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In-depth reviews

Hyundai Ioniq review - Interior, design and technology

Sleek shape and neat tech both appeal, but iffy build quality lets it down

Designing a hybrid from a clean sheet of paper (as Hyundai has done) allows designers to put big emphasis on aerodynamic efficiency to extract the best possible fuel economy. There’s not much point in maximising mpg from the drivetrain if a slab-like body shape with lots of drag undoes your hard work.

This much is obvious from the Ioniq’s styling, as the curving roofline and some clever aerodynamic details give it a slippery shape.

A car’s drag coefficient relates to the resistance created moving through the air; this is what designers strive to minimise, and in the Ioniq’s case, it’s a low 0.24. Actually, this is the same as the figure for the Toyota Prius, so it’s no surprise that these cars bear a striking resemblance to one another. The Ioniq’s low nose, gentle roofline and high, square tail give a similar look in profile, while both models feature a bar across the back dividing the large glass hatches.

Xenon headlamps are standard, while C-shaped LED running lights below make it easy to pick the car out on the move. A hexagonal grille connects the two sleek light units, and a contrasting colour insert at the base of the bumper gives scope to personalise  the car, with seven different colours to choose from. 

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At the rear, the bar that divides the bootlid also acts as a brow for the tail-lights and dark glass panel, while a glossy black plastic insert in the bumper breaks up the smooth surfaces at the back. Small 15-inch alloy wheels are standard, although optional 17-inch alloys are available. 

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

Equipment levels are pretty good all round, with Premium SE models getting plenty of kit, with heated and ventilated leather seats, parking sensors and a reversing camera as standard. The Hyundai’s eight-inch colour touchscreen features higher-resolution graphics than you'll find in the display in a Toyota Prius. It’s also placed higher up on the dashboard and in your eye line, which makes it easier to use.

While sat-nav is standard, and this set-up tells you when to slow down to boost economy, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also included if you’d prefer to use guidance from your smartphone; you can keep it powered using the wireless charging function if your device supports this, too. Live services, including traffic info and 10 years of free map updates also feature.

Like the Prius, there’s an energy flow monitor alongside an eco driving coach that gives tips such as those mentioned above to improve your driving and maximise efficiency. DAB is standard to make the most of the Infinity sound system, which features eight speakers, including a sub-woofer; you might need it to drown out the extra road noise on the motorway.

While there are no question marks over kit, there are a few over the build quality. The blue accents lift the sombre cabin, but some of the materials highlight the Ioniq’s cheaper price tag. The interior design is also more conventional than the Toyota’s, with the energy flow meter in the digital instrument cluster the only visual clue to the hybrid powertrain.

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