Unlike some electric and hybrid vehicles, the 2019 Hyundai Ioniq focuses more on affordability than a luxury. Introduced for the 2017 model year, the Ioniq comes in three distinct forms: Hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid, and Electric. Hyundai hasn’t changed much on the Ioniq for the 2019 model year, except for adding several valuable active-safety features to the Hybrid SEL version. They include automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, adaptive cruise control, active lane control, and a driver-attention warning.
A likable little hatchback, the Ioniq competes most directly with Toyota’s familiar Prius and succeeds quite well. Hyundai has attempted to make it feel like a “normal” car, and it has succeeded.
Hybrid models are available in three trim levels: Blue, SEL, and Limited. Plug-In Hybrid and Electric Ioniqs come in the base or Limited trim.
The 2019 Hyundai Ioniq is powered by a 28 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack is mated to a 118-horsepower, 218 lb-ft electric motor on a 360-volt system. Electric performance is punchy – thank the instant torque for that – particularly around town, while at highway speeds the performance is a little less forthcoming.
With a single-speed drive system, not having to shift gears takes some getting used to, with steering-mounted paddles used for adjusting the levels of brake regeneration and their accompanying levels of braking effect in off-throttle scenarios. It’s a little awkward at first, but with careful driving and some foresight, it’s possible to drive the Ioniq Electric predominantly without the brake pedal, which in turn gets you maximum range as well.
The Ioniq is equipped with a 6.6 kW charging system with DC fast charging capabilities. With a level 3 DC fast charger, up to 80% of its charge can be recouped within 23 minutes, while a standard charge on a 220-volt system will take approximately four and a half hours, and charge on a slower 110-volt system will take around ten hours to fully charge.
STANDARD FEATURES AND OPTIONS:
The Ioniq offers a wealth of trim and choices at a reasonable price.
With just two trims, Hyundai splits the equipment between scant and well-equipped.
If you can live without the latest high-tech driving aids, then the base trim will suit you. Standard features include 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, LED daytime running lights and taillights, a rearview camera, heated side mirrors, keyless ignition and entry, automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, heated height-adjustable front seats, and a 60/40-split folding rear seatback. You also get a 7-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics system, and an audio system with satellite and HD radio, and USB and auxiliary input jacks.
An SAE combo DC fast charger is included and can operate at up to 100 kilowatts, charging the battery from zero to 80 per cent in just 23 minutes. A full recharge from a 240-volt charger takes about 4.5 hours.
The Limited trim comes with everything above but swaps in xenon headlights and adds power-folding side mirrors with puddle lamps, chrome exterior trim, a sunroof, leather upholstery, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, driver-seat memory settings, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, interior ambient lighting, and rear air vents. Infotainment upgrades include wireless device charging, a larger 8-inch touchscreen with navigation, and an eight-speaker Infinity audio system.
The Limited also comes standard with active safety features and driver aids, including automatic high-beam control, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning with lane keeping assist, and a driver attention monitor
Infotainment is one aspect well catered for in the Ioniq Electric, even in base trim. A standard seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with six speakers can accept inputs via AM/FM radio, SiriusXM satellite radio, auxiliary input, USB, Bluetooth, and via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with which the system is fully compatible. The screen also acts as the display for the standard rearview camera.
The Ioniq Electric Limited gets an upgraded eight-inch touchscreen system that features built-in navigation, while Audio quality is improved by Clari-Fi music restoration technology and an eight-speaker Infinity premium audio system with a subwoofer. For 2019, upgraded voice controls on the Limited model come courtesy of HERE replacing Google’s POI search. The upgrade controls work well, and overall, both systems are fluent and easy to use.
The Hyundai Ioniq is fun to drive and one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles on the road.
The Hyundai Ioniq platform is built on a front wheel drive platform regardless of whether it’s hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or pure electric. In the Ioniq Electric, Hyundai has installed a 28.0 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, mated to an electric motor with outputs of 118 horsepower and 218 lb-ft of torque. The 360-volt system comes with a 6.6 kW charge system with DC fast-charging capabilities and regenerative braking that can be altered via paddle shifters that increase or decrease the level of brake regeneration to your desired comfort levels. Straight line performance is decent, taking 8.5 seconds to reach the 0 to 60 mph landmark, but this figure lags behind the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Kona Electric who both manage the same feat some two seconds quicker.
The 2019 Hyundai Ioniq comes in three flavours: green, greener, and greenest. There’s not a bad pick in the bunch.
A full charge of the Hyundai Ioniq Electric’s 28 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery yields an estimated range of 124 miles, giving an MPG equivalence of 136 MPGe. While the latter figure is impressive, the range is well behind that of other EVs in the segment, particularly for vehicles engineered with pure electrification in mind. The Nissan Leaf and BMW i3 offer around 150 miles range each, with a potential 200-mile range on a soon-to-be-launched larger battery option for the Leaf, while the Chevrolet Bolt offers 238 miles. Hyundai’s own Kona Electric, which overlaps on price with the Ioniq Electric Limited, gets an EPA estimate of 258 miles of electric range. While the Ioniq was afoot in the door for Hyundai’s EV foray, times have moved on while the Ioniq has been left behind.
HANDLING AND DRIVING EXPERIENCE:
Hyundai wanted the Ioniq Electric to look and feel as much like a regular car as possible, and to a large extent, it’s succeeded. The Ioniq boasts well-rounded driving dynamics and enjoyable driving experience, but one that leans more towards comfort than towards driver thrills.
It’s in the steering feel that the Ioniq fails to deliver. The wheel itself is phenomenally well moulded, but it feels too light in hand and doesn’t weigh up proportionately to the cornering forces. It’s precise on turn-in and responds well to inputs mid-corner as well as at low speeds when manoeuvring through tight city spaces, but there’s a lack of feedback that we feel could have been a bit better.
However, the suspension is well-tuned and the battery’s low mounting point gives the Ioniq a low centre of gravity that bodes well for handling attributes and an overall feeling of stability. The relatively low curb weight for an EV helps give the Ioniq a feeling of surprising nimbleness, but the suspension is a little too buoyant and aloof at times and it feels floaty over undulating surfaces. The grip is also limited, due to the efficiency-biased tires, so while the Ioniq feels lively, there’s only so much that can be extracted from it in terms of driver thrills.
The ride is for the most part compliant, on the softer side of things as it makes effective use of the lightweight to avoid being overly sprung. It’s about par for the segment, though, with none of the other offerings focusing on anything but comfort. But the floatiness leads to porpoising on the wavy tarmac, which could result in car-sick prone passengers feeling quite ill.
To Hyundai’s credit, the brakes have been particularly well-engineered – something that is commonly a flaw when it comes to EVs. Hyundai has programmed in three levels of brake regeneration strength, accessible via steering-mounted paddles that increase or decrease the levels of ‘engine braking’. The most aggressive setting still isn’t overly aggressive, and the brake pedal is required. Fortunately, it’s programmed with good levels of adjustment and modulation and without the grabbiness often associated with these types of systems.
The Ioniq is not one of the torque monsters we read about in the EV news. But it doesn’t weigh as much as some others, so it has enough power to be competitive in the segment. Well-rounded dynamics make the driving experience enjoyable, but a bit more steering feel would be welcome.
The Ioniq’s rather small electric motor makes good torque when it’s time to get going, and it feels peppy around town. But with only 118 horsepower, it’s not destined to be fast. That said, there’s enough to get this 3,200-pound EV up to 60 mph in 8.9 seconds, a decent showing in this segment.
These brakes perform well in everyday situations, not too soft and not too much initial grab. There are three levels of brake regeneration that can be adjusted on the fly via paddles mounted on the back of the steering wheel. Panic stops from 60 mph took 124 feet, a tick below the class average
The Ioniq’s wheel feels light in your hands, and it doesn’t transmit much cornering feedback to the driver. But that doesn’t harm the car’s steering precision in city manoeuvres or its inherent stability when cruising straight at speed on the highway.
The 2019 Hyundai Ioniq’s has a comfortable ride but its roof eats into some headroom.
The driver’s seat to be comfortable and on par with, if not a tick above, those of competitors. The back seats are average at best. A simple yet clever climate control system is the main standout, with noise management also commendable. Ride discomfort on choppier roads is the biggest negative.
The shape of the driver’s seat is supportive and adjustable enough that most will find a comfortable position. Its rear bench seatback is upright and quite firmly padded, and lateral support is lacking. The Hyundai Ioniq Electric offers seating for five occupants, but if adults are your measure of seating then cut that number down to four. The front seats are generally commodious enough for most, with decent headroom and legroom, even with the sunroof on the Limited trim. Sadly, the same cannot be said of the rear seats, where the sloping roofline cuts into headroom and the position of the seat and underlying battery pack leaves legroom quite short. The driver’s seat boasts standard heating and six-way manual adjustment – power adjustment is standard on the Limited – with a good range of movement and a tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel which makes finding a comfortable driving position quite simple. Visibility is decent, only impeded by the size and positioning of the front and rear roof pillars.
The ride across most surfaces is smooth, even soft, and perfectly acceptable for the segment. With the rise and fall of wavy sections of road, however, there is an undesirable, almost nautical, surging. Those sensitive to such undulations should pay attention to this during the test drive.
NOISE AND VIBRATION:
There’s no engine noise, and there isn’t much wind noise either. Other sources of noise are well controlled, and it’s easy to hold conversations without the need for raising one’s voice. Pedestrians can hear an exaggerated battery hum outside the car and a dull chime when it’s in reverse.
The single-zone climate control is easy to use. The design avoids complication by leaning on large buttons and two knobs for all controls. The knobs manage temp and fan speed and the buttons everything else. A neat onboard meter tracks the real-time impact of climate control settings on battery range.
The Ioniq’s interior is highly functional. Its controls are logically arranged, and its driver’s seat is adjustable enough to accommodate people of all sizes. Most will find head- and legroom suitable for short-distance comfort. Taller drivers and passengers may complain on longer drives.
EASE OF USE:
All major controls and switches are placed where we expect and are easy to use. The infotainment system’s large fixed buttons are welcome, but it feels less enthusiastic about certain touchscreen buttons. The infotainment and navigation display screen is crisp, legible and resistant to sun-induced washout.
GETTING IN AND GETTING OUT:
The front doors open wide and close with a satisfying thud despite their relatively lightweight. The seat bolstering isn’t particularly aggressive, so it’s easy to slide in. Adults entering the back seat may need to duck because of a tall seat position and a sloping roofline. But kids won’t mind.
Most will find a comfortable driving position with minimal effort. There is a nice range of height and seat cushion adjustments, and the tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel has good range. The feel of the steering wheel grip area is terrific, but its overall flat bottom shape is polarizing.
The fore- and rearmost pillars are thick and create larger blind spots. The additional vertical glass below the rear window helps visibility directly behind. The backup camera’s field of view is on the small side but has helpful turning lines. The optional adaptive xenon headlights are fantastic.
There is plenty of space for our smaller items in the door pockets, deep centre bin and centre console nooks. There is an optional wireless charging slot, which was nearly the size of another cupholder. Probably opt for another cubby instead.
Hyundai lists the cargo volume at 23.8 cubic feet. It is large enough for five carry-on-size suitcases behind the second row without impeding the driver’s view over the seatbacks. The rear seats also split 60/40 and fold down nearly flat.
In its second row, the Ioniq has four LATCH anchors (two in each outboard position) and three tethers located on the seatbacks. The anchors were difficult to access due to the seat material.
The screen may be small, but it’s well-lit and easy to use. Bluetooth pairing is dead simple, and smartphones can be connected with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The voice controls function well but have limited scope. Advanced driver aids are only available on the highest trim as an option.
AUDIO AND NAVIGATION:
The touchscreen allows swiping and responds as quickly as competitive systems. It uses a grid layout to fit as much information as possible on its home screen. The 8-inch navigation screen is easy to read and zoom in and out on. The traffic alerts were accurate and timely.
Bluetooth pairing is simple and fast. This system also supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Ioniq includes USB and auxiliary ports and two 12-volt accessory outlets below the radio. Another USB charge point is located in the centre console, as is an optional Qi wireless charging shelf.
Automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist and adaptive cruise control are available, but only on the most expensive trim level.
The Ioniq supports basic commands, such as making calls and switching the audio source, natively. The system understands commands well. The availability of Siri and Google Voice commands by pressing the voice button longer makes up for any deficits the standard system may have.
The 2019 Ioniq hides its green technologies in a normal sedan package.
One of the Ioniq’s best traits is an unassuming design that would seem at home on any combustion compact hatch on the market. This, compared to the Prius’ notion of ‘style’ that seems to make as many enemies as friends. The only dead giveaway that the Ioniq Electric isn’t just another compact is the lack of a grille, replaced by a gloss black panel without interfering with the design. Headlights are projector items as standard with high-intensity discharge (HID) units on the Limited model. Aerodynamically designed 16-inch alloy wheels fill the lightly flared wheel arches. The lower edges of the door feature a black beltline on the base model, with chrome equipped to the Limited trim, while black window surrounds are standard, with chrome on the Limited trim.
The Ioniq Electric is available in four exterior colours: Ceramic White, Symphony Air Silver, Intense Blue, and Black Noir Pearl. All hues are carried over from last years model, and none are extra-cost items. The palette isn’t particularly exciting, but Intense Blue does a good job of highlighting the lines of the bodywork.
The Hyundai Ioniq lacks a complete set of crash-test scores, but what’s in already is very good.
The IIHS calls the Ioniq a Top Safety Pick. The IIHS gave the Ioniq top “Good” scores in every crash test including the relatively new front passenger-side small overlap crash test. When equipped with automatic emergency braking, the Ioniq was rated as “Superior” for avoiding forward collisions up to 25 mph. This year, Hyundai added automatic emergency braking to SEL-equipped Ioniqs.
Aside from active safety features, the Ioniq is equipped with airbags for all belted passengers and child seat anchors that the IIHS rated as “Acceptable” for ease of use.
Blind-spot monitors and active lane control are available as spend-up options on most models.
The 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Electric has a reasonable starting price when you factor in its number of standard features and available state and federal tax credits. But we think it’s worth paying extra and upgrading to the Limited. The price jump is steep, but the Limited’s additional advanced safety features are worth getting.
One of the most affordable electric vehicles
Generous cargo space in the back (though limited by the battery pack)
Packed with active driving aids and technology
Uses electricity very efficiently
Drives like a regular car without compromised dynamics
Increased safety technology for 2019
Acceleration lacks punch
The back seat is tight and not very comfortable
Rear visibility is impeded by a low-cut, split rear window
Disappointing EV range
Floaty handling dynamics
Engine Type: Electric
Transmission: 1-speed direct drive
Drive Type: Front wheel drive
Combined MPG: 136
Basic Warranty : 5 yr./ 60000 mi.
Fuel and mpg:
EPA City MPGe: 150 mi.
EPA Combined MPGe:136 mi.
EPA Mileage Est. (Cty/Hwy): 150/122 mpg
Range In Miles (Cty/Hwy): 0/0 mi.
EPA Time To Charge Battery (At 240V): 4 h
EPA Highway MPGe: 122 mi.
Combined MPG: 136
EPA KWh/100 Mi: 25
Fuel Type: Electric fuel
EPA Electricity Range: 124 mi.
Torque: 218 ft-lbs. @ 0 RPM
Base Engine Type: Electric
Turning Circle: 34.8 ft
Rear Door Child Safety Locks: yes
Turn Signal Mirrors: yes
Daytime Running Lights: yes
Engine Immobilizer: yes
Dual Front Side-Mounted Airbags: yes
Stability Controlyes yes
Passenger Airbag Occupant Sensing Deactivation: yes
Rear Height Adjustable Headrests: yes
Remote Anti-Theft Alarm System: yes
2 Front Headrests: yes
3 Rear Headrests: yes
Auto Delay Off Headlamps: yes
Tire Pressure Monitoring: yes
Traction Control: yes
Xenon High-Intensity Discharge Headlamp: yes
Pre-Collision Safety System: yes
4-Wheel ABS: yes
Emergency Braking Preparation: yes
Rear Center 3-Point Belt: yes
Post-Collision Safety System: yes
Child Seat Anchors: yes
Front And Rear Head Airbags: yes
Emergency Braking Assist: yes
Adaptive Headlights: yes
Dusk Sensing Headlamps: yes
Blind Spot And Lane Departure Warnings
Accident Avoidance System: yes
Ventilated Front Disc / Solid Rear Disc Brakes: yes
8 Total Speakers: yes
3 Months Of Provided Satellite Radio Service: yes
Infinity Premium Brand Speakers: yes
AM/FM Stereo: yes
Auxiliary Audio Input And USB With External Media Control: yes
Satellite Radio Satellite Radio: yes
Infinity Premium Brand Stereo System: yes
USB Connection: yes
1 Subwoofer(S): yes
Comfort and convenience:
Audio And Cruise Controls On Steering Wheel: yes
Front Seatback Storage: yes
Leather Steering Wheel: yes
Climate Control: yes
Turn Signal In Mirrors: yes
Adaptive Cruise Control: yes
Dual Illuminating Vanity Mirrors: yes
Front And Rear Cupholders; yes
Electrochromatic Inside Rearview Mirror: yes
Front And Rear Door Pockets: yes
Electric Power Steering: yes
Rear View Camera: yes
Tilt And Telescopic Steering Wheel: yes
Universal Remote Transmitter
(For Garage Door, Security System, Etc.): yes
Extended Cabin Heating/Cooling: yes
Cruise Control: yes
Hands-Free Entry: yes
2 One-Touch Power Windows: yes
Heated Mirrors: yes
1 One-Touch Power Windows: no
External Temperature Display: yes
Trip Computer: yes
Bucket Front Seats: yes
Height Adjustable Passenger Seat: yes
Multi-Level Heating Driver Seat: yes
Front Leg Room: 42.2 in.
Front Head Room: 38.2 in.
Height Adjustable Driver Seat: yes
Multi-Level Heating Passenger Seat: yes
Driver Seat With Power Adjustable Lumbar Support: yes
Front Shoulder Room: 56.1 in.
8 -Way Power Driver Seat: yes
Front Hip Room: 53.8 in.
6 -Way Manual Passenger Seat Adjustment: yes
Driver Seat With Manual Adjustable Lumbar Support: power-operated
6 -Way Manual Driver Seat Adjustments: power-operated
Rear Head Room: 37.4 in.
Rear Hip Room: 52.9 in.
Rear Leg Room: 35.7 in.
Rear Shoulder Room: 55.0 in.
Rear Ventilation Ducts: yes
Split-Folding Rear Seatback: yes
Folding Center Armrest: yes
Length: 176.0 in.
Curb Weight: 3185 lbs.
Gross Weight: 4189 lbs.
Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 23.0 cu.ft.
Ground Clearance: 5.5 in.
Height: 57.1 in.
EPA Interior Volume: 119.2 cu.ft.
Maximum Payload: 1004 lbs.
Wheel Base: 106.3 in.
Width: 71.7 in.
Tires and wheels:
All-Season Tires: yes
Alloy Wheels: yes
16 X 6.5 In. Wheels: yes
P205/55R16 Tires: yes
Stabilizer Bar: yes
Front Independent Suspension: yes
Basic: 5 yr./ 60000 mi.
Drivetrain: 10 yr./ 100000 mi.
EV Battery: 10 yr./ 100000 mi.