2019 BMW i3 vs. 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Electric

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The i3 has standard Park Distance Control to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or, optionally, in front of the vehicle. The Ioniq Electric doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

Both the i3 and the Ioniq Electric have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available crash mitigating brakes.

Warranty

The i3’s corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the Ioniq Electric’s (12 vs. 7 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the i3 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Hyundai doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Ioniq Electric.

Reliability

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Hyundai vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 2 places higher in reliability than Hyundai.

Engine

The i3 REx’s standard electric motor produces 52 more horsepower (170 vs. 118) than the Ioniq Electric’s electric motor. The i3s REx’s standard electric motor produces 63 more horsepower (181 vs. 118) than the Ioniq Electric’s electric motor. The i3s’ standard electric motor produces 66 more horsepower (184 vs. 118) than the Ioniq Electric’s electric motor.

Fuel Economy and Range

The i3 REx’s maximum driving range in pure electric mode is 126 miles, 2 miles further than the Ioniq Electric’s 124-mile range. After it exhausts its pure electric range, the i3 REx can then continue for 71 more miles on its internal combustion engine, while the Ioniq Electric has to recharge for 23 minutes for only an 80% charge at a specially configured quick charge station not available in most areas. A full recharge at a conventional charging station can take up to 4 hours and 25 minutes.

Brakes and Stopping

The i3’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Ioniq Electric are solid, not vented.

The i3 stops much shorter than the Ioniq Electric:

 

i3

Ioniq Electric

 

70 to 0 MPH

163 feet

194 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

108 feet

129 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The i3s’ 195/50R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Ioniq Electric’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the i3 has standard 19-inch wheels. Only 16-inch wheels are available on the Ioniq Electric. The i3 offers optional 20-inch wheels.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the BMW i3 has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Hyundai Ioniq Electric has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The i3 handles at .80 G’s, while the Ioniq Electric pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the i3’s turning circle is 2.4 feet tighter than the Ioniq Electric’s (32.4 feet vs. 34.78 feet). The i3s’ turning circle is 1 feet tighter than the Ioniq Electric’s (33.8 feet vs. 34.78 feet).

Chassis

The BMW i3 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 200 pounds less than the Hyundai Ioniq Electric.

The i3s is 1 foot, 5.9 inches shorter than the Ioniq Electric, making the i3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that BMW service is better than Hyundai. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 43% lower rating, Hyundai is ranked 22nd.

Ergonomics

The i3’s front power windows open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Ioniq Electric’s standard passenger windows don’t open or close automatically. The Ioniq Electric’s optional windows’ rear windows don’t close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the i3 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Ioniq Electric can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The i3’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Ioniq Electric’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the i3 has a standard rear wiper. The Ioniq Electric doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

The i3 has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Ioniq Electric offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The i3’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Ioniq Electric doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the BMW i3, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the i3 third among small premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Ioniq Electric isn’t in the top three.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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