Innovating with alternative fuels – 2016 Hyundai Ioniq Electric

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Hyundai Motor presents the world’s first vehicle platform that makes low- or zero-emission travel a reality at an affordable price

Consumers and manufacturers worry about gas-guzzling motors spewing out carbon emissions — but there are alternatives. After years of research, design and development, Hyundai Motor has produced the world’s first car to offer a choice of three electrified powertrains: the Hyundai Ioniq.

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Ioniq Gives Its Best For Affordable Autonomy

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An autonomous Hyundai Ioniq concept has been revealed in LA featuring affordable technology that could appear on production models by the end of the decade.

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The autonomous hardware includes parts already in use on the production loniq for its driver assist systems.

Hyundai USA product boss Mike O’Brien said: “We’re developing the tech in-house using lower computing power than most, as we want people to be able to afford it. Which is no different to the existing Hyundai ethos.

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Hyundai i10 2017

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The i10 is Hyundai’s top-seller here in the UK, and given its positioning as one of the best choices in the city car class, the brand hasn’t messed with the formula for the updated version.

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Exterior changes are subtle; the i10 gains a new front bumper with Hyundai’s latest curved trapezium design, while it’s flanked by a couple of circular LED running lights. New air intakes, alloy wheel designs and a black plastic panel in the rear bumper are the other tweaks you may or may not notice. It remains a small car that focuses more on smart functionality more than outright kerb appeal, however.

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The cabin looks entirely familiar, too, with some new colour and trim choices but the main change is saved for the top-spec Premium SE model we’ve driven here. It gets a new seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system as standard, with sat-nav, DAB, Apple CarP lay and Android Auto technology, and a free seven-year subscription to real-time traffic data.

EQUIPMENT

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Premium SE models come loaded with kit, including new touchscreen with nav, DAB radio, heated seats and wheel, and climate control

This feature-packed set-up marks the i10 out in the class, and is intuitive to operate. Lesser models make do with a more humble smartphone dock.

Elsewhere, material quality remains very good for the price, the design is attractive and there’s impressive passenger and boot space. Top-spec models surprise further with features like a heated steering wheel – few cars offer that at this price point.

BOOT

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Well shaped load bay expands from 252 litres to 1,046 litres with the seats folded flat. There is quite a pronounced boot lip, however

Hyundai hasn’t felt the need to revise the i10’s engine range, which may disappoint buyers tempted by the punchy turbo powerplants in some rivals. That means you’ll have to make do with either a 65bhp 1.0- litre or the 86 bhp 1.2 -litre four-cylinder engine in our test car. While the former is zippy and sounds pleasing, those venturing out on to motorways frequently will find the extra torque and flexibility the 1.2 offers a fine trade-off for the loss of character. However, it still needs to be worked much harder than the 1.0-litre turbo in a VW up!.

PRACTICALITY

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The i10 offers five proper seats and decent head and legroom throughout, although three adults will find the rear a squeeze

At least small changes have been made to the i10’s chassis, with new suspension bump stops and a modified steering rack making it a fraction less vague than the old car’s set-up.

Comfort is still the priority here, however – it cushions all but the very worst potholes from occupants and refinement is generally very good. There’s little in the way of excitement in the Hyundai’s handling, though, despite the improved steering.

NEED TO KNOW

A price hike of £405 for our Premium SE model seems reasonable given in extra standard equipment it brings

SPECIFICATIONS


Hyundai i10 Premium SE 1.2

hyundai-i10-5Price: £12,800
Engine: 1.2-litre 4cyl petrol
Power/torque: 86bhp/120Nm
Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel drive
0-62mph: 12.3sec
Top speed: 106mph
Economy: 57.6mpg
CO2: 114g/km
On sale: Now

VERDICT

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These moderate updates do just enough to cement the Hyundai i10s place as one of the better offerings in its class. There are definitely more distinctive and fun city cars on sale, yet few can match the i10’s supreme blend of comfort, refinement and practicality for the money. Add in the new infotainment system and strong kit tally of this Premium SE spec, and we think it justifies the extra outlay.

Hyundai Tucson Has Found Its Place In The SUV Ocean

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In the ocean of SUVs, there seems to be a space left vacant. Hundai has moved its chessmen quickly to fill it up with a rather lovable SUV

If you have about $36,000 to spare on an SUV, you have a couple of choices: settle for something on the lines of the Hyundai Greta or the Renault Duster or find some more cash and stretch your budget by an other $7,400 and go in for the Ford Endeavour or the new Toyota Fortuner. Yeah,you may argue that you can get yourself the Honda CR-V or the Chevy Trailblazer, but you’d need another few $ to fuel the CR-V, because it’s powered only by a petrol engine. And theTrailblazer, if you ask us, is not very good to drive and has nothing exciting to offer buyers. That brings us to the latest offering by Hyundai and the solution to the problem for anyone who has $30,000-37,000 for an SUV. It’s called theTucson. It does ring a few bells in your head, doesn’t it? Yup, it isn’t the first time that Hyundai is bringing the Tucson to India. It did come here many years back, but somehow didn’t grab much attention.

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The first thing you need to know about this new, exec SUV is the way the name’s pronounced. Unlike what the spelling reads, you pronounce it as: Tu-Saw in simple words. And the next thing that you need to know is that it’s the only SUV in India that has no direct rival. And the closest rival is powered only by a petrol engine and sells only in double-digit numbers every month.

Now, the Tucson isn’t a flawless product. It has some apparent flaws like the lack of an AWD system even as an option and the way it’s been specced in India. For starters, the cabin is almost as plush as a German SUV’s and it is clear that the Tucson is aiming for some SUVs a few notches up the hierarchy with thesort of fit-finish and feel itintends to offer. It’s been inspired by some German luxury carmakers in some ways.

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Cabin quality makes it evident that this Hyundai is targeting cars two segments above it

The e-brake, for example, is something that you’d find in a premium SUV, or the Auto Hold feature that eliminates the need for you to keep the brake engaged while waiting for the traffic light to turn green. Another button I was rather surprised to see in an SUV that has no intentions of going off-road is the hill descent control. And I say it has no intentions of going off-road because, first: it has no AWD system, second at 172mm, it has only as much space below its belly as a hatchback. Oh yeah, an other thing I found funny is that an SUV which has all the bells and whistles that you find in cars a couple of segments above it has paddle shifters and a sunroof missing from the features list. Rather strange, no?

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The Tucson is the first in the segment to get an electrically operable boot lid. Handy

But now that I’ve told you what the Tucson lacks, allow me to tell you where it shines as bright as a star. And the first thing that comes to mind is the way the cabin and the dashboard have been put together. The quality of materials is high grade and colour tones and the design of things will give you a premium SUV feel. The back seats are spacious, too, and come with their own AC vents.

The exterior styling has also been undertaken bearing in mind what the competition has been up to and the ever-increasing needs of the buyer. A huge pentagonal grille takes prime position on the face and the rest of the space is occupied by headlamps that are nicely crafted and huge, and a bumper that fits clean in the design. The side profile and the rear design, including that of the tail-lights is a typical Hyundai affair, and the designers call it the Fluidic 2.0 design language.

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One thing that engineers from Korea have got just right is the Tucson’s ride quality. It’s sublime. It can soak up bumps with great ease and none of the road irregularities, including sharp potholes, will make their way to your back. Things like putting one wheel through a pothole at respectable speeds are done in complete silence and the pitch is controlled rather well. In terms of body roll, yes, it’s evident. But it’s not something that’ll bother you too much while going through a section of fast, sweeping bends.

What will, though, is the tendency of the Tucson to understeer. Such bulk and only front wheels driven makes the traction control work to the best of its capability and still, if you get into a corner even slightly lukewarm, you’d find it wafting away from the line you intended to take.

Push it slightly harder and you’d find it skipping off the line, sending a chill down your spine. And while all this is happening down on the road, your palms feel nothing through the steering wheel. There’s no connection or any sort of communication between the front wheels and the steering. To solve the problem, Hyundai has given a small button on the centre console that says ‘Drive Mode’. If you press it a couple of times, it sends the car into Sport mode that weighs up the steering considerably and alters the throttle response and mapping for the gearbox. But even with the instrument cluster flashing the Sport light, the steering feedback remains minimal.

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Six ratios give it flexibility, but the auto ‘box isn’t very prompy when it comes to shifts

With the Tucson, Hyundai has introduced a diesel engine that we hadn’t seen before. Hyundai likes to calls it an e-VGT 2.0 and it has four cylinders and displaces l,995cc. It’s assisted by a turbo and develops 183bhp and a massive 402Nm of pulling power. With such numbers, the mid range gets tremendously juicy and a treat to be in. T he huge torque wave comes in linearly at about l,800rpm and stays till you hit the 4,000rpm mark. Though the torque-converter transmission has six ratios to play with, it isn’t too brisk with gear changes. The clatter that the oil-burner develops is contained rather well, with it seeping into the cabin only at high revs.

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There’s also a petrol engineon offer – a 2.0-litre four-pot one. It’s the same engine that powers the Elantra and puts out 153bhp and 192Nm. You’d get more refinement and willingness to achieve higher revs in the petrol, but you’d miss riding the torque wave that the diesel offers. This, too, is available with a six-speed manual or a six-speed auto ’box. Similar torque converter type, unfortunately.

Despite the shortcomings, the Tucson does make a strong case for itself in the sea of SUVs that have flooded the market. In fact, Hyundai has won half the battle with the product positioning of the Tucson on Indian market. And the remaining half will be dealt with in a way that’ll put a smile on the buyer’s face once he sits in the cabin. Hyundai asks for $28,000 for the Tucson’s base petrol variant with a manual gearbox and for this, the top-end diesel automatic version, the price tag stands at $37,000.

The Tucson doesn’t offer the solid handling that the smaller Greta offers or the massive bulk that the Santa Fe comes with, but it finds that sweet spot right in the middle of the two. The ride quality and the cabin feel just does wonders for it, but the only fly in the ointment remains to be the lack of an AWD system.

SPECIFICATIONS


hyundai-tucson-7HYUNDAI TUCSON

Engine: 1995cc, 4cyl, turbo diesel
Power: 183bhp
Transmission: FWD
LxWxH: 4475x1850x1655mm
Ground clearance: 172mm
Price: $28,000-36,905
Pros: Plush cabin, ride, dashboard layout
Cons: Handling, steering fuel, lack of AWD
Bottom line: Offers the plushness that no other Hyundai offers, and fits in a segment left vaccant. Isn’t the best handler, but has brilliant ride quality.

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Hyundai i20 Turbo Edition

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Before anyone gets ahead of themselves, the new Hyundai i20 Turbo Edition is not some firebreathing hot hatch, nor a rival to the lavishly equipped Ford Fiesta ST Line. The Turbo Edition sits comfortably in the middle of the i20 line-up and its appeal is based around value rather than searing performance ora lengthy kit list.

The Turbo part of its name points to the 1.0-litre, three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine under the bonnet that develops 99bhp and emits just 104g/km of CO2, giving a tax bill of only £20 a year.

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Prod the accelerator and you’re met with a characterful thrum and punchy acceleration when you’re in the right gear.

The downside to the downsized unit is a lack of power be low 3,000 rpm, so you have to work the smooth-shifting five-speed manual gearbox a little harder than you might expect. After we tested the hatch on country roads and suburban streets, giving all the gears a thorough workout, we were averaging around 45mpg – roughly 30mpg less than claimed. Extremely light steering makes town driving a doddle, though, and body roll is well controlled around sharp country bends.

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PRACTICALITY

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i20‘s generously sized boot impresses. A capacity of 326 litres makes it one of the best in class, while seats fold fully flat for easy loading.

SPACE

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Backseats are comfortable, with enough leg and headroom for adults. There’s no transmission tunnel intruding on foot space in middle, either.

The i20 is safe and composed rather than overtly sporty if you take a back road home, but this means you can place the car with confidence when the road gets twisty. Visually, little separates the Turbo Edition from other i20 models, other than a horizontally-slatted front grille.

There are also rotor-style 16-inch alloy wheels, which are standard fare on the more expensive i20 Premium models (regardless of the engine you choose).

EQUIPMENT

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Turbo Edition cats are based on the mid-range SE spec; you get cruise control, Bluetooth and DAB, plus a seven-inch TomTom sat-nav.

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Inside, the dashboard is simple and well laid out, if a little bland, and material quality is good enough for a car in this class. The touchscreen sat-nav is the biggest benefit of all the additional kit; you’ll now spend around £1,700 less than before if you want your new i20 to come with GPS guidance.

Add all of this together and you have a car that is well worth its sub-£l3kprice tag. Ifyouwant a small turbo petrol Fiesta with a similar amount of equipment, you’ll have to fork out around £3,000 more for a 1.0-litre Eco Boost Titanium model. On that basis, the i20 Turbo Edition is worthy of consideration.

SPECIFICATIONS


hyundai-i20-turbo-7Hyundai i20 Turbo Edition

Price: £ 12,975
Engine: 1.0-litre, 3cyl turbo, petrol
Power: 99bhp
Transmission: Five-speed dual-manual, front-wheel drive
0-60mph: 10.7sec
Top speed: 116mph
Economy: 72.4mpg
CO2: 104g/km
On sale: Now

VERDICT 4/5

The handsome looks and practicality impress, but it’s on value for money that the i20Turbo Edition plays its trump card. It has equipment and space that a similarly priced Ford Fiesta can only dream of. The claimed fuel economy figure of 72.4mpg could be difficult to achieve, so you’ll have to adapt your driving style toget the most out of the engine. But otherwise, this is a strong package.

NEED TO KNOW

The Turbo Edition trim is only available on the five-door hatchback, not the sportier i20 Coupe

 

 

 

 

Is Hyundai Elantra a Good Choice for A Secondhand Car?

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Engine: 1.6-liter DOHC in line-4/1.8-liter DOHC inline-4  Gearbox: 6-speed manual/automatic
Power: 128hp @ 6,300rpm/148hp @ 6,500rpm  Torque: 157Nm @ 4,850rpm/178Nm @ 4,700rpm
Estimated economy: 8-10km/L (city); 14-16km/L (highway)

History

Before the turn of the century, the Elantra was simply an also-ran in a crowded compact market. Sure, it was a well-engineered car, but its uninspired styling and bland reputation made it uncompetitive. After skipping an entire model generation, Hyundai tried to make a comeback with a diesel variant in 2007, but prices were high, supplies were low, and interest was nearly nonexistent.

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This all changed with the introduction of the MD-generation Elantra. Not only was it a more appealing car than its predecessor (better, faster, stronger, and so on), it was also much cheaper. Which means it actually sold. And sold big. As it bows out in favor of a more refined and polished successor, we take a look back at the award-winning Elantra, to see if it’s still a good buy secondhand.

Value and costs

The Elantra was a right bargain when new, and secondhand price trending mirrors most Japanese sedans, with the exception of the unflappable Honda Civic (to be fair, it cost $2,000 to $3,000 brand-new). Still, a wide selection of preowned units at various price points promises good bargains for handy negotiators.

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While dealer maintenance can be costly, a wide network of Hyundai suppliers ensures you can find original parts outside the casa, and a thriving club scene guarantees easy access to aftermarket accessories. Aside from some minor issues detailed elsewhere in this post, the Elantra has no major mechanical faults. As always, however, try to bring a mechanic familiar with the car along with you on the inspection and test drive.

Exterior and interior

At a time when mainstream manufacturers were embracing a conservative, up-scale look, the Elantra’s lines reflected an exuberance typical of Hyundai’s ‘Fluidic Sculpture’ philosophy. The sporty, carved lines stood out well against similarly sporty competitors like the Mazda 3. The only letdown was the set of small 15-inch wheels on the 1.6-liter variant. Even the top-of-the-line 1.8 GLS had puny 16-inch alloys. A 2014 facelift brought bigger foglights, projector headlamps, LED running lights, and, finally, optional 17-inch wheels. It also introduced a limited edition ‘2.0’ variant, but these are rare as hen’s teeth.

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Five years on, the Elantra’s interior still looks refreshingly modern, with an organically sculpted look and great ergonomics. Thanks to the long wheelbase and low bench, the rear seat is usefully ginormous. Cheaper variants feature a urethane steering wheel and a generic single-DIN radio, while higher-spec GLS units sport a head unit and a leather-wrapped tiller.

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All units feature the same plasticky cabin materials, but that’s par for the course for mass-market cars nowadays. The2014 facelift made the integrated multimedia interface standard up and down the lineup, with a touchscreen unit reserved for higher-end L variants.

Engine

Despite some knock issues with contemporary 1.4-liter Kappa-equipped Accents, there are no similar reports for the more powerful 1.6-liter Gamma and 1.8-liter Nu engines in the Elantra.

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Options are wide as there are two engines available

Both are responsive and powerful, though only the smaller mill was available with the six-speed manual. Both manual and automatic transmissions are wonderful to use, with crisp shifts and solid performance. Just make sure to check for a burnt smell or hard shifting, which might indicate heat issues.

One notable but uncommon quirk is intermittent starting issues, which can often be traced to a faulty transmission inhibitor switch rather than something more serious.

Driving impressions

The Elantra’s quick steering rack and relatively low weight make it a tossable sedan for spirited out-of-town drives. A lack of high-speed damper control, however, can make it feel a bit wayward over bumps at speed. A lack of sound insulation around the rear doors and firewall, on the other hand, make it a bit noisier than most as well. These nits aside, it’s a fine car to drive, with a low seating position, good power and a balanced chassis.

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Do listen for a clunk from the steering column — an indication of excessive wear. While it’s an expensive fix at the casa, all that’s needed, really, is a replacement flexible rubber coupler, available for just a few dollars on eBay.

SUITABLY SLEEK

Aerodynamic profile is one of the best in its class.

NEW SHOES

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Many owners are forced to upgrade from the 15-inchers

LONG AND LOW

A long wheelbase makes for excellent legroom.

SMOOTH FLOW

A 5,400-ton hydraulic press stamped out those curves.

LEAN AND MEAN

The front is more memorable than the previous car’s.

BESPECTACLED

Chrome rings are a nice touch. Facelift got LED detailing.

Verdict

As with most Korean cars, Elantra ownership isn’t without its quirks. But it’s a solid car, and a fine alternative for those looking for something flashy, practical and fun. And for the enthusiast, the combination of a rewy 1.6 and a manual ’box simply makes the deal all that much sweeter.

MORE INFO

Rivals: Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Mazda 3
On sale: 2011-2016
Best resource: hyundai-forums.com
Parts: Oil Filter – $.3,2
Air Filter – $8.5
Fuel Filter – $13.3
Brake pads (Front) – $60/ pair *Prices are estimates
Top contact: Hyundai Asia Resources

QUICK FACT

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The Zombie Survival Elantra Coupe was made in cooperation with The Walking Dead creator.

New Hyundai Concept Previews i30 hot Hatchback

HYUNDAI WILL REVEAL a concept version of its upcoming i30 hot hatch at the Paris show this week. In the run-up to the event, the concept, called RN30, has been previewed in a single official image that shows off the car’s bulging arches and large-diameter wheels. The production version of the RN30 will use a 2.0-litre turbo engine with an expected 260bhp on offer. Its rivals will include the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Renault Megane RS and Ford Focus ST.carwow-hyundai-rn30-headlight

Like the rest of the new i30 range, the front-wheel-drive performance model will be available in five-door guise only. The regular car will start at about £15.500, but the range-topping N model is likely to add around £10,000 to that figure.

As well as its influence on the production model, the RN30 reaffirms Hyundai’s claims that its hot N-badged models will look very different from its regular cars. The i30N will be the first of several hot models that. Hyundai says, are being launched in a bid to establish more of an emotional link with its customers.

Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Premium SE

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Hyundai is going in all guns blazing with the Ioniq, offering three alternative powertrain options to tempt buyers out of their conventional hatchbacks and crossovers and into the Korean brand’s efficient new five-door family car.

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There’s a pure EV (and a plug-in hybrid due next year), although the petrol-electric Ioniq Hybrid is likely to prove popular, especially as it starts from £19,995 – £3,300 less than Toyota’s cheapest Prius. It even undercuts the Kia Niro, with which it shares much of its underpinnings.

The question is how does the Hybrid make sense on the UK’s more challenging roads?

It uses a 104bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine while its electric motor delivers 43bhp. The big benefit is the e-motor’s 170Nm of torque, though, which is available immediately to provide the Ioniq with impressive acceleration from rest.

“Play to the hybrid system’s strengths and it’s relaxing to lope around in

The total system output is 139bhp with 265Nm of torque, so if you ask for everything at once the Ioniq will sprint from 0-62mph in 10.8 seconds. Rev it hard and the engine is noisy, though.

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Play to the hybrid system’s strengths and it’s relaxing to lope around in, swapping between electric and petrol power as it sees fit. However, this happens too often, even at low speeds. It’s tricky to keep the car in EV mode beyond 40mph despite Hyundai claiming the maximum EV speed is 75mph,

The integration of the electric and petrol motors with the six-speed dual-clutch auto gearbox leaves a little to be desired, too. If s sluggish to change, and on the motorway there’s sometimes an odd surging feeling as the software juggles the two methods of propulsion. There’s also a noticeable step between the regenerative braking system and when the conventional disc brakes take over, so it can make coming to a halt a little jerky. A Prius combines its two power sources better, while its CVT transmission and braking system are also smoother.

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On the motorway the Ioniq feels settled unless you hit a big ridge in the road at high speed, but on torn tarmac around town, the firmer, less forgiving damping is at odds with the relaxed powertrain.

The Ioniq weighs just 1,370kg, thanks to some clever weight-saving in areas by Hyundai’s engineers, including aluminium in the bonnet and boot that shaves 12.4kg over standard steel items. Add In the firm suspension and it means you can actually drive the Ioniq fairly quickly, even if the steering isn’t the most involving.

However, this saps efficiency, so it’s better to relax and let the newcomer aim for its claimed 83.1 mpg average and CO2 emissions of just 79g/km. Other strengths include the car’s kit and its practicality – the 443-litre boot space is more than the Prius has, helped by the clever location of the battery pack underneath the rear seats.

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The Hybrid is available in three trims: SE, Premium and Premium SE. Base-spec cars get plenty of kit, including 15-inch alloys, dual-zone climate control and Bluetooth. Autonomous braking, adaptive cruise and lane-keep assist are also standard.

You have to upgrade to Premium to get sat-nav, although this also provides wireless phone charging, heated seats and keyless go, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for improved connectivity. The top-of-the-range model we tested has heated and ventilated leather seats, too, but the mid-spec car will be the sweet spot.

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hyundai-ioniq-premium-se-navThe Ioniq has a low drag coefficient of 0.24, so it’s no surprise it shares some styling cues with the Prius. The high rear end and low roofline give it a slippery shape, while the big rear screen is split by a dividing bar. It’s noticeable in your rear-view mirror, but doesn’t really affect visibility.

Inside, the trim quality is entirely acceptable, even if the cabin design is a little dull. Room in the back is also good, so despite the sloping roof even taller adults won’t feel too cramped.

EQUIPMENT

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Digital instrument cluster adds hi-tech feel It’s configurable to show different displays, including a flow meter lo highlight which motor is supplying or harvesting power

PRACTICALITY

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Room in the back is good despite the slippery shape and sloping roofline. The boot in the Hybrid model is bigger than those in the Toyota Prius and the Ioniq EV

ON THE ROAD

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Ioniq’s engine can be noisy when revved hard. It’s quieter when you relax and let the hybrid system work to its best effect.

VERDICT

The Hyundai Ioniq isn‘t as good a hybrid as the Toyota Prius, but it has price and practicality on its side, so buyers looking for a well equipped, efficient family car should put it on their shortlist. Groundbreaking it isnt, although the Ioniq has undeniably opened up the prospect of hybrid ownership to a bigger group of buyers and made it even more viable in the process. An EV version is also available, while a plug-in hybrid with a 32-mile electric range will join the range next year.

ESSENTIALS


hyundai-ioniq-premium-se-logoHyundai Ioniq Hybrid Premium SE

Price: £23,595
Engine: 1.6-litre 4cyl petrol plus electric motor
Power/torque: 139bhp/265Nm
Transmission: Six-speed dual-clutch auto, front-wheel drive
0-62 mph: 10.8 seconds
Top speed: 115mph
Economy: 83.1mpg
CO2: 79g/km
On sale: Now

NEED TO KNOW

Hyundai’s five year unlimited mileage warranty applies to all Ioniq variants, despite the hybrid powertrain

Hyundai i30 Gets The First “N”

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Hyundai has revealed a fired-up concept car called the RN30. It’s based on the all-new i30 family hatch, and previews the first model from the Korean brands new “N” performance division.

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SPORTY: RN30 hints at new N-badged i30; it gets aero bodykit and racing livery

The RN30 features a full aero bodyfkit and is finished in a striking livery. It’s powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine with a Focus RS-beating 375bhp and 451 Nm of torque. This is delivered to all four wheels through a dual-clutch racing gearbox with a rev-matching function.

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The interior has a stripped-out race car feel, with bucket seats and harnesses instead of seatbelts, There’s also a roll cage and racing steering wheel, plus cameras inside and out to record your laps.

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The i30N road car will he launched next year. Its unlikely that the production model will be anywhere near as racy as the RN30, although Hyundai engineering boss Albert Biermann has said that the new N division will focus on cars that are great to drive on a track.

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Hyundai Ioniq Electric

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Nissan Leaf and BMW i3 now have an all-electric rival from South Korea

This is our first chance to drive the all-electric Hyundai Ioniq on UK roads. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because we’ve already tried the hybrid version. With a plug-in hybrid to follow, the Ioniq is a key part of Hyundai’s plan to have 22 ‘green’ cars in its range by 2020.

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Underneath all three versions is the same platform that underpins the Kia Niro. There’s plenty of high- strength steel to help rigidity, along with aluminium panels and other componentry to reduce weight.

Unlike the Niro and the two hybrid Ioniqs, the all-electric version does without independent multi-link rear suspension, despite costing nearly £29,000 before any government grant. Instead, it has a torsion beam rear axle, which is more compact and enables Hyundai to shoehorn in a larger battery pack without sacrificing too much boot space.

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The lithium ion cells have enough juice to give the Ioniq a maximum potential range of 174 miles. Like official fuel economy figures, we’d take that number with a pinch of salt. Even so, you’re left with enough range (about 130 miles) to make all but the longest commute viable.

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Space, equipment, ergonomics and material quality all pass muster

“With 118bhp, the Electric is the least powerful Ioniq, yet it is also the quickest”

With 118bhp, the Electric is the least powerful Ioniq, yet it is also the quickest. A substantial 2181b ft of torque from rest and no pauses to change gear result in a 0-62mph time of 9-9sec. At urban speeds, though, the Ioniq feels even quicker than that.

However, its instant torque can overwhelm the economy-biased tyres. In the wet, the traction control cuts in hard if you try to accelerate quickly. Turn it off and the front wheels will spin all the way to 35mph.

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Front-mounted electric motor produces 118bhp and 218lb ft for brisk performance

Not that performance is really a selling point of the Ioniq. More important is the smooth power delivery and complete absence of vibration from under the bonnet.

As with other electric cars, it’s far more serene than a diesel or petrol- engined car. Even so, plenty of road roar is transmitted through the floor and there’s noticeable wind noise at speed.

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The brakes take some getting used to as well. The initial response is very sharp, but it feels like you need to push the pedal a long way further to get any meaningful stopping power.

You can alter how much the car decelerates when you lift off by using what look like gearshift paddles behind the steering wheel. The Ioniq starts with fairly weak regenerative braking, but this can be ramped up to slow the car faster and increase the amount of energy that goes back into the battery pack.

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Ioniq Electric offers a maximum official range of 174 miles on a single charge

Hyundai suggests that the Ioniq Electric should offer decent driving dynamics. The truth is that although it isn’t bad, it’s not going to set pulses racing. The steering has reasonable weight to it, but it’s vague around the straight-ahead and never conveys what the front wheels are doing.

There’s not a great deal of body roll, but it doesn’t take much to get the nose of the Ionic running wide on its low-resistance tyres. Pitch the car into a corner harder and you can tell the weight balance of the car is more even than that of a front-engined, front-wheel-drive hatch, though.

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Even so, this is a car that’s much happier being driven well within its limits. With this in mind, we would have liked more compliance from the suspension at urban speeds. It’s not uncomfortable, but it is on the firm side when dealing with crumbling blacktop. Things do settle down at motorway speeds, though.

Inside, the dashboard looks almost identical to a Hyundai Tucson’s. Up front, you get plenty of soft-touch materials on the upper portion of the dashboard and doors and harder materials underneath. Everything is nicely textured and the controls work with precision. As for the rear, it’s roomy enough for six-footers and the boot is competitive in size, if shallow.

There’s plenty of storage at the base of the centre stack, a good-sized glovebox and a wireless charging slot for your phone. There is no gear selector lever, just buttons for Park, Neutral, Drive and Reverse.

Ioniq Electrics get copper trim inside, which is a pleasant change from piano black. You also get an 8.0in colour touchscreen infotainment system that’s responsive and easy to use. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, too.

Even allowing for the £4500 government grant that you’ll almost certainly get when buying an Ioniq Electric, you still really have to want a battery-powered car to choose it. An internal combustion-engined rival will be cheaper to buy and, in many cases, better to drive.

It’s impossible to ignore the advantages of electric power, though. There’s no doubting the tax savings (especially for business users) and it’ll be much cheaper to fuel and service. Factor in the Ioniq’s competitive range and we’d say it’s well worth considering against rivals such as the Nissan Leaf and BMW i3.

hyundai-ioniq-electric-logoSPECIFICATIONS

Hyundai Ioniq Electric

It may not be particulary exciting, but the Ioniq Electric is a decent addition to the UK’s growing EV class


Price: £24,495 (after £4500 gov’t grant)
Engine: Electric motor
Power: 118bhp
Torque: 218 lb ft
Gearbox: Single-speed reduction gear
Kerb weight: 1420kg
0-62mph: 9.9sec
Top speed: 103mph
Range: 174miles
CO2/tax band: 0g/km, 7%
Rivals: Nissan Leaf, BMW i3

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Saloon And Estate To Join New Hyundai i30 Hatch

Hyundai has unveiled its third-generation Hyundai i30 ahead of the five-door hatchback’s world debut at the Paris motor show at the end of this month and the start of UK sales early next year. The i30 will become a family of cars, topped by a long-awaited, high-performance N hot hatchback and also including saloon and estate models. The new i30’s new look is part of Hyundai’s effort to make its cars more stylish and desirable as its growth in Europe continues. The company says the number one reason for purchasing the previous i30 was its design, and Peter Schreyer, the man behind Kia’s revitalisation, now oversees Hyundai’s designs as well as it seeks to give its cars greater visual appeal.

Hyundai has aimed to make the i30 more agile and fun to drive
Hyundai has aimed to make the i30 more agile and fun to drive

The car, which has been developed in Europe, is built on an overhauled version of the current platform. It uses MacPherson struts at the front and multi-link suspension as standard at the rear, with ‘performance-orientated’ dampers. The steering has been quickened and directness has been increased by a claimed 10%, while the brakes have also been beefed up. Axel Honisch, general manager of Hyundai Technical Centre Europe, said: “It’s a good balance between ride and handling. The ride comfort was at a good level from before. We aim to increase the dynamism, gain some more agility and make it more fun to drive.”

The new i30’s body consists of 53% advanced high-strength steel, which is manufactured by Hyundai itself and double the amount of the material used in the previous model. As a result, the body-in-white is 28kg lighter than that of its predecessor and rigidity has increased by 22%. The new i30 is 4340mm long, 1795mm wide and 1455mm high, with a wheelbase of 2650mm. This means it’s marginally longer and wider than the current model but also lower, while the wheelbase remains the same. It weighs 1316kg in its lightest form; that’s slightly more than the 1306kg of the current i30 despite the lighter body, although equipment levels have increased.

Cabin space is claimed to be class-leading; 8.0 in touchscreen is optional
Cabin space is claimed to be class-leading; 8.0 in touchscreen is optional

Hyundai is offering the i30 with three petrol engines and one diesel from launch, including a new 138bhp, 178lb ft turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol engine. Also in the petrol range is an entry-level 99bhp naturally aspirated 1.4 petrol unit and a 118bhp turbocharged 1.0-litre triple. The diesels are all 1.6-litre units with 94bhp, 108bhp or 131bhp, with C02emissions as low as 89g/km. Transmissions include a standard six-speed manual unit and an optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, which is offered with the two most potent diesels and the turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol engine. Later next year comes the performance N version, with a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine producing more than 260bhp and a top speed of around 155mph. This model is understood to be called RN30, as indicated by a trademark application made by Hyundai last month.

Hyundai has equipped the i30’s interior with reduced switchgear and an optional 8.0in ‘floating’ touchscreen atop the centre console (a 5.0 in screen is standard) to control infotainment and other functions. The new car is compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for smartphone integration, there is a wireless charging mat for smartphones and the TomTom-sourced satellite navigation system comes with a seven-year subscription to TomTom Live, which offers real-time traffic updates, among other functions.

New i30 is slightly longer, wider and lower than outgoing model
New i30 is slightly longer, wider and lower than outgoing model

Interior space is claimed to be class-leading, with roominess further enhanced by an optional panoramic sunroof which can tilt or slide open. Boot space is claimed to be 395 litres, rising to a maximum of 1301 litres with the rear seats folded. The new i30 is due to reach the UK in the first quarter of next year. Prices have yet to be announced, but expect a small increase over the £15,295 of the current base model.