The Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid isn’t the first car in the Philippine market to champion the well-being of the environment (that distinction lies with the Toyota Prius), but it is one of the most refined offerings we’ve seen to date. If you’re looking for a way to save the Earth through your automotive choices, then read on.
Not all heroes wear capes. And it can be said that the Hyundai Ioniq doesn’t call any attention to itself despite its environmental-friendly stance. Its exterior styling, while quite striking in its own way, is attractively subdued. The Ioniq’s sleek silhouette that starts from its sloping hood all the way to its liftback is more than aesthetic: it gives the Hyundai Ioniq an impressive drag coefficient of 0.24, which no doubt helps improve its fuel efficiency.
Inside, you’ll find a simple, yet well-constructed cabin. Soft-touch materials are used throughout the dash, and each button and knob feels and looks premium. The controls are highly intuitive and easy to understand. An integrated eight-inch touchscreen display handles infotainment features, while a semi-digital cluster does a great job of relaying information pertaining to the various states of the battery and your driving habits. The leather seats are power adjustable up front, with the rear seats capable of a 60/40 split. Combined with the liftgate, this gives you loads more room than a conventional sedan, though the total available cargo space with the rear seats folded down doesn’t create a perfectly flat platform. Nevertheless, it’s more than suitable for carrying luggage or long items on a trip.
Space at the rear is surprisingly generous, though taller individuals (around six feet or taller) will find their heads start to graze the ceiling. Slightly recessed seats at the rear means a more uncomfortable ride for the middle occupant, but thanks to great legroom, good shoulder-to-shoulder room, plus rear air-conditioning vents, it’s still a manageable place to be even on relatively long trips. Overall, the Ioniq Hybrid’s cabin is a great representation of the brand’s capability to showcase a more premium-level build on their sedans and hatchbacks, with very little to complain about in terms of materials, construction, or ergonomics.
The Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid is powered by a 1.6-liter Kappa four-cylinder engine that produces 105 hp and 148 Nm of torque, and an electric motor that delivers an additional 43 hp and 169 Nm of torque powered by a lithium-ion polymer battery with a capacity of 1.56 kWh. Combined, the Hyundai Ioniq has a total output of 139 hp and 264 Nm of torque, which is more than enough to get you through any urban scenario, whether zipping through traffic, cruising around the city, or overtaking at high speed. Like most hybrid vehicles, the electric motor’s battery gets charged either through the petrol engine, or through regenerative braking. You can select between Sport or Eco modes which determine how aggressively the system switches between the petrol engine and the electric motor. It also affects the weight of the steering wheel which changes from a very light city-friendly feel to a more weighty feel for sportier drives.
Gentle prodding of the accelerator actually allows you to roam around on pure electric power. Give the pedal a harder push and the petrol engine seamlessly and quietly kicks in. The inclusion of a six-speed dual clutch transmission instead of a conventional CVT eliminates much of the droning we’ve come to expect from cars that focus on fuel economy above all else, making the Ioniq Hyubrid a great mix of fun and practicality for your daily drives.
The city is where the Ioniq Hybrid shines, cruising along in absolute silence while you reflect on all the fuel and trees you’re saving. Its ride is on the firmer side, but not to the point of being uncomfortable. The payoff is an extremely planted ride at high speed, even through dips and embankments along the road. NVH levels are great as well, though it’s easier to point out road noise when your engine is completely silent. As for our recorded fuel economy, we managed to get 20.7 kilometers per liter on highway and city driving conditions, which is of course, excellent.
Features and value
At P1,548,000, the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid comes at a reasonable price point considering its only most recent competitor, the Toyota Corolla Altis Hybrid is priced at P1,580,000. It comes with dual front, side, and curtain airbags, ABS, rear parking assist, and a rear camera to form a decent safety suite.
Naturally, it would unfair to compare the Ioniq Hybrid head to head against products in the compact sedan segment that are similarly priced. Modern hybrids still require a certain, shall we say, “environmental tax” that make them cost significantly higher than similarly specced products in the market. However, customers who are specifically looking for a hybrid to do their part to combat the world’s looming climate and energy problems would do well to check out the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid, which offers a well-rounded kit for the asking price.
Text and photos by Chris Van Hoven