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2017 Hyundai Ioniq: New Car Review

If you’re looking for information on a newer Hyundai Ioniq, we’ve published an updated review: 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Review

The 2017 Hyundai Ioniq hybrid is merely the first shot in what looks to be an all-out assault on the Toyota Prius. With the Ioniq, Hyundai is looking to offer buyers a low cost alternative to Toyota’s pricey hybrid without asking customers to sacrifice style, features or fuel economy. The Ioniq further extends its green footprint by using a number of recycled and natural materials as part of its interior construction. Regrettably, the Ioniq can’t match the Prius for interior room, especially in the back seat or cargo areas, but it does provide a longer standard warranty.

The Ioniq’s fuel economy numbers are quite impressive, with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) giving the most efficient Ioniq trim scores of 59 miles per gallon on the highway and 57 mpg in city driving. Later in the year, a plug-in hybrid will join the Ioniq team, followed shortly thereafter by an all-electric version.

What’s New for 2017?

The Ioniq is a new entry for Hyundai, a triple threat (hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric) to the segment-leading Toyota Prius and its smaller stablemate, the Prius C. See the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq models for sale near you

What We Like

Great fuel economy; high quality interior materials, fit and finish; low entry price; lots of standard features; great warranty

What We Don’t

Limited legroom and headroom; vague steering allows the car to wander; odd split rear window impedes rear visibility; no rear wiper/washer; lots of interior road noise

How Much?

$23,035-$32,000

Fuel Economy

Hyundai’s 2017 Ioniq uses a 1.6-liter Atkinson-cycle version of Hyundai’s Kappa engine mated to a 32-kilowatt electric motor for a total output of 139 horsepower. Unlike most hybrids, the Ioniq shuns the use of a CVT automatic in favor of a traditional 6-speed automatic.

The EPA rates the Ioniq Blue at 57 miles per gallon in the city and 59 mpg on the highway. All other Ioniq hybrid trims earn a slightly lower 55 mpg city/ 54 mpg hwy. During our brief test drive over highways and some winding back roads, we saw an average of around 45 mpg.

Standard Features & Options

The 2017 Hyundai Ioniq hybrid comes in three trim levels: Blue, SEL and Limited.

The Ioniq Blue ($23,035) includes proximity key entry and push-button start, 7-in color touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a rearview camera, Drive Mode Select (Eco or Sport settings), active grille shutters, tilt and telescoping steering column, Bluetooth, cruise control, 15-in alloy wheels, driver’s blind-spot mirror, power windows, power locks, power side mirrors, auto headlight control, dual-zone automatic climate control, 60/40 split folding rear seat, manually height-adjustable driver’s and passenger seat and a rear window defroster.

The Ioniq SEL ($24,785) adds blind-spot detection with rear cross traffic alert, heated side mirrors, additional exterior chrome molding, aero-type wipers, LED daytime running lights, LED taillights, 10-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar support, heated front seats, 7-in LCD instrument cluster and a folding rear armrest.

The Ioniq Limited ($28,335) includes all the SEL’s features plus 17-in alloy wheels, power sunroof, HID headlights, leather seats, Blue Link Connected Car Services and telematics and LED interior illumination.

The SEL can be equipped with the Tech Package ($1,000) that adds automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning. The Limited trim offer the Ultimate Package ($3,000) that brings all the features of the SEL Tech Package plus adaptive headlights, rear parking sensors, 8-in color touchscreen with navigation, 8-speaker Infinity Premium Audio system, wireless charging pad, Blue Link Guidance Package (3 years, enrollment required), memory for driver’s seat, rear console-mounted vents and a cargo cover.

The 2017 Ioniq comes with a 5-year/60,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty, 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty and a lifetime battery warranty (original owner only) that covers the battery in the event of a complete failure, but not necessarily diminished capacity over time.

Safety

The Ioniq comes equipped with a full set of required safety features including electronic traction and stability control, anti-lock brakes, a tire pressure monitor, rearview camera and a full complement of airbags including a driver’s knee airbag. Optional equipment includes front and rear parking sensors, automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning.

At this time, neither the government nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash-tested the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq.

Behind the Wheel

We sent Aaron Gold, one of our editors to spend some time behind the wheel of a 2017 Ioniq Limited, here’s what he had to say:

"Unlike Honda and Toyota’s hybrid systems, which use some variation of a continuously variable transmission (CVT), the Ioniq uses a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic. Hyundai says they chose this transmission because it drives like a traditional automatic, a sharp contrast to CVTs that allow the engine speed to rise and fall freely. One of our complaints about dual-clutch automatics is a lack of low-end acceleration when paired with a small engine, but the Ioniq’s electric motor solves this nicely: It delivers plenty of low-end torque, so the Ioniq moves off smartly from a stop.

"We have little complaint about the Ioniq’s suspension, which rides smoothly and evenly. We didn’t have many tight, twisty turns on our press preview drive, but what curves there were the Ioniq handled well. Our big complaint is one we’ve made about other Hyundais: the steering. On the open highway, the Ioniq darts to and fro, requiring constant tiny corrections that can make long drives a real chore.

"We also noticed quite a bit of road noise making its way through the floor in the Ionic Limited we sampled. We assumed the culprits were the Michelin Energy Saver tires, which are designed for maximum fuel economy and longevity (they have a 65,000-mile tread-wear guarantee), but then we discovered that the Limited has Michelin Primacy MXM4 tires — the same model fitted as original equipment to many nonhybrid cars. Oddly enough, the Ionic Blue, which does have the Energy Savers, struck us as being a bit quieter.

"For all the things we like about the Ioniq, we do have areas to criticize. First is the back seat: Even with the front seats adjusted for our tester’s short 5-foot-6 frame, leg room was limited, and headroom wasn’t overly generous. And while the trunk looks good on paper — 26.5 cu ft. — the Ioniq’s low roof line limits space for bulky cargo.

"Speaking of the roof line, the back window is split into two pieces, with a large bar running between them. It makes for an odd view out the rear window. There’s no rear wiper — a victim of cost and aerodynamics, we suppose — but the Ioniq could use one."

Other Cars to Consider

2017 Toyota Prius C The Prius C is less expensive than that Ioniq, but its also smaller, less powerful and not as well optioned. The Toyota also has a shorter standard warranty.

2017 Kia Niro The Kia Niro uses the same basic mechanicals as the Ioniq, but in a more useful package with better interior space and a more attractive SUV-like design.

2017 Ford C-Max The C-Max costs about the same as the mid-level Ioniq SEL but offers more interior volume, a more upscale interior and a few more luxury options. There’s also a plug-in hybrid version, although the C-Max’s fuel economy figures are not as high as the Ioniq’s.

Used Toyota Camry Hybrid — A used 2012-2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid will give you great fuel economy, a lot more interior room and excellent reliability and resale figures.

Autotrader’s Advice

With its combination of features, options and price, we think the SEL with the Tech Package is the best deal in the Ioniq lineup. We love the extra features found in the Limited’s Ultimate package, but the $31,000 price tag pushes the Ioniq out of the "affordable hybrid" category it is looking to conquer. Find a Hyundai Ioniq for sale

 

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