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When the Hyundai Ioniq first arrived in showrooms last year, it was the only car on the market available as a conventional hybrid, a plug-in or a full EV.
Although this is still the case today, that statement is now only technically true as battery supply hold-ups meant we've had to wait a while for the trio to be completed by the plug-in version, which is also predicted to be the biggest seller of the three.
Fitted with a larger, more powerful battery than the conventional hybrid in the range, the Ioniq plug-in combines a 1.6-litre 105hp petrol engine with a 59kW electric battery that takes total power to 143hp, enabling the car to accelerate from 0-62mph in just under 11 seconds.
The plug-in version has a potential 660-mile range, 39 miles of which can be driven on electric power alone, enough to satisfy a large proportion of commutes if charging facilities are based at the workplace.
Speaking of charging, it'll take roughly two hours to replenish the battery using a fitted wallbox, while official running costs (which are skewed by the current test) are quoted at 26g/km of CO2 and 256.8mpg combined for fuel economy, meaning low BIK tax bills and virtually no fuel costs if you can make the electric range work for you - impressive stuff.
More suited to the motorway
On paper the Ioniq plug-in impresses, but out on the road that praise becomes slightly lukewarm. As you may have guessed from the official figures, the Ioniq is no sports car and falls down against rivals like the Golf GTE when it comes to handling ability.
Concentrating on ease of use and comfort, the Ioniq cruises nicely on the motorway, although on rougher surfaces the suspension sometimes struggles to even out the road, while the steering is well-weighted but not exactly brimming with feedback. The car feels quite heavy too, especially in the corners.
That said, the Ioniq is an easy car to drive, does little to offend, and for family life and the daily commute it'll rise to every challenge - just don't expect it to produce the same level of excitement as some of its rivals.
Space for four
The Ioniq's roofline is a little low, so expect headroom to be impeded slightly, especially in the rear, while the boot is smaller than some of its sector rivals at 446 litres.
Interior quality for the most part is very good, although the infotainment touchscreen could be more sophisticated, and other switches and dials feel a little less refined than its rivals.
Every Ioniq is generously equipped and there are three trims to choose from. We're testing the car in top-of-the-range Premium SE spec, which comes with a 7in touchscreen infotainment system, leather upholstery, Apple CarPlay, sat-nav and electric heated seats as standard.
Now comes the biggest plus - the price. Even this top spec model costs less that £30,000, which is very good for a plug-in hybrid, and considering the considerable cost savings on offer in fuel and BIK, it will prove an excellent choice moving forward as bands get tighter and more legislation is introduced that penalises conventional engine choices.
Whether we like it or not, most cars will very soon be electric and the Ioniq allows you to pick the pace at which you adopt the technology. This plug-in offers a workable electric range with the added peace of mind that you can travel long distances without having to stop and charge. It's not the best car to drive or sit in, but the Ioniq's overall package is seriously impressive and it is definitely a car we will be seeing a lot more of in the near feature.
P11D Price: £29,240
Fuel consumption: 256.8mpg
CO2 (BIK Band): 26g/km (9%)
BIK 20/40% a month: £44/£88
Engine size/power: 1,580cc/105hp + 59kW electric battery