Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1
  • Decent performance from electric model
  • Hybrid likely to be more versatile for more owners
  • Suits a laid-back driving style

Available in standard hybrid and plug-in hybrid forms (plus the Ioniq Electric pure-EV that we've reviewed separately) the Ioniq offers a broad range of powertrains to suit most drivers.

A low-drag design thanks to a slippery profile, plus clean airflow around the wheels and side sills means this hatchback needs less power to cut through the air, aiding efficency and performance - says Hyundai.

Hybrid performance

Here an electric motor and 1.6-litre petrol engine combine to produce 141hp and 265Nm of torque - good for a 0-62mph time of 10.8 seconds.

A dual-clutch gearbox is an unusual addition to this powertrain - normally hybrids use a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), which can often feel and sound strange when accelerating at anything over a moderate pace.

As a result the Ioniq Hybrid, while not a particularly quick car, is quiet and smooth in use. The can be enhanced by selecting Sport mode, which primes the system for maximum performance and also adds weight to the steering.

2019 Hyundai Ioniq driving white front three quarters

Plug-in-hybrid performance

This plug-in version features a larger 59kWh battery and a more powerful electric motor, but develops the same total system power and torque as the standard hybrid.

It's also a little bit heavier yet manages the 0-62mph sprint tenths quicker. But the main difference is fact this car can travel up to 39 miles on battery power alone. You can also use the electric power in combination with the petrol motor on longer trips in order to reduce fuel consumption. The car decides when to swap between the two, or when to use both motors at the same time.

In order to achieve this you'll need to externally charge the car by plugging it in - we've explained how long this will likely take in the Running Costs section.

Learning to brake differently

We also found larger feet could foul the footwell when braking, but thankfully regenerative braking can now be controlled using paddles behind the wheel.

Tug the left lever to 'downshift' and you increase the amount of braking force applied by the motor.

Adapt to this, and you’ll find you need to use the conventional brakes much less, helping you extend the driving range (as energy otherwise wasted is recuperated) while reducing wear and tear on the brake pads and discs.

ECO DAS driving system

Ioniq models fitted with the 10.25-inch touchscreen also benefit from Hyundai's Eco Driving Assistant System. This uses information from the sat-nav to advise the driver the best time to decelerate, in order to minimise brake use.

Gradient data also helps the car set itself up in the most efficient way possible, planning ahead for long stretches uphill, for example.

Handling

  • Not an exciting car to drive, better at wafting
  • Accomplished at soaking up bumps in the road
  • Unsettled by sudden direction changes

The Ioniq is not supposed to be a sports car, but with the third-generation Prius stepping up its game and becoming much better to drive, it still needs to be at least moderately engaging from behind the wheel.

And moderately engaging is just about the best way of describing it. It’s not a bad car to drive, by any means, but it rolls quite a bit through the corners (disconcertingly so, if you do a sudden lane change) and is unlikely to ever really get under your skin to become something you really relish driving.

The Ioniq does at the least feel very planted and offers safe and secure grip levels that shouldn't leave you wanting for more traction under normal driving conditions.

2019 Hyundai Ioniq driving white rear three quarters