Winter is coming! And no we don't want you to start getting snow tires and skiing gear, no. We are alluding to the show that just might be running the world right now, Game of Thrones. The message of vigilance and preparedness bound in these words of warning is unmistakable. Just like some of us are already aware of the government's 2040 ultimatum on the internal combustion engine. Wait, like all of them? Yeah, which includes that beautiful Civic type R you cling to so badly on. Our team saw this one coming as always, and we have something to get you started on the alternative energy trend. Meet the Hyundai Ioniq a hatchback that offers a traditional hybrid, plug-in electric hybrid, and battery electric variants. Just like that, you have several more miles to the gallon.
What's new in the 2018 Ioniq?
For 2018, there is a new variant, the Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In, joining the electrically charged family from previous models. The Ioniq Electric and Hybrid, however, have just carried over from last year with little or no change at all. The plug-in model now comes standard with paddle shifters which are also available on the hybrid. The new Ioniq's Lane Departure Warning now has the Lane Keep Assist function.
What are the trim levels of the 2018 Ioniq?
The 2018 Hyundai has not changed much from last year. Two of its trim levels, the Hybrid, and the Electric carry on unchanged while a new member is added to the roster. The plug-in hybrid joins a family of five-door hatchbacks that lie between the Sonata and the Elantra, price, and size-wise. The Ioniq comes at a price between $24,299 and $35,649 depending on the trim level.
How is the Ioniq's exterior?
No offense to the Prius but for some reason, it appears to be the ugliest car today, only matched by its prime. On the contrary, the Ioniq gives the hybrids a good name. It is handsome, has got clean lines and model-specific 16 inches. If you look at it from far enough, it could actually pass for an Elantra hatchback. This is a big relief to all of us who seek mileage and find the Prius aesthetically challenged.
What's under the hood?
The Hybrid and plug-in hybrid Ioniq models feature a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine which produces 104 ponies and a pulling power of 109 lb-ft. The Ioniq hybrids engine is assisted by a 32 kW electric motor producing 43 hp while the plug-in hybrid model is assisted by a more powerful 45-kW motor churning out 60 ponies. Both engines are paired to a 6-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. The Ioniq Electric is powered by an 88-kW electric motor which produces 118 hp and 218 lb-ft of torque, paired to a single speed transmission. The car uses a Lithium-ion battery and is capable of pure electric mobility within a range of 124 miles.
How does it feel like to drive the 2018 Ioniq?
Hyundai has done a great job at making the Ioniq a smooth ride. It carries a subtleness that cars with its underpinnings normally lack. The ride feels sporty and is comparatively pleasant. Sure, it does feel slower, and this is because some sacrifices had to be made to accommodate all three powertrains, but overall it is an enjoyable car to drive.
How is the electric efficiency?
The 28-kWh battery pack in the Ioniq Electric is EPA-rated at 124 miles of electric range. That notwithstanding, it has won this year's Laurels as the single most energy-efficient vehicle on the market. It did this with a rating of 136 MPGe. The 88 kW rated electric motor produces 120 hp, just a tad bit lower than the power rating for the lighter Hybrid model.