Hyundai IONIQ Electric – Why Buy? Video


Affordable and easy to live with, the Hyundai Ioniq enters the EV segment.

– Detroit, Michigan

Hyundai’s big push into the green-car space is called Ioniq. But rather than pick just one alternative-fuel powertrain, Hyundai has chosen three: Buyers can pick from a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid, and a full-electric drivetrain. The Hyundai Ioniq Electric, which we’re putting through the wringer here, joins a segment that has an increasing number of new models each vying for eco-conscious buyers’ attention.

Hyundai IONIQ Electric Specs

The Ioniq is easy to live with, looking like and driving like a regular gas-powered car, and very affordable, undercutting most of its competition. Driving range and battery size ratings are hugely important to EV shoppers, and the Ioniq Electric puts up impressive figures on both fronts. But is it quite enough to sway newcomers to try electric motoring?

To find it, we plugged in and charged up the Hyundai Ioniq Electric before subjecting it to our rigorous test regime. See how it fares – and how it stacks up to the Chevy Bolt EV – in our latest Why Buy? segment.

Editor’s Note:  This review comes via our partner site – Motor1.

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59 Comments on "Hyundai IONIQ Electric – Why Buy? Video"

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It’s really a shame they have underpowered motor. If it came with 150 HP, it could be competitive against gassers of similar price ($21K in CA) like Chevy Cruze hatch and Honda Civic.

I like this cars efficiency (28kWh) battery, over the Nissan Leaf with (30kWh) battery. The unlimited mile Hyundai Lease Deal, makes this car a terrific value driver for those who put on over 20 k miles a year. Hard to beat on cost per unlimited miles!

I agree, cost is better than those gassers when you include unlimited miles. But lack of power is a sticking point. Just a bit more, and Ioniq would’ve dominated on all points. This is important when it goes to used car market when there’s no unlimited miles thing.

What’s so great about the unlimited miles? You still have to pay, you just pay up front.

What’s wrong with pay as you go?

With unlimited miles, overall cost could be cheaper than comparable MSRP cars like Cruze and Civic. Whether that’s “great” is debatable, market (sales figure) will tell.

Now if Ioniq has 160 HP motor and didn’t have any miles pre-paid, it’d be an excellent car that’s above all cars in its price range of $22K.

With unlimited people can carpool and save a bundle.

Or become Uber Drivers!

Quite a mark for a recovering economy, people become taxi drivers and rent out rooms.

Yep. The desperation economy as Bill Maher calls it.

Electric motors are more about torque than HP, and don’t forget how light the Ioniq is compared to the competition. These things combined make the Ioniq EV do 0-60MPH in 8.1 seconds according to Motortrend:

8.1 sec is like the old now-discontinued FitEV. Sure, it’s better than Leaf, but that’s not saying much when it lags even 2014 SparkEV. I hope they do better next time, because it does have potential.

I suppose it depends on your expectations. What do you consider acceptably fast, considering public roads are not a race track? If you desire 7 seconds or less to 60MPH, the Ioniq won’t cut it. If you want a peppy, exceptionally efficient & affordable ride, the Ioniq will.

My bar is SparkEV, so 7.2 sec or quicker in 0-60 is good. That can probably be achieved if the motor makes 150 to 160 HP.

Maybe I’m just older than you but I recall my parents cars when I was a kid taking around 10 seconds. I just looked it up and sure enough our old Accord was 9.7 seconds.

This car is plenty fast for most people.

I’ll take the efficiency over the ability to go 0 to 60 quick any day.

With EV, you can have both efficiency AND power. Upping the power bit more wouldn’t have sacrificed efficiency as you can tell from Bolt’s 200 HP being even more efficient than less powerful 33 kWh BMW i3.

If it had the same 0-60 as the Spark, you’d find something else to complain about. Your obsession with the Spark is irritating.

Have you test driven the Ioniq? (I have not. I sat in, and looked over the Spark EV carefully) I’ll bet Ioniq the seats are more comfortable, the ride is nicer, and it certainly looks better than the Spark. It also has better quality interior as shown in the video.

I’m glad you love your Spark, but you are obsessed….IMHO of course.

Besides being underpowered and low headroom in rear seats, Ioniq is pretty good, especially the attractive pricing and decent range.

Annoyed or not, SparkEV is the benchmark I set for EV. I’m annoyed why people settle for less and pay more money, especially when it comes to power, just because it’s EV.

I sat in the rear of one and I was pleasantly surprised. I’m 5´-10″ and I had space over my head. In general the car is bigger than I expected, and very nice. I thought it would be smaller.

That isn’t always correct and a lot of times it’s wrong. A higher rated electrical motor, along with batteries with a chemistry to back it up would likely be less efficient. There are fine lines and I’m willing to bet that the guys at Hyundai whose goal was to make this the most efficient car out there know more about it than you.

We’re not talking about double or triple the power. Considering Bolt with double the power, weighs 15% more, 25% worse Cd gets within 12% of Ioniq MPGe, bumping up to 150 HP wouldn’t have made much difference with proper engineering. If Hyundai couldn’t get any better power and efficiency, it’s probably the case of Hyundai engineers not as good as GM engineers.

I suspect the reason isn’t engineering, but cost; it does cost few bucks more for more power. Still, I wouldn’t have minded extra $1K for bragging right to being the most efficient car in the world that is also the quickest car in the world of comparable price, title that only SparkEV and Tesla Ludicrous can claim (for now).

Forgot to add “almost” in “double the power”, obviously not quite double.

As an entry-level price (not as-tested), I think some people are going to spend the additional $8500 for a base GM Bolt or $6000 for a base Tesla Model III. However it is price-competitive with the Nissan Leaf for 2017. It defeats the range of the VW e-Golf easily for a 5% increase in MSRP. Since this is a new foray for Hyundai in general, the $7500 tax credit makes this a far more affordable car.

What I think will be particularly interesting in the future will be the games manufacturers in the US will play to optimize that tax credit rule. Hyundai has probably a decade before they hit 200,000 units sold in the US!

It actually has one LESS mile of range than the e-Golf.

It goes further than egolf on the highway due to the shape and it charges WAY faster. Ioniq is an amazing thing for the price, you have to try it to believe it..

Given its efficiency numbers and its battery capacity it surely does worse on the highway than the eGolf.

Its combined efficiency figure is 14% better than the eGolf, about enough to make up for its 11% smaller battery. But its highway efficiency figure is only 10% better than the eGolf. So it surely has a shorter highway range than the (current) eGolf. Conversely it certainly has a longer city range then the eGolf.

~$7500 is quite a bit more to spend for a Bolt if you don’t need the extra range. The Ioniq has more cargo space, charges faster & has a better set of warranties to boot.

The 2017 eGolf does come in at 1 more mile EPA, but less efficiently so. This means the eGolf will charge relatively slower than the Ioniq.

I think I would pick this over a Nissan Leaf or e-Golf.

Does Ioniq have active battery thermal management? Leaf and eGolf do not.

The Ioniq has an active cooling system using air from the cabin. It is better than the eGolf & Leaf, but not as good as a liquid cooling system like the Bolt & Tesla lineup.

As a eGolf owner I agree with you, David. This car is much more efficient.

118HP and 120 miles. I guess it isn’t as much competition for the Bolt EV as I thought. It does offer a sedan shape though and that’ll bring in some more buyers.

But still, the more good EVs the better and this one seems like a good addition.

Hyundai has done a great job with efficiency on this and the hybrid (IONIQ Blue Hybrid). Its a bit of a bummer the plug-in hybrid comes so much later because it seems like it’ll likely be a winner too.

I don’t completely understand the comparisons with the Bolt. The Bolt’s MSRP comparably equipped starts $8000 more. Those who do not need the extra range will happily save that kind of money.

Yes, the Bolt is much faster. The Ioniq is no slouch though — it can get off the line quick enough & more frugally so. Motortrend clocked it at 8.1 seconds @ 0-60MPH:

Actually, the Bolt doesn’t have adaptive cruise available at any price level, so the Ioniq actually is actually equipped a little better, at least for those looking for that option.

Big battery is partly overrated. Ioniq does 300 mile drives almost as fast as a gas car really. Sure it does not go 300 miles on single charge, but 20min stops every 2h are pretty OK.

It can’t quite do the trip you describe. It can neither drive 2 hours at highway speeds (it can’t go 120 miles at highway speeds) nor can it replenish its whole range in 20 minutes.

With the quick charge capabilities it perhaps could replenish 80% of its range in 20 minutes. The rest will charge much slower. 80% will be under 90 miles highway range, probably noticeably less given most don’t wish to arrive at the charger with 0 miles remaining. So you’re looking at 20 minutes every 80 miles or so, given optimal charger placement.

For a 300 mile trip starting from an overnight AC charge you’d go about 110 miles (110 mins), then stop for 20 minutes, then another 80 miles (80 mins), then stop for 20 minutes. Then another 80 miles (80 mins), then stop for about 10 minutes. Then the final 30 miles (30 mins).

300 miles in 110+20+80+20+80+10+30 or 350 minutes with 3 stops. You might want to add a little more charging time if you don’t wish to arrive at your final destination with 0 miles remaining. 50 minutes added to what was already a 5 hour journey isn’t too bad.

Now you’re Lucky!
Because, it might be doable.

From 10% to 84% in 20 minutes, although you need more than 50 kW DCFC.

It does fade off after slightly over 82% but still very fast.
Only 10 minutes more to get to 94% from 80%

Hyundai says 20 minutes to 80%. Not to 100%. You think Hyundai is wrong?

You know how fast charging works. You can’t go full speed all the way to 100%. The charger has to slow down because the maximum voltage limit on the pack is reached before you reach 100%.

The charge rate to 80% is very fast for a pack of this size. But nonetheless you are not going to get to 100% in 20 minutes. The video even shows this. For minimum time spent charging you should stop at 80%. Charging beyond that is only advantageous you can’t reach the next charger (or your destination) with less.

I am just noticing that it would probably be worth to add 10 more minutes, 30 minutes total charging time, to get to 94%.

It’s is a very impressive charging rate.

160 miles is possible with ioniq. I have it and i love it. Living in the land of EVs/Norway.

Still not available in Canada. I wonder, what is taking so long!

It is! Strange, as I was on their notification mailing list, and never got anything.

2017 IONIQ Electric SE
Starting At
Price after taxes: $41,970.88

The Hybrid is $25,000 starting.

Canada will probably see it before Pennsylvania.

I am happy to hear that the Ioniq Electric has coasting by default, and the switches for 3 levels of regen, on the back of the steering wheel seem very usable.

So to compare to my eGolf this car has a increased battery by 17% but delivers a range increase of 50%…for a slightly cheaper price.
I’m impressed!

The eGolf lists total battery capacity, not usable. The Ioniq has a 28kWh usable battery. Total capacity is likely around 31.1kWh. The first eGolf only had around 21kWh usable capacity.

That i did not know….will have to redo the math when numbers come in. I was under the impression that the eGolf had 22kWh usable…

I have a 2015 eGolf… it is somewhere in the 21kWh-22kWh usable range… VW doesn’t advertise what it is actually suppose to be like the Ioniq.

Ioniq has not only the higher 124 mile range, but also 120 cu. ft. which is 5 more than Leaf.
And its priced affordably at $29,500 which is nearly $1,000 less than Leaf.
FFE has very little trunk space while eGolf 2017 is not in the market.

If you are planning to buy an EV, just go for Ioniq, unless you are waiting for Model-3 or ready to pay another $7.5 K for Bolt.

Assuming you’re in a CARB state.

Because this baby is a 100% compliance car.

If you aren’t in a CARB state you probably have to get a Leaf, wait a little bit longer for a Bolt or wait a lot longer for a Model 3. Some non-CARB areas also have BMW i3 RExes available.

It’s amazing how narrow the choice of EVs is outside CARB states (and Washington) compared to in CARB states.

Interestingly, here in Pennsylvania, I finally saw my first Leaf about two months ago.
Now, I’ve seen about a half dozen.

Somehow, as much as I may want one, I won’t see an IONIC on a dealership floor for quite some time.

Steve: Not sure where in PA you live, but here in suburban Philly I see LEAF’s every day. More Volts(and even Tesla’s)but I do see them. But, I agree, we are unlikely to ever see an Ioniq EV anywhere in PA. Too bad, because I think I’d buy one.

I didn’t see or hear you mention the Lifetime battery warranty. Granted it’s just for the 1st owner but that is an industry 1st.
The Hybrid IONIQ also has the industry 1st Lithium starter battery, NO MORE LEAD!
It’s an amazing Electric and the most efficient of any hybrid, plugin Hybrid and Full electric.
I want one but already have a Tesla model 3 on order due in July.

I am just noticing that it would probably be worth to add 10 more minutes, 30 minutes total charging time, to get to 94%.

It’s is a very impressive charging rate.

Hyundai appears to have done a great job with this car. To seize the efficiency championship from the Prius is a heck of an accomplishment!

I think the balance of power and efficiency is perfect on this car. 8.1 sec 0-60 is very good, plenty to get out ahead of traffic at the light if you want, or to merge or pass on the highway with confidence. For an economy car, the acceleration is great.

Looks like a great car – and I agree with the majority here that the car has sufficient oompf.

(I never need the Power of the BOLT ev, but then a slight side benefit is the gearbox will never wear out for me – at least not for exceeding its stress rating).

The price is attractive – but If I’m buying a pure EV I want a vehicle that will do 300 miles in city traffic, as for instance my Bolt.

One of the joys of a BEV is just being able to take a drive on a lark. I want to be able to go somewhere, and my area has very very few public docking stations. Its a pain to constantly stop anyways.

Isn’t the 2018 model supposed to be 200 miles? I was going to by ioniq but the 2017 will lose all value if the 2018 almost double range. Did Hyundai say they will offer the ability to upgrade the battery like BMW i3 did? If do I will buy this week

M3 - reserved Niro - TBD

We’re up on our SparkEV next year too and trying to find an upgraded crossover/hatchback and really looking forward to the 2018 Niro EV. While the engine is Meh, it still outpaces our CR-V and will hopefully have the space in the trunk for the dog.

Bolt was nice, but just a bit too small. 150miles is our sweet spot for the city hauler/weekender.

Great review on the Ioniq EV; has the info we were looking for to comp.

Don’t knock the Spark. It’s a great little pocket rocket. Bolt built on that, but was just short on the cargo for our liking.