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First Drive

First Drive: Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

The story:
Hyundai’s mid-life facelift of its electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid Ioniq model gives it a slight styling refresh and improved tec.
Category:Lower Medium
Key rival:Volkwagen Golf
Hyundai Ioniq 1.6 GDi Premium SE
On sale:Now

It hardly seems any time since the Hyundai Ioniq came along to rock the Toyota Prius’s boat by offering not just a hybrid powertrain but also a plug-in hybrid option or pure EV power. However, we’ve already hit face-lift time.

There are minor styling tweaks front and rear, LED daytime running lights, the pure-electric version has a greater range, and the infotainment system now allows you to control and view various aspects through a smartphone app.

As with most hybrids, the Ioniq is at its best in an urban environment, where it picks up from rest briskly and smoothly on electric power, and gives you that warm feeling associated with not using any petrol. The steering is also light and accurate, even though the ride can be a touch firm at times.First Drive-March 2020-Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid-Image 3

On more open roads performance is perfectly fine, although the powertrain is rather too keen to change down a cog in the slick dual-clutch gearbox when you hit any sort of incline.

There’s decent space in both the front and rear, and the 443-litre boot is good.

Standard kit on the Premium SE model includes heated and cooled front seats, keyless entry and start, auto lights and wipers with auto high beam, leather trim and a parking camera.

Until April, the Ioniq sits in the 22% BiK band, then if you choose one after April it will sit in the 19% band – winner-winner.

Euan doig

The verdict

Ioniq stacks up on the road just as well as it does on the balance sheet.