By Daryl Killian

High mileage….ample space….a strong warranty….and more.


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Yes…..if 57 – 60+ MPG’s….real room for five…..and an “almost forever” warranty are important to you….keep reading.


If you’re not familiar with Hyundai’s IONIQ, don’t feel bad.    It’s only been on the market here in the US for less than a year.    The IONIQ is Hyundai’s “All-Green” model….available only as a hybrid with 4-cylinder help…or a pure-electric plug-in.


The hybrid starts in the low $20’s while the plug-in starts a bit under $30,000.


In hybrid form, you get 139 HP and an EPA rating of 57 city and 59 highway.

In a weeks’ worth of commuting, I had a hard time getting less than 59….with occasional stretches of up to 65 MPG….without really trying all that hard.


And somewhat unusual for a hybrid, that 139 HP flows through a dual-clutch 6-speed automatic instead of the continuously-variable transmissions that so many others use… you a little more “feel” when passing.


You’ve got three trim levels to choose from with the IONIQ.    “Blue” ( which, yes,  comes in colors other than blue ), “SEL”, and “Limited”.


Even the standard “Blue” version comes with hands-free Apple Car-Play and android “Auto”, push-button start, and a back-up camera.


But perhaps the biggest “extra” that’s standard with all IONIQs is their lifetime hybrid battery warranty.   While not transferrable, as long as YOU own your IONIQ, Hyundai will replace ( and recycle ) your battery if it ever fails.


Of course, the IONIQ also has Hyundai’s 10-year, 100,000 mile powertrain limited warranty with 24/7 roadside assistance….which includes towing, overnight accommodations if necessary, flat tires….even running out of gas.

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And  how ‘bout those “Betcha’ didn’t know” little surprises that we’ve come to expect with hybrids?   Hyundai doesn’t disappoint with recycled plastics used in the interior, but they also add a bit of volcanic ash….to “add lightness”… an old race-car designer once said.    And your fabric trim is 25% renewable sugar cane.   Yes….sugar cane.     Who knew?


Your standard “Blue” version is quite liveable as is….and gives you a huge 26.5  of behind-the-seats storage.


As you option-it-up to just under 30K, you’d add all the features and drivers’ alerts that you’d expect…..and a few that you probably wouldn’t expect…or even think of.


“Bend-around-the-corner” headlights (usually found on much more expensive vehicles ) are available, as is three years of complimentary “Blue Link”….giving you remote start and automatic emergency assistance if needed.


But an unexpected extra that Hyundai makes available is something they call “music restoration”….a feature available on their audio upgrade.    The short explanation is that this will restore sounds that are lost with the compression that takes place with most of today’s digital audio systems.


So…..with league-leading mileage, hatchback utility with room for five….and a lifetime battery warranty….what’s the downside to Hyundai’s new IONIQ Hybrid, you ask?


Simply this:   It doesn’t scream “GREEN”.    Even with its’ electric blue paint, which, actually, is becoming a bit of an industry-wide “hint” that there’s hybrid power under there.


The IONIQ, instead, looks pretty much like a “regular” modern five-door hatch.


Some folks need to let everyone else know what they’re up to…..that they’re “Green”.   If you, instead, simply value what the IONIQ delivers, and don’t mind travelling “under the radar”, you’ll want to give this car a good look.

(Bob Jackson – CBS Local)

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