2021 Hyundai Ioniq Electric Review

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The Hyundai Ioniq Electric is just one version of a car which is also available as a full hybrid and plug-in hybrid model. Out of the three versions, the electric Ioniq is the cheapest one to run, making it an attractive option for those looking to cut motoring costs dramatically.

Electric cars are becoming more popular as drivers look to switch to a more affordable car and improve the UK’s air quality. As far as EVs go, the Hyundai Ioniq is a great option for families looking for a spacious, comfortable and safe car that has a decent range too. In fact, it made our list of most popular cars, with our customers picking it as their favourite EV to lease.

Hyundai face stiff competition from the likes of the seasoned Nissan Leaf, proven Kia E-Niro and class-leading Tesla Model 3. So, let’s see how it holds up against these other attractive models.


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2021 Hyundai Ioniq Electric design

2021 Hyundai Ioniq Electric driving on a country road

Admittedly, this is the one area of the car that we feel is a bit mundane. As far as the design of the Hyundai Ioniq EV is concerned, there’s very little to get excited about.

Compared to the Tesla Model 3’s slick, sporty looks and the bolder, more aggressive styling of the Nissan Leaf and Kia E-Niro, it’s clear to see that Hyundai has gone for a more stripped back, reserved look.

2021 Hyundai Ioniq Electric driving on a country road with view from the back of the car

With that being said, at least all models get modern 16in alloy wheels and a two-tone design for the bumpers. The solid grey radiator grille even has a futuristic feel, as does the small rear spoiler which features an integrated LED brake light.

Our biggest criticism is that the Ioniq doesn’t have any distinct body lines that demonstrate some character. However, if you’re looking for refinement over head-turning features, it might just do the trick for you.


2021 Hyundai Ioniq Electric interior

2021 Hyundai Ioniq Electric cockpit

Comfort and space is the theme inside the Hyundai Ioniq Electric, rather than fancy futuristic trims dotted about the place.

This isn’t to say that the Ioniq Electric doesn’t excel where it really matters though – the technology. All models come with a prominent 10.25in touchscreen display that has an integrated parking system, a satnav and wireless phone charging pad as part of the centre console.

What also spruces up the car’s cabin is a 7.0in digital driver’s display behind the steering wheel which shows you information like the car’s range and vehicle diagnostics in a way that’s easier on the eye than standard analogue dials.

2021 Hyundai Ioniq Electric gear selector

There are plenty of nice materials used throughout the Hyundai Ioniq Electric’s interior too. For example, the steering wheel is wrapped in leather and the seats use well-cushioned cloth that encourages comfort even on longer-distance journeys.

All versions of the Ioniq Electric get heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and interior mood lighting which gives the car a relaxed air.

Functionality prevails over fanciness inside, but it’s on a par with the E-Niro – both of which are better than the Leaf when it comes to quality. But at the top of proceedings is the Tesla Model 3, though you’ll have to spend quite a bit more in order to get this.

2021 Hyundai Ioniq Electric driver and passenger seats

If you want more from the inside of your family electric car, check out the Premium SE version of the Ioniq Electric. It adds ventilation to the heated front seats, while the rear spaces get heated seats too so your passengers in the back can benefit from the same levels of comfort as those in the front.


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2021 Hyundai Ioniq Electric practicality

2021 Hyundai Ioniq Electric boot space

Hyundai’s decision to increase the battery in the Ioniq from 28 to 38.3kWh hasn’t had the negative impact on practicality that we’d have expected. In fact, boot space has increased from 350 litres to 357. Still that’s not as roomy as the Kia E-Niro (451 litres) or Nissan Leaf (435 litres). So, if having more room for your belongings is most important to you, these models are a far better choice.

As for rear passenger space, taller people will find sitting in the back of the E-Niro or Leaf a more comfortable experience. This is due to the fact that the Ioniq Electric comes with a sloping roofline and a fairly short distance between the front seats and rear seats. Head and kneeroom is pretty tight for passengers over six foot as a result of this.


2021 Hyundai Ioniq Electric range and charging

2021 Hyundai Ioniq Electric charging

All Hyundai Ioniq Electric models come with a new 38.3kWh battery that WLTP tests have given the car an official range of 193 miles. But real world tests have put this more around the 170-mile mark when taking into account different weather conditions, for example.

Rapid charging comes as standard on all Ioniq Electric models, allowing you to charge the car from 10%-80% in around 47 minutes at a rapid charging station.

It’s likely that most of your charging will be done using a slower charger, such as a designated home wallbox. Plugging in here will see you get a full charge in around 6 hours and 15 minutes.

2021 Hyundai Ioniq Electric battery

While Kia E-Niro and Nissan Leaf entry-level models get bigger batteries than the Ioniq Electric (39kWh and 40kWh, respectively), the Hyundai is more efficient. The official range of the E-Niro is 180 miles, but it has a real world range of around 140 miles. Similarly, the Leaf has an official range of 168 miles, yet when it was tested in the real world this figure looked more like around the 144-mile mark.

You can get much better figures when you select the bigger battery packs for the Leaf and E-Niro. The range-topping 64kWh E-Niro comes with a real world range of around 230 miles, while the Leaf’s 62kWh offers around 200 miles. Unfortunately, there isn’t a bigger battery available in the Hyundai Ioniq Electric.

  • Average cost* to charge from home (empty to full): £5.86
  • Average cost** to charge in public (20%-80%): £5.17

*Figures assume a tariff of 17p/kWh, but the cost of home charging will vary depending on your electricity rate.

**Figures assume a tariff of 25p/kWh which applies to most rapid chargers.


2021 Hyundai Ioniq Electric driving

2021 Hyundai Ioniq Electric driving on a country lane, head on shot

Like all electric cars, the Hyundai Ioniq Electric gets zippy acceleration provided by the 136bhp electric motor.

You’ll have no problem getting up to motorway speed, with 0-60mph taking a not insignificant 9.9 seconds.

For the best acceleration though, you’ll want to look at the standard Nissan Leaf, which has a 150bhp electric motor that cuts this sprint time to just 7.9 seconds.

Performance in the E-Niro is on a par with the Hyundai Ioniq Electric, with little to separate the two because they use more or less identical battery and motor combinations.

All Ioniq Electric models are best around town, where they benefit from sharp bursts of accleration. Once you get up to motorway speed the ‘oomph’ tails off noticeably, but the drive is still peaceful and comfortable. It’s also very efficient thanks to fully adjustable, driver-controlled regenarative braking, which allows you to adjust the level of stopping energy. This then feeds back to the batteries, effectively charging them each time you brake.


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