The Hyundai Ioniq 5 has broken the rules. It has more than 300 miles of range, can reach an 80-percent charge within 18 minutes, goes from zero to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds, features machine-learning advanced driver assistance, has an impressive (and maybe infuriating) design, offers luxury car-level connectivity, and [catching my breath] is mass-market affordable. Uh, since when are EVs all of these things? Since this week, apparently.
Given its impressive claimed specifications and attention-grabbing styling, we worried the Ioniq 5 might be a bit too expensive for most folks, but that all changed after we saw the price – InsideEVs covers the “Hyundai vs. the world” breakdown here. Starting at $40,925 (including $1,225 destination fee), the Ioniq 5 is priced right in the heart of today’s average new-car transaction price, and it also qualifies for federal EV rebates. But a reasonable price can only go so far if the car it’s attached to feels like a bargain-bin throwaway. Luckily, that’s not the case here.
Gallery: 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5: First Drive
Same Name, New Game
First of all, the Ioniq 5 is not the next-generation Ioniq. Not exactly, anyway. The Hyundai Ioniq debuted in 2016, and was significant because it was the first vehicle to come in three electrified variants: conventional hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric. But Hyundai dropped the EV variant from its 2022 lineup to accommodate the creation of a dedicated Ioniq sub-brand. And the Ioniq 5 is the first model of this new standalone EV group.
Two more EVs will arrive by 2024 and all Ioniq models will be given a numeric name. Even numbers signify sedans while odd ones will be reserved for utility vehicles. Hence, the Ioniq 5 is a crossover. What will follow in short order is the Ioniq 6 sedan and Ioniq 7 large SUV.
More than a name change, Ioniq represents Hyundai’s game plan to introduce nearly two dozen battery-electric vehicles as well as reach 1 million global BEV sales by 2025. And it all starts with a brand-new, EV-specific architecture, which Hyundai has dubbed the Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). The name is without flourishes because Hyundai isn’t messing around.
What’s In The Battery Box?
Central to the E-GMP formula is a modular lithium-ion battery architecture that can accommodate everything from short-range city cars to road trip-capable cruisers. The base Ioniq 5 SE Standard Range falls somewhere in the middle with its 58.0-kilowatt-hour battery, capable of 220 miles of range in its rear-drive-only application. However, every other trim comes with a larger 77.4-kWh power source, which can achieve 256 miles of range with all-wheel drive or a whopping 303 miles with rear-wheel drive. It’s not just sheer battery size that will help the Ioniq 5 appeal to EV newbies, though.
Make EVs charge faster and buyers will come, they say. Okay, how about recouping 68 miles in 5 minutes? Admittedly, this isn’t the equivalent to refueling a tank of gas, but if you’re already making a quick pit stop, why not juice up if you’re near a 350-kilowatt fast charger? If you can extend your bio break to 18 minutes total, you can charge up to 80 percent on the same fast charger.
With a fully depleted battery, we conducted a real-world test and the Ioniq 5 took 42 minutes and 52 seconds until its battery was full again. Again, no, it’s not as quick as a traditional fill-up, but you also probably haven’t been to a Costco gas station lately.
Nevertheless, if you have the time to spare, you’ll also have the money. Hyundai has partnered with Electrify America to offer unlimited 30-minute fast-charging sessions for two years to owners of the Ioniq plug-in hybrid, Kona electric, and now the Ioniq 5 EV. This is not small potatoes since Electrify America has a network of more than 700 stations and plans to have more than 3,500 ultra-fast chargers online or in development by the end of the year.
Make EVs charge faster and buyers will come, they say. Okay, how about recouping 68 miles in 5 minutes?
You won’t have to splurge on the higher trim levels either since all Ioniq 5 models, even the base SE Standard Range, can support both 400- and 800-volt charging capabilities – no adapters required. Not only does the Ioniq 5 feature a high-voltage battery for that extended range, but it’s also future-proofed for when charging stations level up. If plugging in at home, the Ioniq 5 will reach 100 percent battery capacity in less than 7 hours with Level 2 charging.
Once you unplug and get on the road, you’ll find the Ioniq 5 to be capable and confident. The Ioniq 5 is available in SE Standard Range, SE, SEL, and Limited trim levels. The base model is equipped with a single 125-kW rear-mounted electric motor that is good for 168 horsepower and that aforementioned 220 miles of range.
Opt for the extended-range battery and rear-drive vehicles receive a 225-hp rear motor, while all-wheel-drive variants feature a dual-motor system with 99 hp up front and 221 hp in the rear – for a total of 320. The rear-drive model also has 258 pound-feet of instant torque, while the dual-motor version gets a total of 446 lb-ft in exchange for its 47 fewer miles of range.
My test vehicle was an Ioniq 5 Limited AWD. Pricing hadn’t been announced during my time with it, but from what I gathered and based on the now-available pricing sheet, the vehicle was fully loaded. The Ioniq 5 doesn’t have options packages. If you want a particular feature, pay for the particular trim it’s available on. My Digital Teal tester did have a la carte accessories added like carpeted floor mats and a cargo cover, neither of which affect how it drives.
According to Hyundai, rear-wheel drive is standard simply because the configuration offers better driving dynamics. Maybe my dual-motor tester is the culprit, but I find that claim a bit hard to believe, only because the Ioniq 5 isn’t particularly exciting. The single-gear transmission operates as designed and the torque is instantaneous. The drive route was a well-plotted mix of road surfaces, speeds, angles, and elevation. And the Ioniq 5 was pleasant – if not very thrilling – to drive in all situations.
Even if the Ioniq 5 isn’t an elite sports figure, it can still manage a respectable pace without panting too hard.
There are four drive modes to choose from: Eco, Normal, Sport, and Snow. Sport, of course, offers the most fun and responsiveness, adjusting the front-rear torque split and the weight of the power steering assistance. The all-wheel-drive model handles with ease, and I didn’t notice much body roll. But does the Ioniq 5 elicit electrified sports car vibes like, say, the Polestar 2 or Porsche Taycan? Ha.
Those vehicles are athletes with performance-tuned mannerisms and 400-plus hp, but they do suffer from less range and, in the case of the Taycan, cost twice as much. Even if the Ioniq 5 isn’t an elite sports figure, it can still manage a respectable pace without panting too hard. But unless the road ahead is one worth diving into with fervor, ease up. Sport mode will invariably siphon the vehicle’s remaining range quicker than you can find a fast-charger station.
Safety Means Getting To Know You
When just going about your regular commute instead of attacking canyons, the Ioniq 5 is equipped with machine learning to, uh, get to know you better. This is standard, by the way, and part of the Hyundai Smartsense suite of advanced driver assistance. The Ioniq 5 is equipped with a high amount of standard safety and assistance tech. This includes expected features like blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, front and rear collision avoidance, etcetera. The bot comes in to play with the Hyundai Highway Drive Assist I (HDA feature), a Level 2 driver assist system.
When paired with the Blue Link app, which receives a redesign specific to the Ioniq 5, the vehicle will learn your driving habits such as preferred following distance at certain speeds and amount of acceleration when passing. The data is updated daily so the more you drive and, I suppose, use adaptive cruise control, the closer you’ll become to your choice of Autobot or Decepticon.
The data is updated daily so the more you drive and, I suppose, use adaptive cruise control, the closer you’ll become to your choice of Autobot or Decepticon.
I’m kidding but it is an interesting feature that, if operating under ideal conditions, will make long drives more comfortable and without “What is this car doing?!” surprises. None of the data transfers to another driver either because of its connection with an individual Blue Link account. But there is still room for improvement with the ADAS itself, particularly with the available HDA II, which offers hands-free lane changes.
Unless the road is straight and lanes clearly marked, the system (which draws on a front-facing camera, radar sensors, and navigation data) will hesitate in making a lane change or not change lanes at all. I noticed it most while crossing highway interchanges and bridges where different surface coloring is evident, due to the mix of materials like concrete and asphalt. HDA II also wasn’t a fan of changing lanes when the roadway started to curve pronouncedly. Other cars, like the much more expensive Mercedes-Benz EQS, handle the lane-change assist maneuver better and more reliably.
The forthcoming Ioniq lineup is all about adaptability and E-GMP makes it all the more flexible. Not only can the platform be applied to a range of vehicles but it can also utilize a longer wheelbase, which means more space and other unique features. The five-passenger Ioniq 5, for example, sits on a 118.1-inch wheelbase that is longer than the seven-seat Palisade’s (114.2 inches). It’s also 0.7 inches longer than the Ford Mustang Mach-E, 4.2 inches more than the Tesla Model Y, and 9.2 inches up on the Volkswagen ID.4.
With a clean, elongated slate, Hyundai design could recreate concept car-like proportions, giving the Ioniq 5 shorter overhangs with wheels at the corner. And if you say the designers took zero risk with shaping the Ioniq 5, I’d say you’re drunk. The Ioniq 5 looks like it’s a future product and not a current one, though its overall proportions do evoke Hyundai’s first product, the hatchback Pony of the 1970s. The vehicle does garner some looks – be they good or bad. Where some cars (EV or otherwise) exude sexy character lines and subtle design elements, the Ioniq 5 is a madman with restomod tendencies. Case in point: pixels.
The Ioniq 5 looks like it’s a future product and not a current one.
Little illuminated dots are everywhere on the Ioniq 5, their appearance slightly on this side of neat rather than nausea. But only slightly. The standard LED headlights and taillights and brake lights – basically, every exterior light fixture, including the integrated turn signals – are composed of tiny, squared-off LEDs. And if you think the headlights are simply large pixels, nope. They’re actually bitty ones combined to look like a big one. The inlays within the headlight casing are pixelated as well.
But the Ioniq 5 isn’t the only Hyundai to be pixel-obsessed. Recent corporate EV restomods, the Grandeur Heritage and Pony Heritage, also feature the 8-bit LED lighting. In fact, the Parametric Pixel–intensive styling of the Grandeur would make the Ioniq 5 blush. Hyundai’s electrified future will apparently be a modernized love letter to sealed-beam headlights.
Because it lacks the exterior’s lunacy, the Ioniq 5’s cabin feels sparse and dull.
But the Ioniq 5’s overall design theme doesn’t end with the dot-matrix lighting. You’ve got a blocky side profile sliced and diced with a few sharp diagonal character lines. There are five horizontal lines that make up the bottom side of the door panels and follow the vehicle’s shape all-around, appearing in the rear bumper and lower front fascia. The aerodynamic wheels showcase something completely different, featuring curvaceous slats that extend into the fender flares. Every time I looked at the Ioniq 5, I noticed something different. Or maybe the same thing from a different angle? After a while, I thought I was going slightly insane.
Interior design is the absolute opposite. It’s serene and quiet and, dare I say it, bland? Pixels do trickle in but not in the conquering array that befits the exterior. You find traces in the door inserts, on the steering wheel, and embedded within the seat upholstery. And that’s kind of it. And because it lacks the exterior’s lunacy, the Ioniq 5’s cabin feels sparse and dull, with not much in the way of visual interest.
But even if it lacks design distinction, there’s no shortage of storage space. The center tray has inserts to keep multiple phones separated and a spacious gap beneath the center armrest to accommodate large bags. Overall interior volume, which includes passenger and cargo measurements, is 133.7 cubic feet, more than what’s offered in the Mustang Mach-E and ID.4. When breaking down by compartment, the Ioniq 5 has a smaller trunk, but it more than makes up for it in passenger comfort. There’s also a frunk bin that, although teeny at 0.8 cubic feet, is still usable to hide items that would only roll around in the rear.
The design is airy, and in fact, it’s not hard to scootch from seat to seat, just like an old front bench. Like, go nuts and everybody exit from the front passenger door!
The minimalist dashboard features quick access to the navigation, media, audio, and climate controls. The rest of the interior is focused on creating a calming environment, or what Hyundai calls a “Living Space.” On the Limited trims, there is a genuine “relaxation” setting that reclines the driver’s seatback and deploys footrests to create a supine resting position. Relaxation mode won’t work if a rear passenger is buckled in – if not however, it’s a great way to use those 18 minutes of fast-charge time to catch some quick ZZZs.
That long wheelbase also makes for plenty of room for toes and trinkets. And the clever center console is designed as a floating island and can be moved fore and aft by as much as 5.5 inches, with a large gap between it and the dashboard. The design is airy, and in fact, it’s not hard to scootch from seat to seat, just like an old front bench. Like, go nuts and everybody exit from the front passenger door!
A Bright E-GMP Future
The Hyundai Ioniq 5 isn’t perfect, given its bland driving dynamics, overly restrained interior styling, and sometimes confused lane-change assistance, but as the automaker’s debut model for its new EV sub-brand, the vehicle offers more than expected in technology, capability, utility, and amenities. What’s more, the new E-GMP platform won’t be brand-exclusive – Genesis and Kia will both have access to it for their electrified offerings, and each automaker claims they’ll make their products distinctive and unique.
As the first dedicated EV offering from Hyundai, the Ioniq 5 isn’t quite the standard that other EVs should follow. Yes, it’s a mass-market crossover but who says driving dynamics have to be a dud? The Ioniq 5 certainly handles well and won’t disappoint the average consumer. But when looking at the effort Hyundai put into battery tech, connectivity, and design, why not go the extra mile with performance? Nevertheless, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 does impress and sets the precedent for what’s to come from the electric sub-brand in the future. And we’re looking forward to it.
Ioniq 5 Competitor Reviews:
- Chevrolet Bolt EUV: Not Rated
- Ford Mustang Mach-E: 9.1/10
- Kia EV6: Not Rated
- Nissan Ariya: Not Rated
- Subaru Solterra: Not Rated
- Tesla Model Y: Not Rated
- Toyota BZ4X: Not Rated
- Volkswagen ID.4: 8.8/10
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