Hyundai’s sustainability strategy encompasses a product range of low-to-zero emission vehicles, including the new Ioniq which will be offered in three electrified powertrains: petrol/electric hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric.
The range will roll out from August, and our first drive in the Hybrid version reveals an impressive vehicle in the way it seamlessly integrates the best aspects of different driveline technologies in an uncompromised prestige five-seater hatchback.
The top-end Ioniq Hybrid (petrol/electric) has a comprehensive array of desirable occupant features, and multiple smart technologies, for a predicted list price around $38,000. Visually and physically, there is no indication of the hybrid battery and electric motor installation which is integrated with a modern 1.6-litre petrol engine and six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Practicality and presence
Ioniq’s cabin is practical and accommodating, with a high standard of comfort and trim presentation. The hybrid battery is under the rear seats which retain the convenience of a split-fold seat back and childseat anchorage points, while a full-size alloy spare wheel resides under the large boot.
The sophisticated petrol engine, running on regular 91-octane fuel, is linked inline to an electric motor powered by a 240-volt lithium-ion polymer battery. The combined maximum output is 104kW and 265Nm in a vehicle weighing less than 1500kg, thanks to judicious weight-saving features such as the alloy bonnet and hatch panels. And the electric motor helps make this Ioniq notably quick off the line. We recorded 4.8 seconds from rest to 60km/h and 10.8 seconds to 100km/h.
Compared with a plug-in hybrid or the fully electric Ioniq, the electric drive in the hybrid is a complementary component. It delivers an entertaining edge to the drive performance, significantly enhances fuel economy in congested traffic, and notably eliminates any mismatch between the engine’s stop/start function and engagement of the dual-clutch auto. We averaged 4.3L/100km over a week, including performance testing, against the government figure of 3.9L/100km.
Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid.
The drive battery is maintained in a mid-range state of charge, receiving input when the vehicle decelerates or brakes and adds power to the petrol engine when performance is required. Most impressive is not only its ability to run on electric alone in traffic but also in eliminating the gap often found in engaging a dual-clutch auto.
This drive motor, rather than a conventional starter motor, is also employed to fire up the petrol engine, making the power delivery totally seamless. In fact, drivers require the power flow display on the large centre screen to know if the vehicle is running on petrol or electric, because they will not feel it.
There’s attention to detail and a high level of componentry in all aspects of Ioniq. From the quality of the navigation or reversing camera to induction phone charging and a full suite of safety features, this car is refined, clever and outstanding value for money.
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