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Driven: Hyundai goes further with updated Ioniq

More EV battery range, higher prices for upgraded, facelifted Hyundai Ioniq eco-car

29 Oct 2019

HYUNDAI has overhauled its electrified Ioniq fastback range with a facelifted model less than a year after the original launched in Australia, headlined by a substantial 33 per cent increase in battery range and extra performance for all-electric variants.


Since the Ioniq launched last November, full-electric variants have accounted 42 per cent of all sales, with 37 per cent being hybrids and 21 per cent being plug-in hybrids.


Hyundai Motor Company Australia public relations senior manager Guido Schenken told GoAuto the extended battery range of all-electric versions was expected to further swing demand in their favour.


“With free production supply, we expect this trend towards EV models to continue to get stronger, particularly given the increased 311km range for the 2020 Ioniq Electric,” he said.


Enhanced active safety and driver-assist technologies have been applied across most of the range and the upgraded Ioniq becomes Hyundai’s first model to feature its new tablet-style 10.25-inch touchscreen multimedia system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring plus split-screen display capability.


New exterior styling arguably gives the Ioniq a more mainstream look – especially the more grille-like front-end treatment applied to electric-only variants – and accommodating the big new media unit is a fresh, more upmarket dashboard design with greater use of soft-touch finishes and, on some variants, ambient lighting.


In return for these upgrades, Hyundai has increased the Ioniq’s opening price by $800 for the Elite hybrid, which now comes in at $34,790 plus on-road costs, while the Premium hybrid has gone up $1000, to $39,990 plus on-roads.


Despite this, the Ioniq still undercuts the Toyota Prius, which starts at $36,590 plus on-roads and tops out at $44,050 plus on-roads.


Both plug-in hybrid variants have also gone up $1000, meaning the Elite and Premium are now respectively priced at $41,990 and $46,490 before on-roads. Their nearest drivetrain and price competitor remains the Mistubishi Outlander PHEV mid-size SUV, which is priced from $45,990 plus on-roads.


An extra 107km of range – according to the WLTP testing regime – enables the revised Ioniq Electric to cover 311km due to its larger and now liquid-cooled 38.3kWh battery pack, helping justify a $3500 price applied to both Elite (now $48,490 + ORC) and Premium variants (now $52,490 + ORC).


Despite the price rise, an Ioniq Electric in lower-spec Elite trim gives Nissan’s Leaf ($49,990 + ORC) a run for its money, especially given the Hyundai offers a 41km WLTP range advantage.


With power from its electric motor upped from 88kW to 100kW (torque output of 295Nm remains unchanged), the Ioniq Electric also approaches the Nissan’s punchy 110kW/295Nm and is claimed to now deliver better performance at higher speeds.


Despite all the upgrades, the Ioniq drivetrain remains a far cry from the Kona Electric small SUV that starts from $59,990 plus on-roads, with a much larger 64kWh battery pack providing a WLTP range of 449km and high performance from a significantly more potent 150kW/395Nm electric motor.


Adaptive cruise control has been deleted from the Elite hybrid variant, which also misses out on the semi-autonomous lane-follow assist feature and anelectric park brake with auto-hold that has been rolled out to all other facelifted Ioniq variants. However, the entry Ioniq, like the rest of the range, does gain high-beam assist.


Hyundai has upgraded the Ioniq’s adaptive cruise control system to bring the vehicle to a stop in traffic and resume progress if traffic starts moving again in less than three seconds, otherwise it will prompt the driver to apply the accelerator or press a steering-wheel button to resume cruise control.


Similarly, the improved driver attention monitor now delivers a prompt if there has been no response to a vehicle in front moving off, for example at a junction or in congested traffic.


Electric variants gain an intelligent regenerative braking function that uses data from the cruise control’s radar sensor and can also detect when the vehicle is travelling downhill. In addition, both plug-in hybrid and electric Ioniqs now have manual regenerative braking adjustment, controlled via paddle-shifters behind the steering wheel.


Forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection between 10km/h and 70km/h and vehicle avoidance at up to 180km/h is carried over on all variants, along with lane departure warning with basic lane-keeping assistance, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.


Vision from the rearview camera can now be switched on at any time, rather than only being available when reverse gear is selected.


The new 10.25-inch touchscreen has a row of capacitive touch-sensitive hotkeys, matching the look and feel of the Ioniq’s redesigned digital air-conditioning controls located below. All Ioniq variants have an eight-speaker Infinity premium audio system, but the auxiliary audio input of pre-facelift models has been ditched.


Both electric and Premium hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants receive a new 7.0-inch digital multi-function display in the instrument panel with customisable themes based on the selected driving mode. The others make do with a more basic 4.2-inch unit.


All variants have rear air vents and dual-zone climate control is standard on hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants, while electric models have a single-zone system but are compensated by the inclusion of an automatic demister, rain-sensing wipers, driver-seat lumbar support adjustment and electric-folding mirrors with puddle lights usually reserved for Premium variants of other Ioniq drivetrains.


Premium trim brings leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, electric driver’s seat adjustment with memory, a glass sunroof, front parking sensors, wireless device charging, additional USB charging outlets, a self-dimming interior mirror and a heated steering wheel (which is leather-wrapped on all Ioniq variants).


All Ioniqs have dual front airbags, front side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and a driver’s knee airbag along with anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, hill-start assist, dusk-sensing headlights, rear parking sensors, tyre pressure monitoring and a speed limiter.


The Ioniq Electric’s bigger battery takes longer to charge than before, with 80 per cent reached from empty in 54 minutes when using a 100kW fast-charging station or 57 minutes when using a 50kW charger compared with respective times of 23 and 30 minutes previously.


For comparison, the Leaf’s 40kWh battery pack takes an hour to reach 80 per cent using a 50kW fast charger, although it uses the CHAdeMO socket standard for DC fast charging rather than the Ioniq’s more widely adopted CCS item.


Like the Leaf, the facelifted Ioniq has a one-pedal driving mode that can bring it to a complete stop, activated by holding the left-hand paddle-shifter.


When not fast charging, Hyundai has boosted the Ioniq’s on-board AC charger from 6.6kW to 7.2kW, resulting in a full charge in just over six hours (previously 4.5 hours) when using a compatible wall box type power supply. The Leaf’s 7kW AC charger does the job in 7.5 hours.


Both provide a fallback charger that works with standard three-pin domestic power outlets, with the Ioniq taking 17.5 hours (up from 12 hours) to fully charge from empty using this method and the Leaf 24 hours.


Drivetrains for the hybrid and plug-in hybrid Ioniq have not changed, each carrying over the 77kW/147Nm 1.6-litre petrol engine and respectively using 32kW and 44.5kW electric motors both producing 170Nm of torque and a total system output of 104kW, driving the front wheels via a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.


Battery packs are respectively 1.56kWh and 8.9kWh, both lithium-ion, and the plug-in hybrid is still capable of up to 63km on electricity alone under the ADR 81/02 test cycle.


Official fuel consumption remains unchanged at 3.4 litres per 100km for the base Elite Hybrid (3.9L/100km for the Premium) and 1.1L/100km for both plug-in hybrid variants.


The plug-in hybrid also carries over its 3.3kW on-board AC charger that takes just over two hours to fill the battery from empty when using a compatible wall box.


As previously, the revised Ioniq has been put through an Australia-specific suspension and steering tuning regime using local roads and engineers. Hyundai claims this has endowed all variants with “a supple ride as well as a level of fun-to-drive not usually associated with eco vehicles”.


Quelling noise, vibration and harshness levels often masked by running an internal-combustion engine was also a goal of Hyundai’s local chassis tuning team.


Externally, new all-LED headlights with arrow-like reflector graphics sit above aerodynamic intakes in front of the front wheels that house two strips of LEDs for positioning and daytime running lights.


Although the aerodynamic teardrop shape with dual-deck rear windscreen remains, the new front-end look does less to scream ‘eco car’ than before, with colour contrasts toned down, electric variants losing the mask-like smoothed-off grille aperture in favour of a more conventional-looking diamond textured insert, and the slatted main intake of hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants replaced by a contemporary studded mesh design.


In addition to the more modern-looking tail-light design, the Ioniq’s wheels have been given a makeover with aerodynamic five-segment trims on the 15-inch alloy hoops of the base Elite hybrid, 17-inch five-slot rims on the Premium hybrid and turbine-look 16-inch items on all plug-in hybrid and electric variants. Only the Elite hybrid has a full-size spare as all other variants come with a puncture repair kit.


A new ‘Fluid Metal’ paint finish replaces the outgoing Ioniq’s ‘Platinum Silver’ and joins the regular Polar White, Intense Blue, Iron Grey and Fiery Red Mica colour options.


Hyundai supplies the Ioniq with a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty and 12 months of roadside assistance that along with sat-nav map updates can be extended for at least 10 years when servicing is carried out at a Hyundai dealership.


The brand’s ‘lifetime service plan’ has a flat rate of $160 for each of the first five 12-month/15,000km maintenance intervals on the Ioniq Electric, while hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants are subject to a price of $265 for each interval except 48 months or 60,000km which costs $465.


2019 Hyundai Ioniq pricing*

Hybrid Elite (a) $34,790 (up $800)
Hybrid Premium (a) $39,990 (up $1000)
Plug-in Elite (a) $41,990 (up $1000)
Plug-in Premium (a) $46,490 (up $1000)
Electric Elite (a) $48,490 (up $3500)
Electric Premium (a) $52,490 (up $3500)

*Excludes on-road costs

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