Written by Marco Carvajal
Photographs by Marco Carvajal
Hybrid Electric Vehicle
People love electric cars, most people think that electric cars are the future, however, when combining an Electric and a Gasoline Engine, the result can be phenomenal. The result is a Hybrid car, getting the best of both worlds. A hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) combines a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) system with an electric propulsion system (hybrid vehicle drivetrain), producing great fuel economy and efficiency.
The Ioniq Hybrid Blue model has a wonderful EPA-estimated 58 MPG combined fuel economy. The Ioniq hybrid Limited I am test driving produces 55 MPG. All Ioniq models are extremely efficient.
What is IONIQ? this was the first thought that came through my mind when I heard the name of this new car. The name caught my attention, it sounds like a car from the future.
Hyundai has created a new type of car, with new electric and hybrid technology, the 2020 Hyundai IONIQ available on 3 versions, Hybrid, Electric, and Plug-in Hybrid. I am going to focus on the Ioniq hybrid as I test drive this car driving in the long highways of Florida and small roads near the coast.
According to Hyundai USA, the IONIQ HYBRID is The most fuel-efficient car in America, and the Ioniq Electric is the most efficient electric vehicle in the U.S. market. World’s first dedicated vehicle platform with three electrified low-and zero-emission powertrain choices
3 years ago, I was invited by Hyundai Motor America to the city of Durham in North Carolina for the press lounge and test drive of this new modern car, the IONIQ. Being able to test drive different models of this very interesting eco-friendly and kind of futuristic car. During the Ioniq event, I have met and talked with top executives from Hyundai USA, learning about the Ioniq and the expected future of this car. Today, 3 years later I am test driving the Ioniq hybrid one more time.
The 2020 IONIQ
I am test driving the Ioniq hybrid again but this time in Florida. I am convinced that this car has a bright future, however, I can tell that the car-buyer-market and the people on the road don’t know the Ioniq yet. It is still a new product unknown to most car buyers. Hyundai expects that this will be the car that finally helps car buyers decide to switch from regular gasoline cars into an electric or hybrid car, and I believe in this potential but with much more market penetration and time.
If car drivers will get to drive and know more about the Ioniq, then I can see how this electric and hybrid car can become much more popular and successful.
The Ioniq is extremely efficient and it has a good competitive price. The design is very appealing especially for young buyers and for those who like modern-designed cars.
The interior is comfortable but it could be a little bit larger for my taste and my needs. Overall is a great product. For some buyers, the Ioniq electric will be a great alternative to a Tesla, but with a lower price and with the great support and generous warranties of Hyundai USA.
The IONIQ is one of the best hybrids you can buy due to greatly advanced technology already part of IONIQ’s electric powertrain.
The Ioniq is available in 3 distinct electrified powertrains, all 3 models on a single, smart and eco-focus dedicated vehicle platform.
The new Ioniq has a beautiful modern design, it provides a great driving experience with the latest technologies on safety. The Ioniq is very appealing, it has a beautiful and spacious interior available as hybrid, hybrid plug-in, and electric engine.
The Ioniq is available for a very low price just above the $23,000. But electric and hybrid cars are still new for the American market and it will take a while for car drivers to make the transition.
Just like a few years ago everybody started to buy iPhones or Smart Phones, and nowadays it is hard to function well without them, it seems that in the near future every home should also have this type of electric or hybrid car parked in their garage. For some drivers, the IONIQ is the perfect everyday car, for other drivers, this might be better as a second car.
Free maintenance for 3 years or 36,000 miles
Every new 2020 Hyundai, including the Ioniq, receives Complimentary Maintenance for 3 years or 36,000 miles (whichever comes first). Having an advanced hybrid machine like the Ioniq, this free maintenance is a very nice bonus.
2020 Hyundai IONIQ HYBRID
Models: Blue, SE, SEL and Limited
EcoShift Dual Clutch Transmission w/ SHIFTRONIC
Battery Type Lithium-ion Polymer
According to Hyundai, Ioniq Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient vehicle and Ioniq Electric is the most efficient electric vehicle in the U.S. market
Hyundai has created the Ioniq for high energy efficiency, as a solution towards a cleaner mobility, with great driving performance. There are 3 main powertrain choices.
- 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid (the one I am test driving)
- 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid
- 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Electric
According to Hyundai, this is the first vehicle in the world to offer three distinct electrified powertrains on a single platform. The 2020 Ioniq hybrid has the lowest starting price at $23,200. The Ioniq plug-in Hybrid has a base price of $26,500. Then the 3rd model the Ioniq Electric starts around $33,045. The Ioniq is priced to attract new eco-focused buyers.
Electric cars can be eligible to receive a Federal Tax credit. In the case of the Ionia Electric that credit can be up to $7,500, in the case of the Plug-in Hybrid the credit can be up to $4,543. The Ioniq hybrid (without plug-in) is not eligible for a federal tax credit. There are also some States that provide additional credits for electric cars, reducing the price of your Ioniq.
“With outstanding powertrain flexibility, design, connectivity, and advanced technologies, Ioniq meets the needs of a large and growing group of buyers needing a highly efficient, enjoyable to drive and low-emissions vehicle without compromise to their daily lifestyles.”
2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid pricing and trims
The Hybrid Ioniq is available in 4 different trims, starting with a base MSRP price of $23,200 for the Ioniq Hybrid BLUE, up to $31,200 for the Limited Hybrid Ioniq top of the line.
|Blue||1.6L GDI 4-Cylinder||6-Speed EcoShift Dual Clutch Transmission w/ SHIFTRONIC®||FWD||$23,200|
|SE||1.6L GDI 4-Cylinder||6-Speed EcoShift Dual Clutch Transmission w/ SHIFTRONIC®||FWD||$25,150|
|SEL||1.6L GDI 4-Cylinder||6-Speed EcoShift Dual Clutch Transmission w/ SHIFTRONIC®||FWD||$28,400|
|Limited||1.6L GDI 4-Cylinder||6-Speed EcoShift Dual Clutch Transmission w/ SHIFTRONIC®||FWD||$31,200|
Additional Freight Charges for the 2020 Ioniq Hybrid are approximately $955.
Hyundai America’s best warranty
According to Hyundai, they offer the best warranty in the United States. A good warranty provides great confidence to car buyers, all Hyundai cars sold in the U.S. are covered by the Hyundai Assurance program, which includes a 5-year/60,000-mile fully transferable new vehicle limited warranty, Hyundai’s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty and five years of complimentary Roadside Assistance. Finally a 7-year/70,000-mile anti-perforation warranty.
When comparing Hyundai’s warranty to other established car brands, we can see that for example Nissan only offers 5-year/60,000-mile for their powertrain limited warranty, versus 10-year/100,000-mile by Hyundai. If we keep comparing with other car brands, Hyundai almost doubles the years and miles versus most other car automakers in the US.
Ioniq Hybrid engine
The engine of the Ionis is a new Kappa 1.6L direct-injected Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine with an unsurpassed thermal efficiency of 40 percent, delivering an estimated 104 horsepower and an estimated 109 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine was specially adapted by Hyundai for hybrid technology. It comes with quick-shifting six-speed double-clutch transmission.
The Ioniq Hybrid’s electric motor delivers an estimated 32 kW (43 horsepower) with an estimated maximum torque of 125 lb.-ft., powered by a lithium-ion polymer battery with 1.56 kWh capacity. The battery is efficiently positioned under the rear passenger seats. In combination with the 1.6-liter direct-injected engine, Ioniq Hybrid offers a total system output of 139 horsepower while providing low emissions, great efficiency, and a very good range.
Six-speed dual-clutch transmission
The Ioniq Hybrid and the Plug-in feature a six-speed EcoShift® dual-clutch transmission (DCT), which boasts best-in-class transfer efficiency through the use of low-friction bearings and low-viscosity transmission oil, and is able to achieve great driving performance and fuel efficiency.
SPORT or ECO driving modes
SPORT driving mode holds lower gears longer and combines power from the engine and electric motor for maximum performance. ECO driving mode optimizes gear selection for efficiency, upshifting earlier to achieve a better fuel economy.
The Ioniq’s exterior is inspired by advanced aerodynamics. It has a beautiful futuristic look, with an attractive aerodynamic shape. A fluid exterior with smooth airflow channels to create aerodynamic body lines with a great appealing modern design. Interesting exterior features like a sporty, hatchback-like style, front-wheel air curtains, a rear spoiler and diffuser, side sill moldings, floor undercover, and a closed-wheel design. In addition to Ioniq aerodynamics, further design details distinguish the Hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid and Electric models from one another. The Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid feature a three-stage active air flap integrated with the front grille. A closed front fascia differentiates the Electric model exterior.
According to Hyundai, their engineers and designers worked closely to ensure form and function evolved simultaneously in a complementary fashion. The Ioniq has a very low 0.24 coefficient of drag, it is very aerodynamic.
The interior of Ioniq includes some high-tech and futuristic features but I think it can improve and be even more futuristic in order to reflect its electric powertrain. The interior is very comfortable and spacious. Materials for the interior were chosen with an ecologically-sensitive focus to create a simple and clean look. Eco-focused materials create a clean and sustainable interior ambiance. The Ioniq uses recycled or ecologically-sensitive materials. The interior door covers are made of plastic combined with powdered wood and volcanic stone while providing the same quality appearance of typical plastic-based materials. The softer, more natural feel is achieved along with less reliance on oil-based products. Raw materials extracted from sugar cane are partly applied to the headliner and carpet. Paint with renewable ingredients extracted from soybean oil is used to achieve lustrous metallic colors.
As part of the Ioniq maximization of resources, the Ioniq climate control can be switched to an efficient operation mode. The fully-automatic climate control can be set to ‘Driver only’ mode, reducing the load of both air conditioning and heating on the overall powertrain. The Ioniq also features console-mounted rear air vents for rear passenger’s enjoyment.
The Ioniq Hybrid offers great cargo space by positioning the battery underneath the rear seats. The rear seats can be folded down, providing an estimated 26.5 cubic feet of cargo area volume for large pieces of luggage. All Ioniq models also offer generous front and rear headroom, shoulder and legroom. Memory driver’s seat and heated front seats are also nice features included.
Smart and Safety Features
Ioniq features state-of-the-art infotainment and connectivity features. Ioniq is equipped with a high-definition 7-inch TFT information cluster. With a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, it displays all gauge functions (speedometer, drive mode, fuel level). Depending on the selected drive mode, background color and gauges are adapted to always provide useful information. Within SPORT mode, the display changes into a revolving digital speedometer that is surrounded by an analog-type tachometer, showing engine rpm in red. When choosing ECO mode, the TFT-information cluster simulates the classic speedometer needle.
Smart Cruise Control adjusts constant speed and the distance to be maintained from the car ahead without moving the accelerator or brake pedals; It automatically cancels when speed drops to 5 mph or more. The Ioniq Electric features a Smart Cruise Control, providing a fully automatic stop/start. The Ioniq is equipped with state-of-the-art connectivity features and advanced safety, including:
- Apple CarPlay
- Android Auto
- Blue Link
- Wireless charging for smartphones.
- 7-inch TFT instrument cluster displays all key driver information with outstanding resolution
- 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 features more than 50 percent Advanced High Strength Steel, with high impact-energy absorption and minimizing cabin distortion to protect passengers in case of accidents.
- Blind Spot Detection, which works with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert to warn the driver of any surrounding vehicles, passengers or objects that could lead to a collision
- A Lane Departure Warning (LDW) is also offered, which sounds an alarm as the car moves over lane lines if the driver did not signal for an intended lane change.
- Rear parking sensors
- Headlights with Dynamic Bending Light (DBL)
- Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) with Pedestrian Detection, an advanced active safety feature that alerts drivers to emergency situations, even braking automatically as required.
- Tire Pressure Monitoring System
- A total of seven airbags, including a knee airbag for the driver.
- Body structure improvements, including a high-strength fiber-reinforced rear bumper fascia makes the entire Ioniq line-up strong.
About Hyundai Motor America
Hyundai Motor America has its headquarters in Fountain Valley, California. It is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 800 dealerships in the United States.