Some folks are pragmatists; they’re unconcerned with the flashy or the luxurious, and just want something that works (and works well). Enter the Hyundai Ioniq, one of the more straightforward and understated cars we’ve reviewed in a while.
Available as a hybrid or hybrid hatchback, Hyundai’s newest entry to their fleet of electrics makes no bones about what it’s trying to do. Its goal is not to wow or bedazzle or set a new Nurburgring record, but to provide efficiency and utility to its driver.
At peak efficiency, the car offers a hair under 60 miles to the gallon, with another hair shy of 30 miles of all-electric range on a full charge. Even the Toyota Prius’ most fuel-efficient standard hybrid can’t hang with those numbers.
As for the on-road tuning, the car plays into its eco-friendly strengths and offers a conventional ride that’s not overly sprite or sporty, and seems to have been designed with feeling like a standard sedan in mind. That goal was achieved.
Though the entry point for the Iioniq’s aesthetic was probably “to blend in” (it does evoke some of the standard electric/Prius imagery, particularly in its profile), the design language has been expanding, and the hatchback variant shows that Hyundai are finding their feet with their creative vision for the Iioniq’s appearance.
Though the car doesn’t necessarily try to pull away from the pack in terms of its appearance, it certainly does have some podium-grabbing numbers that make it more than competitive in today’s ever-burgeoning electric car market.
We do try to be as objective as possible, but there’s no escaping a little bit of opinion, here – Hyundai’s Ioniq boasts one of the “cleanest” and simplest-looking interiors of any car we’ve reviewed recently.
Even with the base trim, the car is rather comfortable and attractive. Someone at Hyundai clearly has a unique talent for tallying minimalistic elements up beyond the sum of their parts, and it’s no wonder that motorists are singing the interior’s praises. The car can be fitted with optional upgrades inside the cabin, naturally, but we found it worth noting that the base model is one of the more practical on the market.
Leaning even further into its eco-friendly roots, the Ioniq uses sustainable materials to adorn the interior, including volcanic rock and sugar cane (though we’ve not yet tasted the car).
Hyundai have been clever as usual in maximizing the usability of the cabin. While the Ioniq doesn’t quite offer best-in-class legroom, it is a comfortable and roomy ride for all four riders. It’s probably worth noting that, should you opt for the plug-in version of the car, you’d be giving up a little bit of that legroom – a tradeoff that’s necessary to squeeze in more batteries.
Cargo space is about the same for both models, and in fact is quite standard for cars in this class overall.
All told, Hyundai’s new Ioniq has every expectation of blending into the crowd – it is as understated as it is efficient, and for many of us, that’s a welcome break from upstart dealers trying to upsell every buyer to flashy models fit for the Lewis Hamiltons of the world.