Hyundai IONIQ Electric First Drive Review

OCT 7 2016 BY MARK KANE 35

Hyundai IONIQ Electric Marina Blue

Hyundai IONIQ Electric Marina Blue

The Hyundai IONIQ Electric has now taken a bow in UK, so we can now note the early test drive returns on the all-electric model.

According to Autocar, excitement isn’t the strong suit of the IONIQ Electric, but it’s still a decent car with relatively quick acceleration, excellent for city use with its smooth power delivery.

The quiet electric motor (as found in all other BEVs) does however reveal some background noise penetrating into the cabin –road roar and wind noise at speed, so perhaps not enough attention was given to insulating the plug-in version over the straight hybrid by Hyundai.

The brakes also don’t appeal to Autocar, as responsiveness seems to be an issue.

Initial response is very sharp, but it feels like you need to push the pedal a long way further to get any meaningful stopping power”

The driving experience suggests that IONIQ Electric is positioned for normal driving, but without a sporty feel:

“Hyundai suggests that the Ioniq Electric should offer decent driving dynamics. The truth is that while it isn’t bad, it’s not going to set pulses racing. The steering has reasonable weight to it, but it’s vague around the straight-ahead and never communicates what the front wheels are doing.

There’s not a great deal of body roll, but it doesn’t take much to get the nose of the Ionic running wide; blame the low-resistance tyres for that. Pitch the car into a corner harder and you can tell the weight balance of the car is more even than that of a front-engined, front wheel-drive hatch, though.

Even so, this is a car that’s much happier being driven well within its limits. That might not be good for enthusiastic driving, but it’ll certainly help eke out the most range possible from the battery pack. With this in mind, we would have liked more compliance from the suspension at urban speeds. It’s not uncomfortable, but it is on the firm side when dealing with crumbling blacktop. Things do settle down at motorway speeds, though.”

Hyundai IONIQ Electric Marina Blue

Hyundai IONIQ Electric Marina Blue

Interior quality, rear space and trunk capacity were all were appreciated and given thumbs up.

Autocar says the new IONIQ Electric is worthy to consider against the current Nissan LEAF and BMW i3.

The price in UK  on the all-electric Hyundai is £28,995 (£24,495 after £4500 plug-in car grant) or $36,917 is US dollars (but as always dollars and pounds don’t convert when you are talking autos, expect a MSRP much less in the US).

Quick specs IONIQ Electric:

  • 28 kWh battery optimistic 155 miles/250 km on NEDC standard (EPA estimated at 110 miles/177 km)
  • 88 kW (120 PS) electric motor with 295 Nm of torque
  • 165 km/h (102 mph) top speed
  • 0-60 km/h (37 mph) in 4.5 seconds
  • 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 9.9 seconds
  • 6.6 kW on-board charger
  • DC fast charging up to 80% in 33 minutes at 50 kW or 24 minutes at 100 kW (CCS/J1772 Combo)

source: Autocar

Categories: Hyundai, Test Drives

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35 Comments on "Hyundai IONIQ Electric First Drive Review"

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At that price, with these specs, looks & build quality, this thing is going to tank !

I agree.

The Bolt is going to blow this IONIQ into the weeds. It has twice the range and much better performance, for roughly the same price. It looks like the IONIQ was designed to compete with the old LEAF, not the new Bolt or Model 3. That’s a huge mistake.

It is great to see Hyundai put out an EV and I hope they will improve it rapidly.

Does not sound good – mushy brakes, dead on-center steering, no road feel in steering, excessive wind noise, and a suspension without enough travel.

Reads like a car rushed into production. I hope the Kia Niro is better than this.

90% of the buying public doesn’t care or notice how a car rides or drives.

I once replaced the struts on a girlfriends car without telling her because it rode so awful, I also upgraded the sway bars and sway bar mounts.

I thought the difference would be impossible not to notice!

I waited a week before I told her what I did…she honestly had now idea.

If the price is right, and it has a Heater, AC, a decent radio, and can be had in the right color, they’ll sell.

Sounds like You could have taken the tires off the wheels & she wouldn’t have either … l m a o…Some people Just don’t care..


When I see people driving around with 1 tire at less than 10 PSI, I keep wondering how it is that they can’t tell just by how it drives.

Then I remind myself that it is hard to notice while you are busy talking on the phone…

Yes. Sounds like a disappointment
Kia Soul EV from same family (Kia Hyundai) is a proven winner and would be better choice

The Ioniq, Leaf, i3 and refreshed Ford Focus Electric will have similar specs in 2017, DCFC capabilities and 100+ mile rated range. With the addition of the longer range Bolt and M3, 2017 should be a very strong and interesting year for EVs.

Dont forget the eGolf that will get upgraded range and go on sale nationwide…
Will the FFE and the Ioniq be sold and stocked nationwide??
It wont be that interesting if there is not at least a minor price war with the 100 miler EVs because I think they are all over priced especialy after Toyota said 100 mile EVs are cheaper to make than hybrids…
That statement probably refers to the Prius so 25k should probably be a good starting price for 100 milers…
Nissan easly knocking 5k off the price of Leafs is also a testament to that…

The FFE already sells in Texas and Hyundai sells well in Texas so I would expect the Ioniq to sell here. The e-Golf has never sold in Texas and I’m not holding my breath until they do.

Ford does sell the FFE nationwide but it is a rather hollow gesture since they generally do not stock it in store and the reason they average less than 100 sales a month…
Meanwhile the eGolf only sold in CA and or CARB states is averaging 300 to 500 sales a month and it was announced last week that they will sell them nationwide…

There are no guarentees with EV car sales and Hyundais sister company Kia only sells the EV Soul in CARB states…

Wow compared to the Bolt this interior looks like a hot mess.

That matte gray front grille……yuck.

Might look better with a black or silver paint job. Maybe.

A Prius copy. Bad idea when Prius sales are tanking. I like Hyundai, but they seriously screwed up here.

How did this car end up doing? I assume this article is from 2013.

An uninspiring car with middle of the pack range and a high sticker price. Given that the market for EVs isn’t red hot, I am guessing this will not well well. Better luck next time.

$36,000?? Sorry but sounds like another Cadillac ELR sales disaster although the caddy was nice looking and quiet.

Uh, you’re aware that cars in the UK are much more expensive than in the US, and that that was simply the UK price converted to US$?

There’s no announced US price yet… InsideEVs estimated the US price would be ~$30K before incentives, which doesn’t sound too bad — this is a midsize, not a compact.

I was not aware that they cost more, I was simply looking at their conversion. But for a car that has not his american roads yet, 110 miles just seems like a weak attempt. I’d rather they launch the hybrid and plugin and wait until they can get a range that won’t be dated as soon as it’s launched. Just my opinion.

Hit the roads, not his 🙂

Just reminder to all of you nay sayers on Hyundai, Hyundai came out of nowhere and developed a very competitive product line. I’ve never been a big fan of Hyundai but I’m routinely surprised by the amount of market penetration they achieved. The Ioniq has several things going for it like a faster charging speed and Adaptive Cruise Control, don’t be surprised if Ioniq gives established EV models a run for their money.

Take a gourmand to any restaurant and the food “analysis” will be detailed are painful while thousands enjoy the “food experience” rather well. The gen 1 VW bug sold millions and was not a good car and had a 30 something hp engine. All new technology can be difficult to evaluate and expensive. This offering shall be, or not, accepted on its technical merits but on “value” as that is defined in the many socio-economic levels. We shall see. As the Paris car show indicates, EV’s are the important technology and in three years the changes shall amaze us. A 100 mile EV should sell for $22,000 and a 200 mile EV for $30,000 to be competitive with ICE vehicles plus charging stations need to be in parking/workplace parking by huge numbers, huge numbers.

Thanks for the heads up Inside EV, so that I can cross this one off of my list and take it off of my radar of potential replacements for my EV next year.

So you make a decision based on _one_ review, and a brief summary one at that? Very reasonable (NOT).

There are several more reviews out, that are more detailed. Just Google for them, and better yet, wait until you can actually test-drive the car…

28kwh battery , $36,917, and every other spec listed makes it non-compelling. Test driving won’t solve those problems.

Don’t you actually read the article or previous comments? There’s no US price yet. $36K is the pre-incentive UK price.
The US price is likely to me much less (InsideEVs estimates $30K _before_ incentives, so $22.5K after the Federal)
It’s also a mid-size, not compact or subcompact, so not really comparable with the smaller size-class cars.

Okay do your own research Hyundai fanboy/employee. Take an currently existing equivalent model Hyundai in the U.K and one in the US and you can figure that your $29k GBP to $30k USD price is bogus.

Perhaps Hyundai followed Toyota a little too closely in the non-performance aspects of the Prius when they designed the Ionic series.

This is helpful data: “DC fast charging up to 80% in 33 minutes at 50 kW or 24 minutes at 100 kW (CCS/J1772 Combo)”

100kW is not twice as fast as 50kW, as many people seem to think. The effective speed is only 27% faster, which is a result of charge tapering on the 28kW battery.

What a shame, I thought this car would be my first foray into EVs.

I’ll have to test drive one and see how much I can concede on steering and suspension.

Maybe I’m stuck in 2013, but I followed the link to the webpage and read the whole story, and I didn’t think the review sounded that bad. It was your basic review I would expect for any Leaf from any British Petrol-head ICE car magazine.

It’s not like a Coda review, or anything. Maybe I just have too low of expectations.

This is over priced, the spec is fine but the price screams disinterested in selling EV’s. I think the 30 kWh leaf is a better option for about the same price. Either they need to make the car better (more range or performance) or cheaper. This is an ok car for a premium price.