Snazzy blue trims and a digital display behind the steering wheel give the Ioniq’s interior a stylish edge, but adults won’t want to spend too much time in its rather cramped back seats
The Hyundai Ioniq’s interior looks pretty smart – for a practical hybrid family car at least. Even entry-level models come with a flat-bottomed steering wheel with glossy silver and blue trims, brightly coloured bands around the air vents and a slick 4.2-inch 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. There are a few cheap, scratchy plastics on the doors and dashboard but its switches feel robust and come with upmarket metal-effect trims.
Even the cheapest SE models get a leather-trimmed steering wheel and some colour-coded piping on the seats but it’s well worth upgrading to a mid-range Premium version. These get a few extra chrome trims for the door handles and dashboard, a larger seven-inch digital driver’s display and an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with handy smartphone mirroring features.
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 almost £2,000 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
Entry-level SE cars get a rather basic five-inch touchscreen infotainment system. It comes with USB connectivity, Bluetooth and DAB digital radio but that’s about it. The display’s reasonably bright and most of its menus are logically laid out but it isn’t particularly responsive or easy to read on the move.
Fortunately, you get a set of physical shortcut buttons just below the display so you can jump between radio, media and settings menus easily without taking your eyes off the road for too long. It’s much easier than using the Prius’ system with its touch-sensitive buttons.
Choose a mid-range Premium model or above and you’ll get a much better eight-inch screen with plenty of high-tech features. It comes with satellite navigation with live traffic updates as standard and a second seven-inch digital display behind the steering wheel instead of conventional instruments.
It’s relatively easy to punch in a postcode using the on-screen keyboard and you can swipe across the map to preview your route just like you would with a smartphone.
Speaking of phones, mid-range models also come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring features so you can use your handset’s navigation apps through the car’s screen if you don’t like Hyundai’s TomTom-based system. These features also let you stream music from apps such as Spotify through the Ioniq’s stereo.
Sadly, entry-level cars 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 Premium and Premium SE models so you can be sure it won’t run out of juice halfway through your journey.