an good level of clever technology, such as Blind Spot Detection.
Specification levels are typically Hyundai impressive, considering the affordable prices – even the range-topping £30,795 Electric Premium SE features high-end kit including leather heated/ventilated seats, the seven-inch infotainment display and specific 16-inch alloys.
The industry-leading five-year unlimited warranty gives confidence, along with an additional eight-year 125,000-mile battery cover.
The Ioniq Electric might be undemanding to drive and refined, but fun sadly isn’t part of the deal. The biggest problem again is the steering which is overlight, feels particularly dead around the straight ahead and has a weird springy self-centering action. It’s at its worst in Eco mode where it’s hard to tell where the connection is between the steering wheel and wheels!
This Hyundai Ioniq Electric has the same coupe-like roofline as the hybrid, which plays havoc with the interior headroom. At the front, our test car was fitted with an electric sunroof – taller drivers’ heads will be brushing the headlining. Things sadly don’t get any better at the back for taller passengers either.
Is it us or does the shape still look too familiar to the Chevrolet Volt/Vauxhall Ampera?
Visibility is generally good, but that split rear tailgate really compromises the view out of the back.
Verdict on Hyundai Ioniq Electric Premium Auto
Like the hybrid version, the Ioniq Electric is okay to drive, has modern styling inside and out and is well made. In fact the biggest complement and where the Electric version will win buyers, is in how normal it is to drive and the excellent range.
However, there’s still a questionmark over the range anxiety.