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2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric KBB Expert Review

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KBB Expert Rating 9.0 / 10
This Car - 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric
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Consumer Rating 8.1 / 10

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KBB Expert Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By Allyson Harwood

Compact in size but not in relevance, the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq is actually three cars in one. There's the Ioniq Hybrid, aimed at the Toyota Prius and Ford C-Max (with better fuel economy than either); the Ioniq Electric, with the best electric fuel economy in America, and competitors including the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Volkswagen e-Golf; and later in the year, the Ioniq Plug-in hybrid, which will face off against the Toyota Prius Prime and Chevrolet Volt. The new Ioniq line adheres to Hyundai's trademark value philosophy, offering smart, clever features for a reasonable price. The Bolt and the Prius are intimidating rivals for the Ioniq, but the Hyundai is an appealing alternative to both.

You'll Like This Car If...

With a reasonable base price and a laundry list of standard and available features, the sporty-ish Ioniq feels like a premium compact car. More fuel-efficient than the Prius (Ioniq Hybrid) and the most fuel-efficient electric car in America (Ioniq Electric), the Ioniq line costs less at the dealership and at the gas station.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The Ioniq line doesn’t have the same time-tested reputation as the Prius, nor does the Ioniq Electric offer the range of the Chevy Bolt EV. The Bolt and the Volkswagen e-Golf are more fun to drive, the Prius more refined.

What's New for 2017

The Ioniq is new from the ground up, on a dedicated platform. This gave Hyundai the opportunity to make the Ioniq exactly what they wanted it to be, which in this case is a highly competitive hybrid and an electric car and a plug-in hybrid.

Driving It Driving Impressions

In Eco mode, the Ioniq Hybrid feels much like a regular compact car. The Hybrid uses a normal-looking shifter for the 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. In Hybrid guise, there's ample power for daily driving, engine-to-motor transitions are smooth, and brake response was nicely linear, but there was some tire noise. Sport mode makes the most of the car's lightweight, independent rear suspension and low center of gravity. Throttle response, transmission shifts and steering response feel livelier. The Ioniq Electric doesn’t have the same rear suspension or Sport mode, but it has a relaxed, easygoing nature, and it's just as easy to settle in and drive the Electric as if it were any other compact car. Steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters control the amount of regenerative braking; level 3 is fairly intrusive, so you may want to stay out of that unless you are really coming close to the car's 124-mile range.

Favorite Features

The Ultimate Subscription Model, initially only in California, makes getting into the Ioniq Electric as easy as getting a smartphone. No money down, unlimited mileage, free scheduled maintenance, and free replacement of regular wear items, plus charge reimbursement (50,000 miles). We aren't sure another company makes it easier to live with an electric car.

If you want your practical compact with a bit of sass, Sport mode makes the Ioniq Hybrid more fun to drive, with crisper acceleration and transmission response, plus steering feel. Downside? Fuel economy suffers, so consider it a reward, like a triple-chocolate macaroon after a salad.

For vehicle details and pricing notes… Read More
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