I recently received an email from the folks over at Hyundai asking if they could send me a car to test out for a week. My week with the IONIQ has just come to an end so I thought I’d get a post together letting you know the good and bad of Hyundai’s new hybrid model.
The model I was sent is the Premium SE model in the dazzling Marina Blue, this model is also the petrol hybrid, a fully electric version is also available. The hybrid market is pretty open right now, however with manufacturers like Ford, BMW and Range Rover all looking at expanding their hybrid offerings, the market looks set to become saturated. Because of this, it’s imperative to stand out…and boy does IONIQ’s unique design stand out from the rest.
Don’t get me wrong, IONIQ definitely has a Prius vibe to it, however the large grille and sleek lines makes IONIQ just that little bit more fun than its Toyota rival.
Driving - Pretty comfortable…
The IONIQ boasts a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox, which Hyundai are pretty bloody proud of, I have to say driving both long and short distances I didn't once notice the smooth change between the electric and petrol motors, both are super quiet and it goes like a rocket!
IONIQ also has regenerative brakes, which is a really nifty bit of tech. When braking or slowing the car down, the kinetic energy from the wheels is pushed back into the batteries that power the electric motor, there’s a screen option on the 8” touchscreen that allows you to see the flow of the energy and see which motor is driving the wheels.
A few other online reviews praised the car on its smooth suspension…I’d have to disagree, I found that the IONIQ found every bump and hole in the road and hit them with quite a bit of impact, drive wise when it comes to potholes, it’s far from smooth.
The car features adaptive cruise control, which once activated will keep the car at a set speed, slowing it down as the car in front slows.
When it comes to MPG, I was averaging around 58-60 when driving, using only a quarter of a tank of fuel in the whole week…and I gave it a pretty good test!
Interior - Modern, but not a space ship
I think many manufacturers feel the need to turn their hybrid and electric offerings into space-age design. Whilst they can certainly have a quirk, there’s no need to make it feel like you’re in control of a space shuttle!
IONIQ seems to quite like the colour blue, with accent stitching, air vent details and even a little notch taken out of the steering wheel. It looks great, and really matched the colour of car that I was sent, however I’d imagine it could look a bit funny on a different coloured vehicle.
It’s out with the old-style instrument cluster and in its place is a 7” digital display, to be honest you can really tell the difference, but it’s a nice touch. Other touches include an 8” touch screen display, it’s easy to use and functions with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, it’s definitely well connected! You can also forget plugging your phone in, the car boasts a wireless charging pad which sits neatly under the automatic temperature controls.
The seats are leather and can be both heated and cooled, perfect for the UK’s unpredictable weather! One thing I did note was some pretty plasticky surfaces which is a shame when the rest of the cabin is such high quality. If you’re tall then you wont find any issues with this car, there’s plenty of head space room in the front, and the back boasts a tonne of legroom.
Extras - These bits might surprise you!
IONIQ is absolutely jam packed with awesome features, they promised me a taste of the future and boy did they deliver. One of my favourite features only happens occasionally, simply chuck the car into reverse and the wing mirrors tilt, allowing you to see the curb better so you’re sure to ace parallel parking!
Okay, this one is a weird one. The handbrake took me a short while to find, and that’s because it’s actually in the floor where you’d usually find the clutch. Obviously this car being an auto, there’s no need for a clutch and to keep the dash area clean Hyundai opted for a foot-operated handbrake. It definitely took some getting used to, but by the end of the week…I think I was starting to prefer it!
The sound system is great, the car I was driving had the upgraded ‘Infinity’ sound system, perfect for a Carpool Karaoke-style commute!
Overall I’m a fan. I really didn't think I would be, and whilst it isn't the style of car I would usually opt for, I can totally see why it would be attractive. It is a little on the pricy side for what you get, the OTR price for this car was £23,995. The transition between petrol and electric is seamless, quiet and super smooth, Hyundai have a right to be proud about that dual clutch gearbox!
The car looks great, there’s a couple of bits I don't like, the split rest window has a spoiler in a really bad place, for my height it cuts right across where a car would be behind. It’s pretty comfortable, however that suspension would definitely cause me trouble on a long ride.
I’d definitely recommend giving it a go, Hyundai haven't reinvented the wheel for hybrid cars, but they’ve outclassed many of their competitor’s models, I give kudos to that.
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