There’s no doubt that the future is electric. But in Chicago at least, it’s not the future yet. There’s just not enough infrastructure. And it’s a shame, because the Ioniq is a great car. Now, if you have a set commute, the 110-mile range will give you daily what you need, and all you need to do is plug in each night. If your schedule is a bit more fluid, like ours, you might find yourself having some range anxiety and looking for an outlet. There just aren’t enough fast chargers in the area yet. Even the local Hyundai dealers didn’t know anything about even the existence of the model.
Now, in California, you’ll find enough infrastructure where you can get a decent charge at lunchtime. Here, you really can only find level-2 chargers and they still take 8-10 hours.
However, once behind the wheel of the Ioniq, you actually find a pretty fun-to-drive car. There’s 118hp, but most importantly torque on tap from zero. The handling is respectable, and you find yourself enjoying the drive.
There’s plenty of technology on tap, as you might expect. The infotainment system is as good as any. There’s plenty of information about how much battery you have left (or don’t.) The interior is interesting, but there’s really no reason to arbitrarily make the car look futuristic. In a way, I think it turns some buyers off. It is a car, after all – it should look like one.
In terms of usability, there’s tons of space as you might expect from a hatchback design. As has consistently been Hyundai’s m.o., the entire design is a bit of a rip off of the Prius. They borrow designs to attract crossover buyers, but I kind of wish Hyundai would own their own design language. The grill does have a company look, but around the back it’s all borrowed.
Overall, there’s a lot to like about the Ioniq, and it is a glimpse of the future. At a starting price of $29,500, it’s a heck of a value as well. With all its energy coming from a plug in your garage, you really can save a ton on fuel. As a city commuter car, I can honestly say – the future is now!
By Jason Saini
Special thanks to Hyundai Motor Corporation for providing the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq for review.