The delayed Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in promises eyebrow-raising fuel economy at an appealing price.
The Hyundai Ioniq, new to showrooms only last year, has been rightly proclaimed unique among environmentally friendly family hatchbacks because it’s the only car on the market available as either a normal hybrid, a plug-in-hybrid, or a full battery-only electric option.
The third Hyundai Ioniq derivative is ostensibly the same as the lesser hybrid but for a much larger and more powerful lithium-ion drive battery and the ‘Type II’ electrical charging socket needed to charge it from the mains. The battery’s capacity is 8.9kWh, and the Ioniq Plug-in charges from a typical 16-amp driveway wallbox charge in a little over two hours. Petrol power comes from a 104bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine, and electrical and piston power are juggled onto the road through the front wheels via a six-speed twin-clutch automatic gearbox.
What’s the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in like to drive?
The car can be driven in ‘EV’, ‘HEV Hybrid’ and ‘Sport’ modes, and truncated testing suggested it should be good for around 30 miles of mixed driving on battery power alone: not quite equal to Hyundai’s 39-mile claim, but certainly up there with the Toyota on electric-only range. Over a total 100-miles of testing at mixed pace, we averaged 85.6mpg in the car overall: also a very creditable result.
The Ioniq’s 60bhp electric motor feels potent enough around town and up to about 50mph. The car is happy to cruise on electric power at motorway speed, but you need to rouse the combustion engine for meaningful acceleration here.
What’s the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in like inside?
The cabin’s almost identical to those of its Ioniq rangemates. This is a fairly large and spacious hatchback with good accommodation for adults in the back row but for slightly limited headroom. Boot space relative to the standard Ioniq is eaten into slightly by that larger drive battery, but a fairly long, wide and deep loadbay is left that should swallow pushchairs and the like easily enough.
Hyundai adds functions to the car’s infotainment system over and above what that of the Ioniq Hybrid that allow you to search for nearby charging stations and monitor the car’s energy usage that bit more closely. Overall, though, the car’s infotainment system is a way from being the most intuitive, usable and advanced-looking of its kind.
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