The 2020 Hyundai IONIQ Electric on test for Changing Lanes
The 2020 Hyundai IONIQ Electric on test for Changing Lanes

Caroline drives the new Hyundai IONIQ Electric.

Hyundai sashayed into the market for electric vehicles back in 2016 with the new Hyundai IONIQ Electric. In 2018, Hyundai’s electric offering was strengthened again by the arrival of the fashionable KONA Electric. While the brand also sells a range of hybrids and fuel powered cars, their electric offering has settled very well into the Irish market where buyers are ever more receptive to EV technology.

What’s new for the 2020 Hyundai IONIQ Electric?

While the KONA Electric, is the trendy electric compact crossover, the IONIQ is the classic electric hatchback. Now in 2020 the Hyundai IONIQ Electric has been updated with a new battery giving more range and more power. This effectively keeps the IONIQ Electric at the races in a time when manufacturers are constantly improving and offering popular EV models with more range.

The 2020 Hyundai IONIQ Electric is available from €35,470 in Ireland including grant and VRT relief. The new model now has a 38.3 kWh battery with a range rated at 312 km (WLTP). The IONIQ is also available as a plug-in hybrid (from €34,995).

The updated IONIQ Electric now has more power and more range
The updated IONIQ Electric now has more power and more range

The Hyundai IONIQ Electric hatchback now has a redesigned closed grille with new distinctive pattern and active air flaps to assist in cooling. There are also new headlamps, rear lights, and new front and rear bumpers. It is quite an unusual design, not as trendy as the KONA, but there is the familiarity and sensible nature of a hatchback to it.

The interior of the IONIQ

Inside there has been a comprehensive redesign of the dashboard with upgraded materials and finishes, updated instrument cluster, cabin mood lighting and all new touch type temperature and multimedia controls. A new 10.25” widescreen navigation system comes as standard on the IONIQ Electric in Ireland. Hyundai interiors are generally quite conservative, so this is a really nice, modern feature for the car. The system allows the driver to easily find nearby charging stations. The IONIQ Electric’s standard high-resolution 7-inch LCD console display has also been improved with mood lighting to visualise the different drive mode themes – comfort, eco, eco + and sport. There’s also some nice blue ambient lighting in the cabin, visible at night.

Equipment includes cruise control, parking camera, keyless start and entry, 16” alloys, lane departure warning, heated front seats, climate control, LED headlights, high beam assist, wireless phone charging pad, and 10.25″ Widescreen Navigation with Radio, RDS, DAB, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The IONIQ interior has been revamped for 2020
The IONIQ interior has been revamped for 2020

In terms of space, the IONIQ is a relatively compact hatchback but interior space, especially in the rear feels more generous than the Hyundai KONA. The boot is shallow but large with a generous 455 litre capacity. It stretches back a fair deal and has a very practical hatchback opening.

Battery and charging my IONIQ

The 2020 IONIQ Electric now uses a larger battery, which has increased in size from 28kWh to 38.3kWh, and a more powerful 100 kW motor. There is also new fully adjustable regenerative braking with one pedal driving functionality and smart regenerative braking. This automatically regulates the regenerative braking power depending on road inclination and forward momentum to ensure the smoothest driving experience, while maximising efficiency and range.

The IONIQ can be charged at home or on the public charging network. a 7.2kW on-board charger is fitted as standard – an upgrade from current 6.6kW – for Type 2 AC charging.  A CCS adaptor means that the IONIQ can also make use of 50 kW fast charging on the public network. Hyundai says that the battery can be recharged from flat to 100% charge in 6 hours 5 minutes on a 7kW charger. Using a 50 kW charger, 80% charge can be got in just under an hour.

On the road the Hyundai IONIQ Electric is smooth and effortless to drive. There is no particular dynamic appeal to this car but the light steering and comfortable suspension set-up make it an easy companion to travel Irish roads in. There is now more power with an overall system output of 136 hp so it copes fine in that regard without anyone mistaking it for a hot hatchback. The braking action is smooth, while one pedal driving is a doddle in the IONIQ.

50 kW charging of the Hyundai IONIQ Electric on the ESB e-cars network
50 kW charging of the Hyundai IONIQ Electric on the ESB e-cars network

Hyundai IONIQ vs KONA Electric?

Hyundai has been ahead of many manufacturers with two fully electric compact models in their Irish line-up. Like all electric vehicles right now, these are more expensive cars for their size than their fuel powered stablemates. However the Hyundai IONIQ Electric does have a lower entry price than the Hyundai KONA.

Clearly these two cars offer something a little bit different in style and format, trendy crossover (KONA) vs. classic hatchback (IONIQ). The KONA has an entry price of €38,630, while the IONIQ Electric starts from €35,470. Both are well specced cars, yet the KONA does have a more powerful 64 kWh battery, which is good for over 400 km of range.

There is plenty of options for EV buyers out there and lots to think about in terms of the balance between price, range, style, longevity and lifestyle suitability. The Hyundai IONIQ Electric is the classic electric hatchback that benefits greatly from a larger battery. Seeing over 300 km on your dashboard every morning is reassuring and this car is a simple entry into electric motoring.  It’s now got a more modern infotainment system that lifts the interior, while it’s also practical and compact for town.

If you would like to read our review of the IONIQ’s sister car, click here to read our Hyundai KONA Electric Review!

The new Hyundai IONIQ Electric is available from €35,470 in Ireland
The new Hyundai IONIQ Electric is available from €35,470 in Ireland

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Hyundai IONIQ Electric Premium
Price: 
€35,470
Battery: 38.3 kWh
Range: 312 km (WLTP)
Power: 
136 hp
Torque: 295 Nm
0-100km/h:  
9.7 seconds
Top speed: 154 km/h
Motor Tax: €120 per year