SEATTLE, February 11, 2018: It’s frankly no surprise just how well the Hybrid market has taken off ever since Toyota made it popular with the Prius. It was only a matter of time before other automakers threw their hats in the ring. The 2018 Hyundai Ioniq is the company’s first hybrid sedan and has a number of good things going for it.
Things like a best-in-class 100,000 mile / 10-year powertrain warranty, excellent fuel economy and price point. Starting at $22,000.00 for the base model (Blue), up to the limited model at $27,550.00, its competitive prices and its fuel economy place it squarely aimed at topping the Prius.
To achieve the rated fuel economy of 59 on the highway and 57 around town, the Ioniq has a 1.6 liter 4-cylinder with a rated output of only 139 combined horsepower (104hp engine output and 43hp electric drive output) at 5,700 rpm. Given the car’s vehicle weight of 2,996 pounds, it’s not too bad of a power to weight ratio but still makes you think there might be hamsters on a treadmill, under the hood.
For those of you paying attention, that’s a way of saying, it needs more power.
One of the better things about the Ioniq is its exterior styling. In contrast to other compact-sedan hybrids on the market, it’s actually a good-looking car. It’s not one of those “dopey-looking cars” which you’d be embarrassed to be seen driving.
Even though it still looks a bit pedestrian, it still has enough style to going for it to set it apart. The rear is still a tad funky with its high belt-line and rear hatch that still sits a bit high, visually.
Of course, for $22k, the interior isn’t anything fancy at all. You’ll find manually-adjustable front seats that have some good quality material on them with decent comfort. There’s many plastic finishes throughout but none that appear to be too cheesy.
We’d love to see more of an electronics presence and not the tiny little display screen included in the “Blue” trim level. Sure, you can upgrade to the Limited model and get a better infotainment center with a larger display but the base model could still do better.
Front legroom is excellent and rear legroom is simply okay, nothing spectacular. but that’s to be expected in most compact sedans out there. If you fold down the rear seats, there’s quite a bit of cargo space, making those trips for mass quantity necessities at Costco, easier.
The basic support for all variants of music input is available, including AM/FM/XM/MP3, WMA/CD and Bluetooth Audio as well. Don’t get too excited, however, as this basic audio system delivers very basic sound quality. There’s no good bass punch or smooth mids and highs as we’ve come to expect from the Harmon/Kardon/Infinity offerings we’ve seen in other Hyundai vehicles over the years.
Driving the Ioniq doesn’t exactly get the adrenaline pumping unless you’re in a hurry to pass someone. It’s performance, frankly, is rather dismal and will clearly not be a selling point here.
Where this car does deliver, however is fuel economy, comfort, style, price and powertrain warranty (best in class).
The Ioniq’s target demographic will be folks who ultimately want the economy of 59 miles per gallon and aren’t quite ready to make the leap, price, and inconvenience that comes with owning a car that’s fully electric.
At the end of the day, Hyundai has put out a very worthy competitor to the Prius that is sure to attract many buyers to do its lower price point, longer warranty and subjectively better looks. It’s far from perfect and there are many things we hope to see improve in the future, however, if you’re looking for great economy at an affordable price, this is your ticket.