My IONIQ Test Drive

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.

The Ioniq will first be available as a hybrid and EV, with a PHEV coming later

The IONIQ electric car

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.

Comments (2)

  1. Reply

    Approaching my first one thousand miles in my Ioniq EV and I’m reflecting on the comments above.

    Most of my mileage has been in Milton Keynes (70MPH dual carriage ways). In eco mode I outpace the average car and keep pace with most of the rest. Normal and Sport modes surprise the majority of other road users 🙂 On the few longer journies done I have been pleased to see my range up around one hundred and fifty miles and I expect that to increase with warmer weather.

    Roomy is cetainly true. I have carried five adults with no bother and little loss of performance.

    The advanced driver features are not designed to be up there with Tesla Auto Pilot but at half the price of a basic Tesla they are fantastic value.

    I was keen to have a remote app to prepare the car for me, but the built in timer has worked very well. Even in the coldest of recent mornings (-6 c) the windows were defrosted and the interior toastie each time I’ve needed it.

    Without the rear view camera I could see (no pun) the split rear window being an issue.

    One of the biggest criticisms I’ve heard about EVs is how diferent they appear from what’s gone before and I like the compromise Hyundai have achieved.

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