Hyundai Ioniq hybrid interior
Snazzy blue trims and a digital display behind the steering wheel give the Ioniq’s interior a stylish edge, but a few cheap-feeling trims let the side down
The Hyundai Ioniq’s interior looks pretty smart – for a practical hybrid family car at least. Even entry-level cars come with a flat-bottomed steering wheel with glossy silver and blue trims, brightly coloured bands around the air vents and a slick digital speedo instead of conventional dials.
Sure, it doesn’t feel quite as grown-up inside as the Kia Niro’s cabin but it looks more interesting than the Toyota Prius’ drab, black interior and everything you’ll touch regularly feels pretty solid. The touch-sensitive switches for the heating and ventilation controls on the dashboard look pretty snazzy, but you won’t have to look too far to find some hard, scratchy plastics down beside the centre console and on the doors.
That said, even the cheapest SE car gets a leather-trimmed steering wheel but it’s well worth upgrading to a mid-range Premium version. This gets a few extra chrome trims for the door handles and dashboard, a larger 7.0-inch digital driver’s display and a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system instead of the standard car’s 8.0-inch screen.
If you absolutely must have leather seats, your only option is to fork out for a top-spec Premium SE version. These also come with some metal pedal trims and a slightly pointless faux-leather glovebox lid, but they’ll set you back quite a bit more than a mid-range model.
The high-resolution digital dials you get in mid-range Ioniqs look like they belong in a futuristic sports car, not in an unassuming family hybrid
The entry-level Hyundai Ioniq SE gets a reasonably large 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system. It comes with USB connectivity, Bluetooth and DAB digital radio but not satellite navigation. The display’s reasonably bright and most of its menus are logically laid out but some of the Ioniq’s fiddlier menus are a little tricky to read on the move.
Thankfully, you do get smartphone mirroring for Apple and Android phones as standard, so you can use your favourite navigation and media-streaming apps though the car’s touchscreen instead of Hyundai’s own system.
Things get more intuitive if you pick a Premium model or above – all of which come with a larger 10.25-inch screen that’s bigger, brighter and easier to read while you’re driving than the one in SE Connect cars.
You get a similar set of touch-sensitive shortcut buttons under the screen that – while not quite as easy to use as traditional physical buttons – do make it pretty simple to switch between the system’s key features without taking your eyes off the road for too long.
This upgraded infotainment system also brings with it Hyundai’s own sat-nav. It’s pretty simple to input an address using the on-screen keyboard and you can swipe and pinch the map to preview your route – just like using a smartphone.
In addition to the flashier touchscreen, Premium cars and above also get a 7.0-inch digital driver’s display instead of the 4.2-inch screen you get in entry-level models. This can display various readouts including fuel economy, upcoming directions from the sat-nav and tell you what song is playing on the stereo.
Speaking of stereos, entry-level Ioniqs come with a fairly weedy six-speaker system but all models with the upgraded infotainment system get a beefier eight-speaker unit with a built-in subwoofer for clearer bass notes. It’s no mobile disco but it’s still easily loud enough to embarrass the kids on the school run.
There’s even a wireless charging pad for your phone in First Edition, Premium and Premium SE models so you can be sure it won’t run out of juice halfway through your journey.