- Quiet out on the road
- Comfortable ride
The move towards eco-friendly cars has seen Hyundai perfectly placed to meet the demand with its radical new IONIQ.
And while a lot of buyers opt for the IONIQ because of its low emission levels, the obvious bonus of this car is its phenomenally low fuel consumption.
I tested the Premium SE spec and after many days driving one, the onboard computer told me I had averaged 71.3mpg. And for a car of this size under normal driving conditions it doesn’t get much better than that.
The IONIQ is the world’s first car to offer three different types of electrified transmission systems, so motorists anxious to protect the environment can select the one best suited to their needs.
There’s the full hybrid version, powered by a 1.6-litre petrol engine and an electric motor, where the engine charges the battery.
Then there's a plug-in hybrid where the battery is charged from your home electricity supply, but you still have the same 1.6-litre engine should you run out of battery power. And finally there's the pure electric version.
Driven here is the hybrid Premium SE version. In effect, the one where you don’t have to worry about the state of the battery because it’s constantly being charged by the engine.
But if you are curious, you can actually watch the energy flowing in and out of the battery on the dashboard touch screen as you’re driving.
The IONIQ Premium SE's engine is mated to a 6-speed, double clutch automatic gearbox, which ensures speedy and smooth acceleration.
But if you're in a real hurry, you can slip the gear shift into sport for the sort of take off you don’t expect from a hybrid. At the same time, the speedometer turns red and morphs into a rev counter with a digital speedometer readout in the centre.
And if you fancy some hands on driving, there are also paddles behind the steering wheel.
The IONIQ is also a car which is surprisingly agile, staying well planted and flat when taking corners briskly.
Design and Practicality
Blue piping and stitching on the seats as well as blue surrounds on the dashboard air vents highlight the fact that this is a hybrid, and there's even a discreet blue stripe on the lower levels of the front and rear of the car.
Weight has been kept down by using aluminium rather than steel for the bonnet and tailgate and even the rear luggage cover is made of a special lightweight material, making it 25 percent lighter than those on other Hyundai models.
Even with five people on board, the IONIQ Premium SE never lacks pace and the ride is comfortable and very quiet even with the engine in play.
There’s no skimping when it comes to luxuries on board the Premium SE model, which is packed with impressive creature comforts.
As well as leather upholstery there are heated seats front and rear with cooling ventilation on the front seats for the summer as well as a memory function, a heated steering wheel, satellite navigation and colour reversing camera.
Hyundai has proven that just because you drive an economical, eco-friendly car, driving doesn’t have to be boring with the IONIQ Premium SE. It's silky smooth out on the road and its comfortable, spacious interior makes it one of the most practical hatchback for families.