2019 Hyundai Ioniq Electric Review

Ioniq Electric

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2019 Hyundai Ioniq Electric Overview

Hyundai’s ultra-efficient hatchback family includes the Ioniq Hybrid, Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid, and the Ioniq Electric. While each of these shares a wedge-like body, the Ioniq Electric distinguishes itself with a gloss-black faux grille and distinct taillights. Introduced in 2017 to residents of California, the Ioniq Electric continues into 2019 with no updates.

As a fully electric vehicle, the Ioniq Electric uses an electric motor and 28 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion polymer battery to put out 118 horsepower and 218 pound-feet of torque. It’s good for 136 miles-per-gallon-equivalent (MPGe) and 124 miles of range. While the latter figure isn’t as good as some competitors, it more than meets most commuters’ daily needs. With the standard 6.6 kWh on-board charger and integrated cable, Hyundai estimates a 220-volt “Level 2” charger will take 4.5 hours to bring the battery from depleted to full. The Ioniq Electric also supports “Level 3” DC fast-charging that replenishes 80% of battery capacity in under 20 minutes. What’s more, every model gets paddles behind the steering wheel that control the severity of the regenerative brakes, from zero (off) to three (maximum regeneration). This allows for one-pedal driving, which lets you slow down the car and recapture kinetic energy by letting your foot off of the accelerator, rather than tapping the brake pedal.

The Ioniq Electric’s interior is approachable. It features an understated and modern design with familiar controls. The 7-inch LCD instrument cluster mimics readouts from a conventional gasoline-powered car and all the controls have dedicated buttons and switches, rather than complicated touch screens. Even the push-button gear selector is laid out ergonomically. The Ioniq Electric seats five people, although those in the back may find headroom lacking, as a result of the car’s aerodynamically sloped roofline. Behind the rear seats, there’s 23 cubic feet of cargo space. The seat splits 60/40 and folds to accommodate bulkier items.

The Ioniq Electric comes in two trims: Base and Limited. The Base trim comes bundled with heated side mirrors, solar glass, LED daytime-running lights, LED taillights, automatic climate control, a 6-way manual driver’s seat, cloth upholstery, heated front seats, keyless access and start, an electronic parking brake, a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a 7-inch LCD instrument cluster. The Limited model gets chrome exterior trim, power-folding mirrors with puddle lamps, HID/LED headlights, a power moonroof, an efficient heat pump in place of a conventional heater, rear air vents, a 10-way power driver’s seat, leather upholstery, driver memory settings, wireless charging, an Infinity 8-speaker audio system, and a larger 8-inch infotainment display.

By keeping the Ioniq Electric’s starting price low, Hyundai offers standard safety features like a reversing camera and driver’s blind-spot mirror. But the Limited trim tacks on automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and adaptive headlights. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tested the similar Ioniq Hybrid in 2018, where it earned a Top Safety Pick award.

The Hyundai Ioniq Electric doesn’t have the same range and performance as the Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3, but it undercuts those cars by thousands of dollars. Still, the Nissan Leaf offers a bit more performance and capacity for about the same starting price. However, there’s plenty to admire in the Ioniq Electric’s presentation as a simple, friendly car with no learning curve. The warranty, which is unlimited for the battery pack for its first owner, is more than competitive. And, like most other electric vehicles, it is eligible for the full $7,500 tax credit. So if you’re a resident of California and the Ioniq Electric meets your needs, be sure to check it out.


Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.

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