Meet the Hyundai Ioniq: A Welcome Change In the Green Car Market.
Hyundai has always made a stylish car with an affordable price point. The same rings true for the all new Ioniq model. Offering not one but three models of the Ioniq, Hyundai has made it versatile for all green car owners. Last weekend in the mountains of Santa Barbara, California I had the chance to drive the Hybrid version and it certainly offers an all new outlook on hybrids.
Hyundai wanted to give the “other guys” in the market a run for their money. They thought, why can’t we have one model that can be versatile AND stylish at the same time. Having one car in three options allowed for Hyundai to keep the price point low and the functionality optimal.
One Car, Three Options: Hybrid, Plug-In or Plug-In Hybrid
This lets buyers have the car they want and then choose the fuel economy they want, too. The Ioniq is available in either a hybrid, the gas + battery that we’ve come to know, hybrid plug-in, the gas + battery + electric mode that has become popular, and a fully electric plug-in model. Here’s the scoop:
Hybrid: 58 MPG city/highway combined – how can you refuse the hybrid option?!? This model is available now for purchase in California and can be ordered at dealers outside California. This will likely be the most popular model as the battery power helps you go further per gallon and many consumers aren’t quite ready to commit to electric cars. I drove this car for two hours and the fuel gauge didn’t move. Geared more towards commuters looking to cut back on the cost of gas and emissions, the hybrid will be the top seller according to Hyundai’s Mike O’Brien.
Plug-In: The all electric model of the Ioniq will make its debut this spring. This will have a range of 110 miles on all electric. Ideal for city life, this electric will get you around town with ease. While the weather wasn’t cooperating during my time with the electric, I did get to take it around Santa Barbara for a bit.
Electric Plug-In Hybrid: This fall will see the third model released. The Ioniq plug-in hybrid has an EPA-estimated 136 MPGe rating, the highest efficiency rating of any electric hybrid vehicle sold in the U.S. market. What that means is you’ll get about 27 miles on the electric charge and then, the hybrid engine kicks in with 50+ MPG. I tried this car out in sport mode and it’s a quick car, but on the highway we drained the battery pretty quickly. This car is ideal for drivers who will drive less than 27 miles between charges and only use the gas engine for less frequent but longer drives. If you are ready for maximum efficiency, this will be the car for you!
Aerodynamic Body Offers More Than Just a Sleek Exterior
The body on the Ioniq is designed for less drag and more efficient airflow. In doing this, Hyundai was able to design a sleeker looking car with an aerodynamic front grill and rear spoiler. The aluminum and high strength steel used in the body of the car allow it to be lighter and allow for more MPG. While the design is that of a hatchback, the aerodynamics make it look like anything but. Hyundai wanted to stand out and give consumers a car that was nice on the eyes while being light on the wallet.
Advanced Safety & Multimedia Features
You never want to sacrifice safety for affordability and you don’t have to with the Ioniq. Offering wireless charging, navigation system and Apple Car Play, you won’t be distracted by what’s going on inside the car. The Ioniq can also be equipped with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, blind spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert in the non-base models.
With BlueLink , the app specifically for Hyundai owners you can monitor battery levels, find a spot to plug in and manage your vehicle all from your smartphone. And if you are an Amazon Echo user, you can ask Alexa to start the car, set the cabin temperature and a few other things via Bluelink, and you can do many of those things via your phone or smart watch, too. And even base model is equipped with BlueLink (though a subscription is required).
Lifetime Battery Warranty??? This Could Be The Decision Maker
Hyundai is offering an unprecedented LIFETIME warranty on the battery. You heard me, lifetime! Speaking of the battery, the Ioniq has a condensed 12 v battery that fits under the rear seat. Which means it takes up less room and you have more cargo space overall. Sort of not like feeling the squeeze of a hybrid battery at all, which has been in an issue in many hybrids in the past.
Luxe Interior For a Fraction of the Cost
Forget what you knew about hybrid cars. The Ioniq has blown that stereotype out of the water. This car doesn’t have the typical boxy hybrid feel, it has a sleek front dashboard with soft leather and clean lines. Oh and plenty of space! Offering heated front seats, a 7 inch color display monitor, sunroof and leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, the Ioniq feels more indulgent than ‘economical.’
2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid and Electric Pricing
The Hybrid model is available now and the electric model will be on the market soon; Hyundai hasn’t yet announced pricing for the plug-in hybrid but it will likely be somewhere between the two. And don’t forget, state and federal tax incentives may be available on the electric and plug-in hybrid models. Prices here don’t include the $895 delivery charge added to the price of each car.
- Ioniq Hybrid base model- $22,200
- Ioniq Hybrid SEL – $23,950
- Ioniq Hybrid Limited – $27,500
- Ioniq Electric base model- $29,500
- Ioniq Electric Limited – $32,500
Would I Buy the Ioniq?
Hyundai’s dedication to great design, affordability and now, rocking the green car market with the Ioniq is an attention-getter. But how did it drive? I had the chance to really test it out on rain-slicked roads on California and found that the control the Ioniq offered was great; I was confident and never worried, despite the rain and floods. I also found the Ioniq to be functional and roomy, with controls easy to reach and everything nicely arranged. The size of the car is perfect for my family of four, and even the back seat was roomy enough to be comfortable. While I live in a state that doesn’t fully support the green car movement just yet (help–I need a charger!) I would certainly consider the hybrid model.
The rain put a dent in my drive time with the plug in, though; I would need more drive time to really evaluate it. Again, the stinking rain. But the time I did have in the plug in was overall a great experience.
Oh, and did I mention I’ve NEVER driven a hybrid before? The Ioniq really made me think differently about them, and think, maybe I need one in my driveway!
Disclosure: I was Hyundai’s guest for the Ioniq test drive; Hyundai provided my travel, accommodations and answers to my questions. Opinions expressed here are all my own.