Driving Notes

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric

May 23, 2017

by Amy Winter-Hercher - Also by this author

Photo by Vince Taroc.
Photo by Vince Taroc.

Hyundai’s Ioniq Electric makes its arrival as part of Hyundai’s new electrified lineup in 2017. This battery-electric mid-size sedan is Hyundai’s first fully electric vehicle.

I had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the Ioniq Electric’s Limited model. With my long work commute, I was concerned about making it home and then back to the office on one charge. Because the Ioniq gets 124 miles on a full charge and 136 MPGe in combined driving cycles (city/highway), I was able to drive roundtrip and run some errands in between — without having to worry about recharging the battery.

This puts the Ioniq at the front of the second tier of EVs, right behind Tesla and the Bolt EV. A full charge can be reached via a level 2 charge (220/240 volts) in about four hours and 25 minutes.

At 176 inches in length, the Ioniq Electric is one of the larger electric vehicles. It is spacious inside for a sedan with plenty of legroom (42.2 inches in the front seat and 35.7 inches in the back). The cargo area features 23.8 cubic feet. And with the 60/40 split-folding rear seatback, you can get even more room for carrying cargo.

Use of aluminum and high-strength steel creates a lighter weight vehicle. Designed on the same platform as the Ioniq hybrid model, less weight leads to better battery range. As I was driving on the freeway, I noticed how quiet it was inside the cabin. Sound absorbing materials above the rear wheel and thicker glass for the front windows help create a quieter cabin.

Photo by Vince Taroc.
Photo by Vince Taroc.

The interior features an 8-inch touchscreen with audio and navigation data. The center console also contains the buttons to shift into park, drive, reverse, and neutral. The driver can adjust regenerative braking strength by using two paddles located on the steering wheel.

The Limited model includes upgraded interior features such as wireless phone charging, leather seating, and heated front seats. Exterior features include dual power-folding side mirrors and LED headlights. Both the Base and Limited models come with 16-inch wheels.

I was impressed with the Ioniq’s delivery of power. Powered by a 28-kWh lithium-ion battery, the 88-kW electric motor produces 118 horsepower and 215 pound-feet of torque. I could really feel the power when I switched from Eco drive mode to Sport drive. In addition to showing the current battery charge, the vehicle’s instrument panel also displays the operational mode you're using.

The Ioniq offers several technology and safety features. On the Limited model, safety standards include blind spot detection, rear cross traffic alert, and lane change assist. Optional features include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian braking, lane departure warning, smart cruise control with stop/start, and headlights with dynamic bending light.

The 2017 Ioniq Electric is currently only available to California residents. The base model starts at $29,500 while the higher trim Limited retails at $32,500.

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Amy Winter-Hercher

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Amy is an associate editor for Auto Rental News and Business Fleet.

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