Test Drove Ioniq and Niro Today

Discussion in 'Hyundai' started by Jay, Mar 18, 2017.

  1. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    The local Hyundai dealer finally got a white Ioniq SEL in today. The Kia dealer next door has had an LX and EX Niro in for several weeks. I wanted to drive the Niro LX, which is more comparable in price and features to the Ioniq SEL, but it was away on mall duty, so I drove the Niro EX instead.

    I saw the Ioniq first. My first impression was that it was more attractive in person than in the photos. The Niro, in contrast, was much uglier in person. The interior of the Ioniq SEL was cheaper looking and less detailed than the Niro EX or LX. Missing from the Ioniq was the compartmentalized tray under the cargo floor that leveled the cargo floor with the rear seats when folded forward. This made the Ioniq look even cheaper. I found the seating position in the Ioniq very comfortable with fairly good under-thigh support for my 6'3" height and 36" inseam. The Niro was even better in this respect with slightly better ingress/egress and my feet were more beneath me in the Niro. The straight backward view was OK in both Niro and Ioniq but rear 3/4 quadrant visibility was very poor in the Ioniq. Overall, the Niro had somewhat better visibility and driver comfort than the Ioniq. Front-seat headroom was good in both, rear-seat headroom was substantially better in the Niro, of course.

    Underway in the Ioniq, the overwhelming impression I had was sluggishness. Throttle response was terrible and I just couldn't get the car to move even though I was using quite a bit of throttle. The Ioniq is the slowest, most unresponsive car I have ever driven. It was much more gutless than my sister's hybrid Sonata. On the other hand, after my 15-minute test drive, which included a short 55mph stretch and mostly around-town roads, I finished with 74 mpg which I was very pleased with.

    I test drove the Niro immediately afterward. It did not feel as sluggish as the Ioniq, but it was pretty gutless nonetheless. I may have been more acclimated to the drive train after the Ioniq drive. The Niro felt like a much shorter car than the Ioniq. It is only 5" shorter but it felt more like 2 feet shorter. I liked the driving feel of the Niro a lot. I drove the same route as the Ioniq and I tried hard to determine if the engine ran more or less often in the Niro vs the Ioniq, but I was unable. Chalk it up to my inexperience with the gauges. I finished the route with 62mpg in the Niro. The salesman insisted on having the AC blowing like a hurricane in the Niro so it wasn't quite an apples-to-apples comparison. I was very pleased with my FE in both and I was just driving normally--no special hypermiling techniques.

    The biggest surprise in my test drive was that I liked the gauges much more in the Niro. They were brighter, more attractive, and easier to read than the Ioniq. The photos that I had seen indicated otherwise. I did like that I could pop the gear shift lever over and see a tach in the Ioniq. There is no such feature in the Niro.

    Conclusion: Before the drive I felt that the Niro and Ioniq were about equal and that I could be happy with either. After the drive--I have the same feeling.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
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  2. alster

    alster Well-Known Member

    Thanks Jay. There does not seem to be any real world mpg figures on the Ioniq or Niro. Looks like both are 50 mpg capable vehicles. I was concerned that the Ioniq Blue, which is the one that EPA's out at 58 mpg combined, that the Hyundai engineers, when it came to stated official fuel economy figures, may have had their thumb on the scale. Soon as we get a chance I will test drive the Ioniq blue model, and see if that is the one to replace our 2010 Prius which has been a trouble free car for well over 152,000 miles and nearly 8 years....
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  3. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    The EU has had the Ioniq and Niro since Oct. of last year. There are a dozen or so drivers of each reporting on Fuelly. The sample size is too small to get a good average but most are getting US EPA numbers. Most of the commenters I read on the forums are happy with the economy.

    I felt like raw meat thrown into a lion's den at the Hyundai dealer. One salesman cornered me and took ownership of me while the other two looked resentfully on as we went for the test drive. Did I mention that I don't like the dealership "experience"? After the drive they all ganged up on me and forced me into a chair while they "worked the numbers". The numbers somehow included a $1500 charge for the $1000 tech package I wanted. C'mon guys. Internet anybody? The numbers also only offered $250 for my trade in. I would think that the scrap value of my perfectly good car with no problems would be worth $250.

    It was busy and chaotic at the Kia dealer. One young salesman asked me repeatedly who my salesman was. I had been by 3 weeks earlier just to look at the Niro and talked to one salesman briefly and couldn't remember his name. The young salesman was so fearful of poaching me that he spent 20 minutes running around trying to find the guy I talked to. Finally we went for a drive. They had the windshield all marked up with colorful paint which I didn't like at all. The salesman threw a plate on the dash which rattled loudly and distracted me continually. The salesman was "burning up" even though it was only 60F outside and immediately got the air going full blast. Between the paint and the rattling plate and the gale-force cold air blowing on me and the non-stop talking salesman I was pretty anxious to get the drive over with. Did I mention I don't like the "dealership" experience?
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  4. Blackbelt

    Blackbelt Well-Known Member

    Jay, I hear you on the "dealership experience". One thing i was happy about is that my brother works for a dealer and if i wanted a car he would go to the sales manager and get me the price and if i wanted to take the car home overnight to check it out i could do that. Unfortunately a local mega dealer bought the dealership he works for, and they won't let him do that any more. Now i have to "come see a salesman" and sit through the torture. No thanks. I have my Prius C and the wife her smart, so i don't need a car now anyway.

    So what were you trying to trade that they offered you $250 for anyway?
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  5. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    my beloved 2002 base auto Acura RSX with 195kmi. It runs great, doesn't burn any oil, and everything works. I think I'll drive it another summer and see if prices soften for the Niro and Ioniq by Oct.
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  6. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    Good old Honda engines...

    I'm hoping the same, though I don't know if I'll be able to swing a purchase. My car needs are satisfactory/excellent for a few years more, while my wife will be getting a refreshed vehicle in November. Only thing is she loves her C-MAX except for the lack of a heated steering wheel, and the latter is hard to come by except in high-end trims. Niro Touring may not suit her or the pocket book, while I'd prefer the EX with all safety items added. I could even go for the Ioniq Blue if just for myself.
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  7. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    I did have to replace two injectors on my 89 Civic Si at 215K , but aside from that , the engine was untouched. Burned a tiny bit of oil ( 1/2 qt in 1.5 months ) near the end. The end came when the whole unibody and gas tank were rusted to bits at 14 yrs and 229K miles. Good ol' Honder engines.
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  8. Gord

    Gord Super Moderator Staff Member

    UK Ioniq seen at showroom today:


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