The first time I heard about the Hyundai IONIQ EV was back in early 2017 when I test drove the hybrid version. At the time Hyundai was mighty proud of the promised 200 kilometers of range (125 miles).
Today, just about every EV on the market does at least 200 kilometers. One of the IONIQ’s direct competitors, the Nissan LEAF, does 241 kilometers (150 miles) for a little bit less money. The Chevrolet Bolt, more expensive we know, does 383 kilometers (240 miles) with the Tesla Model 3 also beating the IONIQ by more than 150 kilometers or 100 miles.
The IONIQ EV version may be less than two years old, it’s already trailing its competition in the range department. On the flip side, 200 kilometers is more than enough for most buyers, especially considering the IONIQ charges in about 4 hours using at 240 V outlet. That’s half the time it will take to get the Bolt fully charged up.
The Hyundai’s cabin is also quite spacious and packed with storage spaces, and ultimately feels less cramped than many direct competitors. There’s 650 liters (23 cu.ft.) of cargo space in the trunk which is near the top of the EV segment, but not quite as spacious as the LEAF.
The IONIQ also feels more like a normal car than the Bolt or even the LEAF. It’s quite fun to drive, pretty agile, and performance is decent. It doesn’t have the same kind of straight line acceleration as the Chevrolet or LEAF, however.
Then there’s the pricing problem. Starting at over $37,000 in Canada, the IONIQ EV is a tad more expensive than the Nissan LEAF despite having less range and less interior space and less tech features.
We’re pretty sure that if Hyundai could do it over again, they’d better align their IONIQ EV with the new LEAF in terms of range and features to offer better overall value. That said, the Hyundai EV is still a worthy contender to this year’s Best Electric Car 2019 title.