Hyundai Ioniq Electric long-term test review: report 7

Can owning an electric car be a viable option even if you can't charge it at home? We're finding out, with the help of the recently facelifted Hyundai Ioniq Electric...

Hyundai Ioniq Electric side with colours

The car Hyundai Ioniq Electric Premium SE Run by Darren Moss, deputy editor

Why it’s here To prove that electric motoring is now convenient enough to be an option for someone who can’t charge at home

Needs to Be practical and comfortable, have enough range for longer journeys, even in winter, and slash my running costs compared with a petrol or diesel car

Mileage 3552  List price £34,950 Target Price £33,921 Price as tested £35,605 Test range 170 miles Official range 194 miles (WLTP)

2 March 2020 – All about choice

Forgive me for sounding cynical here, but is there any need for a ‘sport’ driving mode in an electric family hatchback like my Hyundai Ioniq Electric? I can understand having an eco-minded mode, of course. Indeed, the one in my Ioniq manages to add about five extra miles of range to whatever my readout is showing, while also encouraging me to drive more smoothly by slackening off the accelerator response, making the steering lighter and upping the effect of the regenerative braking system to boot. If I’m heading off on a journey that I know will take a hefty chunk of range from the battery, this is the mode I select. But a sport mode? Really? 

Like the other modes on offer, Sport mode alters the graphics and lighting around the Ioniq’s digital instrument cluster, turning it a rather angry shade of red, and changing the graphics to a more aggressive, dynamic readout too. As well as having the exact opposite effect to Eco mode on the steering, brakes and accelerator response (lighter and sharper respectively), Sport mode takes off about five miles of range from my readout. It’s perhaps telling, then, that despite having lived with the Ioniq for the better part of six months now, I’ve only used Sport mode a handful of times, mostly to help overtake a slow bit of traffic, and never for too long.

Hyundai Ioniq Electric instruments - Sport mode

It also won’t surprise you to hear that the ‘Normal’ driving mode – which turns things a pleasant shade of blue – offers the best of both worlds, providing sharp enough responses while also keeping the brake regeneration going, harnessing energy that I’d normally lose while slowing down, and sending it back to the battery. I can select the level of brake regeneration, too, via paddles behind the steering wheel, and can increase it if I’m feeling especially green-minded on a given day.

A bit of good news, too; you might remember some time ago I wrote about my Ioniq’s habit of changing the radio station when you select drive after reversing. Well, I’m clearly not alone in experiencing this, because Hyundai is working on a software patch that should solve the issue, and it will be available through dealers soon.

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