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Hyundai's 124-mile electric mixes sedan seating, hatchback convenience

The all-electric version of Hyundai's new Ioniq comes with four doors and a hatchback, and manages to get around 124 miles of range with an excellent driving character.

Wayne_Cunningham.jpg
Wayne_Cunningham.jpg

Wayne Cunningham

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2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric
1 of 45 Wayne Cunningham/CNET Roadshow

Hyundai's Ioniq, a hatchback parading as a midsize sedan, was designed to accommodate three different drivetrains: gasoline-electric hybrid, pure electric and plug-in hybrid. Shown here is the Ioniq Electric, the pure electric version.

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric
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Driving the front wheels, the Ioniq's 88-kilowatt electric motor gives it 218 pound-feet of torque, robust enough twist to get this passenger car moving easily.

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric
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A 28 kilowatt-hour battery pack gives the Ioniq Electric an EPA-rated 124 miles of range. That amount will be plenty for many buyers' daily needs, but it falls short of the range of new competitors, such as the Chevrolet Bolt, Tesla Model 3 and 2018 Nissan Leaf.

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric
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The Ioniq's design looks similar to the Toyota Prius, especially with the horizontally split rear glass. However, this design is very aerodynamic.

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric
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The Ioniq Electric's glossy black grille shield looks like the "nose cone" found on earlier Tesla Model S cars.

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The Ultimate package, available on Limited trim models of the Ioniq Electric, adds dynamic LED headlights that adjust to illuminate the road in turns.

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The Ioniq Electric provides seating for five passengers, along with cargo area under the rear hatch.

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The car shows excellent balance, even when driving up a steep grade, allowing its drive wheels to maintain grip.

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The Ioniq Electric's drive system earns the car an EPA rating of 136 mpg equivalent, using a formula to compare with to gasoline engine vehicles. That means an estimated annual fueling cost of just $500 and zero emissions.

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Although its range falls short of new competitors', the Ioniq Electic makes a good case for driving an electric vehicle.

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