Now, A Global Player In About 40 Years
Hyundai is on the march on many fronts: While creating a new, luxury brand, Genesis, (see our previous two posts) the Koreans never stop improving the main brand, in every aspect and fill all the gaps on the market. Was it the subcompact SUV, the Kona before, now the Ioniq, a direct competitor to Prius Prime is on the market as a plug-in hybrid (PHEV)
If plugging-in is not a problem for you, but still cannot rely on a fully-electric vehicle, especially because of range anxiety, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, or PHEV may be what you are looking for. At times, you may run entirely on gas, if you are away from the electric network.
If you can live with a range of less than 50 kilometers in your daily commute, this car is capable of offering a full-electric drive for less than the price of a full-electric vehicle.
Hyundai sells two options for PHEV. The base SE trim costs $31,999, while our tester, the Limited, has a MSRP of $36,499. Both models are eligible for electric vehicle rebates; Doug Ford will soon kill Ontario’s generous subsidies that give you a rebate up to $7,000.
The plug-in has a 1.6-litre gasoline engine that generates 104 horsepower and 109 lb.-ft. of torque. In its combined operation mode, with the gas and electric motors working together, you get up to 164 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque. With its continuously-variable transmission, the Ioniq sends its power to the front wheels through a six-speed dual-clutch automatic unit.
Charging it for about two and a half hours on a 240-volt charger – or some eight to nine hours on a regular 110-volt outlet – you get about 47 kilometers of gas-free range. This is slightly more than Toyota’s Prius Prime, its main competitor.
Obviously, this range is average and will change depending on your driving style and conditions. As with any hybrid, the regenerative braking system feeds power back into the battery as you drive, but you have to plug it back in again to get that initial full charge.
Nicely, a button on the console allows you flip between hybrid and electric operation – switch to hybrid on the highway, and then use the stored charge when you exit onto city streets. Acceleration is leisurely on the electric motor alone, and the gasoline engine soon kicks in if you demand more power or if you turn up the cabin heat. I had to get rid of the heat test since it was above 20 degrees in the most beautiful days of September. Unfortunately during my test week, I had limited options for plugging-in and reached an average of of 5.6 liters.
This is a mature and well-built car no matter what driving mode you are in. The steering is sharp enough and turning circle is tight thus making manoeuvring easier.
Both trim levels feature heated seats fore and aft, along with a heated steering wheel. Those chew up battery power, but the necessary evils in a winter country like Canada.
Design And Interior
The design is more “fluid” and “easy to get-used-to” compared to the fancier design language of a Prius. The front seats are comfortable, while the rear seats are just OK in this class. The hybrid battery is at the back, but packaged in such a way that there’s still a decent amount of cargo space, albeit with a fairly high lift-over to get your groceries into the trunk. The rear seats fold down to handle longer cargo. The materials and workmanship inside is comparable to the best of non-luxury class.
The Ioniq PHEV offers good value of money. This car will make more sense with daily commutes of up to 50 kilometers within the city. You have to anallyse and calculate your driving patterns.
Hyundai is on the right path by adding another meaningful vewhicle by adding to its already wide model range.
For more and most up-to-date information, please visit:https://www.hyundaicanada.com
Article and photos by Varol McKars