Comfortable ride, very efficient and many standard creature comforts. Excellent for a family of four.
Despite the improved range, price is a bit too high, acceleration is lacking and some areas in the interior feel cheap.
If mostly city driving, 170-200 miles of range can be achieved without a problem. Great, unassuming family car that is good for short to medium distance trips.
The 2021 Ioniq Electric
The 2021 Hyundai Ioniq Electric is the fourth and final version of the Ioniq after four years of production. From the very beginning, the Ioniq EV (from its three versions) was one of the most efficient and family-friendly EV’s you can buy on the market. This title still holds true today.
From its previous version 2018 to 2019 where the battery was a mere 28.3 kWh and boasted a mediocre 128 miles per charge, this 2021 version has the upgraded battery with an additional 10 kWh, equating +42 more miles per charge.
From its spacious interior, great hatch space, comfortable ride, and impressive infotainment features the 2021 Hyundai Ioniq Electric is a worthwhile competitor in the EV space, despite lacking in a few areas.
What's New for 2021?
Hyundai has changed their gray color option from 2020 being Summit gray, to the new Amazon gray for the 2021 model year. Sadly after 2021, Hyundai has announced they will be discontinuing the 2018-2021 Ioniq Electric variant with the all new Hyundai Ioniq 5 and a completely new platform which both Hyundai and Kia are poised to a “home run” with.
Table of Contents
Price Breakdown of Trim Levels
All of the Ioniq Electric models qualify for the federal tax credits and come with the same powertrain and driver-safety assistance features. If you opt for the Limited trim, you get the following extras:
- Lane Keep Assist
- Blind Spot Monitoring
- Rear-Collision Warning
- Harman-Kardon Sound System
With all those extra goodies, it will cost you an extra $5,000 (according to MSRP), however actual costs may vary. What the limited trim also comes with is a beautiful 10.3” touchscreen infotainment system, a sunroof, leather seats and an eight-speaker sound system.
Especially if you live in hot climates, the addition of a heat-pump (similar to what the Niro EV has) enables the car to disperse its excess heat from the battery into the cabin, improving the overall life of the battery and efficiency.
Hyundai Ioniq Electric Performance
When it comes to performance, the Ioniq is by no means a Model 3 rival, not even close. After driving the car for nearly a week, no matter what mode you can put it in, there’s absolutely no “umphh” factor when it comes to open throttle acceleration.
With 134 horsepower and 218 lb-ft of torque coming from its 100-kW electric motor, you won’t be wowed by any stretch. On the low end the car has enough passing power to make it quiet seamless, however once on the highway, expect the acceleration to be no much different than other small engine internal combustion engines.
Acceleration from 0 to 60 comes at a mediocre 8.3 seconds and from 70 miles per hour, the Ioniq Electric comes to a full stop in 191 feet, not great.
The brake on this vehicles are nothing to brag about. Under heavy use and in some heavy acceleration and cornering, the Ioniq Electric has a noticeable amount of brake fade. However, in regular types of driving conditions it’s not an issue, considering the car has exceptionally good regenerative braking.
With the regenerative braking turned on (using the paddles on the steering wheel), the vehicle can come to a full stop just by lifting your foot off the accelerator pedal.
Range, Charging and Battery Life
Arguably one of the most important aspects of an electric vehicle is the specs of the battery. The Hyundai Ioniq Electric for the 2021 year model does not see an increase in range from previous years numbers. From the 38.3kWh battery pack, the car is EPA rated for 170 miles on a single charge. The rating above takes into account an average of 4.4 miles per kilowatt hour on average.
Realistically, the car easily achieves the 4.4 to 4.5 figure with mostly normal driving. The Ioniq Electric has long been touted as being one of the most efficient vehicles on the market, even with the Model S and Model 3 being crowned as long-time winners.
Driving on the highway at 70 to 75 mph, mild temps and light to medium rain, the car managed to average out 3.6-3.8 miles per kilowatt hour (or around 140 miles to empty) with about 5% still left to spare.
When it comes to charging the car, the level 2 onboard charging has been updated from 6.6 kW to 7.2kW. Despite the quite level 2 charging, the DC fast charging from our testing proved to be around 47-50kWh on average.
These number can provide an 80% charge from 0% in 53 minutes.
Real World MPGe
Real world range can vary significantly based on your driving habits. From the testing we did here, driving between 35 and 45 miles per hour, we could reach a total of 180 miles from a full battery.
On the highway, the number drop based on the testing done in northern Virginia I-81. From 100% and 180 miles to empty (with air conditioning ON and driving 70-75 mph), I got about 140 miles before needing to charge immediately. From that point, the car had “turtle mode” enabled and power was reduced.
The EPA rates the Ioniq Electric at 133 MPGe, right in the playing field with the Tesla Model 3.
Interior and Cargo Space
Like with most modern Korean and Japanese vehicles, their build quality on the inside has improved quite significantly. Sitting inside the Ioniq Electric Limited trim, you immediately see the nice, tight finish across the whole dashboard, infotainment and center console. While the Limited version had all the bells and whistles you can think of, including: leather seats, big touch screen, premium sound system, and a leather steering wheel (just to name a few), looking at the door panels, there’s still a decent amount of plastic.
While not rattly and hollow feeling by any stretch, the doors are mostly different types of plastic and it gives you an immediate reminder that… “hey! you are still in an economical family car”.
Sitting in the front driver seat, as well as the front passenger seat, the seats are quite comfortable. There’s a reasonable amount of adjustability for the seats. Even with the easts all the way back, you can stretch your feet out 100% and not touch the pedals (as a 6’ foot tall person).
Going to the back seat, you are greeted with some USB chargers and basic window controls.
Going back to the rear hatch and opening it up, you are given 23 cubic feet of space with the seats folded up and almost double with the rear seats folded down.
Infotainment and Connectivity
This is one of the highlights of the Ioniq Electric, that is the infotainment. With more and more vehicles coming with reasonably sized touch screens and less physical buttons to push, the Ioniq Electric is no exception.
The base SE trim comes with an 8” touchscreen, whereas the Limited trim gives you a 2.3” inch upgrade to a 10.3” touch screen that includes navigation, Harmon/Kardon 8-speaker system and wireless charging.
While the Limited trim comes with the upgraded equipment, both trim levels have bluetooth, Series-XM Radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Driving Assistance and Safety Features
In the United States, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have not tested the Ioniq Electric, however they did test the hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the Ioniq and named it as Top Safety Picks.
The Limited trim comes with the lane-keep assist feature (others call it semi-autonomous driving”) and blind-spot monitoring. For all the other driver-assistance features, both trim levels have them.
Safety Features by Trim Level:
- SE & LIMITED TRIM: Forward-collision warning
- SE & LIMITED TRIM: Automated emergency braking.
- SE & LIMITED TRIM: Lane-departure warning
- LIMITED TRIM: Lane-keeping assist
- LIMITED TRIM: Blind-spot monitoring
- SE & LIMITED TRIM: Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
Included Warranty Coverage
Hyundai is know for providing one of the best warranties in the segment. The Ioniq Electric has a lifetime battery warranty for the original owner, easily giving a prospective buyer some peace of mind about repairs or replacement.
In addition to that, Hyundai offers complimentary scheduled maintenance that is better than Toyota, Honda or most other rivaling manufacturers.
Below is a breakdown of the coverage included with the car:
- Powertrain warranty for 10 years (or 100,000 miles)
- Hybrid component repair or replacement for 10 yers (or 100,000 miles)
- Limited warranty good for 5 years (or 60,000 miles)
- Complimentary maintenance for three years (or 36,000 miles)
Driving Impressions Video:
front-motor, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback
PRICE AS TESTED
$39,820 (base price: $34,250)
permanent-magnet synchronous motor, 134 hp, 218 lb-ft; 38.3-kWh lithium-ion battery pack
1-speed direct drive
Suspension (F/R): struts/torsion beam
Brakes (F/R): 11.0-in vented disc/11.2-in disc
Tires: Michelin Energy Saver A/S, 205/60R-16 92H M+S
Wheelbase: 106.3 in
Length: 176.0 in
Width: 71.7 in
Height: 58.1 in
Passenger volume: 94 ft3
Cargo volume: 23 ft3
Curb weight: 3433 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 8.3 sec
100 mph: 26.1 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 8.1 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.1 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 4.9 sec
1/4 mile: 16.5 sec @ 84 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 108 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 191 ft
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 121 MPGe
75-mph highway driving: 127 MPGe
Highway range: 150 miles
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 133/145/121 MPGe
Range: 170 miles