2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Picture

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid and Electric Review, compare with Prius

The Ioniq arrives to the market in staggered releases covering two model years. The 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid was introduced nationwide in February. Hyundai will begin to roll out an all-electric version of the Ioniq with a range of 124 miles and an EPA rating of 136 miles per gallon equivalent. Then, in late 2017, a plug-in version of the Ioniq hybrid will join the lineup that can travel up to 27 miles on electric power alone.

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Picture

Some will wish the Hyundai Ioniq were a crossover or tall wagon, even if the extra weight damps efficiency. Still, the three Ioniqs are well worth considering with their thoughtful use of technology, high efficiency, good crash ratings, and roominess — especially in front.

The hybrid, meanwhile, is available now, with the plug-in hybrid coming in the fourth quarter of 2017. All three cars are entering an increasingly crowded market. But Hyundai is going for the entry-level market, and it might be able to eat into at least some of the Toyota Prius’ share.

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Picture

Toyota Prius has been the king of hybrids, no other car is as synonymous with hybrids and fuel economy. But a new contender is entering the fray, and it matches the Prius on fuel economy and practicality: the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid .

Hyundai uses the term ECO-DAS, or Eco-Driving Assistant System for both the plug-in and hybrid. Driving range from the 8.9 kWh battery will be at least 27 miles, Hyundai says. The mpg equivalent hasn’t been set yet. The 2017 Hyundai Ioniq has a five-year/60,000-mile warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Ioniq Hybrid Review

The Ioniq Hybrid does its best to leverage battery power in normal driving, with the electric motor whirring away under your right foot until you surpass city cruising speeds, upon which the gas engine smoothly kicks in its half of the bargain.The Ioniq hybrid is powered by a specially developed powertrain that offers the perfect blend of power and efficiency. It can run on a gas engine, an electric motor, or both. Travel over 1,000 kilometres on a single tank of gas. Braking is regenerative, and represents more of a learning curve than the throttle, as it’s not always easy to know when to push past the kinetic converters and tap into the ‘we need to stop right now’ functionality found in non-hybrid cars. There’s a sport mode if you care more about harnessing the electric motor’s instant torque than saving fuel, and handling is perfectly in keeping with the modest expectations of the compact hatch segment.

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Picture

The Ioniq Hybrid may be compared with the Prius, Ford C-Max and the Kia Niro. The Ioniq Electric should be cross shopped with the Nissan Leaf , Chevrolet Bolt and the upcoming Tesla Model 3. The Plug-in has the Chevrolet Volt , Ford C-Max Energi and the Toyota Prius Prime in its segment.

The Ioniq hybrid and plug-in hybrid models feature a 1.6-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine that develops 104 horsepower and 109 pound-feet of torque. A permanent magnet motor slots in between the engine and a six-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission, which then sends power to the front wheels.The duo’s combined peak output is a modest 139 hp, though with 125 lb-ft of instantly available torque from the electric motor, the Ioniq leaves the line in a brisk and smooth fashion.

For the Ioniq Hybrid, the Limited adds a power sunroof, leather upholstery and auto-dimming rearview mirror. Opting for the Ultimate Package adds a larger 8-inch touchscreen, navigation and enough safety features to bring it up to par with the Prius. It even adds a wireless device charging pad of its own.

Ioniq Electric

The Ioniq Electric has a 118-horsepower electric motor mated to a single-speed reduction-gear transmission. This motor isn’t as strong as those of all-electric rivals like the Chevrolet Bolt , which has 200 horsepower. The Chevrolet Bolt ($36,620) is an all-electric compact car notable for its 238-mile range. The Bolt feels more agile and well-controlled in corners, and its acceleration is stronger.

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric Picture

The Ioniq Electric, as the EV is known, makes the most use of the low coefficient of drag, lightweight components, and a faired-over grille (versus active grille flaps on the hybrids). We didn’t drive far enough to exhaust the battery, but the segment we drove suggests the 124-mile EPA range could reach 130-140 miles with careful driving.

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric Picture

Meanwhile the electric Ioniq felt slightly zippier than the hybrid, even though it only has 118 horsepower. EV engines will do that. But when navigating corners the car suffered from more understeer than the hybrid Ioniq I had driven earlier in the day. It was a surprise, considering that the cars look nearly the same.

The Hyundai Ioniq Electric goes 114 miles on a single charge. The all-electric Chevrolet Bolt has a 238-mile range. As for the Ioniq Electric, its look complements the others, but with one important difference: a blocked-off grille dressed in piano black plastic trim. From every other angle, the three models look the same, except for badging differences and the absence of an exhaust port in the electric model.

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric Picture

The components of the electric powertrain have been engineered to provide excellent driving characteristics and a practical everyday driving range. IONIQ electric combines the high power density of a compact, lightweight, lithium-ion polymer battery with a high-power electric motor and high-efficiency reduction gear. You can travel up to 200 kilometres with a full charge

Included as standard in electric models is the DC Fast Charging (Level-3) for all Ioniq Electric Models. Wireless phone charging capability is an optional feature on Ioniq Hybrid and Ioniq Electric. The Ioniq offers enhanced state-of-the-art connectivity like Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto®, and Blue Link®.

The Ioniq Electric pricing starts at $30,335 with freight; the Limited Base is $33,335 and $36,835 with the Ultimate Package.

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Vs. 2017 Toyota Prius

Compare the Ioniq hybrid to the Prius and you’ll find that the Hyundai is shorter and wider. This makes the cabin a wee bit more spacious, but the 443-litre boot is a touch smaller. The Ioniq EV has a smaller boot, but 350 litres below the load cover still isn’t too shabby, and it beats the Renault Zoe, if not the Nissan Leaf. There’s plenty of room in the back of the Ioniq, but the Niro has more headroom thanks to being taller.

Where Hyundai has an advantage over its competitors is in price and fuel efficiency. The 2017 Ioniq Hybrid starts at $23,035, including destination, and that’s $2,500 less than the Toyota Prius’ base price. The Toyota Prius starts at $24,685, and its high fuel-economy numbers and excellent reliability make it a popular choice in this segment. However, the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid gives the Prius a run for its money.

Although both hatchbacks have a similar silhouette, the Prius stands out while the Ioniq Hybrid blends in. Each also takes a different approach to the driving experience: The Prius and its continuously variable automatic transmission offer a rubber band-y sort of brake and throttle response, while the Ioniq Hybrid opts for a six-speed dual-clutch automatic that drives (again) more like a conventional car. Let's put it this way: The Ioniq Hybrid tries to be inconspicuous while the Prius wears neon and has a boom box on its shoulder.

The Hyundai Ioniq is an all-new model for 2017, the Ioniq has more high-tech infotainment features and an upscale interior.

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