2018 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid
Test Drive & Review
The Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid makes a very green statement while delivering performance and styling. iDriveSoCal’s Bernadette Sanicola picked one up from our friends at Glendale Hyundai for a drive test drive around LA. Hear the complete details of her review in this iDriveSoCal Podcast.
Recording date – March 16, 2018
Bernadette Sanicola: Overall it’s a 74 MPG. So you get a huge range and you also get the sporty part of this car. You get a little performer car. It’s got air breathers; it’s got less drag on it. It’s got a lot of things that really make it different than your average hybrid. It was fun to drive. The steering wheel even had kind of that F1 flat bottom and paddle shifters.They actually spent the time to make parts of the car recyclable
Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. I’m Tom Smith and back today for what is this our second run?
Bernadette Sanicola: Second run.
Tom Smith: Second run. Bernadette Sanicola. Bernadette, thank you so much for being here.
Bernadette Sanicola: Thanks for having me.
Tom Smith: Bernadette is a car gal through and through, a pit reporter for…I guess you’ve worked for NASCAR and American Le Mans, and did I say it right that time?
Bernadette Sanicola: Yeah, you got it. Total car lover and petrolhead, but you keep putting me in hybrids, Tom.
Tom Smith: Well, Bernadette is quite expert…has a lot of expertise in the alternative fuel category. So, yes, today Bernadette and I are talking about the Hyundai Ioniq from our good friends at Glendale Hyundai, and Bernadette’s here to give us the details of her test drive and review. So without further ado, what do you have?
Bernadette Sanicola: Well, first off Glendale Hyundai was awesome. I love that dealership. It was… I just have to give them a little plug there, and say that they were the nicest people like from you know when I walked in to when I left. What a great group of guys. So thank you to Glendale.
Tom Smith: Thanks, guys.
Bernadette Sanicola: The car, the car was great. It was the 2018 Hyundai Ioniq hybrid limited. So there’s three different power trains that you can get in the Ioniq family. You can get the all-electric, the hybrid, or the plug-in hybrid. So really the hybrid is the best if you don’t want to hassle with any extra things like you know finding charging for your car or worrying about charging your car. It does the work for you. So that’s what I like most about it. It does the work for you and it has the most amount of range.
Tom Smith: Okay, and it being a hybrid what kind of… I mean, it’s killer gas mileage, right?
Bernadette Sanicola: It’s awesome. Yeah. Overall it’s a 74 MPG. So you get a huge range. You get over 565 miles and and you also get the sporty part of this car. You get a little performer car. It’s got air breathers; it’s got less drag on it. It’s got a lot of things that really make it different than your average hybrid.
Tom Smith: Okay, sporty, air breathers. Let’s detail that for the non petrol race gals and guys that are out there.
Bernadette Sanicola: So air breathers, which is the first thing I noticed on the car as I walked around it, the front of it have these air breathers which go around the wheels to kind of bring the car down to the ground, so you have less drag which eventually creates more speed, more power, and also saves you in efficiency.
Tom Smith: Right. So not only looks good from the race .
Bernadette Sanicola: I was trying to make it not “just looks great,” you know?
Tom Smith: It looks great, but there’s a functional aspect behind how it looks great and that is fuel economy as well as the less drag.
Bernadette Sanicola: Yes. And so it was fun to drive. We even had–speaking of sporty and looking good–the steering wheel even had kind of that F1 flat bottom and paddle shifters.
Tom Smith: Paddle shifters on a hybrid.
Bernadette Sanicola: Even had a sport mode. So that was probably my favorite thing about it. In all elements, you know…most hybrids and especially electric cars, over clutter the dash, over clutter the steering column, give you way too many options of how to drive it. This car didn’t. This car was you know you jump in and you still feel like you can get in a car and drive it. You don’t need the owner’s manual to get through it or someone to explain what buttons do and what things do.
Tom Smith: Very intuitive.
Bernadette Sanicola: Yeah and simple, though, . I mean the instrument cluster wasn’t too crowded; you’re not looking at a thousand things. The connectivity with the phone was fine. The car I had didn’t even have navigation, but once you connect your phone, Apple Carplay pops up and your maps are there. It’s pretty simple.
Tom Smith: Great user interface, great UI, UX if we can bring it down to a digital kind of high tech terminology. So that’s the inside. Plenty of space inside?
Bernadette Sanicola: Yeah, in the front, it was great, the driver, passenger, great.
Tom Smith: Okay. Trunk space?
Bernadette Sanicola: It was good; it was good as well. With that whole hatchback sloping style to it, you can easily fit what you need.
Tom Smith: It’s for bopping around town, right? And getting…you’re a commuter, it’s getting to and from work. It’s your grocery getter. Maybe it’s your kid hauler. You know, maybe it’s… I mean, geez, you know, a vehicle like that, you could even see a high-powered executive that wants to really…
Bernadette Sanicola: Oh, yeah.
Tom Smith: …be you know kind of eco friendly and not flaunting and you know saving saving a buck, right?
Bernadette Sanicola: Absolutely, the price of this car is so good that like, literally, you can’t… I mean, from a new driver to someone that just doesn’t want to deal with plugging in, you’re still saving so much and the electric, you’re saving the environment, too.
Tom Smith: Generally speaking, the pricing for the trim levels that we’re talking about.
Bernadette Sanicola: Base is $22,000, and it just goes up a little bit, 23,500, I believe, for the Limited. And then there’s the blue line as well. So the trims don’t really change that much.You get a couple added things like wireless charging, and some more apps, and connectivity, and also driver assistance like blind spot, cruise control.
Tom Smith: Wireless charging, we need to have that as a standard. It needs to be in all cars. Between my… I have an Android and my wife has an Apple. You know, which charger for which phone is in which car, it’s like, ugh. Wireless charging just fixes all of that.
Bernadette Sanicola: Right. And now that Apple’s caught up to being capable of wireless charging if you have a new iPhone, it should be able to charge in the same…
Tom Smith: Oh, I didn’t even know that. I’m not an Apple person.
Bernadette Sanicola: Yes. If you have an iPhone 8 or X, you can put it into the wireless charging just like the Android. There were several ports in this car. There were several like spaces to put phones and to put keys, like, you know, you get into some of these cars, and they’re so tiny and aerodynamic. The inside of the car was roomy and there was space to have your cup holder and to have your phone and have extra chargers as well.
Tom Smith: Okay. So you took us around the inside. Let’s go on the outside. What are we looking like? You said sporty already.
Bernadette Sanicola: In the rear, it has that spoiler that goes across. But it had that same type of you know a feel to it as your hatchback, but it could have competed with like a GTI. It was a cooler version. It was definitely a cooler kid on the block.
Tom Smith: Okay. And in the hybrid realm, that is an important thing.
Bernadette Sanicola: I think it is, yeah.
Tom Smith: A good looking hybrid. So we covered the inside, we covered the outside. Is it time for Top Three things?
Bernadette Sanicola: Or driving it. Of course, let’s do driving it before Top Three.
Bernadette Sanicola: Driving it was great. People are nice to you on the road. It’s lovely driving a car…
Tom Smith: People are nice to you when you’re on the road because you’re a pretty girl.
Bernadette Sanicola: No, no, no, no, no, oh no. I mean they’ve been nice…people let you over, and it was a fun car to drive.
Tom Smith: You literally feel a difference in the brand?
Bernadette Sanicola: Absolutely. But it was you know, I loved that it had paddle shifters. I loved the steering wheel, so I jumped in and instantly jumped on the freeway. It had a sport mode. It gave you that option. It didn’t take much to understand how to get in and out of a sport mode. And if you wanted to try the paddle shifting and you don’t know how to really shift the car, the car will…don’t worry. You can try as much as you want and then the car kind of takes it back and says,”Okay, you’re not doing a good job. I’ll do it,” which is nice. If you, you know, oops, answer the phone, forget that you’re shifting, and using paddle shifters, the car will automatically default back to regular mode which is cool.
Tom Smith: All right. Performance, handling, kind of driving?
Bernadette Sanicola: It was good. Yeah. As far as handling, and corners, and turn radius, that was great. It was a lot of fun. It did not drive like your…it didn’t have any lag when you’re at high speeds. You know, a lot of those cars it’s you know you get to high speed and then you just hear the car trying so hard. The engine noise and the transition between the engine and the electric were perfect; it’s seamless. So it did everything for me. It was like trying to figure out something that it wasn’t. You know, it handled it.
Tom Smith: All right.
Bernadette Sanicola: It had it.
Tom Smith: Anything else before Top Three things?
Bernadette Sanicola: I did beat a Prius, though, on a line. I don’t know if we were racing, but I did. At a stoplight, yeah, I did. I definitely like tried to make it sound like I was, but in a hybrid, you’re not really revving an engine and going, “Hey, buddy let’s go.” But I did win, I’d like to say.
Tom Smith: Did the Prius driver know you were racing?
Bernadette Sanicola: I think… Well, I don’t know. Yeah, he might not have. I totally smoked him.
Tom Smith: He might not have. So he thought you were flirting with him?
Bernadette Sanicola: No. Well, he sure didn’t catch up that fast. He just wasn’t interested.
Tom Smith: All right. All right, Top Three things.
Bernadette Sanicola: Okay, top the things I love about the car are, number one, was the air conditioning. I know it sounds crazy, but I’m a huge air conditioning person, and this one has an adjustable driver’s only air . So it doesn’t use the battery of the car. Mostly I’ll jump in a hybrid or electric, there goes my battery because I’m on max air conditioning, 60 degrees. This one does not. This one had a driver’s only, so I can have it just on me. so you’re not wasting the energy.
Tom Smith: For Southern California, that’s big.
Bernadette Sanicola: I thought that was really cool, yeah. Second thing I liked about it was the performance stuff. I love the air breathers. I love that it thought and took the time to be a hybrid but still put aerodynamic features on the car, and that makes it more fun to drive for anybody that wants a sports car, and also makes it better for the environment.
Tom Smith: All right. Killer gas mileage but still good looking.
Bernadette Sanicola: Yeah, good looking and you could feel it in a corner. You could feel the downforce when you have things like that on the car. It makes a big difference. Third thing was that they actually spent the time to make parts of the car recyclable. The floor mats and the headliner, I believe, are all made of sugar cane. So, it’s recyclable and easy. You know, a lot of people want to make their footprint in this whole electric and saving the environment, but if the car is not recyclable, then it doesn’t really…at the end of the day. Hyundai thought about that.
Tom Smith: That takes green to a whole new level. That is cool.
Bernadette Sanicola: Yeah, there’s a lot of cars… Tesla, though, doesn’t not do as much of it. But that’s where you really look at the numbers and compare these cars from one another because recycled materials is going to mean a lot when there’s so many of these cars on the road. And what happens when they are not…?
Tom Smith: Bernadette Sanicola, thank you so much for joining us for yet another fantastic review. That was the Hyundai Ioniq hybrid from our friends at Glendale Hyundai. When it is time for you to push the button on a new vehicle, we highly recommend you check with our friends at Glendale Hyundai. Jae Park is the owner and general manager there, and pretty much his right hand is RB, who takes great care of you when you go in to grab your cars and go for a ride, so thanks to Glendale Hyundai, thanks to Bernadette Sanicola. Until next time, I’m Tom Smith. Thanks for listening.