All three get the best fuel economy in their class, and all three are priced between $22,200 and $29,500, making them a best car buy for 2017.
It’s also the first time I know of that that a company has launched three powertrain systems for the same model at once.
Hyundai Ioniq was designed from the ground up to fit all the powertrains, which speeds manufacturing while it reduces the cost. Chief designer Chris Chapman told me that all Ioniq models have one shape, to make Ioniq instantly recognizable.
Ioniq uses 53% lightweight, high-strength steel and aluminum to compensate for the extra weight of the batteries, which are under the second row of seats. That means less wasted space and the low center of gravity improves handling and performance.
All three versions are packed with safety and technology features including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure and blind spot and cross-traffic warnings, unusual in vehicles in this price range. And the features are included, not pricey optional packages.
Interiors have an elegant feel, thanks to a resin that uses powdered wood and stone for shine.
Hyundai Ioniq Electric
The Hyundai Electric has a 110-mile range between charges, which is better than competitors, wireless charging, and rated at an estimated 125 MPGe. It’s powered by an 88Kwh motor. There are distinctive HID Xenon headlamps and LED tail lamps, and unique 16-inch eco-spoke alloy wheels.
- $29,500 starting price, making this one of the least expensive EVs on the market.
Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid
Both versions feature a new Kappa 1.6L direct-injected Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine delivering an estimated 104 horsepower and an estimated 109 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine has been specifically tailored for the hybrid application. The electric motor delivers an estimated 32 kW (43 horsepower) with an estimated maximum torque of 125 lb.-ft., powered by a lithium-ion polymer battery. In combination, there’s a total 139 horsepower, with low emissions, outstanding efficiency and range.
The Ioniq Hybrid Blue model has an EPA-estimated 58 MPG combined rating, the highest rating of any non-plug-in vehicle sold in the U.S. market.
The PHEV has a 25-mile range on pure electric, enough for the daily commute of most of us.
Both Hybrid and PHEV models feature a quick-shifting six-speed double-clutch transmission, for a more dynamic and engaging driving experience. The high-efficiency electric motor can operate at speeds up to 75 MPH and delivers instantaneous torque at low speeds, with available power-assist at higher vehicle speeds.
- $22,200 starting price, making this one of the least expensive hybrids on the market
All Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by the Hyundai Assurance program, which includes the 5-year/60,000-mile fully transferable new vehicle limited warranty, Hyundai’s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty and five years of complimentary Roadside Assistance
How to pronounce Ioniq
Ioniq is pronounced the same way as the word “ionic”. I was corrected by a Hyundai executive at the recent launch when I blended the words “ionic” and “unique” and called it eye-oh-neek, with emphasis on “neek”. I suspect that was the intention of the people who create such brand names.
However you pronounce it, Ioniq is a fuel-sipping and affordable stunner.