Wednesday, February 1, 2023
Reviews 2020 Hyundai Ioniq EV Review: My First EV

2020 Hyundai Ioniq EV Review: My First EV

The Hyundai Ioniq is a “normal” compact car that happens to be an EV

  • Pricing starts at $43,835 in Canada, $33,045 in the US.

  • The Ioniq EV is one of three versions of the car that includes a hybrid and a PHEV.

  • This car is the perfect first EV for anyone considering the transition.

In the future, we’ll look back on the first quarter of the 21st Century as a pivotal point in transportation history. The still-beloved internal combustion engine will have approached the end of its usefulness while electrification will have taken hold of the industry. If you’re in the market for a new car, the time to ease into this new era is now and the Hyundai Ioniq is the car to do it in.

This is a great first EV

2020 Hyundai Ioniq | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

I have frankly not yet met an electric vehicle I did not like. There are certainly not all equal but, so far, each delivers on the promise of performance, efficiency, and ease-of-use. There is something “special” about the Ioniq as somehow, it seems extremely approachable, or not intimidating.

As a media dedicated to the automobile, we’ve had the opportunity to drive all mass-produced EVs offered for sale on the continent but the majority of consumers have yet to experience a frightening electric vehicle.

The 2020 Hyundai Ioniq is a great way to break the ice. It’s a compact hatchback, like a Civic, Elantra GT, Mazda3 and although it lacks a front grille, it blends into the automotive landscape as do the other cars. In this respect, it’s just another small car, however it includes higher-end elements such as available LED lighting all around. Heck, the Ioniq rolls on 16-inch alloy wheels – pretty damn “regular.”

Loaded and easy to get to know

2020 Hyundai Ioniq | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

The Ioniq’s cabin is not entirely average, however. In fact, much of the features and technology we find in the car probably won’t make it into the typical compact car for another few years. That’s because the most base Preferred Ioniq, in Canada, includes a 7-inch digital instrument panel display, a 10.25-inch touchscreen display, push-button start, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a heated steering, and much more for $43,835.

As tested, the Ultimate is priced at $45,899 and throws in a sunroof, leather, rear heated seats, wireless charging, and more. Depending on where you live, federal and provincial incentives apply.

The car’s dashboard is quite conventional with ideal ergonomics for all manners of controls. There’s no shifter as the “transmission” is operated via push-buttons which are easy as ABC to operate. The upside to this layout is an incredible amount of storage space and extra legroom upfront. On the subject of space, the Ioniq’s trunk provides a generous 650 litres (23 cubic feet) and since it’s a hatchback, it’ll swallow almost any size items.

EV power and drive

2020 Hyundai Ioniq | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

The big difference and the enormous advantage to the Ioniq is its electric power. The electric motor is a 100 kW (134-horsepower) front-mounted unit that also develops 218 lb.-ft. of torque. The power is more than sufficient to win street-light races, not that anyone should…

By comparison, the Ioniq EV offers more basic torque than any petrol-powered compact car. The absence of a transmission means that forward momentum is uninterrupted and seamless. The onboard 38.3 kWh battery pack will enable 274 km (170 miles) of real-world range, as tested. Speaking of real-world, this is enough range for the average person to go three days without plugging in.

Now, if you do purchase an EV, a wall-mounted home-charger will be your absolute ticket to freedom. With this Level 2 charger, a full charge will require 6 hours, so overnight charging will be more than sufficient. A Level 3 fast charger will top up the battery to 80% in about 54 minutes from zero.

Unplug and go

2020 Hyundai Ioniq | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

The 2020 Hyundai Ioniq is a breeze to drive. It is comfortable, obviously quiet, and smart. The ride quality is excellent no matter the road’s surface condition and the brakes are responsive. Other than the various drive modes, the only other adjustment that can be made affect regenerative braking.

There are four modes to select from via the wheel-mounted paddles (from 0 to 3). You can pre-set regen-braking intensity within the programmed drive modes (Eco+, Eco, Normal, Sport) which will allow the driver to have a tailored city mode (Eco perhaps) and a highway mode (Normal or Sport).

A smart choice

The beauty with all of the Hyundai Group’s EVs is that there’s no learning curve other than remembering to plug-in the car once in a while. The Hyundai Ioniq is the best “average” EV money can buy and I encourage you to try it out. And average is a good thing and is based on range, equipment, price, efficiency, and living arrangements.

There are others on the market. The Nissan LEAF, Volkswagen eGolf, Chevrolet Bolt, Kia Soul, Kia Niro, and Hyundai Kona. If you’re looking to replace your Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Elantra, or Honda Civic, do check out the Ioniq EV.

2020 Hyundai Ioniq | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

2020 Hyundai Ioniq | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

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Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai


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