Review: 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Limited - Two Decades Late But Right On Time

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid red
If you wanted to drive green, greener than Kermit, greener than Ireland, but you didn't want to suffer range anxiety or even plug in, there was nothing greener than the Toyota Prius. 

THE GOOD
+ It's normal

+ Ultra-efficient city commute
+ Straightforward interior
+ Largely inoffensive manners
+ Big cargo area
THE BAD
– DCT not tuned perfectly
– Rear visibility
– Snug rear seat
– Choppy ride, soft responses?
– Niro? Elantra?
Was being the operative word.The 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid is now the most fuel efficient gas-powered car on sale in North America now. 

The Prius's reign has ended.

Or has it? The Hyundai Ioniq may be more efficient than the Prius – it wasn't while in our care. The Ioniq may be better than the Prius overall, as well, though that depends on your priorities.

But the Prius's reign in the marketplace may not be interrupted by a Korean upstart. Remember the Honda Insight? Honda tried and failed. The Insight is dead. 

Prius is as synonymous with hybrid as band-aids are with, well, band-aids; as googling is with Google. 

Does the Hyundai Ioniq have what it takes to be a successful interloper? Or will this all-new Hyundai be consigned to the Honda Insight's fate, which was killed off by the Prius after a brief five-year run?

Detroit's Car Sales Are Plunging

2017 Chevrolet Malibu
Car sales are falling. This much you know.

Through the first one-sixth of 2017, U.S. car volume fell by more than 130,000 units compared with the first one-sixth of 2016, a 13% year-over-year decline. Cars own just 36% of the overall American new vehicle market so far this year, down from 41% a year ago, and well below the 42% of the market owned by SUVs and crossovers.




But the decline of the car market is keenly felt by the traditional Detroit Three: General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles; the latter not so traditionally Detroit after all. Together, those three automakers have seen their car sales plunge 23% so far this year. GM, Ford MoCo, and FCA account for 72,559 of the 130,000 lost car sales across the industry. And this through just two months. 

Small And Midsize Luxury SUV Sales In Canada - February 2017

2017 Porsche Macan Turbo Performance Package
With premium brands earning an inordinate percentage of Canadian auto industry market share in the early part of 2017, it's no surprise to see luxury SUVs and crossovers earning an especially healthy part of that growth.

Subcompact luxury utility vehicles jumped 29% through the first two months of 2017, led by double-digit percentage increases from the BMW X1 and top-selling Mercedes-Benz GLA. 


Canada Vehicle Sales Rankings By Model - February 2017 YTD
Canada SUV/Crossover Sales By Model - February 2017 YTD


Up a notch in size and price, compact luxury utility vehicles jumped 25%, year-over-year, propelled by surges from the Acura RDX, Audi Q5, BMW X3, Lexus NX, Mercedes-Benz GLC, and Porsche Macan. Collectively, compact premium utility vehicles are up by nearly 1300 units this year.

Large Luxury SUV Sales In Canada - February 2017

2017 Infiniti QX80 blue
Canadian sales of full-size flagship luxury SUVs jumped 24% in February 2017 on the strength of the Land Rover Range Rover, Lexus LX570, and top-selling Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class.


Canada Vehicle Sales Rankings By Model - February 2017 YTD
Canada SUV/Crossover Sales By Model - February 2017 YTD


Sales of the class-leading Mercedes-Benz jumped above 200 units for the fourth time in six months, surging 73%, year-over-year, after failing to match January 2016's pace at the start of this year.

Small SUV Sales In Canada - February 2017

2017 Honda CR-V red front
Canadian sales of compact SUVs/crossovers jumped 15% in the first one-sixth of 2017, led by huge double-digit gains from the Chevrolet Equinox, Dodge Journey, GMC Terrain, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-5, Mitsubishi Outlander, and the Nissan Rogue. 


Canada Vehicle Sales Rankings By Model - February 2017 YTD
Canada SUV/Crossover Sales By Model - February 2017 YTD


The Honda CR-V, Canada's top-selling utility vehicle in the first two months of 2017, has already produced more than 6000 sales in 2017. The CR-V, Nissan Rogue, and Toyota RAV4 are all on track for record sales years.

Midsize SUV Sales In Canada - February 2017

The majority of mainstream three-row crossovers posted meaningful Canadian sales gains in February 2017, with the class-leading Ford Explorer juping 41% and gains of ore than 30% reported by the Chevrolet Traverse, Dodge Durango, Ford Flex, and Mazda CX-9.


Canada Vehicle Sales Rankings By Model - February 2017 YTD
Canada SUV/Crossover Sales By Model - February 2017 YTD


Down a semi-notch in size and price, the two-row Hyundai Santa Fe Sport tumbled 15% and Ford Edge sales slid 21%. Aside from January, when Santa Fe Sport sales dipped below 1000 units for the first time since December 2011, the 1222-unit performance from the Hyundai was its worst performance in the same time period. 

For the Ford Edge, attracting only 944 buyers in February represented a 14-month low.

GoodCarBadCar Celebrates 10 Years

We want to thank you.

GoodCarBadCar does not exist because automakers send us their monthly sales breakdown on the first of each month.

GoodCarBadCar does not exist because automakers send us a car to review each week.

GoodCarBadCar does not exist because we're a bastion of high-tech sales reporting prowess, the likes of which has never been seen before nor will ever be seen again.

GoodCarBadCar exists because of you, our enormously valued audience.

With some surprise, it dawned on us this week that some of you have been members of GoodCarBadCar's audience for 10 years. 120 months. 520 weeks. 3657 days, as of today. 

This week marks our aluminum anniversary: 10 years of GoodCarBadCar.

Thank you.

Sporty Car Sales In Canada - February 2017

2017 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R
Canadian sales of American muscle cars jumped 25% in February 2017 and are up 30% so far this year. 

While the same trio of cars – Chevrolet Camaro, better-selling Dodge Challenger, top-selling Ford Mustang – are down 22% in the United States through 2017's first two months, year-over-year, thanks to declines from each model, Canadian sales of each model are on the upswing.


Canada Vehicle Sales Rankings By Model - February 2017 YTD
Canada Car Sales By Model - February 2017 YTD


However, January and February are the weakest months on the auto sales calendar across the industry, and they are particularly weak months for rear-wheel-drive pony cars. Ford, for instance, generated only 7% of its annual Mustang sales in 2016 out of the first two months of the year; 48% of annual Mustang volume in Q2.