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Car Buyers Guide

Hyundai IONIQ Hybrid

July 2016

Images here

Likes:

  • Competitive price
  • Traditional hatchback layout
  • Excellent warranty on both car and battery
  • Good levels of standard equipment
  • Spacious interior

Gripes:

  • Poor rear visibility
  • No plug-in option until 2017
  • Lacking steering feel
  • Less-involving drive than competitors
  • Confusing display layout
The IONIQ is Hyundai's attempt to create a low-emissions car, offering three different powertrains. There's an all-electric model, as well as a hybrid and a plug-in - though we'll have to wait until 2017 to see the latter. We've managed to test the hybrid which, thanks to a low starting price and excellent running costs, will no doubt be the most popular in the range. Good levels of equipment make it an even more competitive package, too.

The electric and hybrid car market is growing at a furious rate, with almost every manufacturer clambering to introduce its own low-emissions model. How has Hyundai attempted to fend off competition? By diversifying. That's why you'll find those three powertrains, allowing each and every customer to find one that suits them. The hybrid offers the most flexibility, allowing drivers better long-distance range while maintaining low-emissions running for around town. A claimed combined fuel economy of 83.1mpg means that trips to the pump should be few and far between, too.

Inside, there's enough room for five adults and their luggage. The rear seats can also be split, meaning that should you need more storage space, there's an option. As well as this, the IONIQ features a host of technology, such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There's also autonomous emergency braking - this features on all specifications of car - which is something that even premium manufacturers aren't including on their cars just yet. You'll also find heated and cooled seats, as well as large screens behind the wheel and in the centre console.

The IONIQ faces stiff competition from the all-conquering Toyota Prius. However, Hyundai is looking to offer a similar product for a better price. Not only that, but the IONIQ is sold with a five-year warranty, as well as an eight-year warranty on the all-important lithium-ion battery that powers the electric motor. So, while some are raising questions about the mechanical reliability of electric cars, the matter will be out of the hands of initial buyers for some time.

The IONIQ is built around a traditional hatchback layout, which means that it won't look out of place on UK roads. While some manufacturers create electric cars that stand out from the crowd, the IONIQ appears to follow more traditional styling cues. The layout also makes the car more practical to live with on a daily basis. Incorporated into the design are neat touches, such as full LED lights at both the front and rear of the car, as well as daytime running lights.

For some time now, the Toyota Prius has been the go-to option when it comes to (relatively) affordable low-emissions motoring. However, with the IONIQ, there's the chance for people who were considering a traditional hatchback to drive a forward-thinking car. That means lower running costs, no congestion charge and the ability to drive safe in the knowledge that they're doing their bit to help the environment. Of course, it doesn't have the premium image of Tesla's Model S or BMW's i3, but it offers all of the technology that they do for a fraction of the cost.

Our verdict on the Hyundai IONIQ Hybrid
The IONIQ is a competitively-priced hybrid that will draw in those who want an alternatively-fuelled hatch that reduces day-to-day running costs. It also has plenty of room for storage, which makes it ideal for families. All of this comes at a lower price than rival