This morning, Hyundai Ireland introduced the Car Buyers Guide team to the brand new Hyundai Ioniq. Our test vehicle was called the Ioniq "Electric" - which is the fully-electric choice from Hyundai and it will be available from your nearest dealer from €28,495 (after getting the full €5,000 grant from the SEAI). Like any other electric vehicle, you are greeted with silence when you press the button to turn over the battery and when you but your foot on the accelerator, you are introduced to the electronic whirr of movement.
Our introduction to the Ioniq was brief, but it was enough to give us some feel as to what's on offer. Let's start off in the back seat. This car offers excellent leg room. However, it is narrow enough and would be better suited to four adults (rather than five). Head height is good too, somehow Hyundai managed to do a better job creating a coupe-look to the rear without jeopardising head room than the Toyota Prius.
On-paper, Hyundai reckons that the full electric model of the Ioniq can bring you a full 250km on a single charge. We've spoken to some of the Hyundai Ireland team and they reckon that it's more probable that it will achieve circa 180/190km in a real-world environment. This isn't bad at all - but is it enough to stop range anxiety? Also, is the real-world 180/190km range enough to take customers away from the Nissan Leaf?
Like the Prius, the Ioniq does suffer from road noise at higher speeds. In the city, it is a different story and you can drive around hearing only the whizz of the electric engine - it's pretty relaxing really!
The nose of this car looks a bit strange when you compare it to any of the conventional cars in the Hyundai range, however, its oddity does serve a purpose – it adds to the aerodynamics and helps to make the vehicle more efficient. Even the heating system within the car is designed to be more efficient.
There is a bit too many buttons around the infotainment system, but the screen itself coughs up all your real-time driving data, and admittedly it is quite intuitive.
If you opt for the fully electric model you should expect to pay €120 per annum in road tax. For your €28,495 you will get 16” alloy wheels, air-con, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity and much more. If fully-electric driving is not for you, and if you need a more reliable range, then the other offering is the petrol hybrid version (€31,995). By March 2017, we should also expect to see a plug-in hybrid version.
We will get a full test of the Hyundai Ioniq soon, but for the moment we do have to say that if the range of an electric vehicle is for you – then this is definitely a good choice. It has excellent room to the back, a small but usable boot, and it could save you a packet on fuel and tax bills over time.