Apart from the taxi industry, uptake of hybrid petrol/electric vehicles in Australia has been slow but is picking up thanks to huge efforts from Toyota.
It has all the fruit too including a super –efficient, direct injection, 1.6-litre petrol engine, lithium ion battery and a wide range of advanced driver assist technology.
Looks pretty good too, certainly not as whacky as some of the Toyotas.
I got hold of Ioniq Premium and reckon Hyundai could really be onto something particularly as it returns 3.9-litres/100km on regular unleaded. Drives well into the bargain.
About the same size as an Elantra sedan, Ioniq has its own look albeit with a family Hyundai flavour.
A large, multi bar grille with horizontal elements dominates at the front with neatly integrated LED daytime drivers under thin headlights to give an intense look to the face.
There’s a coupe-like arcing roofline over four doors and the rear end has high mounted light clusters and a split tail gate window that incorporates a rear wing of sorts.
The overall effect is fairly generic Hyundai but not unpleasant at all.
Like the outside, the inside is typical Hyundai … grey, functional and attractive with plenty of soft feel surfaces and a cockpit style driving area.
Leather is included on the Premium model which also gets a relatively high level of luxury kit…decent audio, multi-function wheel, paddle shifters and the full suite of infotainment and connectivity including hard wired SUNA sat-nav.
Rear seat legroom is adequate as is boot space. The Premium driven has a sunroof which I would delete if possible.
Seats for five are a decent size and the overall interior feel is fairly standard, upper spec’ Hyundai.
As this is the higher spec’ Ioniq Premium it doesn’t miss out on much.
While we don’t know the price as yet, if it comes in around the mid $30-35K mark, for the Premium, it represents excellent value for money given the goodies included like;
- Eco and Sport drive modes
- Radar cruise
- Rain sensing wipers
- Premium audio
- Hard-wired SUNA sat-nav
- Full size alloy spare
- Paddle shift
- Multi wheel controls
- Apple/Android streaming
Drive and Engine
Plenty of performance comes from the petrol/electric powertrain that runs a high tech, 1.6-litre, direct injection, petrol engine using efficiency enhancing Atkinson Cycle phasing hooked up to an electric boost motor.
The combined output is 104kW with a hearty 265Nm of torque on tap.
Drive is to the front wheels via a stepped, six-speed dual-clutch transmission offering a sequential shift mode.
A sporty ride is provided by the strut/multi-link suspension coupled with quickish steering and powerful brakes that have a regenerative function boosting the battery.
The engine passes EU5 and is capable of returning 3.9-litres/100km – quite remarkable.
After driving Ioniq for an hour or so, the range meter still said 920km. Wow, like that.
It smooth and quiet and has plenty of acceleration off the mark and on the move.
Better than a diesel?
Have to say yes.
Ioniq isn’t rated because it’s not available yet but given the level of advanced driver assist features and the fact that it’s been available in the US for 18 months, Ioniq should get a five star ANCAP rating when it’s crash tested.
Built on a “unique” platform, the car feels solid and stable on the road and benefits from the use of high tech materials in the manufacturing process.
Driver assist kit includes autonomous emergency braking, lane keeping and lane watch, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, park assist and plenty more.
- Astonishing fuel economy
- Impressive performance
- High levels of luxury and safety features
- Should be affordable
- 5-year/unlimited km warranty
- Innocuous styling
- Full size spare
- Roomy cabin
Not So Good Bits
- Weighty at around 1400kg
- Don’t know where price will be pitched
- Brakes bite hard with light pressure
- Superfluous sunroof
Facts and Figures: 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Premium
- Engine: 1.6L four-cylinder hybrid producing 104kW/265Nm
- Transmission: Six-speed DCT auto
- Warranty: 5 years/ unlimited km
- Safety: Not tested
- Origin: South Korea