Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid engines, drive & performance
The Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid has perfectly adequate pace, and the handling perks up noticeably in Sport mode
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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.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid is a seriously strong rival to the Toyota Prius; it’s great value, easy to live with and cheap to run
- 2MPG & CO2 emissionsThe Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid is very efficient compared to a diesel hatchback, but it’s a shame the Toyota Prius manages lower CO2 emissions
- 3Running costsThe Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid is cheaper to buy than a Toyota Prius, and cheap enough to challenge conventional hatchbacks like the Volkswagen Golf
- 4Engines, drive & performance - currently readingThe Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid has perfectly adequate pace, and the handling perks up noticeably in Sport mode
- 5Interior & comfortThe Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid will cope easily with a family of four, but it feels a bit cheap inside. Go for mid-range Premium to get decent infotainment
- 6Practicality & boot spaceFour adults can sit comfortably in the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid, while boot space is usefully better than in most family hatchbacks
- 7Reliability & safetyThe Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid scored the full five stars in Euro NCAP crash-testing and Hyundai as a brand has a good reputation for reliability