Together with my wife I set off to our local Hyundai dealer in Hendon for a test drive of the all-electric IONIQ Premium.
We are currently Leaf drivers and thinking of upgrading to the 30 kWh version. However, given the very positive range reports being given for the IONIQ, it made sense to try it as a possible alternative.
It was a booked test drive so we were disappointed to be kept waiting an extra 30 minutes, but eventually we got to go on the road.
My wife had her turn first, and took a few minutes to run over the controls and get everything set up. Our host took us on a route through rather slow, congested roads, so there was little chance to swoop on the open road. However, my wife enjoyed adjusting the regenerative braking to different levels and feeling the effect, as well as switching between the ECO, NORMAL and SPORT modes of drive. What she didn’t like was the bar across the back window where the spoiler is placed. Apparently, this is a major contributor to a low drag coefficient, but because they add glass below the spoiler, it does look a bit odd from the inside. I didn’t mind it myself.
After a few miles we swapped over and I enjoyed the feel of the sporty steering wheel. The layout of the controls was good and intuitive; I certainly preferred the steering wheel paddles for adjusting the regenerative levels, against the rather tiresome central lever in the Leaf. Eventually we came to a spot of more open road, and I was pleased at the sporty feel of the car to the throttle, even with 3 adults inside. As ever, the instantaneous response of an electric drive was satisfying (petrol automatics always have an annoying lag). We also saw some of the advanced driver support features such as accidental lane change warnings and car follow.
And of course, it has all the usual features of satnav, timers to pre-heat the car in the morning, and a good stereo. Unusually it doesn’t have an app to allow you to trigger pre-heat from your phone.
At the end of it our conclusions were:
- Pros: sporty feel, apparently excellent range, nice roomy hatchback, advanced driver support features.
- Cons: a slightly ordinary look externally, split glass on the back window, no app available for remote pre-heat.
So, a very impressive car. Left to me we would get the IONIQ, but my wife is a big Leaf fan. Watch this space. I’ll let you know what we choose eventually.