Our Hyundai Ioniq 5 Is Missing This One Key Thing—Which Might Get Fixed Soon
Peering through the wispy roostertails kicked up behind the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N prototype as it rally-ripped over a frozen lake, a minor detail got me way more excited than it should have. No, not the sporty EV’s Pirelli-shod 21-inch wheels, or the big brakes behind them. Rather, it’s what’s at the base of the rear windshield—a wiper.
At the desert proving grounds we use for MotorTrend SUV of the Year evaluations, precipitation is as rare as a Czinger 21C. As such, myself and other judges perhaps didn’t fully consider the absent rear windshield wiper when we awarded the Ioniq 5 our Golden Calipers.
But in the time I’ve been living with the Ioniq 5 as my long-term review vehicle, California has seen record-breaking rain—and subsequently, I’ve seen troublingly little out of the electric crossover’s rear windshield.
Water sticks like glue to the Ioniq 5’s rearmost glass, and basically nothing but elbow grease or beaming sunshine clears it off. Even at highway speeds, droplets collected there sit unperturbed, obstructing visibility. Just check out these photos.
It’s an unfortunate outcome of how aerodynamically efficient (drag coefficient 0.28) Hyundai made the Ioniq 5. The spoiler separates airflow very well, minimizing drag-increasing vortices that would otherwise swirl around the rear. Such vortices could reduce the Ioniq 5’s driving range, but also add practical benefits—like blowing collected water off the rear windshield.
Hyundai told us that aesthetic preferences and expected real-world airflow performance were factors in not installing a rear wiper in the first place. But after additional research and customer feedback, the automaker recognized how this hardware could enhance safety and the overall driving experience.
If or when a rear wiper will become available, or come to the North American market at all, is still unclear as the view behind on a wet day. I bet it’ll be added as part of a future model year update, potentially as soon as 2024 if the Ioniq 5 N is any indication. Whatever tiny range penalty it might result in would be worth it. Regardless, that powerful prototype reveals that our favorite electric SUV is about to get even better—its nearly 600 hp is simply a bonus.
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