Hyundai Ioniq: Is it as good as Prius? ( 2016-12-08 )

Hyundai Ioniq: Is it as good as Prius?

Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid has finally made its way to Malaysia. Previously revealed in Geneva Motor Show 2016, Hyundai presented 3 versions of Hyundai Ioniq, the Ioniq Hybrid, Ioniq Plug-In and Ioniq Electric. The Ioniq is designed as a hatchbacks and crossovers which looks timely and sophisticated. This five door family car aims to stand head to head with Toyota Prius with its cheaper price range. But will it be as good as the Toyota Prius? It is definitely up for a debate.

Overview

Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid comes with 2 variant, HEV and HEV Plus. Both model are priced at less than RM130,000 which is more affordable than Toyota Prius that priced at RM200,000 at the time when it is the only Hybrid available. The car equipped with 1.6 Litre Kappa GDI four- cylinder Atkinson cycle direct injection engine, it  is able to produce 105PS at 5,700rpm and 147Nm of torque at 4,000rpm. The Ioniq is being measured 4,470mm long, 1,820mm wide, and 1,450mm tall with a wheelbase length of 2,700mm. The 32kW electric motor is powered by 1.57kWh lithium-ion polymer battery that stored under the rear seat. Let put aside all this, this car looks pretty good to be driven on the road. The Ioniq is locally-assembled at the Sime-Darby Motors plant in Kulim, Kedah. It is qualified for locally assembled Energy Efficient Vehicles (EEVs) tax incentives. The Ioniq comes with 7 colors available, Phantom Black, Aurora Silver, Polar White, Marina Blue, Platinum Silver, Phoenix Orange (Not available for HEV) and Iron Grey.

Exterior Design

The Hyundai Ioniq adapted the 2017 Hyundai Elantra design, with a huge chrome radiator grille with Hyundai signature logo placed in the middle. Eagle eye shaped HID headlamps seated on both side and Boomerang designed LED daytime running light sits right under the headlamp. Hatchback designed Ioniq gives the car an aerodynamic body lines and futuristic character. Comparing Ioniq with the 2016 Prius design, both cars have shown their unique identity. Prius has the futuristic edgy design and sporty outlook. Both cars are hatchback oriented with great aerodynamic body witnessing the trend of future automobile design. However, Ioniq is easy on the eyes with its less crooked body shape and minimal design language. Even the Prius had brought in the new slim headlamps and curvature rear lamp, some people might ask, “Are we really ready for this futuristic looking car?’ Like it or not, Prius has definitely more character to its style and Ioniq is simply sophisticated and modestly sensual.

Interior

Blue seems to be the default color to represent eco-friendly. You can easily spot the blue trimming on the dashboard as well as on the leather seats. Likewise in Prius model, blue has been used to garnish the gear knob. However, for every Ioniq Hybrid model, you will get a HD digital cluster (4.2 inch for HEV and 7 inch for HEV plus), 5 inch infotainment touch screen audio system. For HEV Plus, you can even get wireless charging for smartphones, pretty awesome for its price. This car is nothing too unconventional, seeing that most of the dashboard are plastic made and glossy panel like what we have seen on the Honda. Let’s look at the Prius, you can be simply hooked by the center placement of digital cluster, the down-sized gear knob placed vertically as well as the futuristic white trimming on the steering wheel. The cockpit instantly become a futuristic spacecraft that you will not regularly find on other hatchback. However, Toyota is not bringing Prius back to Malaysia market, let’s have Ioniq for now.

Performance

When it comes to buying a hybrid car, speed will definitely not your priority, even though we have seen a lot of buyers modifying their Prius into a drag race sporty hatchback. Ioniq runs a 1.6 litre four cylinder engine which takes around 11.6 seconds to go from zero to 100km/h. Surprisingly Prius with 1.8 litre four cylinder engine takes 11.4 seconds to go from zero to 100km/h. The Ioniq is as fast as the Prius, but you might not want to do so because fuel consumption is what drove you to this car. The Ioniq is claimed to have fuel consumption of just 3.4 litre per 100km, which is statistically better than Perodua Axia with 4.6 litre per 100 km. All Ioniq comes with seven airbags as standard, Hill Start Assist Control, ESC, VSM and keyless entry.  For HEV Plus, it is well equipped with driver assistance features like Blind Spot detection, autonomous emergency braking system (AEB), lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control. Given that the Ioniq Hybrid has a wide range of driver safety features and driver assistance systems, it is absolutely a great bargain. The Ioniq is being priced around RM111,000. With this price range, you can either get a Kia Cerato or Nissan Sylphy which both are dated models. In additions, Hyundai is offering an eight years unlimited mileage warranty on the battery and a guarantee that the cost of the battery replacement will be below RM10,000 if there is a need for replacement. We are seeing great after sales services from Hyundai to tackle buyers’ concern.

Conclusion

It is Hyundai first attempt in manufacturing an electric car, not one but three cars at the same time. The Ioniq range rises as a great evolution for the Korean automobile industry. Ioniq Hybrid is generous with equipment and low at cost. To conclude, is Ioniq as good as the Prius? We can all agree to disagree that Ioniq is better than Prius. With the long history of Toyota producing hybrid car since 1997, Toyota has successfully branded a significant impression to the buyers, from 4 door sedan to 5 door hatchback, Hybrid is inseparable with Prius. However, it is great to see more car makers are innovating Hybrid technology at comparable price tag. Ioniq is here to make a statement, ‘It’s easier to make better choices when all the choices are better and let’s see how Hyundai will act for the betterment of customer satisfactory.  

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