Hyundai Ioniq 5 review
The Hyundai Ioniq 5’s incredible retro styling really stands out, and it has a plush, comfortable interior that’s very spacious. Alternatives can go further on a charge, though
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The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is an electric family car that’s out to give the likes of the Volkswagen ID.4 and Ford Mustang Mach-e a bit of a bloody nose.
It’s a pretty stunning looking thing, isn’t it? It’s all squared-off lines and sharp angles. At a glance it looks like some sort of retro, video-game hatchback from the late ‘80s that’s been reimagined for modern times. But when you see it in the metal, you soon realise the Ioniq 5 is no mere hatchback. Oh no.
In reality, it’s actually the size of a regular family SUV. It’s a deceptively large car, this; but that means it’s got a tonne of space inside for passengers and luggage. And with a range of up to 300 miles, it’s got the legs to go the distance too.
Open up the doors and you’ll find that the cabin is just as stylish as the exterior. This doesn’t look or feel quite like any Hyundai we’ve ever driven before – it’s all swish, high-tech screens and plush, eco-friendly materials in here. If you think Hyundai can’t do a posh interior, then think again. Sure there are a couple of buttons around the place that still feel a bit plasticky, but compared with alternatives such as the ID.4 this Hyundai is in another league.
A healthy dose of function follows all that form, too. The driving position is decent enough, visibility is great and there’s a tonne of space in the second row for taller passengers. The 531-litre boot is a good size, too, although it’s not quite as vast as a Skoda Enyaq’s.
And as for battery packs and electric motors and all that gubbins? Well, you’ve got a choice between a 58kWh battery with a single electric motor; and a 72kWh battery with either one or two electric motors. Depending on which of those configurations you pick, you’ll end up with an Ioniq 5 with a claimed range of at least 238 miles, or up to 298 miles.
The dual-motor version’s performance is nice to have; but the 78kWh, single-motor version is cheaper to buy, and goes further on a charge. That’d be my pick.
We drove the full-fat, dual-motor 78kWh model. With 306hp and 605Nm on tap it’s certainly swift – the run from 0-60mph takes just 5.2sec – but because it has two motors to power instead of one, claimed range drops a bit to 285 miles. For that reason, we think the single motor version with the biggest battery will probably suit most peoples’ needs just fine – although alternatives such as the Ford and the Volkwagen both offer more range.
Light steering and good visibility makes the Ioniq 5 an easy-going car to mooch around town in, and a softer suspension set-up means it’s comfy both here and on the motorway. It can feel a little bit firm over bigger ruts and bumps, though.
All-wheel drive (thanks to those dual motors) means grip is good when you put your foot down, and four levels of regenerative braking allow you to choose just how forcefully the car slows itself when you lift off the accelerator. It’s not necessarily the most fun EV to drive on a twisty road, but it does feel secure and in control of itself at all times – and that’s arguably more important.
There’s a good deal of active safety systems here too, just for added peace of mind. All cars get lane-keep assist as standard, as well as adaptive cruise control too.
All-up, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 is a stylish, comfortable and practical electric SUV with competitive range that you’d do well to add to your shortlist.
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The Ioniq 5 packs has a stack of space for passengers, but its boot isn’t as big as those of some of its competitors
There’s really very little to complain about here. The front seats are impressively comfortable and supportive, and there’s stacks of room to stretch out.
It also has something called a ‘Universal Island’ centre console, too (standard on range-topping Ultimate models). This slides back and forth, and because there is a completely flat floor between the driver and the passenger it effectively allows them to easily get out of the car from the opposite side if it’s parked in a tight spot. Clever touch, that.
While our range-topping test car came with some plush-feeling leather upholstery, cloth seats are standard on the lower SE Connect and Premium models. The entry-level car also has to make do with manual seat adjustment, while the Premium and Ultimate models get varying levels of electric adjustment. Only the range-topper gets electric height adjustment.
As a result, it’s generally pretty easy to get comfortable behind the wheel. Our one gripe is that the steering column could do with a bit more in the way of reach adjustment, if only so you could set your seat slightly further back from the pedals. Hardly a deal-breaker, though.
And as for the back seats? Well, there’s tonnes of space back here: loads of headroom, and loads of legroom. Higher-spec models get control buttons on the front passenger seat too, which means you can slide it forward from the comfort of the back seats if you want.
Because the floor is totally flat, you can easily fit an adult in the middle seat too. Even taller adults sat here will still find there’s a good amount of space between the tops of their noggins and the roof lining, and that’s always a good thing.
The Isofix car seat anchors are easy to find too, and the back doors open up fairly wide – so loading in a car seat or strapping in an unruly toddler shouldn’t be more stressful than it needs to be.
The sliding ‘Universal Island’ centre console has a couple of good sized cup-holders, as well as some larger cubbies and trays for various odds and ends. The door bins are a bit on the small side though, so fitting in larger drink bottles and the like might take a bit of careful coordination.
In the second row, there are storage pockets on the front seat backs, where kids can keep things like books or, more realistically, iPads and other tech. Again, there are doorbins where you’ll be able to stash smaller drink bottles, and if you don’t have anyone sat in the middle row you can fold the armrest down to reveal two further cup holders. Handy.
With an electric motor at each end to contend with, the Ioniq 5’s boot isn’t quite as deep as you might like it to be. There’s very little space below the floor, but that’s more than made up for by all the room you’ve got above it.
Keep the back seats in place, and you’ll have 527 litres of luggage capacity to play with, which is more than enough room to easily swallow a few larger suitcases, if not quite as much space as you’ll get in a Volkswagen ID.4 or a Skoda Enyaq.
Still, the boot opening itself is nice and wide, and the load lip is extremely shallow – so loading and unloading should be a pretty stress-free job. This’ll be made even easier by the hands-free tailgate that comes as standard on Premium spec cars and above.
There’s a small luggage compartment under the bonnet too, where you should just have enough space to squeeze in the car’s charging cables.
The Ioniq 5 is comfortable and impressively refined, but it’s not especially sporty and alternatives offer more range
Hyundai has kept things pretty straightforward here, so you’ve only got a choice of three different battery and engine combinations for your Ioniq 5.
The entry-level model has a 58kWh battery that’s paired with a single electric motor. This sits at the back of the car, and generates a modest 170hp and 350Nm for a fairly brisk 0-60mph time of 8.5 seconds. With that smaller battery in place, Hyundai says you’ll be able to cover up to 238 miles on a single charge.
Sitting above that car is the single-motor, 78kWh model. This car gets a slight power boost (up to 217hp for a 0-60mph time of 7.4 seconds); but the main attraction here is that it gets considerably more range than the 58kWh model – up to 298 miles from a charge.
Then, there’s the range-topping model, which is the car we drove. This version has the same 78kWh battery, but instead of just one electric motor it has two – one at the back and one at the front.
Together, these motors produce 306hp and 605Nm, which means this version of the Ioniq 5 can really get a shift on. The run to 60mph takes just 5.2sec – which is practically as quick as some of the faster hot hatchbacks you can buy these days.
That additional performance is certainly nice, but because there are two electric motors for the battery to keep running instead of just one, range takes a bit of a hit. Hyundai reckons you should be able to do up to 285 miles on a charge.
That said, on our test drive we saw an average efficiency of 3 miles per kWh. So in reality you’re probably looking at a real-world range closer to 234 miles.
And as for charging? Well, plugged into a 7kW home wallbox you’ll top the biggest 78kWh battery up overnight very comfortably. On a 100kW public charger you can expect to get 80% of charge back in around 35 minutes; while a 350kW charger (if you can find one) will get it juiced up to the same level in just 18 minutes.
It is worth noting, however, that alternatives such as the Ford Mustang Mach-e and Volkswagen ID.4 can both be configured with batteries that offer even more range than the Ioniq 5. The VW can have up to 317 miles, while the Ford ramps it up to 379 miles of claimed range.
A jacked-up driving position and big windows make the Ioniq 5 an easy car to see out of, which is handy when you’re trundling down tight lanes or trying to navigate busy car parks. It’s light, accurate steering also steps in to make things a lot easier here; as do a range of sensors and cameras. Generally speaking, the Ioniq 5 feels like a car that’s easy to keep out of trouble.
There are four levels of regenerative braking to choose from, and the most powerful setting will let you bring the car to a stop simply by lifting off the accelerator. It takes a bit of getting used to, but once you’ve wrapped your head around chances are you’ll use it all the time.
Its softer suspension set-up makes it a comfortable car to drive, too. There can be a little bit of agitated fidgeting at low speed on poorly surfaced roads, and really big ruts will send a bit of shock back into the cabin, but generally this is a cushy, quiet car to waft around in. It’ll certainly take the stress out of the school run – that’s for sure!
Trundle out of town and onto the open road, and it keeps its cool. At a cruise there isn’t much road roar or wind noise at all, and that soft-edged ride really comes into its own. Standard-fit adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist help to take the strain out of long-distance journeys too.
True, it’s not as much fun on a twisty road as a Ford Mustang Mach-e. There’s good grip, and it doesn’t wallow about too much; but lightweight steering means it doesn’t really feel all that sporty. Still, in terms of ride comfort it’d definitely be the easier car to live with.
The Ioniq 5’s interior really looks the part, and feels properly posh – aside from a few plasticky buttons in places
Hyundai Ioniq 5 colours
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