The 2020 Hyundai Ioniq. Source: Hyundai
The 2020 Hyundai Ioniq. Source: Hyundai

Pricing for Australia and full specifications for the 2020 Hyundai Ioniq electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid fastback have now been released by the South Korean carmaker, with a jump up on specs as well as a new price.

Previously noted for its position as the cheapest electric car in Australia, the new 2020 electric Ioniq shrugs off the mantle of most affordable electric car in favour of longer range, a bigger battery, more power, big screen technology and fresh styling.

The new all-electric Ioniq, which has range of 311km, up about 30% from its predecessor, is now priced from $48,490 for the Elite Trim and $52,490 for the Premium trim, both before on road costs. This is about $4,000 more than its previous pricing of $44,990 before on roads.

The plug-in hybrid (PHEV) with Elite trim now starts at $41,990 and the Elite hybrid at $34,790, while the Premium PHEV starts at $46,490 and the Premium hybrid at $39,990 – both a jump up in price from between $800 – $1,000.

The electric Ioniq now has a 100kW motor instead of the previous 88kW, and the larger 38.3kWh battery replaces the previous 28kWh battery adding 81km range for a total of 311km (based on the European WLTP rating).

Hyundai Australia CEO JW Lee said in a statement that the style refresh and upgraded performance will make the Ioniq even more attractive than before to drivers wanting to shift to electric mobility.

“New 2020 IONIQ introduces refined styling, additional equipment and an all-electric model with a 33 percent greater range, to offer customers an even more compelling eco vehicle,” says Lee.

Level up

While the majority of the increase for the all-electric 2020 Ioniq is attributed to the upgraded motor, larger battery and therefore increased range, Hyundai has taken customer and dealer feedback to upgrade other features of the range.

As we noted in a sneak peak article on Monday, the new 2020 Ioniq features a redesigned “shell” grille with a diamond motif design, along with new alloys and a fresh design for the rear and front lights.

The 2020 Hyundai Ioniq. Source: Hyundai
The 2020 Hyundai Ioniq. Source: Hyundai

The new dashboard has a snappy 10.25 inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay that comes standard in all 2020 models, while the cool blue mood lighting we saw on Monday features in all Premium and electric variants. A simpler 7 inch supervision screen behind the wheel completes the dash upgrade.

The technology upgrade is not limited to interfaces either; in the 2020 Ioniq Hyundai’s SmartSense technology now comes with high beam assist as well as an upgraded driver attention warning system that features “Leading Vehicle Departure Alert” that keeps an eye on the vehicle in front when stopped in traffic.

Other driver assist features include rear view monitor with parking guidance, electronic parking brake with auto hold, and manual speed limit assist.

Smooth ride

The new all-electric, PHEV and hybrid models for 2020 benefit from Hyundai’s localised chassis tune, that the carmaker says has been developed to handle Australia’s wide variety of road conditions to ensure a smooth ride no matter specific powertrains and weight distributions.

“The aim was to develop a cohesive IONIQ family with chassis tuning that accommodates the different powertrains and weight distributions, to provide the same pleasant driving experience across the three variants,” said Hyundai Australia product planning & development specialist Tim Rodgers in a statement.

Minimising noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) has been a priority, says Rodgers.

“In a conventional car, there are a lot of suspension noises that are masked by the powertrain – we had to place particular attention on refinement to ensure IONIQ delivers a consistent, comfortable, smooth and quiet experience.”

Charging and range

Both the PHEV and hybrid come with the same battery and range capabilities as before, with the PHEV’s 8.9kWh battery offering up to 63km of pure electric driving – a more affordable alternative for many Australians whose average commute is under 40km.

As with the 2019 all-electric model, the new 2020 Ioniq offers three driving modes to match driving style – Eco, Comfort and Sport – as well as a fourth, called Eco+ which is an “ultra-energy-saving drive mode” that limits speed to 90 km/hr and switches off basically everything else that draws on the battery from air con to heating and fans, as well as change the regenerative braking resistance to default.

At home, the all-electric Ioniq charges at a rate of up to 7.2kW for a 6.5 hour recharge on specially installed wall charger – and it would seem this is a wise addition if at home charging is to be the norm for any buyer, as a full charge at home off a standard 240 volt will take 17.5 hours.

When out and about, the all-electric 2020 Ioniq can charge on a DC fast-charger at a rate of up to 100kW, and since the battery is larger this also equates to a longer charging time.

Pundits, however, will point out there is more going on here, attributed to the change in battery that is drawn from the Kona Electric – instead of the previous 23 minutes charging time from 0-80%, the new 2020 Ioniq will take 54 minutes to 80%, over twice as long as the previous model despite the battery being only 30% larger.

Nevertheless, the longer wait at the fast-charger will be worth it for those wanting longer range in a vehicle that is still very close to the bottom end of the limited Australian electric car market.

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