Hyundai Ioniq Electric

Find out more about the Hyundai Ioniq Electric in the latest MOTORS Review

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Out of 5


  • - Very well-equipped
  • - Cheap to run
  • - Decent to drive


  • - Expensive
  • - Limited real-world electric range
  • - Divisive styling
Model review

The Ioniq is essentially Hyundai’s effort to tackle the Toyota Prius —the world’s best-selling electrified car. It even looks similar to the Toyota, although unlike the Prius, Hyundai offers the Ioniq as a conventional hybrid, a plug-in hybrid and an all-electric guise – you can’t get the latter on the Prius.

On sale from the end of 2016, the Ioniq was the first car to be offered with three different electrified powertrains, the Kia Niro has since been supplied with the same line-up.

The Ioniq has a very low drag coefficient, which means that it’s aerodynamically efficient. It subsequently requires very little fuel (or charge in this case) to get from A to B.

From launch, it was available as the conventional hybrid and all-electric model tested here, with a plug-in model joining the range in 2017.

A long list of standard equipment and safety assists were offered on the model from launch.

The Ioniq Electric features rapid charging capability and can also be topped up by a normal three-pin plug, too, as well as conventional public chargers.

Latest model

No updates have yet been made to the Ioniq, with the model only being on sale for two years at the time of writing.

In that time, though, the Ioniq has scooped a host of awards – including the ‘Best Green Car’ title at the BusinessCar Awards, as well as the ‘Best-Road-Tax-Exempt-Car’ prize at the Carbuyer awards.

Value for money

Including the government’s £3,500 grant towards pure-electric models, The Ioniq is priced from £26,745 for Premium trim, and £28,545 for the top-spec Premium SE. Compared to similarly-powered conventional hatchbacks, it’s quite an expensive proposition, even when you consider the savings on road tax and fuel costs. That said, it’s far more affordable than past EVs have been, and it’s very similar in price to the Toyota Prius and Nissan Leaf.

On the plus side, standard equipment is excellent. Front and rear LED lights, an eight-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation and wireless charging , to name but a few, are included for the base price along with an impressive host of safety features. This generous equipment does at least help to justify the Ioniq Electric’s list price.

But despite its high list price, used values are affordable. The cheapest Ioniq Electrics start from around £20,000 while we saw a nearly-new model with just 1,000 miles on the clock for £21,500, which is excellent value. It seems that looking at nearly-new and pre-registered versions is the way forward with the Ioniq.

Looks and image

The sleek shape of the Ioniq isn’t just there for show, as it helps the model to be more efficient with its petrol or electric, while air flow channels are dotted around the exterior to help reduce drag even further. It’s not a particularly stylish model—some have criticised it for being too conservative—but it’s an inoffensive-looking model. Copper accents and a smoothed front grille differentiate the electric version from the hybrid variant.

Moving to the interior, it’s pretty forgettable with its rather uninspiring design, although it’s very functional – which is the most important thing. The central eight-inch touchscreen is simple to use, and includes features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity and sat-nav. The layout is also excellent, with not too many buttons, and on the whole it feels well-built with plenty of soft-touch materials. Copper interior accents also help to add a bit of extra colour and distract your eyes away from what would otherwise be a sea of grey.

As with most electrified models, they’re actually quite decent to drive thanks to the torque produced from the electric motor. The Ioniq is no different, and while its 28kWh battery back isn’t the biggest out there (producing just 118bhp) the performance figures make it seem quicker than that. A 0-60mph sprint time of 9.7 seconds and top speed of 103mph at least give the Ioniq a bit of pulling power, and it certainly helps when overtaking. The Ioniq features regenerative braking, which you can control with the steering wheel-mounted paddles, helping to recoup energy when braking. You can adjust this depending on how much you want it to do this, but it’s worth leaving on as braking from 70mph to a near-standstill can add a couple of miles onto the range, which is useful. It’s not a sporty number, but the Ioniq is a comfortable and relaxed car that rewards careful driving.

Video review

Space and practicality

Clever interior packaging in the Ioniq has ensured that even with the batteries, interior space isn’t impeded. Even with the car’s sloping tailgate, rear headroom is still excellent, as is legroom. It’s little surprise that the Ioniq has become a popular choice with taxi drivers – particularly in London, where the Electric model escapes the Congestion Charge. The boot isn’t quite so generous, and it offers 350 litres of storage space, which is less than you would find in the Toyota Prius and more conventional hatchbacks such as the Volkswagen Golf.

The electric Ioniq has never been safety tested by the experts at Euro NCAP, although it’s certainly no less safe than the hybrid version, which was awarded the full five stars. Standard equipment is particularly impressive in this respect, with all Ioniqs coming with automatic lights and wipers, autonomous emergency braking, driver attention alert, lane-keep assist, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control. There’s few cars at this price and size, which can offer the same level of safety kit as the Ioniq does.

Power and range

The Ioniq Electric makes do with a 28kWh battery, which is somewhat smaller than the ones you find in Hyundai’s new Kona Electric and the Nissan Leaf.

It produces the equivalent of 118bhp and can manage a 0-60mph time of 9.7 seconds, and a top speed of 103mph.

Charging times are decent compared to rivals, with it taking 12 hours to charge with a domestic home charger, 4 hours 25 minutes using a Wallbox and around 30 minutes using a fast charger.

Unfortunately the capacity of the battery means that the range isn’t as good as it should be. While Hyundai says a maximum range of 174 miles is possible in real-world driving this is likely to be around 120-130 miles, which isn’t as good as many competitors.

Running costs

While the initial cost of the Ioniq Electric might be pricey, it’s important to remember the savings you’ll have during the time you own the model.

For one, electricity rates – regardless of where you choose to charge – are far cheaper than petrol or diesel would be. You also have the bonus of not having to pay emissions-based road charges – such as the London Congestion Charge – because the Ioniq Electric’s zero-emission status means it’s exempt from such charges.

Insurance premiums should be cheap compared to rivals, with the Ioniq being placed in groups 16 and 17, depending on trim level. The Nissan Leaf is in group 21, for example.

Things to look for

As the Ioniq Electric is an all-new model, and therefore doesn’t share its underpinnings with other Hyundais in its range, there’s not a huge deal known about its reliability yet. That said, the South Korean manufacturer is considered as one of the more dependable manufacturers, you shouldn’t have a great deal to worry about. All Ioniqs will also be covered under Hyundai’s excellent five-year, unlimited mileage warranty until at least 2021, too.


As we’ve mentioned earlier, the Ioniq Electric’s closest rival is probably the Toyota Prius, although that’s not available as a pure-electric like the Ioniq is. EVs such as the Nissan Leaf, Volkswagen e-Golf, Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia e-Niro and BMW i3 are all worth considering alongside the Ioniq.


Despite the Ioniq’s comparatively high list price, it’s great value used thanks to big discounts on pre-registered and facelift models. As it hasn’t been on sale for many years, models are still costing around £20,000 used, but that’s still a great saving off the list price—even when you include the government’s electric car grant of £3,500, which goes towards brand new models.


  1. Impressive list of standard equipment
  2. Excellent safety record
  3. The Ioniq’s the first car to be offered with three electrified powertrains
  4. Very cheap to run…
  5. Although can be expensive to buy new
  6. £3,500 government electric car grant put towards a new Ioniq
  7. Limited real-world range
  8. Decent acceleration
  9. Comfortable and refined cabin
  10. An attractive EV proposition – it just needs a longer range

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