One-Day Drive

First Drive Review: 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid combines premium materials with efficiency, low price

Hyundai has refreshed the Ioniq for the 2020 model year.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor North America

New face, same name. If it weren't for its quirky backside, the refreshed 2020 Hyundai Ioniq may not be instantly recognizable to the masses, especially if they were sitting inside. The world's first car designed from the start to offer three electrified powertrains has gotten enough upgrades to make it truly begin to be taken seriously.

That all starts with the Ioniq Hybrid. The hybrid model is the most traditional of the car's three powertrain options (others being the plug-in hybrid electric and all-electric). It gets its power from a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that is paired with an electric motor and a six-speed dual-clutch transmission.

2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid The Ioniq Hybrid has enough power to take on daily driving situations with ease.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor North America

Despite having just 104 horsepower and a maximum of 125 pound-feet of torque. The Ioniq is surprisingly zippy in around-town driving situations. This is helped by the immediate availability of the car's power. This isn't always the case in small cars where automakers are using turbocharged engines with significant lag times to achieve fuel efficiency. The car also has unobtrusive regenerative braking.

Hyundai's Ioniq Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 58 mpg combined. That's a touch higher than what the 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid gets.

The auto is only offered in front-wheel drive.

2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid The car has received significant upgrades to its fascia for the 2020 model year.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor NorthAmerica

For the 2020 model year, the car has gotten new front and rear fascias. There's new sill and wheel designs as well as upgraded headlights. The result is an aesthetic that is less yawn-inducing than it was in the past.

The real story is the Ioniq Hybrid's interior. Gone are the cheap-looking appointments and in their place is the high-quality materials Hyundai put in its other vehicles paired with excellent fit and finish. Its cupholders are still a sore point, but that's nit picking a bit.

In the tester was Hyundai's new 10.25-inch infotainment touch screen. The high-definition screen features the automaker's most recent operating system iteration that is captained by the driver's touch. The system is responsive and easy to use whether you're tuning the radio or setting up an address in the navigation system. Navigation prompts and mapping are easy to follow on the screen.

2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid touchs creen The top-tier IONIQ Hybrid comes standard with a 10.25-inch infotainment touch screen. An 8-inch screen in standard in the IONIQ Hybrid base model.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor North America

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard.

Each new Ioniq comes loaded with a long list of standard safety technology including lane keeping assist, high beam assist, and forward collision avoidance assist. A host of additional available new driver assist technologies bring the car up to par with the more premium offerings in its class.

Pricing for the 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid starts at $23,000. The Limited trim level tested is a top-tier model that comes in at $31,000.

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Research and development

Ford names site for battery development facility

Ford's new facility will house battery research and development.

Ford

Ford is in the news again for its electrification efforts, this time with the confirmation of a Michigan location for a new battery research and development facility in Romulus, Michigan. The facility may eventually help Ford in-source much of its EV supply chain, a shift that could prevent or mitigate the challenges presented by parts and technology shortages.

As part of its electrification initiative, the automaker plans to build a new research and development facility, called Ford Ion Park. The facility will house new tech research, pilot programs for new manufacturing techniques, and will help give Ford more control over its supply chain.


Ford Ion Park Once complete, the facility will initially house 200 engineers.Ford


The price tag for the new facility and related efforts lands at $185 million, which sounds like chump change for a global automaker until we consider that Ford has committed $30 billion to electrification by 2025. The automaker says that its new facility renews its dedication to Michigan as its home base for EV development, a promise it originally made back in 2010. The company's new electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck will be built in Dearborn, which will add 500 jobs. An additional 225 jobs will be retained at Ford's Dyke Electric Powertrain Center.

As part of Phase One of the project, Ford plans to hire 200 engineers within 18 months of the 270,000-square-foot facility's opening. Ironically, the site was previously owned by A123 Systems, a battery manufacturer that closed the facility in 2017 due to low demand for batteries.


Ford Ion Park Ford has committed $185 million to the new facility and related efforts.Ford

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Discontinued sedan

Volkswagen nixing Passat after 2022 model year

Racing Green Metallic is one of four exclusive colors for the car.

Volkswagen

After five decades on sale in the U.S., Volkswagen is pulling the plug on the midsize Passat. The explosion of SUVs' popularity and the need to shift production power to electric vehicles are behind the decision, which will take place after the 2022 model year. The cars have been built at the automaker's Chattanooga, TN plant since 2011, but the facility is being repurposed as VW's North American hub for electric vehicle assembly.

Volkswagen is giving the car one last hurrah, however, in the form of the Passat Limited Edition. The car features 18-inch wheels, LED headlights with an Advanced Front Lighting System, and an easy-open trunk. Inside, the cars come with sport seats wrapped in Vienna leather, memory seating, a Fender Premium Audio System, parking assistance, and parking sensors.


2022 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition Each car gets a special model tag with its limited production number.Volkswagen


Only 1,973 of the cars will be built, and it will only be sold in four colors, each with its own limited production numbers that have special meaning for the Passat:

  • Aurora Red Metallic with Titan Black interior: 411 units to represent the original vehicle production code
  • Racing Green Metallic with Mauro Brown interior: 423 units to commemorate the Chattanooga 423 area code
  • Pure white with Mauro Brown interior: 524 units to signify the Chattanooga plant's May 24 opening date
  • Platinum Great Metallic with Titan Black interior: 615 units to signify six generations of imported Passats, one generation assembled in Chattanooga, and five decades of U.S. sales

Pricing for the 2022 Passat starts at $31,290, which includes a $995 destination fee. Adding Aurora Red Metallic drives the price up by an additional $395. Each car will receive a special number plate to designate its place in the limited production run.


2022 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition The Passat Limited Edition gets several upscale features. Volkswagen

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