2018 Hyundai Ioniq Electric Long-Term Review @ ModSynergy.com



A Practical and Efficient Electric Vehicle

Hyundai Ioniq Electric


After five years of ownership, I'm excited to share my long-term thoughts on the 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Electric. This compact electric vehicle has truly impressed me with its affordability, efficiency, and practicality. Throughout my extensive testing period, I've thoroughly explored its performance, range, interior, technology, and overall value proposition. So, let's dive into the details of the 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Electric together.



While the 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Electric may not boast the highest power figures, its lightweight design and instant torque delivery make for an incredibly enjoyable driving experience. With 88 kW (118 horsepower) and 295 Nm (218 lb-ft) of torque, this electric vehicle offers a sprightly and nimble performance that's perfect for daily commuting and city driving. Thanks to its instant torque, maneuvering through city streets or merging onto highways becomes a breeze. The single-speed reduction gear transmission ensures smooth acceleration, adding to the overall driving pleasure. Moreover, the Ioniq Electric's regenerative braking system efficiently recaptures energy during deceleration, further enhancing its overall efficiency.

One of the standout advantages of electric vehicles is their zero tailpipe emissions. Unlike traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles that rely on fossil fuels, electric vehicles contribute to cleaner air quality and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.


Regenerative Braking

Incorporating innovative regenerative braking technology, the 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Electric takes energy efficiency to a whole new level. When you release the accelerator pedal, the electric motor seamlessly switches into generator mode, cleverly converting the vehicle's kinetic energy into valuable electrical energy. This not only helps to slow down the vehicle, but it also simultaneously charges the battery, making every deceleration a moment of energy recovery.

To put even more control in the hands of the drivers, the Ioniq Electric comes equipped with convenient steering wheel paddles. These paddles allow you to adjust the strength of regenerative braking, providing a truly personalized and engaging driving experience. By pulling the left paddle, you can ramp up the regenerative braking level, resulting in more aggressive deceleration as you lift your foot off the accelerator pedal. This feature not only enhances energy recapture but also gives you a heightened sense of control over your driving dynamics. In terms of the force that regenerative braking applies and how much of it you can feel on deceleration, on the maximum level, I would rate it as 5/10. I have felt other EVs having more aggressive regenerative braking than on the Ioniq.

Conversely, if you prefer a smoother and more relaxed coasting experience, simply pull the right paddle to reduce the regenerative braking level. In fact, there's even a Level 0 regen mode that allows you to coast without any regenerative braking at all. Combine this with the low rolling resistance Michelin Energy Saver A/S tires, and you can enjoy extended coasting distances with ease.

By utilizing the steering wheel paddles to control regenerative braking in the Ioniq Electric, you not only gain a greater sense of involvement behind the wheel but also achieve a personalized balance between energy regeneration and traditional coasting. This smart feature ultimately contributes to maximizing the vehicle's range by optimizing the efficiency of energy recapture during deceleration.


Range and Charging


With its 28-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, the 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Electric offers an EPA-rated range of 124 miles (200 kilometers) on a single charge, making it suitable for most daily driving needs in the United States and Canada. It's worth mentioning that actual range may vary depending on driving conditions and various factors. In my personal experience, I've achieved an impressive max range of 186 miles (300 kilometers) during city driving in the summer, thanks in part to the Ioniq's superbly low 0.24 coefficient of drag, which helps maximize efficiency. On the flip side, during winter conditions with temperatures as low as minus 22 degrees Celsius, coupled with dedicated winter tires that have higher rolling resistance, I've observed a reduced range of around 103 miles (165 kilometers). It's important to consider these factors when evaluating the vehicle's range performance.

When it comes to charging, the Ioniq Electric offers convenient options to suit different needs. It supports both Level 1 (120V) and Level 2 (240V) charging. Level 1 charging, utilizing a standard household outlet, takes approximately 24 hours for a full charge. However, Level 2 charging significantly reduces the charging time to around 4.5 hours. Additionally, the Ioniq Electric supports DC fast charging, allowing for quicker charging speeds of up to 100 kW in theory. In practice, the charging rate typically reaches around 67-68 kW, which is still impressive considering the vehicle's smaller 28-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack. It outperforms competitors like the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Bolt in terms of charging speed.

With the capability for DC fast charging, the Ioniq Electric can achieve an estimated 0-80% charge in approximately 30-40 minutes. It's important to note that charging times can vary based on factors such as the power output of the charging station, battery temperature, and current state of charge. Different charging networks and stations may also offer varying charging speeds. Speaking from my personal experience using a 50 kW charging station, I've found that during summer months, the DC fast charging sessions to 80% take around 30 minutes, with the vehicle estimating a range of approximately 149 miles (240 kilometers) based on my driving style. However, in winter, charging times can be longer due to the colder battery temperature, potentially doubling the time it takes to charge the vehicle.

Overall, the Ioniq Electric's charging capabilities and range make it a practical and convenient electric vehicle for most daily driving scenarios in the United States and Canada, with the added advantage of faster charging speeds compared to some of its competitors.

Ioniq Electric

Interior and Comfort

After five years of ownership, I must say that the interior of the 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Electric has been a pleasant and comfortable place to be. The clean and modern design creates an inviting atmosphere, and the materials used throughout the cabin are of good quality. I've been impressed with the durability of the seats, as they have shown no signs of wear or tearing.

One of the standout features of the Ioniq Electric's interior is its spaciousness. With ample cargo volume in the rear, I have found it to be more than capable of accommodating my various needs. Whether it's groceries, luggage, or larger items, the Ioniq Electric's generous cargo space has proved to be highly versatile.

Hyundai has also included several convenient features that have enhanced my driving experience. The Auto Hold feature, in particular, has been a game-changer in heavy traffic and at traffic lights, as it allows me to keep the vehicle stationary without having to constantly press the brake pedal. This feature not only reduces driver fatigue but also adds a level of convenience to my daily commutes.

During colder seasons, the seat warmers have been a welcomed luxury. They quickly warm up the front seats, ensuring a cozy and comfortable driving experience even when the temperatures outside are chilly. Additionally, the steering wheel heater has been a real savior during cold Canadian winters, keeping my hands warm and comfortable during my journeys. The Ioniq Electric's heat pump has also been impressive, as it starts emitting warm air within just 2 minutes, a noticeable improvement compared to my previous ICE vehicle.

In terms of interior noise levels, the Ioniq Electric fares well. While it may not have the same level of sound deadening material as more luxury-oriented vehicles, it still provides a generally quiet cabin environment. The absence of engine noise in an electric vehicle adds to the overall serenity and tranquility of the driving experience.

Overall, the interior of the 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Electric has proven to be comfortable, spacious, and well-equipped with convenient features. It has exceeded my expectations and made my ownership experience truly enjoyable.


Audio System

I have thoroughly enjoyed the audio system in my 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Electric over the past five years of ownership. The premium 8-speaker Infinity setup with a subwoofer has truly enhanced my driving experience. The speakers are thoughtfully positioned throughout the cabin, including one in the center of the dashboard, resulting in a well-balanced audio output that fills the space.

One of the standout qualities of the audio system is its ability to reproduce sound with exceptional clarity. The speakers deliver crystal-clear audio, allowing me to fully appreciate the nuances and details in my favorite music tracks. The system provides an immersive listening experience that brings my music to life during my commutes and road trips.

In terms of bass performance, the audio system performs admirably. The subwoofer adds depth and richness to the low frequencies, creating a satisfying listening experience. However, there have been instances where I found the bass to be slightly muddy. It's worth noting that this is a subjective observation and may vary depending on personal preferences and the specific music being played.

Overall, the audio system in the 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Electric impresses with its ability to deliver rich and vibrant sound quality. While it may not be the absolute top-tier audio system in the market, it strikes a great balance between quality and affordability. It has consistently provided me with an enjoyable and immersive listening experience throughout my ownership period.

Hyundai Ioniq

Driving Dynamics

I have thoroughly enjoyed the driving dynamics of my 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Electric throughout my ownership experience. This compact electric vehicle offers a combination of impressive handling and nimble maneuverability that has made it a joy to drive in various environments.

One of the standout features of the Ioniq Electric's driving dynamics is its low center of gravity, which is a result of the battery pack's positioning. This low center of gravity not only enhances the overall stability of the vehicle but also improves its cornering capabilities. It feels planted and stable, allowing me to confidently navigate through tight city streets and tackle winding roads with ease. The Ioniq Electric's electric steering system, although lacking in road feel, offers precise and responsive handling, making it enjoyable to maneuver around curves and corners. While it may not provide the same level of feedback as a high-performance sports car, it strikes a suitable balance for everyday driving.

In terms of suspension, the Ioniq Electric strikes a good balance between comfort and sportiness. While I initially expected a softer setup for a commuter vehicle, I found the suspension to be slightly firmer than anticipated. However, this firmness does not compromise ride quality, as the suspension effectively absorbs road imperfections and ensures a smooth and comfortable ride for both myself and my passengers. It's worth noting that the front suspension, utilizing a McPherson setup, feels better than the rear, which employs a torsion beam setup. Nonetheless, the Ioniq Electric delivers a composed driving experience whether I'm cruising on the highway or navigating urban streets.


Technology and Features

The 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Electric comes equipped with a range of technology and features designed to elevate the driving experience. At the center of it all is the standard 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration. With these features, seamless smartphone connectivity is achieved, allowing drivers to access their favorite apps, navigation, and music directly from the infotainment system.

In terms of safety, the Ioniq Electric offers a comprehensive suite of features to provide an extra layer of confidence on the road. In top models these include forward collision warning, lane keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, and a rearview camera.

The rearview camera, while not boasting the highest resolution, provides a decent quality image on the display. What stands out is the smoothness of the camera feed, and I particularly appreciate the inclusion of dynamic guidelines that adjust as you turn the steering wheel. This feature adds convenience and helps with parking and maneuvering in tight spaces, surpassing systems with static guidelines found in some other vehicles.

Electric Vehicle

Long Term Reliability

Throughout my five years of ownership, the 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Electric has demonstrated a commendable level of reliability. While I have not encountered any significant mechanical issues, there have been a few components that required attention and replacement under warranty. It's essential to acknowledge that experiences with individual vehicles may vary, and my personal ownership experience may not be representative of every Ioniq Electric.

During my ownership, the following components were replaced or fixed under warranty:

1. Driver's side door handle keyless entry button: The keyless entry button on the driver's side door handle stopped functioning and was replaced.

2. Brake pedal noise: Over time, the brake pedal developed a noise resembling air leakage or release. This issue was resolved by replacing the Intelligent Brake Actuation Unit (IBAU).

3. Steering wheel worm shaft bearing noise: There was an audible noise emanating from the steering wheel worm shaft bearing. The issue was addressed and resolved.

4. Charge Actuator malfunction: The Charge Actuator experienced a malfunction and had to be replaced.

Additionally, software updates were performed, and a grounding cable was added to prevent the vehicle from entering failsafe mode, through a recall.

It is important to note that these replacements and repairs were carried out under the manufacturer warranty, effectively addressing the specific issues encountered during my ownership. While these incidents were isolated, they were promptly resolved, and overall, the Ioniq Electric has proven to be generally reliable during my long-term experience.

The following components broke or had issues after the standard warranty period expired:

1. Driver's side power window switch: One of the power window switch's plastic lever broke.  It still works but the button itself is floppy and may come off entirely at a later date

2. Rattling in the rear: Something is rattling in the rear.  I suspect it could the related to the spoiler attached to the trunk. One day I'll check if something came loose.


Electric Car


It's important to consider individual driving needs when evaluating the 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Electric. While it excels in many aspects, including affordability, efficiency, and practicality, its range may not be suitable for those who require extensive travel or frequently engage in long-distance driving. If your lifestyle demands a vehicle with a longer range, it may be necessary to explore alternative options in the electric vehicle market.

However, for most daily commuting and city driving scenarios, the Ioniq Electric offers a compelling package that ticks all the right boxes. Its lively performance, comfortable interior, surprising cargo capacity, and comprehensive technology features make it a standout choice in its class.

My long-term experience with the 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Electric has solidified my admiration for this compact electric vehicle. Throughout the years, it has consistently impressed me with its practicality, efficiency, and overall value proposition. While it may not boast the longest range or the highest power figures in its class, the Ioniq Electric excels in areas that truly matter for everyday use.