As for the hybrid models, the electric motor is paired to a 1.6-litre petrol engine which together produces 138bhp and 195lb ft of peak twist.
With 118bhp, the Electric may be the least powerful Ioniq, but it is, nevertheless, the fastest. A substantial 218Ib ft of torque from rest and no pauses to change gear result in a 0-62mph time that just squeaks under 10 seconds. At urban speeds, the Ioniq feels even quicker than that. To put it in context the hybrid models can only muster a 0-62mph time of 10.8sec.
That instant torque can overwhelm the economy-biased tyres, though. In the wet, the traction control has to cut in hard if you try to accelerate quickly. Turn it off and the Ioniq will spin its front wheels all the way up to 35mph.
Not that performance is really a selling point of the Ioniq, more a handy by-product of the electric powertrain. More important is the smooth power delivery and complete absence of vibration from under the bonnet. Like other electric cars, it proves far more serene than a diesel or even petrol engine.
The motor may be quiet, but it does highlight other noises. Plenty of road roar is transmitted through the floor and there’s noticeable wind noise at speed. It’s not deafening, but it’s worth knowing if you expect an electric car to be virtually silent.
It may be happy enough to build speed, but the brakes take some getting used to. Initial response is very sharp, but it feels like you need to push the pedal a long way further to get any meaningful stopping power.
You can alter how much the car decelerates when you lift off by using what look like gearshift paddles behind the steering wheel. The Ioniq starts with fairly weak regenerative braking initially, but this can be ramped up to slow the car faster and increase the amount of energy that goes back into the battery pack.
Although this does improve range and allows you to avoid pressing the brake the majority of the time, the regenerative braking is much more sudden than in a Nissan Leaf, for instance. We soon turned it back down again to make smoother progress.
Hyundai suggests that the Ioniq Electric should offer decent driving dynamics. The truth is that while it isn’t bad, it’s not going to set pulses racing. The steering has reasonable weight to it, but it’s vague around the straight-ahead and never communicates what the front wheels are doing.
There’s not a great deal of body roll, but it doesn’t take much to get the nose of the Ioniq running wide; blame the low-resistance tyres for that. Pitch the car into a corner harder and you can tell the weight balance of the car is more even than that of a front-engined, front wheel-drive hatch, though.
Even so, this is a car that’s much happier being driven well within its limits. That might not be good for enthusiastic driving, but it’ll certainly help eke out the most range possible from the battery pack. With this in mind, we would have liked more compliance from the suspension at urban speeds. It’s not uncomfortable, but it is on the firm side when dealing with crumbling blacktop. Things do settle down at motorway speeds, though.
Inside, the dashboard looks almost identical to the one you find in the Hyundai Tucson. Up front, you get plenty of soft-touch materials on the upper portion of the dash and doors, with harder materials underneath. Everything is nicely textured and the controls work with precision. As for the rear, it’s roomy enough for six-footers and the boot is competitive in size, if shallow.