The Hyundai Ioniq I tested is a beautiful blue coloured five-seater with a low-slung sedan type shape and a choice of eco-friendly all-electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid engines. Due to the low roofline of this style of car, parents understandably favour SUVs, even though they aren't necessarily the most fuel-efficient option!
I loved Hyundai's Santa Fe and Tucson SUVs when I tested them, and I have recently tested hybrid versions of Toyota's Camry and Corolla, so I was keen to test the hybrid version of the Ioniq with our family and see how good it was as a BabyDrive!!
The Ioniq's roofline is low but it's the fact it tapers in at the top that prevented me from being able to install three child seats as it just narrows too much at the top for three child seats to fit across. The rear seat base is also quite sculpted, which also made it difficult. The Ioniq has top tether points on the back of all three rear seat backs, which are all within plastic guides and easy to connect to. The Ioniq has ISOFix in the two outer rear seats, but they are not within plastic guides and I found them quite difficult to connect as they were quite hard to reach. With rear-facing child seats installed, there was 27cm of knee room for a front passenger to sit in front of them.
The Ioniq has some clever storage features that I was immediately a fan of! The first were the generous door handle wells which we had to unearth a lot of little kid trinkets out of at the end of the week as we'd all found them so handy!
There is also a big groove that runs along the central console which is fantastic for storing an iPad while you're driving but of course does not conceal it when you get out of the car.
Overall the storage in the front of the Ioniq is very good; there's a wireless charging well for your phone, sunglasses case, the cup holders well sized for coffee cups and large refillable water bottles and the door bin holds a large refillable water bottle. The central console box and glove box are a bit small but still practical. In the back, storage is limited to one net map pocket and the door bins are smaller and will only hold a 600ml bottle but the handle wells are still great and there are two cup holders in a fold down armrest in the central seat back that will hold a re-usable and disposable coffee cup.
Storage in the boot was quite good and from empty it would hold 11 shopping bags. All styles of stroller, from twin to compact, would fit along with some shopping and with the roller cargo blind pulled across.
The boot floor was nice and flat, suitable for an emergency nappy change and there is a cargo net on the floor that I found useful for holding my bub's lunch box and ball in place so they don't roll about the boot.
The media system in the Ioniq is great! It is so easy and simple to use with a nice clear, crisp screen and it has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The sat-nav is easily navigated and the announcements easily muted too with a button on the left of the screen.
The reversing camera has a good visual and I could turn the reversing sensors off altogether with a button down in the central console, I didn't find a way to easily turn off just the beeping which was very loud!
The Ioniq has some great safety features like lane departure warning which did come with a loud beep and I found the lane keep assist was rather forceful when keeping you in lane!!
I found the Hyundai Ioniq quite a nice car to be in, the windows are large and the split rear windscreen gives great visibility lower down when reversing. Being a hybrid, it is quiet to drive at low speeds around town and you can see when you are using battery power rather than fuel which is fantastic for driving kids to sleep in the car and when parked up while they are asleep with the aircon running.
I did find the Ioniq slow to accelerate from junctions and roundabouts, although it is smooth. On the motorway, it's as if you can feel the road surface through the floor of the car which is disappointing.
I feel the Ioniq has had a lot of thought put into its design and it ticks a lot of boxes.
The Hyundai Ioniq scored a five-star ANCAP safety rating in 2016 and has seven airbags as standard.