Car Reviews

2020 Hyundai Ioniq electric range review

Alex Rae’s 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Range Review With Price, Specs, Performance, Ride And Handling, Interior, Ownership, Verdict And Score.

IN A NUTSHELL: A bevy of thoughtful updates make an impact to improve Hyundai’s do-it-all electric car. The pure electric is the pick of the bunch and it remains Australia’s cheapest EV option, too.

2020 Hyundai Ioniq review

ONLY 12 MONTHS since the Ioniq went on sale in Australia Hyundai has updated its electric vehicle with a pleasant-looking facelift. But it’s not as if it really needed one, the Ioniq already the top-selling hybrid car on sale here, so what the South Korean maker’s done should only bolster its position in the market further.

Despite a price hike (justified by better equipment and a bump in power and electric driving range), it’s still the cheapest EV on sale, and the only model to offer three electric drivetrain options – a hybrid, plug-in hybrid (PHEV), and battery-electric (BEV).

That gives the Ioniq a wide range of competitors, such as the Toyota Prius, which is a hybrid, and the Nissan Leaf, a fully-electric vehicle.

Changes for 2020 are new headlights and taillights, new alloy wheel designs, revised grille with cooling flaps for the battery and a refreshed interior with new infotainment, driver display and dash.

What does the Hyundai Ioniq cost and what do you get?

Hyundai Ioniq hybrid is priced at $34,790 (plus on-road costs), a rise of $800. In standard trim it comes with 15-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry with push-button start, fabric trim interior, 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, reversing camera, climate control and a full-size spare (the PHEV and BEV can’t fit one in).

Hyundai Ioniq hybrid

The hybrid Premium costs $39,990 and comes with larger 17-inch alloys, leather trim, heated and cooled front seats with electric adjustment, wireless phone charging, larger digital display in the driver’s cluster, parking sensors front and LED headlights.

Hyundai Ioniq plug-in hybrid starts at $41,990 for Elite and $46,490 for Premium (up $1000 each). The plug-in rides on aerodynamic 16-inch alloy wheels and the Elite grade adds advanced safety driver assists such as AEB with high- and low-speed braking, adaptive cruise control with stop and go (traffic jam assist), lane departure warning and keeping assist, rear parking sensors, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert and automatic highbeams.

Hyundai Ioniq electric

Hyundai Ioniq electric is priced at $48,490 in Premium guise and $52,490 in Elite, a price rise of $3500 each. That increase buys the equipment listed above plus a larger liquid-cooled battery pack with more driving range (311km WLTP) and more power.

What’s the Hyundai Ioniq interior like?

The interior is much nicer than before and doesn’t feel like a stale science experiment. The dash is redesigned with better materials and there are many more soft touchpoints rather than hard plastics. Some of the clunky controls have also been replaced with touch buttons for a cleaner look, and the new central infotainment system (which we’ll talk about soon) is surrounded with a piano black finish.

How much space is there in the Hyundai Ioniq?

Riding on a 2700mm-long wheelbase the Ioniq provides a good amount of room for occupants front and rear. The rear isn’t as inviting as the front pews, feeling a touch darker and the seats firmer underneath, but legroom is reasonable for adults. Upfront, the two seats are comfortable and there’s plenty of storage space in the console bin, glovebox and door pockets.

The boot measures 456L for the hybrid, 341L for the PHEV and 350L for the electric, which is a reasonable size for an electric vehicle, but it compromises by not including a spare wheel that the hybrid gets. Instead, the PHEV and BEV have an inflator kit.

What’s the Hyundai Ioniq infotainment system like?

Hyundai’s has updated the 2020 Ioniq with a new 10.25-inch large touchscreen with high-resolution graphics, an easy-to-use menu system and it continues to use the latest Apple CarPlay and Android Auto phone connectivity standard. You’ll also find sat-nav and digital radio built in, and an eight-speaker Infinity sound system that’s punchy and clear.

The system is a big lift over the previous system, which was smaller and beginning to look a bit old compared to competitors. The driver’s digital display is now larger, too.

What’s the Hyundai Ioniq electric drivetrain like?

Hyundai Ioniq hybrid employs a 1.6-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine mated to a mild 32kW/170Nm electric motor and small 1.56kWh lithium-ion battery. Total output is 104kW and 265Nm through a six-speed dual-clutch transmission to the front wheels. It has a claimed combined fuel consumption of 3.4L/100km (with 15-inch wheels).

Hyundai Ioniq plug-in hybrid employs the same petrol engine mated to a 44.5kW/170Nm electric motor and 8.9kWh lithium-ion battery. Total output is also 104kW and 265Nm though the PHEV has a claimed electric-only driving range of 63km, which is achieved by charging the battery to full via either a normal wall socket at home or fast charger. Claimed fuel consumption if the lowest of any PHEV in Australia, Hyundai stating it achieves just 1.1L/100km on the combined cycle.

Hyundai Ioniq pure electric has an electric motor producing 100kW/295Nm and a 38.3kWh lithium-ion battery, which is 37 percent larger than the 28kWh battery used before. Thus the driving range increases to 311km (WLTP rated) and, importantly, the battery is now liquid-cooled. This should extended battery life and helps keep temperatures down on hot days or when fast charging.

On the road the hybrid drivetrains are fine for puddling about town but lack urgency and feel underdone when driving with a couple of passengers in the car on the freeway. Confined to the ‘burbs, it’s less noticeable, but on the open road, it lacks a bit of grunt.

The electric drivetrain is the pick of the Ioniq range, delivering power instantly at any speed yet not reacting erratically to throttle response like some other EVs. That makes for a less jerky take off from the lights, which although not a party trick of surging torque that most EVs have, keeps the front wheels easy to turn into corners without torque steer and likely to look after the rubber longer.

What’s the Hyundai Ioniq like to drive?

In a word, it’s normal. It lacks the science experiment feel of early electric pioneers, which is great because it needs to be easy to live with every day if it’s to replace the normal hatch. The one bugbear that carries on is restricted rear vision through the bubble hatch and spoiler, so Hyundai has updated this model with a live rear-view camera to help see what going on back there.

Our drive loop was out of Sydney traffic and up the coast for a round trip counting nearly 250km, a good test of the Ioniq electric’s 311km claim (it made it).

Steering is light and easy, but direct enough that it never feels vague. Torque steer is absent, which is almost unusual for an EV – too many manufacturers amp up torque delivery even when the wheels are turned into a corner. Instead, the Ioniq responds politely with a push of electric power that’s quick enough though never thrilling.

The ride and handling is on-point for a heavy (1475kg) hatch, the battery adding significant weight. The resolution in ride likely comes from the Australian ride and handling tune Hyundai employs to all of its models, but it can’t hide everything, with some hard edges and bumps feeling a touch harsh at speed.

Being electric, driving the thing is a bit different than a ‘normal’ car. The brakes regenerate electricity when applied, so they don’t respond with linear stopping power, though the amount of regeneration can be increased or decreased with the steering wheel paddle shifters. And while the drivetrain is nearly noiseless, there’s a bit of road noise (about average for this class) coming into the cabin.

How safe is the Hyundai Ioniq?

The Hyundai Ioniq has a five-star ANCAP rating.

The new advanced safety pack brings low and high-speed autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane departure and keeping assist, adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, rear parking sensors, automatic highbeams, rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot warning.

What are the Hyundai Ioniq alternatives?

The obvious contender to the Ioniq hybrid is the Toyota Prius. If you want a plug-in hybrid to compare with you’ll be looking at expensive European rivals except for the Mitsubishi Outlander, which is a much larger SUV. The Ioniq electric squares off directly with the Nissan Leaf.

2020 Hyundai Ioniq pricing and specifications

Price From $34,790 plus ORCs Warranty 5 years/unlimited km Engine 1.6L petrol hybrid and plug-in hybrid; electric Power 104kW; 100kW Torque 265Nm; 295Nm Transmission 6-speed dual-clutch auto; reduction gear Drive front-wheel drive Body 4470mm (l); 1820mm (w) Kerb weight 1375-1475kg Seats 5 Thirst 3.4L/100km; 1.1L/100km; Fuel tank 45L; 43L Spare full-size; inflator kit

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A bevy of thoughtful updates make an impact to improve Hyundai’s do-it-all electric car. The pure electric is the pick of the bunch and it remains Australia’s cheapest EV option, too.

Alex Rae

Alex Rae