Hyundai Ioniq Electric (2016 – 2022) Review

Hyundai Ioniq Electric (2016 – 2022) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
One of Hyundai’s earliest entries into the EV market has subsequently been overshadowed by its new models, but still offers an appealing, no-nonsense approach to electric motoring.

+Easy-going nature. Good interior quality. Smooth electric powertrain.

-Compromised rear space. Modest performance.

Insurance Groups are between 16–17

The Ioniq name is now synonymous with more exotic electric offerings such as the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Hyundai Ioniq 6, but back in 2016 the name first appeared as a stepping stone into alternative power. Initially offered with a choice of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric powertrains, the car was designed to suit anyone and everyone, and take on established rivals such as the Toyota Prius hybrid and all-electric Nissan Leaf. Read on for our full Hyundai Ioniq Electric review.

At launch, the Hyundai Ioniq Electric was offered with a 28kWh battery, which gave an official range of 174 miles on the old NEDC test.

However, in 2019 this was upgraded with a more substantial 38.3kWh battery. Although the official range was only 182 miles, this was achieved under the more strict WLTP regulations, so real-world range improved compared with the earlier version.

Post-2019 variants of the Hyundai Ioniq Electric also benefited from a greater power output of 136PS. Torque was increased, too, with 395Nm up from 295Nm, improving overall performance.

Helpfully, the on-board charging system was also upgraded from 6.6kWh to 7.2kWh for faster charging speeds.

The driving experience is typical of an electric car from this era – low noise and low effort, with usefully rapid acceleration.

However, the modest 0-62mph time of 9.9 seconds shows that it is at its best at urban speeds, and is not as quick as some newer EVs at motorway speeds.

The handling and ride are better suited to lower speeds, too, with the extra weight of the Hyundai Ioniq Electric felt through corners. There is more body roll than in the hybrid versions.

However, the upside is that the relatively soft suspension means it is good at dealing with imperfect surfaces, with only the most significant bumps felt inside the cabin.

In contrast to some of the more outlandish EV designs out on the road, the Hyundai Ioniq Electric errs on the more conservative side.

It’s not an unattractive design, but other than the blanked-out front grille, it doesn’t really provide many clues that it is an EV. For some buyers, that will be an appealing factor.

Inside, the Hyundai Ioniq Electric offers a sensible layout that is not without some design flair, although the later versions from 2019 onwards are better in this respect.

Unlike the more unusual Toyota Prius dashboard, the Hyundai Ioniq Electric has a conventional layout with a central touchscreen, and all the controls are where you would expect to find them.

In quality terms, it is also impressive, with few hard surfaces and an overall sense of robustness.

Interior space is also good in general, although it is worth bearing in mind that the Hyundai Ioniq Electric has slightly less boot space than the hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions.

Additionally, the shape of the roofline means that headroom in the rear is slightly reduced, which may be an issue if carrying adults in the rear is a regular occurrence.

Overall, the Hyundai Ioniq Electric offers a non-threatening and easy-to-use EV experience, which for many buyers is exactly what is required.

The driving experience is far from thrilling, but with Hyundai’s good reputation for reliability, it should provide a satisfying car to own.

Ask Honest John

Hyundai Ioniq air conditioning not working - is this a manufacturer fault?

"My 2021 Hyundai Ioniq Electric's air conditioning has been out of order for two months and has had four separate visits to the dealer, who doesn't seem to have any idea what to do to fix it. It is now with Hyundai technical. The dealer is awaiting their advice. They initially said it probably needed a regas, then it needed a new compressor, then said it needed more extensive diagnostics, now they are seeking advice from Hyundai. Are you aware of many other similar complaints? I have found reports of this issue from other countries but not the UK."
It reads as if the AC system has failed. Either the compressor has seized up or the joints have dried out and the gas is escaping quicker than they can top it up. If the problems are linked by a manufacturing fault then it should be covered by Hyundai's warranty. However, if you the problems are caused by lack of use them your warranty claim may be rejected. The AC system is designed to be used all year round. Switching it off for the winter months will increase the likelihood of the joints during out or the condenser failing.
Answered by Dan Powell

What are the best electric cars for towing?

"I am planning to replace my Land Rover Freelander 2 with a pure electric car. The car must have a towbar. I can't find any current pure electric models that allow this. Will this be the case in the future?"
Take a look at the upcoming Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6. Both are electric crossover SUVs that can officially tow a braked trailer weighing up to 1600kg. Otherwise, pricier electric SUVs like the Tesla Model X, Audi e-tron and Mercedes EQC are all capable of towing.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What's the best used, small hatchback for low mileage use?

"We are both recently retired and found that having just one car (the brilliant Volvo XC40 T3) is proving inconvenient, so we want a small used car for running around and short trips. Current thoughts are Audi A1, Fiat 500 or MINI. Prices seem fairly equal for recent models and running costs about even, but it's difficult to find information on reliability. It will probably only be doing 5000 miles per year. From those above, what would be the least likely to cause problems and prove not overly expensive? What other makes/models would you suggest in 3 to 4-year-old cars? Thanks in anticipation."
Our Satisfaction Index is a good indicator of reliability: As a guideline, Audi owners are generally fairly satisfied. MINI and Fiat actually perform pretty poorly. We also list common issues under the 'good/bad' section in our reviews. Have you considered an electric vehicle? If you can charge a car at home, it sounds like one would suit your requirements well. Something like a Volkswagen e-Golf, Hyundai Ioniq or Kia Soul EV could be a good option. A little more expensive to buy but you'll save money in running costs. If you'd prefer to stick to petrol, consider a Ford Fiesta Vignale. It's essentially a posh Fiesta with a luxurious interior but low running costs.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What's the best value, used electric car?

"Is the Volkswagen e-Golf the best value, used electric car?"
The Volkswagen e-Golf is certainly an excellent introduction to electric vehicles. We ran one for six months and rated it highly: You might find a Nissan Leaf to be a better choice, however. The 40kWh model can travel 168 miles on a charge (compared to the e-Golf's 144) and, as it sold in bigger numbers when new, there are more to choose from on the used market. We'd also recommend the Hyundai Ioniq Electric which has a range of up to 183 miles.
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions