2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric and Ioniq Hybrid: The Newest MPG Champs [Review]

2017 Hyundai Ioniq EV
2017 Ioniq Electric Vehicle (EV). [photo: Hyundai]
Hyundai Motor America serves up its first dedicated global vehicle platform, which will offer three distinct electrified powertrains on a single specific vehicle architecture. The 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient vehicle, while the Hyundai Ioniq Electric claims the title as being the most efficient electric vehicle in the U.S. marketplace. The Ioniq represents a significant and strategic milestone in the company’s worldwide sustainability plan.

2017 Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid. [photo:


Ioniq models offer a sleek, aerodynamic silhouette with an industry-leading 0.24 drag coefficient. There are three available models of the Ioniq: Blue; SEL; and Limited. The base or Blue model is equipped with an impressive array of features and equipment that increases with the SEL model that includes a special Tech Package with Automatic Emergency Braking, Smart Cruise Control and Lane Departure Warning. The top-of-the-line Limited model Ioniq’s feature and equipment list includes a host of comfort, convenience and appearance enhancements.

My 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric test vehicle had a base sticker read $32,500, while the as tested price was set at $36,835. before any Federal, state or regional tax credits. The Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Limited I drove had a base price set at $27,500, which came to $31,460. after adding the Ultimate Package and inland Freight and Delivery charges.


The Ioniq Electric Blue Drive System offers pure electric mobility with a 28 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery for an estimated driving range of 124 miles. The electric motor has a maximum output of 88 kW (118 horsepower) and 218 lb.-ft. of torque mated to a single-speed reduction-gear transmission. The Ioniq Electric’s EPA-estimated MPGe rating is 136, the highest efficiency rating of any electric vehicle sold in the U.S. market.

The Ioniq Hybrid’s electric motor provides an estimated 32 kW (43 horsepower) with a projected maximum torque of 125 lb.-ft., and is powered by a lithium-ion polymer battery with 1.56 kWh capacity. The battery is positioned under the rear passenger seats. The combined total system output with the 1.6-liter direct-injected engine, is 139 horsepower while providing low emissions, as well as outstanding efficiency and range. The Ioniq Hybrid Blue model has an EPA-estimated 58 MPG combined rating, the highest rating of any non-plug-in vehicle sold in the U.S. market.

Electric power for the Hybrid and the Plug-in Hybrid, as well as for the Electric, is generated by a permanent magnet synchronous motor with parts optimized by reducing the thickness of core components by up to 10 percent while adopting rectangular-section copper wire to decrease core and copper loss. Hyundai utilizes a lithium-ion polymer battery pack for all Ioniq models that is 20 percent lighter than non-polymer lithium-ion batteries, which can be optimally shaped to fit the interior than standard cell format batteries. The cargo area is uncompromised, providing an estimated total interior volume of 122.7 cubic feet.

All Ioniq Electric models are equipped with standard Level-3 DC fast-charging capability. Charging the Ioniq Electric’s lithium-ion polymer battery up to 80 percent only takes approximately 23 minutes using an SAE Combo Level-3 DC, 100 kW fast charger. An integrated In-Cable Control Box also allows drivers to charge their Ioniq using a standard household electric socket.

The Hybrid’s fuel efficiency and dynamic driving characteristics are enhanced by the driver’s ability to select either a SPORT or ECO mode. The SPORT function holds lower gears longer, combining power from the engine and electric motor for maximum performance. Operating in ECO mode, the DCT optimizes gear selection for efficiency, upshifting earlier for better fuel economy. Regenerative braking may be initiated by steering wheel paddles or by simply lifting off the accelerator, which initiates braking action.

Power for both the Ioniq Hybrid and Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid is provided by a new Kappa 1.6L direct-injected Atkinson-cycle, inline four-cylinder engine with an unsurpassed thermal efficiency of 40 percent, that delivers an estimated 104 horsepower at 5,700 rpm along with and an estimated 109 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm. The engine has been specifically tuned to the hybrid application and is coupled to a quick-shifting six-speed double-clutch transmission that gears energy to the front wheels. The highly-efficient electric motor is capable of operating at speeds up to 75 MPH, delivering instantaneous torque at low speeds, and an available power-assist at higher vehicle speeds.

The Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid provides an all-electric range of more than 27 miles based on preliminary internal estimates, powered by a potent 8.9 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery. The Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid’s estimated 45kW (60 horsepower) electric motor is coupled with the 1.6 direct-injected Atkinson four-cylinder Kappa engine.

The Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid delivers a driving experience that is surprisingly un-hybrid-like. The hybrid system is not obvious or intrusive. Acceleration is quick enough off the line, continuing with a smooth, linear power delivery. The handling characteristics border on sporty, with a positive steering feedback and instantaneous response. The transmission, which is thankfully not of the CVT variety, goes through real gears smoothly. The braking feel is also positive thanks to the regenerative system seamlessly blending in with the hydraulic friction braking system for a more consistent and linear feel. Unfortunately, there is no regen factor in play when coasting.


The driving experience inside Ioniq models is enhanced through state-of-the art connectivity features like Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto® and Blue Link®, as well as wireless charging for smartphones. Even more, the 7-inch TFT instrument cluster displays all key driver information with outstanding resolution. Ioniq also offers the very latest in advanced safety, including Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, for high levels of both active and passive vehicle safety.

The Ioniq’s responsiveness and steering feedback is precise and on-center, with a quick ratio. Braking force is optimized for maximum efficiency from the regenerative braking system, helping the Ioniq to maintain a steady state of charge. Regenerative braking also operates with reduced noise, using a third-generation recuperating stopping system. Regenerative braking force may be adjusted to the driver’s preference and driving conditions through steering-column-mounted regenerative brake-level control paddles. An Integrated Brake Assist Unit and Pressure Source Unit also contribute to quieter operation.

The Ioniq Hybrid features specially-designed two-tone contrasting 15-inch eco-spoke or 17-inch alloy wheels, shod with Michelin® Primacy MXM4 low-rolling-resistance tires. The Electric Limited rolls on 16-inch Michelins on 5-machine faced alloys with black painted inners.

Moving into the cabin, the interior in keeping with its exterior, the Ioniq emphasizes its futuristic qualities, by employing a ‘Purified High-tech’ design concept. A key characteristic of the Ioniq is its innovative use of recycled or ecologically-sensitive materials.

Infotainment and connectivity are covered as well with Hyundai’s Blue Link system. A high-definition 7-inch TFT information cluster that displays all gauge functions (speedometer, drive mode, fuel level). Ioniq also allows smartphone integration with the vehicle’s infotainment system by providing both Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto®. Ioniq also offers a wireless inductive-charging pad for compatible smartphones.

Innovative active and passive safety features includes Blind Spot Detection, which works with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic, Lane Departure Warning, Tire Pressure Monitoring System, rear parking sensors and headlights with Dynamic Bending Light, Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, 7 airbags and Automatic Emergency Braking.

Hyundai works with ChargePoint to enhance the Ioniq Electric ownership experience. ChargePoint has the world’s largest electric vehicle charging network with more than 32,000 locations at which to charge, including more than 400 Express DC fast-charging sites.

The 2017 Hyundai Electric Limited lays claim to being the most efficient electric vehicle sold in America and comes with an exclusive lifetime electric battery warranty.

[photo: Arv Voss]
TFLCAR’s TAKE: The final take on the Ioniq Electric is that in Eco mode, it really is exceptionally efficient although the element of range anxiety still exists even with frugal driving practices. On the bright side, recharging times are minimal. 220/240V (level 2) takes 4 hours and 25 minutes, while DC fast charging delivers an 80% charge in 25 minutes (100 kW) or an 80% charge in 30 minutes (50kW).

EPA mileage estimates for the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Limited are: 55 mpg city and 54 mpg Highway, ranking it ahead of Toyota’s Prius. Bottom line, the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid is easy on the eyes, compact and maneuverable. It’s wagon-like form make this urban hybrid crossover not only affordable, but versatile and practical, as well. The Hyundai Ioniq Electric is well ahead of several other electric vehicles with its 136 MPGe range.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric vs Hybrid Limited

  • Base Price: $32,500.-Electric / $27,500.- Hybrid; Price as Tested: $36,835.-Electric / $31,460.- Hybrid
  • Electric –
    Engine Type and Size: The Ioniq Electric offers pure electric mobility with a 28 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery for an estimated driving range of 124 miles.
    Horsepower (bhp): 118 (88kW
    Torque (ft./ lbs.): 218
  • Hybrid –
    Engine Type and Size: 1.6-liter GDI Atkinson Cycle 4-cylinder
    Horsepower (bhp): 104 @ 5,700 rpm
    Torque (ft./ lbs.): 109 @ 4,000 rpm
    Electric Motor: Interior-Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor.
    Motor Output: 32kW Electric Motor
    Horsepower equivalent: 43
    Torque: 125 lb.-ft.
    Total System Combined Horsepower – Net 139 hp
  • Lithium-ion polymer battery – 240 V / System Capacity – 1.56kWh Transmission: Single-speed Reduction gear with Renerative brake level paddles – Electric / 6-speed EcoShift Dual Clutch –Hybrid.
  • Drive Train: Transverse mount front engine / Front-wheel drive.
  • Suspension: Front – MacPherson strut.
  • Rear – Independent Multi-link.
  • Brakes: Power-assisted Active Hydraulic Boost system four- wheel discs (vented front) with regenerative braking with motor polarity reversal.
  • Tires: Michelin Primacy MXM4 -225/45R17 91V M&S / 205/55 R16
  • Wheelbase: 106.3 inches
  • Length Overall: 176.0 inches
  • Width: 71.7 inches
  • Height: 57.1 inches
  • Curb Weight: 3,164 lbs.
  • Turning Circle: 17.4 ft.
  • Fuel Capacity: Fully Electric / Hybrid-11.9 gallons
  • EPA Mileage Estimates: Electric= 136 MPGe / Hybrid 55 mpg city / 54 mpg highway.
  • Drag Coefficient: 0.24