Every electric vehicle seems to be a new Rorschach test. Does the BMW i3 look like a space-age transportation pod about to whisk you into an exciting future? Or does the Mercedes-Benz B-class Electric Drive reassure you that a battery-powered Mercedes will still be a Mercedes? Which vehicle signals your environmental virtue more effectively: the sleek and expensive-looking Tesla Model S or the somewhat gawky Chevrolet Bolt?
Hyundai’s 2017 Ioniq Electric is the newest inkblot on the block. It’s not a Jetsons bubbletop or a Hot Wheels Sizzler or a Tesla or a Bolt. It’s one-third of a trio of new Ioniqs, and it’s designed to blend in. It looks pretty much like any other Ioniq, which all look a lot like other Hyundais. How much psychological self-actualization is there in an electric car that’s proudly efficient in its use of electricity but keeps quiet about it? And does efficiency trump the fact that the Ioniq Electric is behind the leaders in terms of range?
With its blocked-off grille covered in the usual piano-black plastic, a stack of LEDs defining each end of the front bumper cover, and an EV-exclusive taillamp design, the Ioniq Electric is subtle about announcing its ampere dependency. But the rest of the car is conventionally drawn to a fault. It’s a fastback hatch with lines that split the difference between a first-generation Chevy Volt and a second-generation Toyota Prius—a modern polliwog with creases. It’s unlikely to make much of a splash when thrown into the traffic stream.
That conventionality continues inside the Ioniq Electric, where Hyundai will proudly point out what paints were made from soybean oils and which plastics have been mixed with volcanic stone and powdered wood. Hey, many of the soft-touch plastic surfaces contain sugarcane, the same stuff that provides the natural sweetness of Mexican Coca-Cola. Complete review on www.caranddriver.com, by Manufacturer