Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

Premium SE 1.6 GDI

Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid, dynamic front
Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid, front
Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid, rear
Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid, rear
Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid, interior
Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid, interior rear
Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid, boot
Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid, dynamic
Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid, front

DIESEL hasn't quite died a death just yet but the fuel once seen as the leaner and greener way to go has certainly fallen out of favour.

So, what are the alternatives if you want efficient, frugal, environmentally friendly and preferably low-cost motoring?

The fast emerging host of small but efficient petrol engines provide one of the most tempting alternatives but they hardly fall into the green category - even if they are way more efficient than the gas guzzlers of yore.

Realistically the best environmentally-friendly alternative is an electric or hybrid model.

Hyundai's Ioniq is commendable in that it offers three different options along hybrid/EV lines.

There's an all electric model, a plug-in hybrid and a regular hybrid.

Essentially you can opt for the one which best fits your lifestyle and motoring requirements, as well as your pocket.

EV offerings are increasing but they remain expensive and though the charging infrastructure is expanding at a rapid rate it still has some way to go before range anxiety is a problem that can be fully overcome.

The Ioniq EV, which has a range of up to miles, starts from around £29,495, while the two alternatives are incrementally cheaper.

Both the hybrid models combine a petrol engine with an electric motor and work in similar fashion, though the plug-in model has a bigger battery with a longer range (it can travel up to 31 miles on pure electric power) and it can also be charged externally rather than just on the go.

The plug-in starts at £27,495, while the hybrid model has a starting price of just £20,585.

The Ioniq looks rather good it has to be said. It has that slightly futuristic flourish, in line with its EV/hybrid status, that's not a million miles away from the Toyota Prius, which is essentially its main competitor.

The inside is nicely done out too, with top notch instrumentation and switchgear and a swish infotainment system controlled by the central touchscreen which is also super-intuitive and a breeze to use.

The first thing you notice when driving the Ioniq hybrid is that at times it is completely silent, when working in purely electric mode.

Once you wish to make rapid progress the petrol engine kicks in but it does so seamlessly and smoothly and is pretty quiet too.

If you were competing in some sort of fuel conserving competition event you would no doubt hear quite a bit of that ‘silence' but in reality unless you're super light-footed you'll be hearing more of the petrol engine.

However, that doesn't stop the Ioniq Hybrid from being a great eco car, which will save you a decent sum as a company car due to its super-low emissions.

Crucially this hybrid is also a pretty capable performer with a turn of pace that impresses and would leave a Prius following in its wake.

The regular hybrid model also has an extra turn of pace due to its lightness, as it's carrying smaller batteries.

In addition it handles nicely and delivers a smooth and comfortable ride. Again the standard hybrid has a handling edge over its stablemates due to the fact it is lighter.

A six-speed dual-clutch gearbox is standard in both the hybrid models, though you can use it as a manual via the steering wheel padles and this mode is more suited to the keen driver.

Equipment-wise the Ioniq has plenty to offer, with rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera across the range. Buyers of all models also get 15 inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth, a DAB radio, climate control, automatic emergency city braking, seven airbags and hill start assist.

The entry-level SE has a five-inch touchscreen but Premium trim offers an eight-inch version with satnav.

Premium models also offer keyless start, xenon headlights, heated front seats and wireless phone charging.

Premium SE trim adds leather upholstery, electrically adjustable and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats and some extra safety features, including blindspot monitoring.

When it comes to practicality the Ioniq more than measures up. Rear seat passengers are well catered for and there's a decent amount of boot space.

It's worth pointing out that if you go for the EV you'll get less boot space because of the bigger batteries.

With three different but eco-friendly models to choose from, the Ioniq range has quite a few bases covered.

Ultimately it's a case of ‘horses for course' in terms of which model to choose from but it's fair to say the regular hybrid version takes some beating as an all-rounder.

FAST FACTS

Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Premium SE 1.6 GDI

Price: £24,185

Mechanical: 139bhp, 1,580cc, 4cyl petrol engine and electric motor driving front wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 115mph

0-62mph: 10.8 seconds

Combined MPG: 74.3

Insurance Group: 12

C02 emissions: 79g/km

Bik rating: 12%

Warranty: 5yrs/unlimited miles

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