2017 Hyundai Ioniq Review


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2017 Hyundai Ioniq Overview

Debuting at the 2016 New York International Auto Show, the Ioniq is Hyundai’s 3-pronged attack on the Prius dynasty. Whether shoppers are interested in a traditional hybrid, are set on pure electric mobility, or sit somewhere in between, Hyundai hopes to capture a market long dominated by Toyota and its Prius.

While the goals for the Ioniq are undoubtedly lofty, its design is interestingly grounded. Hyundai went with an attractive, sloping hatchback body style, but with a higher roofline than the Chevrolet Volt or Cadillac ELR. Truthfully, it’s not unlike the first-generation Saab 9-3 or the currently available Hyundai Veloster (albeit with the correct number of doors). This layout generally affords impressive cargo volume without forfeiting design cues of the classic sedan, and with best-in-class cargo space, the Ioniq Hybrid confirms this. Add in a best-in-class drag coefficient of 0.24, and Hyundai has delivered an impressive combination of form and function.

On the inside, Hyundai claims to have applied a “Purified High-tech” design philosophy, but it looks like the emphasis was more squarely on “purified” than “high-tech.” While some shoppers may want to be reminded of their forward-thinking cars of the future while sitting in traffic, Hyundai Ioniq owners will instead be surrounded by comfortable seats and simple controls with a very straightforward layout. With the exception of a brushed-metal steering wheel accent, the insides of the Hyundai Ioniq aren’t too different from those of the 2017 Hyundai Elantra. For what it’s worth, we think that car’s interior is fantastic.

Of course, anyone researching an Ioniq will be interested in one detail above all else: efficiency. The Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-in employ a 1.6-liter direct-injected 4-cylinder. An Atkinson-cycle engine, it produces 104 hp and 109 lb-ft of torque. In order to boost those numbers (and provide the desired fuel economy), the standard hybrid is supplemented by an electric motor, generating 43 additional hp and a maximum torque figure of 125 lb-ft. All told, this powertrain will grant the hybrid Ioniq a total output of 139 hp.

The Ioniq Plug-in benefits from an 8.9kWh lithium-ion battery making approximately 60 hp. Capable of running on electricity alone for roughly 25 miles, the Ioniq Plug-in may be the best compromise of the three; it offers all-electric efficiency for short trips without sacrificing the driving range associated with a gas engine.

Speaking of range, the all-electric Ioniq will travel roughly 110 miles on a single charge, thanks to a 28kWh lithium-ion battery putting out a maximum of 120 hp and 215 lb-ft of torque. Unlike the Hybrid and Plug-in, which utilize a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission, the Ioniq Electric will operate using a single-speed reduction-gear transmission (similar to that of the Toyota Prius). All told, the Electric delivers a 125 MPGe rating.

The Ioniq hasn’t been released yet, and as such hasn’t been tested by either the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but considering its rigid steel chassis and slew of safety features, we’d be surprised if it scored poorly. Blind-spot detection, lane-change assist, and rear cross-traffic alert all work in conjunction with each other. Additionally, a lane-departure warning system, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and adaptive cruise control are also available. However, we cannot guarantee that they will be included as standard options.

One of the Ioniq’s major selling points is its ability to fit any lifestyle. Whether you’re looking for a city commuter car, something that will provide great fuel economy for longer road trips, or something that can do a bit of both, Hyundai is confident the Ioniq is the right choice.


When it comes to cars, Matt's curiosity extends well beyond the powertrain. From Ford to Porsche, he's as interested in the history behind the machine as he is the view behind the wheel. Matt writes exclusively for CarGurus.

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