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Hi,

A dealer test drive is at best 'Ok, the car runs' as a proper test drive would take more than the ~7-8 miles and about half an hour. So consider this another blind man report on the elephant.

TEST ARTICLE

The first Ioniq Blue to arrive at the local dealer, see here; for the equipment list, see here.

Reviewer:

I'm a 67 year old, engineer who owns a 2014 BMW i3-REx, +20k miles, and 2017 Prius Prime, +3k miles. Until last year, we owned a 2003 Prius, 173k miles, and a 2010 Prius, 73k miles. When I tested a 2016 Prius last May, the "Toyota Safety Sense P" but it was not available on the high efficiency, Level Two ECO. I rejected an offer of $28.5k for a Level Three with a moon roof when it only got 99.1 MPG on a local test loop that I use for mileage testing.

Test Objectives:
  1. Measure test loop MPG
  2. Observe minimum cruise control speed
  3. Normal cold start operation in ordinary driving

My initial walk around, the trunk area is large but the sub-basement is even more impressive. Take out that false floor and it would be a huge cavern to carry stuff. Engine compartment is neat and logically laid out but first attempt to take the fuse cover off, I felt uncomfortable that doing it wrong might break it in my haste. Seats were fine but the outside rear view mirrors felt small although the 'bubble' mirror on the driver side helps cover blind spots. I asked the salesman to handle the cabin controls and help with getting some of the displays working, like the trip meter.

The drive to the test loop, 2-3 miles away, revealed the car has similar warm-up characteristics as our former 2010 and 2003 Prius. It took nearly 2 miles before the MPG broke through 40 MPG. So I reset it and by the time we reached the test loop, it was showing between 45-55 MPG. But the three digit, 99.9 MPG meter was a problem that I didn't compensate for.

We entered the test loop at the highest point, the east, and did one practice loop. During this time, it appeared the cruise control would work to about 20 mph. So I set the car at 28 mph, the same minimum cruise speed of the 2016 Prius, 99.1 MPG, and 2017 Prius Prime, 105 MPG. But I reset the MPG meter at the highest point of the test loop and did three, 1.1 mile loops, and it never budged. This meant it would take many more loops and we might never get a true MPG reading.

So I reset the trip meter at the lowest point and did one loop that returned 56 MPG. This is also not a valid number but we would have needed to do at least another 5-10 loops to get a valid number. Worse, that was the first time I noticed the traction battery level was the lower 'tick mark.' In effect the earlier loops were in EV mode giving a misleading 99.9 MPG.

I still don't know what the car would do on a steady state, 28 mph. The fault was mine as in the past, both the 2003 and 2010 Prius suffered the same 99.9 MPG indicator. The 2016 Prius and 2017 Prime have a maximum reading of 199.9 MPG which makes high mileage measurements much easier.

On the drive over, I had one brake anomaly, a kind of transition pause. BUT there was a 'keep feet clean' paper on the floor and it is possible the paper affected that brake event. We did have a 'brake pause' problem with the 2010 Prius that Toyota resolved with a software patch. It was a one time event and under less than perfect conditions so I would not call it a problem but 'Hummm, I wonder if I can repeat it.'

We also did an emergency stop from 30 mph. I could sense some of the transitions but we didn't have an accelerometer to document it. This was a 'prospective customer' test, not my car, so I didn't bring instrumentation.

I also noticed more noise than both our 2014 BMW i3-REx and 2017 Prius Prime, tire and road noise. Not objectionable levels but higher than these exceptionally quiet cars. But this was the Ioniq Blue and sometimes the top MPG models have less sound proofing than other trims.

Now there was a little more noticeable engine noise but the stepped transmission . . . the last car I drove with a stepped transmission was a BMW Series 2 . . . and I hated it! Both our BMW i3-REx, no stepped gears, and the eCVT Prius Prime change speeds with no steps and I love it. I also realize this is a personal preference and understand others may see a stepped transmission desirable along with a little more engine noise. But this was not a deal killer.

The problem is dynamic cruise control and collision avoidance is a mandatory requirement for this 67 year old man. I insist on these features because I want the extra help. Just the Ioniq Blue tested did not have what is a standard feature on the Toyota cars and in our upscale BMW i3-REx. For example, when our BMW i3-REx was down two weeks for a broken motor mount bolt, I reverted to our 2010 Prius that did not have it. I sold the 2010 Prius a week later and replaced it with a 2017 Prius Prime . . . never looked back.

CONCLUSION

The 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Blue appears to be a perfectly fine car that would appeal to those who like the feedback of engine and road noise along with stepped gear operation. IMHO, it would appeal to the VW TDI advocates of the infamous "Meet the Volkswagens" YouTube but absence of dynamic cruise control and collision avoidance, it won't be on our short list anytime soon.

Bob Wilson

ps. I don't have enough postings to include a proper URL for the images and supporting web pages. Sorry, you'll have to form the URL to see the Monroney sticker images and topology of the test loop.
 

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Thanks for the review. About methodology, would it not be much easier to do a high speed comparison of mpg? I would think 70 mph would clarify not only engine efficiency but also aerodynamic efficiency in one test. You can likely create a easy test loop between two interstate exits to help minimize any wind influence on the result (I know the wind vector will still affect things unless you do concurrent car tests).

Too late now since I don't think it is possible to have a valid comparison with the Prime until you have a static battery level (if that is even possible). But if you have a friend with a 2016/7 non-prime Prius, I'd be fascinated with the results. Obviously there will be some errors from different makers calibration of mpg calculations but I think it will be useful information. Consumer Reports will also generate some useful data that can be compared on a level playing field eventually.
 

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Hi,

ps. I don't have enough postings to include a proper URL for the images and supporting web pages. Sorry, you'll have to form the URL to see the Monroney sticker images and topology of the test loop.
Bob, I included them as URL's, but the second one does not work. Can you check that?

Nice review, it is a pity that you were not able to test a trim level with Advanced Smart Cruise Control and Colission Avoidance. I use the first option all the time in my Ioniq EV (and I also use the second option, but that one was not yet needed).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi,

Thanks for the review. About methodology, would it not be much easier to do a high speed comparison of mpg? I would think 70 mph would clarify not only engine efficiency but also aerodynamic efficiency in one test. You can likely create a easy test loop between two interstate exits to help minimize any wind influence on the result (I know the wind vector will still affect things unless you do concurrent car tests).
I did not want to put a lot of miles on their new car, sales inventory. Faster speeds would obviously rack up the miles much faster than I felt fair for what was in effect a 'demo' and not a true set of engineering tests.
Too late now since I don't think it is possible to have a valid comparison with the Prime until you have a static battery level (if that is even possible). But if you have a friend with a 2016/7 non-prime Prius, I'd be fascinated with the results. Obviously there will be some errors from different makers calibration of mpg calculations but I think it will be useful information. Consumer Reports will also generate some useful data that can be compared on a level playing field eventually.
My usual practice is to take the USA EPA, roll-down coefficients and calculate the 'drag power' (see attached). Knowing the vehicle overhead and engine thermal dynamic efficiency, I can convert this to mph vs MPG curves. Then I only have to spot check a couple of speeds and I have what I need to plan any trip. But let me suggest some alternative approaches:

  1. Do your own benchmarks at 25, 35, 45, 55, 65, and 75 mph. I typically locate a relatively flat loop or straight line of about 10 miles. On a loop, just drive at a steady speed for as many loops to get a steady MPG which usually 10 miles works fine. On a straight, do pairs in opposite directions; calculate the fuel burned, and; calculate the MPG for at least 10 miles.
  2. Use the USA EPA roll-down coefficients to calculate the drag power and add an engine and vehicle electrical overhead function to calculate the mph vs MPG curve.
  3. Use the bencharks to adjust the engine and overhead coefficients to make the curve match the bencharks.

I've been doing this since our first, 2003 Prius bought in 2005 (see attached.) I do this because I want to know what the car actually does and identify any 'knee in the curve' to avoid.

Bob Wilson

ps. Sorry for the attachments as I still can't post URLs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Bob, I included them as URL's, but the second one does not work. Can you check that?
There is one extra "prime" which is the directory holding the file "Ioniq_010.jpg". I'll go back and check my post. Opps, I see you fixed them, THANKS!

BTW, what is the posting count when I'll be able to enter my own URLs?
Nice review, it is a pity that you were not able to test a trim level with Advanced Smart Cruise Control and Colission Avoidance. I use the first option all the time in my Ioniq EV (and I also use the second option, but that one was not yet needed).
I am more than willing to share the protocol and techniques. These aren't rocket science but not necessarily known to most folks. It is application of high school physics and math although to explain the shape of the curves we'd have to talk college maths <GRINS>.

Bob Wilson
 

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There is one extra "prime" which is the directory holding the file "Ioniq_010.jpg". I'll go back and check my post. Opps, I see you fixed them, THANKS!

BTW, what is the posting count when I'll be able to enter my own URLs?
I think this number is 15.

In the meantime I was able to fix it (with a little help from a friend).
 

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thanks for the review and methodology, pretty comprehensive and detailed


that is useful for others to use with other makes when comparing cars


you mentioned the trunk / boot space, but not interior space as this is one of the areas especially the rear seats that seems to be slightly worse than the Prius


the other thing people mention is the honeycomb finish on the top of the dash, people tend to be unsure about it but it sees to work well as you get very little glare off it
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
You are welcome:
thanks for the review and methodology, pretty comprehensive and detailed

that is useful for others to use with other makes when comparing cars
. . .
Chris Hogan came up with a brilliant formula:

merit = internal_volume * (miles / gallon)

We buy cars to move a payload, the internal volume both passenger and luggage, times the miles divided by the gas burned. In effect, the good stuff divided by the operational cost. A simple rule of thumb, this is what we get using the EPA numbers for our cars and the Ioniq hybrid (the only one for sale in the USA today):
  • 7134 - Ioniq Blue
  • 6765 - Ioniq hybrid
  • 5994 - Prius Prime on gas
  • 3861 - BMW i3-REx on gas

Both the Prius Prime and BMW i3-REx are plug-in hybrids:
  • 14763 - Prius Prime on electricity
  • 11583 - BMW i3-REx on electricity
  • 7134 - Ioniq Blue
  • 6765 - Ioniq hybrid

There are more sophisticated versions of the Hogan formula but then we start getting into splitting hairs. Still, it is a good rule of thumb that makes it easy to compare cars such as the Volt or other hybrids and plug-ins.

Bob Wilson

ps. I submitted a posting with attachments in an attempt to share more engineering data while waiting for the URL-blocking rule to expire. But the software reports a moderator has to view the attachments before it can be added. This is not a 'hair on fire' problem but something to share with the community.

I'm hoping we'll find some engineering or technology oriented Ioniq owners who might use these techniques for the Ioniq family. These are universal methods based on high-school physics and math that can provide clues about how these cars work.
 
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