WELCOME TO A NEW ERA! HYUNDAI IONIQPosted On: December 30, 2018 By : AutoLife Team
Fossil fueled vehicles have been the most popular means of transport for the longest of times, be it two wheelers or four. It’s the massive spike in the consumption of fossil fuels leading to the depletion of its source and looks to be scarce in the future. Not only this but the amount of pollution caused by the carbon monoxide emitted by vehicles have become quite an issue so the automakers started looking for more eco-friendly alternative that we can use when we are short of fossil fuels and came the birth of electric vehicles. Electric vehicles have been around for sometime now but in the recent years is when there has been the most development in this segment, mainly due to the fact that Tesla showed the world what electric powered vehicles can do. Now other companies have joined the party and have brought in their electric vehicle. It’s not new in other countries but we haven’t seen much of electric vehicles here in Nepal, the most popular electric vehicles being the Mahindra Reva E20 and the Kia Soul EV. Hyundai showcased their electric vehicle the Ioniq at this year’s NADA show and was quite the show stopper. There would always be a crowd of people around the vehicle trying to get a proper glimpse of the vehicle. So with that much anticipation already built up with what we read in the brochure so we were stoked when we realized we were getting the chance to sit behind the wheel of this gorgeous vehicle.
The Ioniq looks very classy, the exterior of the car has been designed with elegance in mind and all the angles exude that. The dual projector setup looks very striking with the LED DRLs (Daytime Running Lamps) located in the fog light area. The grille looks different as it is a single piece coming in a greyish shade. It has a very distinctive look that gets people looking and grabs a lot of attention. There is quite a bit of thought given to the aerodynamics of this car as it includes an active aero flap below the front grille that opens and closes. It cleverly adjusts to the right aerodynamic configuration with the two air curtains which passes air through to the front wheels from where the DRLs are located. The side profile of the Ioniq is simple yet elegant; the 16 inch alloy wheels look good with the dual tone finish to it. Our only gripe about it is that fact that it could do better with a larger set of rims like with either a 17 or even an 18 inch, but the 16 inch rim would still get the job done. The sloping roof looks very coupe like and the boot opens up like a hatch back meaning the rear glass opens up with the boot. The glass is split in two pieces, with the inclusion of the normal rear windshield, there is a portion between the taillights and above the Hyundai logo that’s made out of glass too, which lets up peak into the boot. It does look very stylish indeed but it somewhat compromises the privacy factor with the open boot.
The interior is one of the most exciting aspects of the Ioniq, it’s packed with pretty well equipped features for convenience and safety which gives the interior a premium feel. You’re welcomed by beautiful leather seats that are electrically adjusted from the driver’s side. The subtle orange accents and stitching seen all around the interior especially the along dash board gives an especially sporty look. The seats are very comfortable and more importantly provide a good amount of support to hold you in place. You’ll find out why we said that later on. The dual zone climate control has become a staple feature of most cars as the comfort of the driver and the passenger is necessary but what’s extra in the Ioniq is it offers extra ventilated seats. The front seats can be heated or cooled however the rear seats can only be heated. Plus the steering wheel can be heated, so say goodbye to those chilly winter mornings and sweat stained backs.
Getting back to the steering wheel, the flat bottomed steering wheel has a very sporty feel with all the connectivity buttons and the cruise control buttons laid out nicely on each side if the wheel. There are two paddles behind the steering wheel, one on each side. Normally it would be a paddle shifter to change gears but in this case it’s a little different. The paddles are there to control the regenerative braking control feature. If you look behind the steering wheel there is a 7 inch color TFT. LCD supervision cluster taking the over from the conventional instrument cluster. It is a pretty high resolution screen with crisp graphics that change according to the mode you have chosen to drive in. There is a 5 inch touchscreen infotainment system which is pretty slick to use but is on the smaller side as cars are usually equipped with 7 inch or bigger screens. The buttons below the screen makes the using experience more fluid since it has shortcut buttons; all are laid out neatly. The gear system is quite unique compared to the conventional gear stick; it’s actually replaced with buttons to do the job. There is an individual electric gear shift button for Park, Reverse, Neutral and Drive along with an electronic parking brake.
Next to the gear shift buttons is the wireless charging pad for compatible smartphones so you don’t have to carry around a cable to charge your phone if it has wireless charging capability. All of this is housed within a plastic piece with a magnificent piano black finish. The electronically operated sunroof adds light to an otherwise dark cabin. The rear seats are comfortable to sit in, with decent leg room. Though the coupe like sloping roof is something we love, it however eats a little into the headroom for the tall folks. The rear seats fold in a 60:40 split to open up more luggage space. Due to the whole rear boot section opening up, it gives an access somewhat like a hatchback. The Ioniq lacks a spare wheel due to the fact that there is battery stored under the boot, where the spare wheel would usually be but it comes with a portable air pump that uses power from the vehicle to inflate just in case.
PERFORMANCE AND HANDLING
Normally the concept in Nepal is that electric cars lack power and will struggle in a place like Nepal with such geographically diverse conditions. Also the fact that there aren’t many options when it comes to electric cars, the idea of the green energy is yet to be accepted. But give the Ioniq a try and you will understand why every car manufacturer is moving toward electric powered motors. The 28kWh churns a good 120Ps and 295 Nm of torque. There are three driving modes for you to choose from, the eco being the most battery saving mode giving more range to the vehicle. The city mode is in between the eco and the sport mode; it has decent range and a responsive engine while the sport mode goes into full power mode. The best thing about an electric motor is the instant torque which is available at all times. Put the Ioniq in sport mode and it turns into a torque monster. The immense torque will pin you to your seat which will leave you with a big grin across your face along with an adrenaline rush.
There is another genius feature integrated into this vehicle which is the regenerative braking system, like mentioned earlier, the paddle shifters on the steering wheel does not change gears like the conventional paddle shifters, instead it’s used to adjust the level of regenerative braking. The left paddle increases the regenerative braking where as the right paddle decreases the level. What this does is when you lift you foot off the accelerator pedal the engine spins in the opposite direction and generates electricity that goes back into the battery to recharge itself, the level of braking depends on which level you have put the system on. The higher the level the more the battery will recharge but it sheds speed faster too. In some cases when there is some distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, you can let the regenerative braking system slow down the car for you. The steering felt very light and responsive making it a breeze to drive around town. It changed direction fast and with ease.
The main concern is usually about charging electric vehicles so Hyundai designed the Ioniq with a charger that you can plug into any normal household electrical sockets. Depending on the electrical output it can charge in as little as 4 hours. On a full charge the claimed range is 220-250 kms in normal driving conditions without the AC turned on and with the AC turned and our road conditions you can expect the range to be somewhere around 170 – 200 kms.
The Ioniq is pretty stacked up when it comes to safety features. It has 7 airbags to keep the driver and the occupant’s safe in a collision but there are even more safety features to reduce chances of that happening. With features such as Autonomous Emergency Braking system (AEB), Blind Spot Detection system (BSD), Lane Change Assist (LCA), Lane Keep Assist (LKA), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Proximity Sensors, Rear View Parking camera, etc. all of which work together to make sure you don’t see collision any time soon. The AEB system applies the brake automatically when it senses a pedestrian, vehicle or any other obstacles in front of you at certain speeds should you fail to react in time. The BSD system notifies you when there is something in the blind spot area of the vehicle so that you know there is something there even if you don’t see it in your mirror. The LCA helps you change lanes while driving and the LKA makes sure that you are not slowly going into another lane without signaling but this feature might not come in handy without proper lane markings. For instance when we were on the six lane highway, we let the car slowly go to the other lane with no signals and the car gave a beeping sound before correcting the lane automatically. So with all that you definitely won’t lack a sense of security while driving the Ioniq.
With so much hype around the Ioniq we had high expectations from it and it easily crossed our expectations and it was such a pleasure to drive around in it. Initially we were concerned about the fact that after being so accustomed to driving around in vehicles that runs on fossil fuel, driving around a vehicle which lacked engine noise would have us feeling uneasy but guess what? The experience of driving the Ioniq was so surreal that none of us actually noticed the silence. So with the immense torque, the luscious design, efficiency and the bragging rights of being environmentally friendly, we think the Ioniq is an excellent option in the market if you’re looking into electric vehicles.