Hyundai Ioniq electric (2016-present)

Useful range and a roomy interior make the Hyundai Ioniq an appealing electric prospect

Strengths & Weaknesses


Range: 174 miles on a single charge
Smooth and quiet even on poor road surfaces
Spacious interior with room for five adults


Space-age styling won't be for all
Long-distance driving still requires planning
Diesel cars are cheaper
Best finance deal

Hyundai Ioniq Hatchback Special Editions (2019-2020) 1.6 gdi hybrid 1st edition 5dr dct

Finance price £272 per month

Cash price £19,795

The electric vehicle is finally turning a corner, with year-on-year UK registrations slowly increasing by around 10-12 per cent and the charging network expanding to cover more locations with every month that passes.

Since the government offered Plug-In Car Grant (PiCG) in January 2011, there have been 66,296 eligible cars registered and some of the world's biggest manufacturers are readying an all-electric and hybrid product offensive.

Hyundai is one such company and its new Ioniq model is the first to be offered in the UK in electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid flavours, which will hopefully be enough to appeal to every green appetite.

Of course, the plug-in (available in 2017) and hybrid variants will likely find homes with those looking to reduce their fuel bills and carbon footprint without the worry of running out of juice on the M25 but for customers wanting to completely cut ties with the petrol stations, the Ioniq Electric makes an interesting proposition.

On sale in October this year and starting at Β£24,495 (including the PiCG), it seems
expensive but it is more practical and packs more tech than the cheaper Renault Zoe and Nissan Leaf, it's roomier than a BMW i3, the range is better than a Kia Soul EV and Toyota is yet to offer a purely electric version of its all-conquering Prius.

The Ioniq Electric is powered by a cutting-edge 28kWh Lithium-ion Polymer battery, which generates the equivalent of 119bhp and 295Nm of torque. It can be charged to 80 per cent battery status in just 33 minutes from a rapid charging station or plugged into a typical wall socket and topped-up in around 12 hours.

We'll let you cast judgement on the exterior styling but the interior is well kitted-out, if a little bit cheap and flimsy. All of the buttons and dials are laid out intuitively and everything feels like a 'normal' car should.

All Ioniq EVs come equipped with an eight-inch LCD touch-screen display and navigation, which pack bespoke features like an electric range radius and a list of local charging spots, as well as the ability to navigate to sockets when batteries are getting low.

Plus, customers get Bluetooth connectivity, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, wireless inductive phone charging via special cradles and rear parking sensors with a camera guidance system.

It's quite the suite of technology and life inside the vehicle is made even more comfortable by the soft suspension, pliant tyres, featherweight steering and ease of driving.

Owners simply engage the shift-by-wire system into 'Drive' by pressing a button, depress the accelerator and let the car do the rest. The instantaneous torque of the electric motors does a great job of whizzing the car up to speed and it will happily tackle the 0-62mph in 9.9 seconds when Sport mode is enabled, as this unleashes the full force of the batteries.

Don't be fooled, this is no performance machine but it does go about its business with minimal fuss and motorway cruising is both quiet and effortless.

There is a compromise on interior quality and the boot space is relatively poor at 350-litres (you can thank the bulky battery packs for that) but if you can overlook these two things, the Ioniq Electric could prove a very affordable and practical everyday car.

Last Updated 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 - 09:15

Key facts 

Warranty : 
5 years / unlimited mileage
Boot size: 
350 litres
A (Free)

Best Hyundai Ioniq for... 

Hyundai Ioniq Electric Premium
The extremely well equipped 'entry level' model balances a glut standard kit with a more affordable price tag.
Hyundai Ioniq Electric Premium SE
These models receive leather seat facings, heated front and rear seats and alloy pedals (among other things) but they don't do much to lift the overall interior quality.


  • October 2016 The Hyundai Ioniq electric goes on sale

Understanding Hyundai Ioniq car names 

  • Ioniq
  • Trim level
  • Trim level
    Just two trim styles are offered on the Ioniq Electric (Premium and Premium SE). The hybrid, however, comes in an entry level SE trim.

Hyundai Ioniq Engines 

Electric motor and battery

The beauty of the Hyundai Ioniq Electric is that there is no engine to pump out noxious fumes and drain wallets with constant trips to the petrol or diesel pumps.

Granted, there is an argument that says some pollutants are produced when creating the electricity to power the car but at a local level, it is a much cleaner and greener way to get around.

Charging batteries to around 80% takes about 23 minutes using a 100 kW direct current (DC) fast charger, which customers will have to have professional installed in the home. But an In-Cable Control Box (ICCB) that is provided also allows drivers to charge at a regular compatible household alternating current (AC) power socket. The charging plug is located in a position where gas fillers are normally located.

The electric motor and battery pack in the Ioniq Electric are slightly more powerful than those used in the hybrid, which sees a 1.6-litre petrol engine mated to a more basic electric propulsion system, while engineers have stripped out weight where possible to increase the range.

While the max range of 174-miles will be affected by the use of air conditioning, radio and even weather conditions, a long test drive with the Ioniq Electric revealed that it would be fairly easy to get close to that figure.

Interestingly, there is also a pair of paddle shifters located behind the steering wheel that, rather than flicking up and down the gears, selects the level of regenerative braking.

Increase the level and the car will slow more abruptly when the foot is taken off the gas but
more power will be fed back into the battery via the brakes.

Styling also favours function over form, with a closed front grille in the EV models improving aerodynamics and reducing drag. Plus, Hyundai has used recycled or 'ecologically sensitive' materials in much of the cabin.

For example, the interior door covers are made of natural plastic combined with powdered wood and volcanic stone, raw materials extracted from sugar cane are partly applied on the headlining and carpet and the paint is made with renewable ingredients extracted from soybean oil.

Hyundai Ioniq Trims 

Premium and Premium SE

Just two trim levels are offered on the Hyundai Ionic Electric and this is because the starting price of the 'entry-level' models is Β£9,000 more than a similar hybrid version when the PiCG isn't factored into the equation.

As a result, Hyundai has lavished all of its Ioniq EVs with the sort of kit that typically comes on its mid-range hybrid models. That means 16-inch alloy wheels, LED headlamps and Advanced Smart Cruise control all come as standard.

Inside, the cars are treated to navigation with TomTom Live service, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which mirrors the smartphone on the crystal clear eight-inch touchscreen display, as well as a powerful Infinity eight-speaker sound system with subwoofer.

There is also some impressive safety functionality thrown in to the package, including: Autonomous Emergency Braking, which can sense when an obstacle is in the car's path and automatically applies the anchors, Lane Keep Assist and Hill Start Assist Control.

Step up to Premium SE and the seats receive leather facings, heating and cooling functionality, as well as heating for the two rear outer seats.

There are automatic windscreen wipers with rain sensor and customers are treated to alloy pedals, front parking sensors, electrically adjustable front seats with a memory function and a Blind Spot Detection system.

Hyundai Ioniq Reliability and warranty 

Despite the general fit and finish of its vehicles often falling short of rivals, Hyundai's track record for reliability is fantastic. Not only was it one of the first companies to offer a five-year/unlimited mileage warranty, as opposed to the typical three, it has also regularly performed well in the annual Auto Express Driver Power Survey.

Better still, the marque is so confident in its technology that it offers and eight-year/125,000-mile warranty on the EV's battery, too.

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