Motoring

2020 Hyundai Ioniq Electric review – it will make Bathurst

The 2020 Hyundai Ioniq facelifted range has arrived, remaining the only nameplate to offer three electric drivetrains. I spent most of my time in the electric variant at the local launch, one that is dear to our hearts at EFTM. You see we drove the previous model flat, by accident, but our effort to cross the Blue Mountains was basically a fiasco. However, things have changed…

WHAT IS IT?

The Hyundai Ioniq Electric is the brand’s 2nd EV, with the Kona also offered in Australia with a petrol free option. The Kona is also the most expensive Hyundai you can buy. 

But for now, I will focus on the electric. Firstly, it now has a bigger 38.3kWh battery, that should see the car travel 311km (WLTP). The previous Ioniq we spent three months with was only good for 230km although given the WLTP rating wasn’t around then it was actually realistically good for just over 200km, due to a smaller 28kWh battery.

The 2020 Ioniq electric receives an exterior refresh and substantial interior updates. There’s a raft of extra equipment and based on my drive, significant improvements in refinement and drivability.

BEHIND THE WHEEL

The first thing that separates the 2020 model from the outgoing effort is the interior. There’s a brand-new dashboard that really lifts the premium feel Hyundai, I assume, has been looking for.

There are now capacitive buttons where there were once actual buttons for controlling the air-conditioning, plus the instrument cluster has been rejigged to improve its user interface. 

There’s little doubt this is a much better car.

Local input for the Ioniq tuning has paid off, the previous model felt a little fragile through the bends and had a bad habit of failing to get power to the ground whenever there was a change in camber. It also appeared to have poor electronic stability control calibration, that seems to have been rectified.

The drive experience came across as more silent, with less road noise making its way into the cabin of the Elite model I sampled. The claimed range really does seem realistic too, even after some spirited driving from Hyundai HQ at Macquarie Park, over Wisemans Ferry and onto Peats Ridge on the Central Coast of NSW. I could have easily made it back but drove a Plug-in hybrid home.

Basically, the Ioniq electric is now fun as opposed to ungainly and annoying at times. It’s also noticeably more powerful, especially when the need to overtake presents itself.

The new daylight running lights look sharp, as does the diamond etched grille. The rear-end scores new wing-style LED tail lamps.

VITAL STATS

The more powerful 100kW and 295Nm of torque electric motor can be charged at up to 100kW DC. As mentioned, range is up via the 38.3kWh battery, by 33 per cent in fact. The lithium-ion polymer unit is liquid-cooled, the old 28kWh battery relied on air-cooling. 

If you were to find a 100kW DC fast charging station, a 0 to 80 per cent charge would take 54 minutes, or 57 minutes from a 50kw station.

Most people still tend to charge their EVs at home. Thankfully the on-board AC charger has a new capacity of 7.2kW, which means a charge time of 6 hours and 5 minutes if you have the appropriate wall charger at home.

If you rely on a 240V domestic socket, the included In-Cable Control Box will see you hanging around for 17 and a half hours for a full charge.

Technology

Apple CarPlay and Android come as standard, as do some new safety features. The brands SmartSense includes High Beam Assist, Lane Following Assist, a Driver Attention Warning, Leading Vehicle Departure Alert, Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go.

Leading Vehicle Departure Alert is not something I’ve seen before. It will fire off a few chimes if you fail to realise the car in front has moved away from a set of lights for example.

The 7.0-inch instrument cluster has been refreshed and simplified, making for an easier user experience.

Price

Prices are up by $3500 for both the Elite and Premium options. You’ll be forking out $48,490 or $52,490 before on roads. Despite all the improvements I really don’t think this helps the EV movement. We are clearly still someway off making this car financially viable. The Ioniq range is backed by a five-year unlimited kilometre warranty and roadside assist for 12 months.

WHY WOULD YOU BUY ONE?

Because it goes further than a Nissan Leaf, the Renault Zoe is too small, and the new MG ZS EV is an unknown entity.

EFTM SCOREBOARD

The Hyundai Ioniq has progressed in leaps and bounds, it looks shaper and edgier. Goes the distance, compared to some other competitors and is a genuinely nice drive. It’s just a shame just about everyone couldn’t possibly justify that price. I’d be taking a look at the Hybrid and PHEV models, which can be had from $34,790 or $41,990. It’s and 8.1 out of 10 from me.

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2020 Hyundai Ioniq Electric review – it will make Bathurst
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