Introducing the new Hyundai Ioniq

by Dan M | Posted on Saturday, September 9th, 2017

2017 IONIQ HEV

2017 IONIQ HEV

By David Goodspeed
autoworlddavid@yahoo.com

Somewhere between Iconic and Ironic in Wikipedia you will find
the Hyundai Ioniq. What the heck is Ioniq, you ask? This is the new
hybrid vehicle from Korean automaker, Hyundai, that will give the
iconic Prius a real run for its money.
A couple of months ago I brought you my first review of the
all-new Kia Niro hybrid crossover. Niro is basically the same vehicle
underneath as the Ioniq as they share corporate technology. That is
where the similarities end as Hyundai chose to give its new hybrid
more of a hatchback styling – quite similar to that of the Toyota
Prius and resembling the second coming of the once-again-discontinued
Honda Insight hybrid.
Hyundai will offer Ioniq in traditional gasoline/electric hybrid
format as well as a plug-in hybrid version and a totally electric
model as well. We recently spent the week behind the wheel of the 2017
Ioniq Hybrid Limited.
Ioniq is a unibody compact platform with front-wheel drive and
seats up to five. As mentioned, it most closely resembles a
hatchback…. and since the Lithium-Ion battery pack that powers the
electric motor is stowed beneath the rear seat there is ample cargo
space in the rear of the vehicle.
At the heart of the propulsion system is the 1.6-liter
direct-injected four-cylinder gas engine that is mated to a 32 kW
permanent magnet synchronous electric motor for a total system output
of 139hp. Most may think this is short on power given where the market
is today in peppy little engines but thanks to the characteristics of
a hybrid there is no shortage of takeoff power in the Ioniq. It can
even spin the front tires with little prodding.
The gas and electric motors are mated to Hyundai’s EcoShift dual
clutch six-speed automatic transmission for a more realistic driving
experience over the common use of a CVT here. And drivers can select
from Sport or Eco driving modes to match whatever mood they may be in
at the time. We found the powertrain combination to be quite appealing
with plenty of boost (thanks to the torquey electric motor) when we
called for it. Overall we found the driving experience to be fairly
quiet and smooth with only a little bit of road and tire noise.
While I personally prefer the design of the Kia Niro over the
Hyundai Ioniq, I will give credit to Hyundai designers for delivering
an attractive vehicle, both inside and out.
Ioniq also features all of the latest creature comforts the
automaker has to offer. You name it, this Limited package probably has
it – leather interior, 7-inch TFT instrument cluster display, 7-inch
color touchscreen infotainment display, satellite and HD radio,
Bluetooth connectivity, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility,
HID headlights, LED daytime running lights, power sunroof, and stylish
17-inch alloy wheels with all season tires.
There was an Ultimate package added on to this test vehicle that
included automatic emergency braking, smart cruise control, land
departure warning, rear parking sensors, navigation system that ups
the size of the color touchscreen to eight inches, Premium Infinity
audio system with Clari-Fi music restoration technology, and wireless
device charging.
Standard on all Hyundai Ioniq models is blind spot detection with
rear cross traffic alert, lane change assist, and rearview camera.
Pricing for the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid begins at $22,200 for a
base model dubbed Blue. There are also SEL and Limited trims
available. Pricing has been announced for Ioniq Electric models and
those start at $29,500 with an estimated EV range of 130 miles. Our
loaded tester came with a final window sticker of $31,460.
Fuel economy is rated at 57 mpg city / 59 mpg highway for Ioniq
Blue and 55 mpg city/54mpg highway for our Limited tester. The loss of
fuel mileage is directly related to the heft added by all the extra
goodies we enjoyed.
The new Hyundai Ioniq is real competition for the Prius and the
folks over at Toyota had better be ready to step up their game. I
still prefer the Kia Niro for my tastes but the great thing is there
are two different styles of vehicle now on the market that share the
same hybrid technology, giving consumers a real choice against the
iconic industry standard. Now if I can just get this Alanis Morissette
song out of my head…

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