Hatchbacks

2020 Hyundai Ioniq update brings sharper looks, more EV range

It's unclear when Hyundai will bring these changes to the US, but it should be soon.

Hyundai

Hyundai's Ioniq is a unique beast in that its three variants cover the spectrum of electrification -- hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure EV. The lineup started rolling out in the 2017 model year, so Hyundai has revisited the model and given it a solid midcycle nip and tuck.

Hyundai this week unveiled the refreshed 2020 Ioniq. While it's only been announced for the European market thus far, it's likely that Hyundai will soon unveil the same changes to the US model. We'll have to wait just a bit longer for pricing and mileage estimates in US-specific figures.

The biggest update can't actually be seen. Instead, it has to do with the battery in the Ioniq Electric. It's been given a major capacity boost, rising from 28 kilowatt-hours to 38.3 kWh. That extends the EV's range to an internally estimated 182 miles (by European WLTP standards). The current 124-mile range of the Ioniq EV in the US should probably settle somewhere near 150 or 160 miles, but that's just an estimate. It also features a faster 7.2-kilowatt charger (up from 6.6 kW on the current Ioniq) as standard equipment, which at a fast-charge station means an 80 percent charge in under an hour.

Fraternal triplets.

Hyundai

The exterior of all three models has been freshened up, too. The taillights and headlights are the same shape, but their interiors have been reconfigured, adding more notable LED elements, especially up front, where the running lights take on a clever vertical layout on higher trims. The bumpers have been tweaked, but they're pretty close to what they were before. The general shape of the hatchback remains unchanged, though, offering a more sedan-like profile than the Kia Niro, which more closely resembles a crossover.

The interior's been given a once-over with some new design elements. The most obvious addition is a much larger screen, now measuring 10.25 inches, up from the 8-inch flagship screen on the current model. The HVAC controls have been redesigned, and the optional 7-inch display in the gauge cluster picks up some mood lighting, and there's some additional blue ambient lighting under the dashboard and center console.

In addition to the new screen, Hyundai threw a few other new bits of tech into the updated Ioniq. eCall automatically rings emergency assistance if the airbags are deployed or the roof-mounted call button is pushed. Opt for embedded navigation, and you'll get a five-year subscription to weather, traffic, parking and charging information through the Blue Link infotainment system. Going back to that large screen for a minute, it's capable of having two phones connected via Bluetooth simultaneously, so you can change who's in charge of the music without having to disconnect one phone and connect another.

On the safety front, standard equipment on the range includes automatic braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keep assist, automatic high beams and driver attention warning. Available reinforcements include adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality, blind spot monitoring and a lane-following system that keeps the car in its lane in traffic.