Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid engines, drive & performance
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The Ioniq Hybrid isn’t an engaging car, but with light steering and decent responses, it's secure and predictable in a rather satisfying way. It’s a shame the dual-clutch automatic gearbox is a bit clunky and sometimes lets the engine rev noisily.
Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid electric motor, 0-62mph and acceleration
The Ioniq Hybrid will set off from a standstill in virtual silence under electric power, but it’s easy to feel the point at which the 1.6-litre petrol engine kicks in. That engine and the electric motor combined produce 139bhp, which is enough to see the car from 0-62mph in 10.8 seconds, but if you try to make good use of that moderate performance, you’ll be bothered by the noise, as the engine is noisy if you accelerate hard.
The big difference between the Ioniq Hybrid and the Toyota Prius is its gearbox. The Hyundai uses a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, of the sort normally found in petrol and diesel-powered cars.
In theory, this should give the Ioniq an advantage over the Toyota’s droning CVT (continuously variable transmission), but the Hyundai’s gearbox is slow to respond, and there’s a peculiar surging sensation at motorway speeds while the car juggles with the power from the petrol engine and the electric motor. However, it’s worth giving the Hyundai credit for having smoother brakes than the Prius.
The Ioniq feels eager enough through corners, thanks to its relatively low weight and tight body control, but it’s never what you’d call an engaging driver’s car. The steering is light, and while it can be made heavier by selecting Sport mode, it always feels artificial. For all that, the Ioniq feels secure and predictable and is easy to drive whether you’re mooching through town or enjoying a decent country road.