Buying a new car can be tricky. There are lots of options in the latest models and the technology sure has changed. I have partnered up with Hyundai Canada to take you through the process of purchasing a new car, as well as checking out some of their vehicles over a series of blog posts for the next year. We will be starting with the brand new 2017 Ioniq Hybrid.
What is a Hybrid Vehicle?
A vehicle is called a hybrid when it uses two or more distinct types of power. The most common are an internal combustion engine (using gas or diesel) and an electric motor. The Ioniq offers three different power options, the one you choose would depend on your lifestyle and how much driving you are planning on doing
3 Different Types of Ioniq Power
Hybrid Power Train
The Ioniq combines a gasoline engine with an electric motor for impressive performance and fuel efficiency. For unmatched responsiveness, it also features the class-exclusive Dual-Clutch Transmission in a hybrid vehicle. The Ioniq can run on the gasoline combustion engine, the electric motor, or both. So this gives the car lots of power options as well as awesome fuel economy. I drove this car over 600km and ended up using about half a tank of gas. It cost me about $20.00 to fill it back up. Unbelievable value! The car was peppy and passed or gained speed with ease. I never felt sluggish or lacking power when I needed it. When the car idled, it switched into a full electric mode so no emissions were made, which was a nice feature
Electric Power Train
This option is completely electric. Charge your car at home, or work and never have to stop for gas again. On a single charge, the Ioniq electric model offers up to a 200 kilometer range of emissions-free driving. The Ioniq combines the high power density of a compact, lightweight, lithium-ion polymer battery with a high-power electric motor and high-efficiency reduction gear.
Electric and Hybrid Power Train
Electric when you want it. Gas when you need it. Arriving in late 2017, this option combines the Hybrid Power Train and the Electric Power Train into one option. Allowing you to drive on the battery charge and then seamless switch over to the hybrid model when finished. This model includes a larger lithium-ion polymer battery than the hybrid (but less than the full Electric) to provide 40km on a single charge before the engine kicks-in to take you much further.
Favourite Tested Features
Hyundai Canada let me drive the Ioniq around for a week. I got to try all the features and gave it a good drive of over 600km in a variety of conditions – downtown Toronto traffic to Northern Ontario Highways. Here are my favourite parts and highlights.
Adaptive Cruise Control
This was by far and away the coolest feature! Cruise control for long distance highways or long weekend road trips is a must have. The Ioniq takes it one step further and adds in some autonomous driving capabilities. The intelligence in the car will do a few things. It detects if there is a car in front of you and then matches the speed of your car to it. So say you set the cruise for 100km/hr. The car in front of you is going 95km/hr. Instead of you having to hit the brakes, the car will automatically adjust and keep you a few car lengths behind. This gives you time to check when it is safe to pass or adjust to the lower speed while keeping a safe distance.
Rear Parking Camera and Sensor
The Ioniq also has a built in rear parking assist camera that provides beeps as well as a visual guide to what is going on behind you.
There are a ton of built in optional extras with the Ioniq. Let’s go over some of them.
SuperStructure Steel Frame
Hyundai makes the Ioniq frame completely in-house. They even make the steel. So the frame of the Ioniq uses their proprietary, Advanced High Strength Steel to give the car frame SuperStructure strength and rigidity.
What this means for you is more agile handling at higher speeds and the ability to reinforce critical areas of the frame. In case of an accident, the frame will absorb and direct energy away from you and your passengers. Seven airbags are also included to keep you covered.
Super Quiet Inside
Also of note, is the super quiet interior. Partly because of the hybrid motor, and partly because of the Superstructure frame and soundproofing. This thing is quiet!
There are lots of extra features available with the Ioniq depending on the model you get. Some of my favourites that I demoed are Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Detection and Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection.
Lane Departure Warning
This optional feature (that you can easily turn off from the dashboard) makes a small beeping noise if you happen to drift outside your lane without signaling. It also shows up on the dashboard that you have drifted. You’d likely be surprised how frequently you are touching the driving lanes around you and which side of the road you “hug” more than others.
Blind Spot Detection
Most people are familiar with the blind spot detection in cars. This feature is an amazing addition to any vehicle. It sounds a small beep and shows an orange car in your side mirror if there happens to be a car in your blind spot. It also uses radar to detect the speed of the vehicle to help you determine when a lane change is safe.
Autonomous Emergency Braking
This feature ties into cruise control. Forward facing cameras and radar sensor can detect how close a car is in front of you. If a collision might happen, the car will alert and even brake at certain speeds to make sure you don’t hit it.
There is a touchscreen that can easily sync up with AndroidAuto or AppleCar. This was my first time trying that out and I have to say it was pretty much download, plug and play. Android Auto allowed you to use your phone’s GPS, as well as make calls or dictate any text messages or other notifications that came in while driving. You can easily dictate responses back. There was zero need or desire to glance at my phone as it was all right there. SiriusXM is built in for radio as well to pull in your favourite hit stations. There are even wireless charging spots if your smartphone has that feature available. There was no GPS built in the model I tested out but there is an upgrade option to include one. There is also an additional USB charge port built into the armrest console.
The 2017 Ioniq is a pretty nifty hybrid that will seriously cut back on your gas bill, while not sacrificing style or features. My gas usage for a trip was far less than I’m used to in my regular car. The many safety features built into the car and optional upgrades make this a real contender for anyone looking to lower their gas bill while still having lots of the latest technology features in a car.