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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I finally got to look at, touch, and drive a real life Ioniq today! The dealership had 3 Ioniqs, of which 2 were BlueDrives, and 1 was a Limited (without tech package). Unfortunately, the only one ready to drive (sort of, because it still had the plastic on it and couldn't be touched a whole lot because it was already marked as a dealer trade and was not for sale) was a silver BlueDrive. My wife did exclaim that the Ioniq looked sexy when they brought it up to the front. It does look good, even better in person than the pictures online portray it to be.

So I was disappointed that this was the most basic model and didn't have all of the toys I wanted to play with. Since I previously test drove a Niro, that stuff is largely similar in the Ioniq but I would have preferred the whole enchilada. It also lacked sport mode, or at least I couldn't find it and the dealer said it didn't have it, so that's a shame because one of my big concerns after driving a Niro, was how is the acceleration going to be in the Ioniq. Knowing this, my focus today was going to be on how the car felt to drive.

The first thing I noticed was pure silence in EV mode rolling through the parking lot, unlike the noise a Prius makes. Second thing I noticed was that the car accelerates significantly better than the Niro so it is not fair to judge the Ioniq based on Niro's performance. Hyundai somehow did it better. Now the responsiveness of the transmission of the Ioniq still leaves something to be desired but it is slightly better than the Niro. It at least moves my needle from "this car sucks" to "this will take some getting used to". Keep in mind also that I had the Niro in sport mode and the Ioniq I drove was the weaker eco model with no sport mode, but the Ioniq still felt better.

Now, onto the road. I was very happy with how the car felt on the road. I kept thinking to myself that the car reminded me of my previous Corolla. I kept forgetting I was driving a hybrid. It did not drive like one. The transmission certainly was very satisfying when you could feel it change gears. It was quiet and smooth, but it still let's you know it's there. The dealer purposefully guided me to a less than stellar road with lots of uneven pavement, potholes, etc. The Ioniq handled them all really well and did a good job of gliding over them. It felt smooth and quiet. The steering responded as I expected it to. It seemed ridiculously easy to keep the Ioniq in EV mode between 35-50 mph on a flat road. My Prius c struggles to do this starting at 40 mph. I'm also an experienced hybrid driver though. Braking felt great and like a normal car, similar to my Corolla, not mushy like my Prius c at all. It's easy to get regen from the brakes.

My wife and daughter were in the back seat and although I felt the road noise was acceptable, they complained pretty heavily that it was loud back there. Keep in mind this was the lighter trim and had no cover in the trunk. As the driver, I couldn't complain especially knowing the better trims would lessen the problem even more, particularly the EV.

I'm fairly tall, 6'-6'1" and felt roomy and comfortable driving. I even put the seat back all the way and it was to the point I felt I was too far from the pedals. Oddly, my wife complained of the back seat headroom and she's only 5'6". Looking back at her, she had tons of space so I was a little dumbfounded by that. Both of them said their feet were comfortable and that leg room was really good. After the drive, I went into the back seat myself and I felt comfortable and my head was not touching the ceiling. My very short hair was brushing up against it, but my head was not bumping the ceiling. So, acceptable for me if I ever needed to be back there and definitely fine for even my teenage boys. I have large 13 size feet and was even wearing my work boots and the foot room was fine and my feet were under the front seats without issue. Trunk space was perfect. Much, much bigger than my Prius c, not as big as the Corolla, but I'd say the Corolla was too big actually as even I had a hard time reaching for my groceries way deep in the back of the trunk.

The displays look good. Rear windshield visibility is about the same as my Prius c but it's different because of it being cut in half, but as bluecar1 had said, could be useful for blocking out high beams of drivers behind you. The climate control worked well. It was about 80 degrees Fahrenheit today when I drove. The BSM worked great and I like that it makes noise and flashes, not just a visual but an auditory warning. Some would say it is too loud but I liked it and you can adjust the volume of it in settings.

The interior felt fine to me, objectively not luxurious, but not cheap garbage either. Comparable to my Corolla, better than my Prius c. Android Auto and voice commands were cool the little bit I played with it. Speakers on the stereo sounded pretty good actually and I think in that trim are basic but are improved in the better trims if I'm not mistaken. XM radio was available even on this base trim. The shut down jingle wasn't annoying and I thought it was neat. I liked the flat bottom steering wheel.

I think I've covered just about everything I can remember. So, overall? This was a sexy, fun to drive car that didn't at all feel like a hybrid. It felt good on the road, handled well, and had good acceleration with only a slightly uncomfortable delay in responsiveness in the transmission, especially when the ICE kicks on (my Prius c switches on faster). It's plenty roomy and didn't feel cheap. Having driven it, I'm only more excited about it.

Since they didn't have the exact colors or packages I was looking for, I didn't buy, otherwise if they did it would have been tough but I just might have purchased instead of waiting for the EV. Since they didn't have what I wanted, it made it easier to hold out for the EV. Speaking of which, I asked them about ordering. The first thing they said was they wouldn't see any for six months if at all because they may not get any EVs, period. I told them they would be out next month in California and that Hyundai days any dealership can order. They made a phone call or two and said they'd definitely be able to order because they have some kind of setup with Orange County dealerships there. They took down my exact specifications and are going to order it.

Here's hoping I get confirmation this week, which is when they said they would do, of my Ioniq EV with ultimate package in ceramic white and charcoal black leather interior. They'll collect my deposit next week once they have a price confirmation and said they'd try to get it delivered by end of April timeline. Fingers crossed it's not just BS.
 

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Thanks for the review.

I took my test drive yesterday. I knew there would be less headroom in the back. I'm five nine point 8332 (ha ha). It wasn't a Crown Vic back there but I don't care about headroom in the back anyway.

I drove the Limited with the Ultimate Package. There isn't a 110 V plug anywhere like the Niro.

I'm driving a truck that gets 16 MPG on the highway so event getting 17 MPG on the highway would be better (just kidding) Even better would be 40+ MPG.

It was cold here in Delaware yesterday morning. I kept turning the heat down on the dial but I was still burning up. Then I realized the heated seat was on the third level. Duh! My F150 doesn't have heated seats.

Blind Spot Monitoring was wonderful.

Back up camera, weird but very nice.

60 40 fold down rear seats are yummy.
 

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...It seemed ridiculously easy to keep the Ioniq in EV mode between 35-50 mph on a flat road. My Prius c struggles to do this starting at 40 mph...
The Prius' power-split transmission has to start the ICE at 42mph, whether driving conditions warrant it or not, to keep MG1 from overspeeding. You can see this on eahart's animation by moving MG2 to achieve 43mph with the ICE off.
Toyota Prius - Power Split Device
I understand that the for new Prii, Toyota has rejiggered the gear ratios to allow higher speeds with ICE off, but the MG1 limitation is still there.

Hyundai's P2 style transmission doesn't have this limitation at all. My sister's hybrid Sonata will shut the ICE off at freeway speeds if conditions warrant; as they often do.
 

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Thanks for the review DaveAZ. It is always great to hear personal experiences, especially when you can contrast the test drive with other cars you are familiar with.

Some comments: You should be able to evoke sport mode at any time by moving the shift lever to the left (in the US). At least that is what I saw in video reviews of both the Niro/Ioniq. However, it doesn't make them any faster, just adjusts throttle response to a given accelerator pedal movement. But that may make them feel better to many drivers and more responsive. I watched a video of 0-60 test runs in both modes that had identical times.

Weight, even a hundred pounds, makes a huge difference in how small cars feel accelerating and braking. One passenger in any car I've ever owned has always been quite noticeable, requiring extra time for acceleration and braking, in fact I always lengthened following distances. Your Prius C is 500 pounds lighter than the Ioniq so even with less HP/torque, it should feel pretty zippy. Depending on which model trim of the Niro you tested, it was as much as 200 pounds heavier (but I believe only 36 pounds heavier base trim to base trim). Do you drive alone most of the time? If so, I would test both cars without passengers. You didn't say if your Niro drive was solo or with salesperson or family, but additional passengers may well have colored your perception of how fast it was.

While dealerships are probably not ready yet, I suspect the tech package can be a dealer installed option (if you have the second trim level).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
US specs show even the "blue" model should have sport mode


the attached is a screen capture from https://www.hyundaiusa.com/ioniq-hybrid/specifications.aspx
Yes, it does according to the brochure I got. I wished I would have taken it with me. So if it was on the shifter, both myself and the dealer totally missed it since we were looking for a button. Plus we know dealers and how knowledgeable they can be. /Sarcasm. Sport mode was hidden in plain sight as it were. I had thought all trims had it but I was doubting it because honestly I've read so much the last few months and seen so many reviews and compared different trims, drivetrains and competitor cars that my brain is becoming random data soup. Plus I tend to focus on which ones are most important and I doubt I'll be in sport mode much but I did want it there for the test.

I actually had about the same weight in each test drive as it was myself, my wife and daughter, and the salesman which they both had about the same build. So things should have been relatively equal.
 

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I actually had about the same weight in each test drive as it was myself, my wife and daughter, and the salesman which they both had about the same build. So things should have been relatively equal.
Fair enough as long as you are not comparing it to the snappiness of the Prius C when you are driving solo. I looked up Prius C zero to sixty times, and they are slower than both the Niro and Ioniq ~10.7 seconds versus 9.5 to 10.3 seconds. The original 2001 Prius took 12.9 seconds! The current Prius liftback does it in 9.6 to 10.5 seconds (depending on the source).
 

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Great write up! Can't believe you punched all that out on a phone! ;)

Looking to do a test drive this week as well, though I'm holding out for the EV to hit the market like you. I posted this in another thread, but US shoppers may want to try to claim this $30 gift card that Hyundai is offering just for doing a test drive this week. See this Slickdeals thread for details: https://slickdeals.net/f/9811943-te...get-a-30-amazon-target-or-visa-gift-card-free

Coupon must be used by 3/11, and YMMV
 

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Yes, it does according to the brochure I got. I wished I would have taken it with me. So if it was on the shifter, both myself and the dealer totally missed it since we were looking for a button. Plus we know dealers and how knowledgeable they can be. /Sarcasm. Sport mode was hidden in plain sight as it were. I had thought all trims had it but I was doubting it because honestly I've read so much the last few months and seen so many reviews and compared different trims, drivetrains and competitor cars that my brain is becoming random data soup. Plus I tend to focus on which ones are most important and I doubt I'll be in sport mode much but I did want it there for the test.

I actually had about the same weight in each test drive as it was myself, my wife and daughter, and the salesman which they both had about the same build. So things should have been relatively equal.
in the UK the sport mode is easy


when the gear selector is in "D" move the gear selector towards the driver and the display goes orange and changes from speedo to rev counter with the speed displayed in the centre as a number


all sport mode does is really cosmetic, it alters the throttle map so you get more power for less pedal travel and the gearbox holds gears longer to use the full rev range of the engine, the only other changes are that it uses ICE and EV together more for more responsive acceleration and also a more aggressive battery charge and use strategy
 

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Hi DaveAZ

Great write up, and as a former Prius owner, you did a great comparison. I still think the braking on the Prius (well, my Gen2 Prius) feels better than the Ioniq's but it's subjective I guess.

Would be interested to know more about the road noise, your wife and daughter complained heavily about. Was this at certain speeds or road surfaces? I've not had any complaints from my rear passengers, when I asked or otherwise, so perhaps it was the trim of the car you were driving?

Paul.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Would be interested to know more about the road noise, your wife and daughter complained heavily about. Was this at certain speeds or road surfaces? I've not had any complaints from my rear passengers, when I asked or otherwise, so perhaps it was the trim of the car you were driving?
Paul.
We were going about 45 mph on the rough road (not hard to find in Tucson lol) that the dealer specifically recommended so we would get a better idea of how the car handles the bumps, etc. I thought since we were going at normal city speeds and driving on a rough road that it was the perfect time to ask the family since this has come up as an issue on the forums and in reviews. They were not happy but I found it acceptable, no better or worse than my Prius c, which I know isn't saying much because it's essentially a cheap Yaris with the hybrid system and is pretty loud itself. That is what I'm used to now, but someone coming from a different vehicle (such as if I compare it to my Corolla which was quieter) might think it's unacceptable. To each his own, really.

But again, this was worst case scenario as it was the Blue Drive trim which others have said have lighter carpeting/mats/covers and it has no cover over the trunk which many have said can make a significant difference. It's all subjective until we decide to buy a decibel meter and put it in various positions in the car to take measurements and in different cars and drive in the same conditions, yada yada. I wish they had the Limited ready to drive for comparison, but unfortunately they did not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Great write up! Can't believe you punched all that out on a phone! ;)

Looking to do a test drive this week as well, though I'm holding out for the EV to hit the market like you. I posted this in another thread, but US shoppers may want to try to claim this $30 gift card that Hyundai is offering just for doing a test drive this week. See this Slickdeals thread for details: https://slickdeals.net/f/9811943-te...get-a-30-amazon-target-or-visa-gift-card-free

Coupon must be used by 3/11, and YMMV
Thanks for the comments and the referral to the Slickdeal. According to SD, I would have spotted this simply by my constant bombarding of the local dealerships' websites over the last few weeks. I followed the instructions on SD specifically so I could ensure I get this gift card notification but unfortunately it has not come up at all so I assume it's just not available at the dealerships in my area. Bummer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Fair enough as long as you are not comparing it to the snappiness of the Prius C when you are driving solo. I looked up Prius C zero to sixty times, and they are slower than both the Niro and Ioniq ~10.7 seconds versus 9.5 to 10.3 seconds. The original 2001 Prius took 12.9 seconds! The current Prius liftback does it in 9.6 to 10.5 seconds (depending on the source).
Yes, the Prius c is definitely slower on the 0-60 mph but that isn't the whole picture. Prii are known for their "rubber band" effect, which is why the slow 0-60 numbers. But because the car is so light, uses a CVT, and you get that torque from the electric motor, it takes off of the line like a rocket. Adding a passenger or two at low speeds doesn't seem to affect it too much either. It's very responsive, but once you get some speed its weakness becomes apparent.

Now with the Ioniq I definitely don't have the rubber band effect, in fact, it's the opposite. It's a bit slow to respond at first but once it hits a certain gear or RPM it takes off, like a non-hybrid, or at least a non-Prius anyway. Difference in the transmissions and it's why overall I think I'd prefer the Ioniq especially after getting used to the delay or finding tricks/workarounds to lessen that. Going to be an EV guy so it's not going to matter for me. I'm just voicing my experience/concern I used to have and so that it might help others that are considering a Niro or Ioniq. On the Niro, it was a deal breaker, but not on the Ioniq. For many (most?) buying this type of vehicle it probably doesn't matter to them but it bugged the heck out of me for sure.
 

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What was your deal breaker on the Niro? I thought you had said previously it was the acceleration.
 

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Knowing that you looked at the base model, how did the 7" screen look? Someone else pointed out that it seems like all of the pictures are of the 8" screen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
What was your deal breaker on the Niro? I thought you had said previously it was the acceleration.
Yes, that was the reason. Other little things that weren't deal breakers but annoyed me were that they were calling it a "crossover" when it's really a wagon and that it had a fairly significant reduction in mpg vs. the Ioniq (the little bit of additional weight didn't seem to justify it completely). It was also significantly more expensive and I was not really understanding why because it seemed inferior to the Ioniq to me. Lastly, no EV option, although they claim that is coming next year. It all just added up to a big "nope" from me. Oh, and the wife said it was ugly lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Knowing that you looked at the base model, how did the 7" screen look? Someone else pointed out that it seems like all of the pictures are of the 8" screen.
It being a 7'' screen vs. an 8'' didn't bother me in the least. I hooked it up to my phone via Android Auto and it was fast and responsive to the touch, even when we were messing around in the different settings and stereo modes. It looked great though. It was vibrant and even in the Arizona sun didn't look washed out like my Corolla's screen always looked. The backup camera on the screen looked really good too. I did not, however, have sunglasses on and should have as that is how I would normally drive and most screens practically appear solid black when wearing sunglasses. That's something I'll want to pay attention to next time.

What I would miss more is the 7'' instrument cluster display, since I only got to look at the 4.2'' in the Blue Drive. Even the smaller one in the Blue Drive looked good and sharp. It all looked very clean and not overly busy or attention grabbing.
 
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