When I first tested the all-electric Hyundai Ioniq fastback saloon more than three years ago, I suffered from range anxiety during a trip from Dublin to stay at the Brooklodge Hotel in deepest Wicklow.
Luckily, when we arrived the hotel had two charging points, so we rested easily and headed home with a full charge.
The electric Ioniq has now been refreshed and the battery charge has been extended to around 300km, which is still a lot below the 450km of the Kona, Hyundai’s massively popular compact SUV/Crossover, but is of the level that removes range anxiety and makes EV driving a realistic proposition.
The well-equipped Ioniq is also considerably cheaper than the Kona, coming in at €34,850 after all grants have been factored in but before delivery and metallic paint.
This is around €4,000 under where the Kona begins.
For people who want to eschew the SUV trend, the Ioniq makes good sense as a rather stylish fastback saloon.
It drives well even if it doesn’t have the power and speed of the Kona.
There’s plenty of space up front; however, tall people will suffer in the back as a result of the sloping roof.
There’s a very long list of standard spec with the Ioniq, from heated seats and steering wheel, electric driver’s seat adjustments to being told when the vehicle in front is moving off.
The safety equipment is especially good, but there is the dreaded “tyre mobility kit” as the battery takes the space where the spare should be.
I hope designers will get better at finding space for that spare.
I didn’t like the rear spoiler splitting the view out the back, especially as the lower glass got very dirty quickly.
However, that is a relatively minor quibble.
One of the main selling points of EVs is the massive savings in benefit-in-kind when they are bought for employees or company use.
The Hyundai website does all the sums – for example someone on €60,000 with an Ioniq doing 24,000km yearly would have tax savings between employee and employer of €7,516, which equates to a pay rise of €12,785 a year.
There will also be fuel savings of around €1,400 and tolls of €500.
The Ioniq is a good car, but there are a lot of new EVs coming in the next two years and it will face many challengers. However, it is hard to beat those tax savings.
Our first motoring supplement of 2020 will be published next week.
Edited by Geraldine Herbert, it looks at 20 electric cars coming our way. Also before the General Election: where do the parties stand on motoring issues?
There are also five estate cars for a growing family and we speak to those people who get up early in the morning to spend many hours commuting.