Weekend Drives: Hyundai Ioniq - What's the fuel consumption of a hybrid like?

By Kenny Yeo - on 24 Jun 2017, 12:51pm

If you are considering the Hyundai Ioniq, get it in white. It looks great in white.

Note: This opinion piece was first published on 28th May 2017.

Popular motoring wisdom says that hybrid cars are more efficient than your traditional gasoline-powered cars. Browsing through the Hyundai catalog backs this claim up. The 1.6-liter Elantra’s claimed combined fuel consumption reads 6.8 liters per 100km or 14.7km per liter. On the other hand, the hybrid Ioniq’s claimed combined fuel consumption reads 3.9 liters per 100km or 25.6km/l, which is significantly better.

The Ioniq is Hyundai’s first hybrid car, but it doesn’t show any signs of being a first attempt kind of car. It’s actually incredible polished and refined. The interior is pretty nice and intuitive, and the instrument panel is quite sleek - it changes to a racy red when you put the gear selector in “S” mode. There’s even a Qi wireless charging pad on the center console above the gear selector, which is good news for those of you who have a compatible phone - like the new Galaxy S8.

The infotainment display is just 5 inches across. In other words, smaller than the display on an iPhone 7 Plus and Galaxy S8. That's a little inadequate.

The only thing that looks out of the place is the infotainment touchscreen display, which looks far too small. The ride is good too. If I had to nitpick, I would say it’s a little on the firm side, but the excellent damping negates that and soaks up bumps very decently.

Performance is more than adequate for a hybrid. Together, the petrol engine and electric power serve up around 139hp and 264nm of torque - figures that no naturally aspirated petrol-only 1.6-liter car can match. 0-100km/h, according to Hyundai takes around 11 seconds, but it feels quicker in real life. Maybe it’s because of the slick-shifting 6-speed dual clutch transmission. 

The onboard trip computer indicates an average fuel consumption figure of 19.8km/l.I'm not the most patient driver.

I had the car for two days and I drove it around on a mix of roads (60% highways, 40% urban) and in varying traffic conditions. In total, I drove for 4 hours and 18 minutes and covered a distance of 182.8km. My fuel consumption, according to the trip computer, was 19.8km/l, which is quite far off from Hyundai’s claimed figures. But to be fair, I’m was quite liberal with my right foot. The trip computer rated my driving style as 19% economical, 47% normal, and 34% aggressive. But more importantly, 19.8km/l compares favorably to what most 1.6-liter petrol cars can manage, which is typically around 12km/l to 16km/l.

So, yes, the Hyundai Ioniq does deliver on its claim of superior fuel efficiency. However, at S$118,888, the Ioniq costs significantly more than comparable 1.6-liter cars,  even if it is quite high-tech and well-equipped. Whether or not the premium is justified really depends on your driving habits and usage scenarios. If you find yourselves racking up lots of miles, the Ioniq is proof that it just might be time to consider a hybrid.

Kenny Yeo

Kenny Yeo / Associate Editor

Specifications are not everything. It's what you do with what you have that matters.

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