2017 Hyundai Ioniq first drive impression: If you can lead a horse to water, can you really make him drink?

Hyundai Ionic

The charge port is a CCS, which means it can charge at Level 1, Level 2, or the new Level 3 DC Fast Charge.


When it’s time to recharge the PHEV or the BEV Ioniqs, there are three ways to add juice. Both vehicles feature standard charging at 120 volt, Level 2 charging at 240 volt, or, on the all-electric, the newest, fastest CD Fast Charge. The Combined Charging System (CCS) port that the Ioniq uses combines Level 2 and Level 3 charging, and now will be the industry standard, thanks to the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). There are actually three different chargers in electrified vehicles: Tesla uses its own system, while the Asians manufacturers were favoring the CHAdeMo system, and domestic manufacturers had CCS. That meant only certain plugs would work with certain systems. By going to a universally accepted charger, it benefits everyone. Not sure if Tesla will switch over, since Elon Musk loves marching to the sound of a drummer only he can hear.

Here’s a charge timing chart to let you see which model might make the most sense depending on where you can charge.


2018 Hyundai Ioniq

Plug-in Hybrid

2017 Hyundai
Ioniq Electric

Standard 120v cord (Level 1)

8 hours

Over 20 hours

240v home or charging station (Level 2)

2.25 hours

4 hours

DC Fast Charge (Level 3)


23-30 min (80%)


ChargePoint_logo_CMYK-PCCharging outside your home is getting easier every day. Hyundai has paired up with ChargePoint, a company that’s the leader in charging stations across the country. The navigation system will locate the nearest stations, and you can set up a ChargePoint card that links to your credit card so you can scan and charge at any location. In addition, ChargePoint is adding new stations with the CCS and DC Quick Charge outlets to make plugging in even easier. For more information about ChargePoint, go to www.chargepoint.com.

IMG_5280There’s more to the Ioniq’s performance than just how it makes power. The suspension is independent, with a McPherson strut front end on all versions, and a multilink rear for the hybrid and plug-in variants. (The Electric has a torsion beam rear setup for reduced weight.) The rear multilink features a dual lower arm to help reduce body roll and improve handling and stability. In addition to an ECO mode that helps deliver the best efficiency, there’s also a Sport mode for the Hybrid that keeps engine power operating all the time, with the electric motor adding assist for better performance. In addition, the Sport mode changes the shift pattern and holds the gear longer. Steering effort also increases for a tighter feel, and the instrument cluster changes color to show you’re in sport mode. We switched back and forth during our driving time, and could really feel the difference when in Sport.


A variety of screens show all the information you need for electricity and battery use.

With the Ioniq Electric, there’s Normal, ECO and Sport modes that can be customized in the center display screen. The difference is that in ECO mode, climate control reacts to deliver the most efficient use (you can even set it to shut down the vents to all but the driver), as well as set max speed limit and go to the highest regenerative braking setting.


IMG_6795We’ve dropped hints here and there about our drive time in the Ioniq Hybrid and Electric vehicles, so already you have an idea that we enjoyed it. We tried all driving modes, with Sport our obvious favorite, but ECO mode netted us the best fuel economy numbers. Realizing that this is not a Ford GT will go a long way toward making ownership more enjoyable. This is not a sports car, nor was it ever intended to be. The goal was to make an everyday driver that delivers a comfortable commute, outstanding fuel efficiency, practical amenities, and a feeling of security, all at a reasonable price. An added bonus is that the Sport mode that delivers tighter steering and a bit of fun accelerating through corners, plus a real six-speed that doesn’t sound like a crying Lucille Ball as a bonus.


We mentioned pricing earlier because it’s so important in the segment, but it’s worth mentioning that the base price of the Ioniq versus the base price of the Chevy Bolt both with the credits factored in is $7,120 in favor of the Hyundai. As a comparison, Hyundai’s jump from an Accent to a Sonata is $6,855. So the Ioniq is the better deal in the long run, factoring in everything else we wrote about here. We have to wonder if the Ioniq would have beaten the Bolt for all the automotive awards last year. If you ask Hyundai, we assume all they really care about is leading as many horses as possible to the Ioniq pond and watching them thoroughly enjoy the drink.

Photography © Team Killeen and courtesy of Hyundai Motor America; screen shots courtesy Joe Sage, Arizona Driver Magazine.