Hyundai‘s been on a roll with releasing EVs over the past couple of years. Our man in Ohio Kevin Williams had nice things to say recently about the Kona EV. The South Korean brand has a decent selection between its plug-in hybrid and full-EV offerings. A total of three round out the latter, two of which are under the Ioniq nameplate, which is considered a sub-brand beneath Hyundai. The Ioniq Electric has been out for a minute, but now there’s the Ioniq 5: an EV that much of American automotive media seems to agree is an excellent next step.
Here’s what our colleagues at various publications across the mediascape had to say about this scrappy, futuristic-looking brick of progress. Welcome to another Review Rundown, where we’ve gathered and contextualized a whole bunch of good reviews so you can get a range of perspectives in one place.
On Battery Range, Charging, and Power
This is often the first and most crucial part of potential EV ownership that consumers want to know, so let’s cut right to the chase.
Kristen Lee, for our sister publication The Drive: “A 77.4-kWh battery is offered across all Ioniq 5 models and you can get them in either the single-motor, rear-wheel-drive setup or the dual-motor, all-wheel-drive setup. And for any motor configuration, you can also option it with one of three available trims: SE, SEL, and Limited. Save for the 220-mile, rear-wheel-drive-only SE Standard Range Ioniq 5, your two options are the 225-horsepower single-motor Ioniq 5, which has a claimed range of 303 miles, or the 320-hp dual-motor Ioniq 5, which has a claimed 256 miles of range. As my colleague Chris Tsui noted, you can get either 320 hp or 300 miles of range, but not both.
One of the Ioniq 5’s biggest perks is its fast-charging ability. Teslas and the Supercharger network aside, the Ioniq 5 boasts an 18-minute charge time from 10 percent battery to 80 percent when plugged into a 350-kW DC fast-charger. (Just note that the car is limited to 250 kW so you don’t need 350 kW.) Ford estimates 45 minutes for the same battery percentages when using a DC fast-charger for the Mustang Mach-E. Volkswagen estimates 38 minutes when the ID.4‘s battery is at five percent to get to 80 percent at a DC fast-charger. “
Scott Evans, for MotorTrend: “It therefore is no surprise the Ioniq 5 is considerably slower in a straight line, needing at best an estimated 5.1 seconds to hit 60 mph, or 7.3 seconds for the more powerful of the two single-motor models. (No estimate has been given for the base model, but expect to add at least another half-second.) The base Model Y will reach 60 in less than 5.0 seconds, and the Performance model will get there in roughly 3.5 seconds. The Model 3 is even quicker. If you’re gonna drag race, the Ioniq 5 isn’t the car for you.
For everyone else, it’s plenty quick enough. Just be willing to put your foot down. In most of its driving modes, the Ioniq 5 has a very long accelerator pedal with a very slow ramp up in response. If you want all the power, stand on it. This is Hyundai’s way of making you drive more efficiently unless you really don’t want to. Dialing it over to Sport mode noticeably increases the gain on the accelerator and makes it much more responsive, but the floor-it method still applies.”
On Interior Room, Quality, and Infotainment
By most accounts, the Ioniq 5 sounds like a spacious-yet-sparse automobile, which certainly has its positives and negatives.
Antuan Goodwin for CNET Roadshow: “The interior’s design is minimalist, bordering on sparse. Fans of a clean look will dig the flat dashboard with its dual 12.3-inch screens and simple capacitive climate controls. Personally, I think it could use a few more buttons — for example, dedicated switches for the seat heaters rather than the cryptic “warmer” button that pulls up a touchscreen menu — but, at least there’s a knob for volume.
The infotainment has a clean, white theme and new menus for monitoring EV efficiency and scheduling charges. This will also be the first over-the-air update capable version of Hyundai’s dashboard software with the first major updates rolling out around spring 2022. I hope the first update comes with a dark theme for night driving. The bright white UI persists after the sun goes down and interferes with my night vision, even at the lowest brightness level. I understand why the screens have to be so bright — thanks to their hoodless design, they need to outshine the sun — but an option for a dark background in the evening would improve comfort and, more importantly, safety.
Hyundai’s standard digital key feature allows drivers to unlock, start and drive the Ioniq 5 using an Android phone in place of the fob. Once aboard, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard, but neither supports wireless connectivity. Annoyingly, the only USB port that connects to the infotainment for media playback or app mirroring is the one way down beneath the dashboard near my feet — the four USB ports on the sliding center console are for charging only — which means that’s also where your phone has to go to avoid cables splayed across the cabin.
The center console is nice and features a wireless charging pad and an open storage area big enough for a purse or small bag. Grabbing a hidden handle allows the whole package to slide a little over a foot rearward, granting rear passengers access to the storage or making room for the driver to slide over from the passenger side, if their door is obstructed. You probably won’t do that every day, but it’s handy when you need it. I also like that the front seats recline to a nearly horizontal position and feature retractable leg rests so you can relax or nap while waiting for a charge.”
John Beltz Snyder for Autoblog: “There are a few other clever features in the Ioniq that we didn’t get the chance to try out. For instance, it’s capable of vehicle-to-load energy usage. With an adapter, you can use the vehicle’s drive battery to power appliances or whatnot, and you can even pass electrons to another EV. The Ioniq also has phone-as-key capability like other Hyundais, plus the Hyundai BlueLink app that allows you to do things like schedule charging, condition the interior climate, lock/unlock the car and start/stop the car remotely. Finally, the driver’s seat reclines, complete with a leg rest, for when you want to kick back and relax while the car is charging or when waiting to pick up the kids at school. We were too excited by the actual act of driving that we completely forgot to stop and take advantage of this cozy chair. We’ll make sure to write up a 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 First Nap Review the next time around.”
On ‘Normalcy’ and Pricing
Kind of like the Kona EV, one of the Ioniq 5’s high cards is it just feels like a normal car, that looks fun, and doesn’t cost a wheelbarrow full of cash (especially after federal and state credits).
Kristen Lee, for our sister publication The Drive: “Comprehensively, the Ioniq 5’s most appealing aspect is how normal it is. It comes with a keyfob (though a smart-phone based digital key is an option). It has an “engine” start/stop button. It’s powerful but it won’t rip your face off—in all-wheel-drive guise at least. It charges quickly. It’s got tons of room. It’s comfortable. It’s easy to drive.
But for me? I loved how driving something that looks this cool made me feel. True, I don’t really benefit from the Ioniq 5’s exterior design while behind the wheel. But every time I parked it, I caught myself looking back at it. And while I was driving it, I just felt good about sitting in it. It brightened up my day. Doubly so when a couple came up to me to say how much they liked the way it looked, too. That feeling is difficult to put a price on, but when it’s there, you can’t ignore it. More of this, please.”
Sam Abuelsamid for Forbes: “The Ioniq 5 starts at $40,925 including delivery for the rear-drive standard range model and runs up to a maximum of $55,725 for the all-wheel drive Limited model with all the goodies. Unfortunately, early availability is limited to California and about 12 other states that mandate a percentage of EV sales or already have healthy demand for electrics. Hyundai hopes to ramp up supply nationally by the end of 2022. Hyundai EVs are still eligible for a full $7,500 federal tax credit plus whatever state and local incentives are offered. With the addition of the Ioniq 5, upcoming Kia EV6 and many other EVs coming soon, consumers increasingly have a choice of electric offerings in different market segments and price points and the Ioniq 5 should absolutely be on most people’s shopping list.”
On Steering, Handling, and Regenerative Braking
Generally, it seems like these are all generally good for a fun, cyberpunk-looking commuter.
Dan Edmunds for Car and Driver: “The Ioniq 5’s strut front and multilink rear suspension is calibrated for a smooth ride. A Limited fitted with 20-inch wheels shod with 255/45R-20 tires readily smothered all manner of rough pavement and undulating asphalt, with no undue harshness or head-toss. This suspension is pleasantly limber, though its compliance might just teeter on the edge of excess for those that prefer a firm, tied-down ride. None of this prevents the Ioniq 5 from taking a tenacious set through bends, where its wide-for-an-EV tires and low-slung battery pack help it feel stable and planted. The trouble comes from the lack of feel and feedback transmitted through the steering wheel itself, which tends to mask the buildup of forces and make the Ioniq 5 feel less responsive than it really is.”
John Beltz Snyder for Autoblog: “The Ioniq 5’s instant torque snapped us back into our seats as we rocketed onto the freeway out of downtown San Diego. Later on, we gleefully punched our way out of each turn in a series of tight, mountainous curves. With Sport mode engaged, we were totally tickled to find that the Ioniq 5 will treat you to a light but delectable serving of the rear wheels breaking traction to let the rear end peek out to say hello. It’s an addictive treat, and one that never failed to make us giggle.
Yet, we liked how the Ioniq easily switched from such exciting, engaging driving to relaxed, low-effort cruising. With its long wheelbase, the Ioniq 5 is also smooth and stable on the highway. Wind noise is very well managed, and most surfaces kept tire noise at a minimum.”
Scott Evans, for MotorTrend: “Don’t bother with the sport driving mode. It certainly makes the car feel zippier, but it doesn’t change the fact the 5 is not particularly engaging. The inherent low center of gravity that goes with the weight makes the car feel planted on the road and helps reduce body roll in corners, but the way it feels in a corner is simply competent. It drives like a car with a lot of poise, not a sports car. In this, it’s not unlike a Chevrolet Bolt or a Volkswagen ID4, but it’s also not trying to be a Ford Mustang Mach-E or a Tesla Model Y.
This is in part because the steering feel is also isolating. The response is direct and precise, but road feedback has been filtered out. The car goes right where you point it, but it doesn’t give you a lot of input.
As with any EV, much of the braking is handled by the motors regenerating electricity, but unlike most automakers, Hyundai is keen to give you much more control over the regeneration. The Ioniq 5 has six regen settings adjusted using the paddles on the steering wheel, with those settings ranging from basically coasting to one-pedal driving (the car can slow to a stop without using the brake pedal), which Hyundai calls “i-Pedal.” There’s also an auto setting similar to the one employed by Porsche and Audi that lets the car coast as much as possible but automatically engages when the car in front of you slows down.”
A Few Pics
Overall, it sounds like the Ioniq 5 is an excellent step forward for the EV market. Now, let us finish this report with some more subjective content: its interesting looks!
What to read next:
- Watch Peter Nelson participate in Land Rover’s Trophy Competition driving all-new Defenders in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina.
- Why drift fans are mourning Japan’s Ebisu Minami drift circuit.
- It’s a major deal that iRacing put a factory-supported Mercedes F1 car into its simulator, and Chris Rosales tested it out.
- If you weren’t able to check out Autopia 2099, we attended the EV car show and took a bunch of photos.
- Find out why downgrading from coilovers back to conventional suspension can be the right move for the right situation.