The FREE Complete Bay Area Auto Enthusiast Guide

The wonderful city and state/regional parks of Durham, N.C., served as the backdrop for our test drive of the all-new compact Hyundai vehicle, Ioniq, to compete with the ever-popular Toyota Prius. In Blue, SEL and Limited trims, the front-wheel-drive hatchback will be available as a hybrid, plug-in hybrid or pure electric vehicle.
HYBRID: A 1.6-liter gas direct-injection 4-cylinder engine, coupled with a 32 kW electric motor and 1.56 kWh, 240-volt lithium-ion polymer battery, will put out a total of 139 horsepower. Instead of the usual continuous variable transmission in most hybrid vehicles, the Ioniq gets the smooth-shifting 6-speed auto gearbox. With the 60/40 rear seat folded, there is 26.5 cubic feet of space. And the battery is under the rear seat, opening up more cabin room. Regenerative braking allows the vehicle, when coasting or slowing down, to capture kinetic energy that would be lost. It converts the energy into useable electricity to recharge the battery.
Standard amenities on the base Blue model include dual auto a/c, premium cloth seats with 6-way height-adjustable front seats, 4.2-inch LCD instrument panel, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, and a 7-inch touchscreen display.
Safety is assured via dual front and side airbags, driver knee airbag, side curtain airbag, vehicle stability and traction control system, hill start assist, four-wheel antilock brakes, rearview camera and tire pressure monitoring system.
On an 11.9-gallon tank, the Ioniq touts EPA mileage figures of 57 city and 54 highway, which assure you of at least going over 550 miles before a refill. Base priced affordably at just $22,200, we can bet the impressive Ioniq will definitely serve as a fierce competitor to the hot-selling Prius.
PLUG-IN: This version, which should be available by the fourth quarter, goes 27 miles on pure electric. It is also equipped with a 1.6-liter Atkinson four-cylinder engine, 45 kW (60 hp) electric motor and an 8.9 kWh lithium-ion battery.
ELECTRIC: To be sold only in California, the electric Ioniq will have a 124-mile drive range with a 136 MPGe rating. It can put out 118 hp and 218 pounds-feet of torque with the 28 kWh lithium-ion battery.

CALLING ALL HYUNDAI DEALERS IN THE WEST CENTRAL AREA: if you would like to be listed here as one of the test-drive dealerships, e-mail us at