Hey there hoons, I’m back, and I’m kicking off a host of new vehicle reviews with a good one! The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is new to the EV scene with an attractive hatchback body style and competitive pricing. As the title implies, its also quite good. Not just “good for an EV”, it’s just good, perhaps great even. Gas prices are pretty crazy right now, so it’s no surprise that EVs are becoming even increasingly popular. I’ll run you through it’s idiosyncrasies and attributes to see if it might be the right new EV for you.
The Ioniq follows Kia’s typical set of trim levels with the base SE starting at $44,000, the mid-level SEL coming in $2,250 more, and the top spec Limited hitting $51,100. That’s all before any government subsidies (it is currently eligible for the $7,500 tax credit) and represents a pretty solid starting point for those looking to get into EV life.
Of note, Hyundai has an “SE Standard Range” in the works that will have a 220 mile range and costs just $39,700.
The Ioniq 5 is massively important for Hyundai, it’s the first purpose built EV built off of their Electric Global Modular Platform (e-GMP). Hyundai dropped off a Limited trim painted in Lucid Blue (not sure why the sticker below says it’s black, but you get the idea) and like most top-spec Hyundai’s, its pretty much everything included already. There are half a dozen colors for the exterior and two interior options. From there, you can add AWD ($3,900) and that’s…about it.
All in you’re looking at $55,000 for a loaded Ioniq 5.
I made a lot of notes about living with the Ioniq 5 over the week it grace my driveway. So let’s get at it.
We are still in a phase where EVs need to be a little weird, a little different. Think “early hybrid” era where automakers wanted to flaunt their new engineering capabilities with exterior accoutrement and accents that were almost always the exact same shade of blue. We’re firmly in that realm with almost every new purpose-built EV, and the Ioniq 5 is no different. It’s futuristic and somehow retro at the same time.
It’s a good looking thing, full of cool (if a bit oddball) touches. I’m sure you’ve noticed, but the sawblade-style wheels face different directions. Or the same direction depending on how you look at it. The “spokes” angle forward on the passenger side and backwards on the driver’s side (think of it like forward slash / vs. back slash \).
The lines are sharp on every part of the car. From the V-shaped front bumper, to the trapezoidal accents across the side, and the “parametric” pixel rear end, it’s all straight lines and geometric shapes. I love the rectangle headlight surrounds, it’s all massively cool.
The interior is just as quirky as the exterior, with tons of fun materials and a fairly intuitive layout. Hyundai decided to avoid the big portrait layout screen and do two large landscape screens. Specifically you get a 12.3″ LCD gauge cluster with “EV Tech Display” and a partner 12.3″ wide touchscreen next to it. Yeah, it would have been cool if the two screens were one single screen, but that little off-white bit in the middle probably saved Hyundai a ton of money.
From a tech-perspective, it’s comparable to most other new Hyundai/Kia/Genesis products. You’ll get the usual Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity and Hyundai’s Blue Link connected system which let’s you do a bunch of stuff from your phone. Speaking of making cars into smartphones, the Ioniq 5 has more actual buttons than a lot of new electric vehicles. I still had to poke around in the menu to find seat heaters and steering wheel heater though. As usual, I love the turn signal cameras integrated into the dash, blind spots be gone!
Initially the dash setup was really bright at night, had to adjust so it wasn’t so distracting. My wife thought that the Heads Up Display (HUD) was distracting as well. I was able to lower it in back down to a more reasonable level in the settings. Hyundai notes that the HUD has an “augmented reality” function. Like other vehicles of theirs, it will let you know when the car ahead of you is pulling away. I call it the “don’t be an asshole, put your phone down and go” feature. In the Ioniq 5 it overlays an image of a car pulling away on the windshield. Apparently it will also project navigation directions up there as well.
The interior is very comfortable, the seats in-particular are great, with just enough bolstering and very adjustable. I love all the extra storage space up front. I like the flat bottom steering wheel, very stylish and easy to use. Not sure what’s going on with the leg extension area in the front, that makes more sense for the rear.
Not much in the way of criticisms on the inside. As usual, Apple CarPlay is almost impossible to get out of once you’re in, since there is no “home” button on the touchscreen. So, you have to press a real button somewhere on the dash to get out of it.
You’ll get 27.2 cubic feet of space behind the rear seat and a grand total of 60.2 cubic feet with the seats folded. Plenty for most day-to-day chores and more than enough for our trip to hockey practice for my youngest.
Until the Standard Range SE version arrives, all Ioniq 5s have the same range, 303 miles. I can say from a few months of EV ownership, that’s plenty for almost every day-to-day situation. The charging port is in the back, which is fine, it just means backing in to some charging stations. When charging activates an externally facing voice booms “CHARGING STARTED” which was pretty obnoxious. Perhaps it was objecting to the lazy writer using the “FORD” labeled charge cord? The charging flap locks when you lock the doors, so make sure you’ve got the cord plugged in before you hit the lock button.
It’s quick too, most of the mags have tested the AWD version around five-seconds to 60 mph. That’s thanks to the 74 kW + 165 kW (320 HP) AWD electric powertrain that delivers an impressive 446 lb-ft. of torque. It’s even got paddle shifters which is a bit odd, but it’s supposed to let you adjust the level of regenerative braking.
Oddly enough in such a tech-focused car, the drive mode actually seems to change something. In a lot of cars, the modes do very little of significance, but the Ioniq 5 felt faster in the sportier mode. I also like that it shows the potential range decrease so you know you’re paying a penalty for hooning. Don’t worry though, you’ll get the full suite of Hyundai SmartSense driver aids to help things from going too sideways.
Criticisms on this end were minimal as well. I did not like the gear change on the stalk, and while I might get used to it as an owner, it’s just not very intuitive. The rear seatbelt design means that they vibrate almost all the time when not clicked in and make a cacophony of noises when the windows are open.
My very first note as I was leaving my driveway was “my 2021 Mustang Mach-E felt like it was from the future, this feels like it’s from another century”. For some reason, the futuristic aspect of the Ioniq 5 is even more present than on the Mach-E. The outside of the Hyundai is attractive but modern, and the interior emulates the same concepts all while using sustainable materials. From a dimensions perspective, the Ioniq 5 looks smaller than my car, but is only three-inches smaller in length and actually bit wider and has a slightly longer wheelbase.
Pricing is where Hyundai is going to make the biggest splash. With automakers trying to get down to that magic $35,000 sticker price, the new standard range is going to sell quickly at under $40,000. This segment is going to get massively competitive with more and more entrants in the segment. This $55,000 Limited version is $4,000 more than my Mach-E Premium but gets you every option. It’s a heck of a car.
I actually drove the Ioniq 5, my Mach-E and this Toyota bZ4X back to back. Would a direct comparison be something you’d be interested in?