Friday, January 15, 2016

Hyundai IONIQ

So this must be Hyundai's Prius fighter everyone's been talking about from last year. This is Hyundai's first ever full-hybrid vehicle capable of starting the year 2016 with a jolting sensation, it's called the IONIQ and this eco car made by South Korea's fastest growing carmaker looks somewhat promising to drive at. Even though it's South Korea's take on the commoner's favorite Toyota Prius, the first-ever IONIQ Hybrid really means business in the hybrid car stakes.

2016 Hyundai IONIQ 

So, what's it all about? When observers first heard about the IONIQ before its launch, Hyundai says that it will be offered in hybrid, electric, and PHEV through the whole year but for the launch, the hybrid model comes first, which sounds like a start for the IONIQ range. The IONIQ Hybrid is powered by a Kappa 1.6L GDi engine connected to a 32kW electric motor and a lithium-ion battery. With these powertrains working in unison, it provides a total output of 141PS of power and 265Nm of torque. Fuel economy is expected to be at around 22.4km/L, that's over a half percentage less than what the latest Toyota Prius had but unlike the Toyota Prius, the IONIQ comes with the newly developed 6-speed double clutch gearbox, making this hybrid car more engaging to drive.

2016 Hyundai IONIQ 

Yes, a double clutch gearbox in a hybrid sounds very lovely but one skepticism some might be aware of is its reliability issues like those faced in the third-generation Honda Fit Hybrid. The Fit Hybrid's double clutch gearbox faced glitches at first and it is unclear if the IONIQ might face the same problem as the Fit but in the meantime, let's hope it isn't.

Apart from its performance, aerodynamics played a crucial role in the IONIQ and like we saw on last year's Kia K5 Hybrid, the new IONIQ comes with a rather unique active air flap on its grille. Thanks to the IONIQ's clever way of managing aerodynamics, it has the best Cd-value of just 0.24, making it one of the most aerodynamic cars in the market.

2016 Hyundai IONIQ 

Because it runs on an entirely new platform made possible for hybrids, the IONIQ's dynamics doesn't feel as shoddy as a Prius, although it feels as commoner as a commoner's car on the suburbs. Sure, it's not what you called sporty, even when you set it on the SPORT setting where it stiffens the suspension, but the IONIQ feels very civilized, very mild, very delicate, and above all, very comfortable, although driving one of these in the highway can be somewhat as dull as a party at the Clarion Hotel.

2016 Hyundai IONIQ  interior

Apart from its driving comforts and dynamism fit for a Korean hybrid, the interior of the IONIQ not only looks futuristic but surprisingly nice to live with. It's surprisingly high-tech because of its infotainment system that supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a very handful wireless charging station where you can charge your smartphone without the hassle of using a USB connector. Aside from that, it's surprisingly spacious in the back and its boot space can accommodate up to 750 litres with the rear seats folding flat.

Should you buy one? The IONIQ hybrid starts from 22,950,000 KRW for the I model up to 27,550,000 KRW for the range-topping Q model. Sounds like much but at this rate, you can afford one than the Toyota Prius, making it a much cheaper alternative.

Available colors: Polar White, Mist Meadow, Platinum Silver, Jockey Brown, Aurora Silver, Phoenix Orange, Iron Grey, Marina Blue, and Phantom Black.

Photo: Hyundai Motor Company

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