Last week I headed down to Durham, NC to check out the latest that Hyundai has to offer, the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq.
I love getting the chance to head out on the road with a new vehicle. To study it, hear its story from the manufacturer and really get to know it in an environment that isn’t my own backyard.
The Ioniq while focused on attracting eco-focused buyers (it comes in hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric models) is a real deal five passenger sedan. I may need to say that again to get my point across. There is no bulky battery to get in the way of anyone’s leg room or hog the trunk space with the Ioniq. Why? It’s because the battery pack is located under the passenger seats.
Simply put it is the first dedicated green vehicle that comes with a lifetime warranty for its battery. It has more cubic feet of room than a Toyota Prius or the new Kia Niro and the Ioniq Blue gets 55 mpg. That’s the most fuel efficient car in America. Did I mention that it starts at $22k? Believe it.
Who Buys the Ioniq?
This is the one constant in a string of questions that I ask myself every time I get behind the wheel of a new vehicle. Who buys this? So many people, that’s who. The appeal with the Ioniq is large. It’s as Hyundai says, “One car. Three ways to better.” The target audience is more about a changing of the mind set behind why people buy the cars that they buy. You have the group that buys with the green approach, the ones who look for straight up price point and then there are the others who go for style, technology, and the feel of the drive. The Hyundai Ioniq hits all those markets by creating three cars that work for all these groups.
Today’s buyer is very often all those needs and wants rolled into one person. We want design but don’t want to sacrifice the efficiency in the drive or fuel-efficiency. Most drivers would love a car with low-emissions that also fits their daily life and has a bit of fun and good acceleration.
My first drive of the day in Durham was the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid. I found it sleek and aerodynamic in style and it reminded me a lot of my own Sonata Hybrid by Hyundai. One of the reasons we bought that car back in 2013 was because it didn’t have the hybrid feel to it when you are driving it. It has pick-up and great handling. So does the Ioniq Hybrid. While merging onto a parkway I noticed that it didn’t lag but was ready to compete.
Scenes from Durham
It wasn’t just the roominess of the cabin with the 60/40 split in the back seat that appealed to me. It was the ability to charge my electronic devices on an ample-sized pad while I drove (or put my purse within fingertips reach on the electric model) combined with the 8-inch touchscreen display that responded well. The piano style buttons on the centerstack are attractive and functional and well within your line of sight while driving. So is the dashboard through the steering wheel. It’s all very comfortable and the power tilt sunroof is a nice touch too.
The Hyundai Ioniq (a combination of ‘ion’ and ‘unique’) doesn’t just offer fuel-efficiency and the option to go electric and a plug-in hybrid with attractive aero-dynamics. It gives you peace of mind with the materials that help create this sedan. The soft touch materials and carpet are partially made from sugar cane. Volcanic rock, powdered wood and recycled plastic make up to 20% of the interior plastics.
The Hyundai Ioniq: Safe & Smart
Thicker windows, rear wheel wells, sound absorbing materials and more from those pleasing aerodynamics create a quieter cabin than you would think. It’s not just these items that make the Hyundai Ioniq a great car to drive. It’s the addition of dynamic bending light, a system that keeps your headlights tracking with the steering wheel. As you drive the lights follow the curves and bends in the road rather just focusing straight ahead. Combine that with the lane departure warning (very handy even on sleepy North Carolina roads), automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection and blind spot detection with rear cross traffic alert and you also have a car that is both safe and smart.
Easy and enjoyable to drive the Hyundai Ioniq, in all three versions, is a good mix of design, technology and eco-efficiency that blurs the lines between the typical eco-versions of hybrid cars and your standard sedan. It’s what makes me love the Ioniq and I think others will too. MSRP on the Hybrid Ioniq starts at $22,200 for the Blue model. SEL trim is $23,950 and the Limited trim package starts at $27,500.
The EV version of the Hyundai Ioniq with its high charging capacity of 80% in 20 minutes will be available in California this spring. You can custom order it now through your Hyundai dealer. MSRP is $29,500. The Plug-in Hybrid will be available this fall.
*Disclosure: TMC was not paid for this post. Hyundai press trip. All travel expenses covered.