What's it like?
Largely unchanged from the outgoing car, with a keen response from its electric motor. Despite the weight gain brought on by the larger battery, the uprated powertrain has helped bring the Ioniq’s 0-62mph sprint time down by several tenths, adding to the sense of rapid progress when driving in town. It still doesn’t feel truly instant off the line, even in Sport mode, with a slightly more progressive power delivery than other EVs, but it has no issues keeping pace with motorway traffic.
Paddles mounted to the steering wheel provide direct control of the regenerative braking, offering several levels that range from little resistance to abrupt slowdown. The highest level provides enough stopping force for regenerative braking to be used in lieu of the brake pedal, for one-foot driving similar to the Nissan Leaf, only with more control. This ability to let the driver dictate when regeneration occurs is a lot more interactive than simply setting a drive mode, and can help you eke out more range with regular use.
There’s a decent weight to the steering, though it feels artificially heavy in Sport mode and tells you little about what the front wheels are doing at any given moment. Body roll is largely absent, and the car’s weight is more evenly balanced than in a front-driven hatchback with a petrol engine, but as far as dynamism goes there’s not a huge amount to be found here.
The ride strays a little too far into firm territory at urban speeds, with what few bumps we encountered on our test route easily making themselves felt. Moving onto smoother Dutch N-Roads settled things down greatly inside the cabin.
Real effort has been made here to give the interior a more upmarket feel, with physical buttons exchanged for backlit, touch-sensitive ones and the 10.25in infotainment screen now protruding from the dash, rather than sitting within it. Blue ambient lighting on every button won’t be to all tastes, but dedicated buttons are at least easier to find than having to dig around for them on a touchscreen.
The addition of Hyundai’s Bluelink connected car software helps the Ioniq keep pace with rivals, letting you remotely activate the air conditioning, lock and unlock the doors and schedule charging hours.
Should I buy one?
It may lack the performance and handling to truly excite as a driver’s car, but the Ioniq remains a practical family hatch well suited to those that will make regular use of the rear seats and boot.
For this update, Hyundai has sensibly focused on the area EV customers care most about: range. Any increase, however slight, is a welcome one, and the Ioniq’s 36% boost makes it more viable as a full-time replacement for a petrol car.