What is it?
Essentially, this is a mildly facelifted version of Hyundai’s Toyota Prius-rivalling family hatchback, which is available as a standard hybrid or in plug-in hybrid form, as tested here, with an upgraded all-electric one just around the corner. And in this case, the term 'facelift' is more accurate than normal, because most of the changes are cosmetic.
There’s also an overhauled infotainment system with extra connected services, as well as enhanced driver aids, but in terms of the powertrain it’s much as before, so you get the same plug-in petrol-electric mechanicals.
So, what’s new? Well, glance at the Ioniq and you might be hard pressed to spot any changes, but look closer and you’ll note a number of worthwhile tweaks. At the front there’s a revised bumper design with eye-catching LED running lamps, while subtly reprofiled headlamps also get the full LED treatment. Sitting between these is a more distinctive grille with a natty 3D diamond-effect finish. It’s a more measured update at the back, where there are slightly altered tail-lights and a subtly altered bumper and valance.
It’s inside where the designers have been given a freer rein, with a totally new dashboard layout that includes that refreshed and larger infotainment set-up. ‘Glossy’ and ‘touch-sensitive’ appear to have been the watchwords when giving the cabin a makeover, because the dashboard is now dominated by a large touch-sensitive panel for the 10.3in multimedia system and the heating and ventilation controls.
Elsewhere, there’s a new 7.0in digital instrument cluster that’s topped by a neat-looking ‘floating’ binnacle, plus the addition of such ‘premium’ niceties as ambient lighting - although in this case it’s just limited to the dashboard in front of the passenger and at the base of the centre console. There’s also a genuine uplift in quality, with new soft-touch plastics covering the top of the dashboard and doors. The hard and scratchy stuff remains lower down, but most of what you see and touch has taken a step upmarket.
As before, a 104bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine is mated to a 59bhp electric motor to deliver an overall system output of 139bhp and a relatively healthy torque figure of 195lb ft, while drive is to the front wheels through a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Also carried over is the 59kW lithium ion polymer battery that, on a full charge, can carry the Ioniq about 32 miles in zero-emissions electric mode.