Hybrid vehicles are becoming quite popular, especially here in California. As a current hybrid owner and prior plug-in hybrid owner, the fact more options are becoming available to us gets me quite excited. The designs are more trendy, cargo and interior space are increasing, and performance is now a major focus.

Recently I was invited to Santa Barbara, CA to drive the all-new 2017 Hyundai Ioniq. It couldn’t have been a more perfect location to drive this vehicle, despite the stormy weather. We only had the chance to drive the hybrid and electric trims during the event, but Hyundai will offer a plug-in hybrid option at a later date.

Exterior

The Ioniq is attractive at first glance, but there’s more to the look than meets the eye. The shape of the vehicle was designed to manage airflow with several active and passive aerodynamic features. Its active aero front grille, wheel air curtains, rear spoiler and smooth underbody cover, all combine to deliver a 0.24 coefficient of drag.

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Interior

The interior of the Ioniq really won me over. Did you know it has 6 cubit feet more space than the Kia Niro and 5 cubic feet more space than the Toyota Prius? As a mom who is constantly running around town in my vehicle, what’s inside the vehicle is always very important. I was a huge fan of the cargo space inside both the Hybrid and the Electric. There’s a lot of room to store bulky items and the lip on the back helps to keep everything from falling out once shifted from driving and that back hatch opens.

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Not only is the interior spacious inside, but there are a ton of features that are available. The Ioniq delivers with a power tilt-and-slide sunroof, heated and cooled front seats, blind spot monitoring, a rear parking sensors and camera . There’s also a standard 7-inch color touchscreen display audio with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which come standard.

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When moving from the hybrid vehicle to electric, I did notice a pretty big difference in interior design. Not sure why they changed the layout, but I am a HUGE fan of the interior in the all electric! There is a nice carved out spot on the floor which would be perfect to store your purse, diaper bag, grocery bag, or whatever you choose to put there!

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Performance

The hybrid uses a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine in conjunction with an electric motor. Together, they deliver 139 horsepower. I will say this, the get up and go on the Ioniq Hybrid wasn’t that impressive compared to the current hybrid I am driving, but once we got going the drive was smooth, especially through the curvy roads.

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The Ioniq Hybrid also offers a sport mode that is intuitive and provides a discernible change in driving characteristics. You can also switch between Eco Mode and Manual Mode as well, for maximum performance.

One neat thing that is worth mentioning is that the battery is tucked under the rear seat, a great feature that won’t intrude on passenger space.

Eco-Friendly

The intelligent use of aluminum and advanced high-strength steel gives every Ioniq model an extremely light and rigid body structure. This blend of strong weight-saving materials helps every Ioniq model use less energy as it moves down the road. Additionally, less weight means higher MPG with better range and acceleration.

From the bio-fabrics to the recycled plastics used to create the headliner, carpeting and door trim, even the interior of the Ioniq shows an eco-conscious side. These pleasing surfaces and textures are the result of the inventive use of eco-friendly materials such as sugar cane and volcanic stone.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I was thoroughly impressed with both the 2017 Ioniq Hybrid and 2017 Ioniq Electric. Everything from the space of the interior, cargo room, design and performance really set the bar when it comes to a more eco-friendly vehicle. The only thing I was not a huge fan of was the back window. I get they created this design with a purpose, but driving and trying to look out my back windshield was a little complicated as I wasn’t used to it.

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The Ioniq Hybrid offers a combined 58 MPG and is available now starting at $22,200.

The Ioniq Electric offers 136 MPGe and a 124 mile range which meets the needs of 90% of American drivers and is the most efficient vehicle on the market. It is available later this year and will start at $29,500.

The Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid will offer 27-mile all electric range before it kicks into hybrid mode. There is no pricing yet, but will be available at a later time.

You can learn more about the Ioniq and stay up-to-date by visiting: hyundai.com/ioniq.