The State of Charge
If you’re going to go electric, why not do it with something this good.
Oops…spoiler alert…let me rewind this back…
Hyundai has been working on electric vehicles for several years. The Kona and Ioniq EVs were good first attempts by giving us solid performance and decent range. Those two vehicles gave us a preview of what I’m going to talk about here.
While the Kona and Ioniq EV were going on sale, Hyundai developed a flexible platform for most of their future electric vehicles. The Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) follows the convention expected in today’s electric vehicles: A motor powering each axle, the battery pack that lies underneath the cabin between the two axles, higher charging capacity, and advanced features that are future forward, but not science fiction.
Hyundai’s group has now produced three models off of this platform – one for each brand. The IONIQ 5 is the first of this initial trio of models that just made their way into their respective showrooms by now.
Already, the IONIQ 5 has received a few accolades – including the World Car of The Year award – that points to how really good this new EV is.
Not to be confused with the earlier Ioniq model, this all-electric vehicle is a crossover hatchback model that offers the practicality we want in any vehicle. The space to carry people and stuff to any occasion.
With that said, the exterior design follows this theme. While it appears to be an enlarged hatchback, the IONIQ 5 measures out to be the same length as Hyundai’s newest Tucson. However, it has about the same wheelbase as the Palisade mid-sized SUV. It is also taller by purpose.
You might find some interesting design elements on the IONIQ 5. The lower panels and wheel arches offer a futuristic theme with slats and folds. There are quad rectangular headlamps that are all LEDs, but you swore it came from the 1980s. The rear light panel are in a square matrix theme – probably inspired by early video games. On our Limited tester, we have these 20-inch alloy wheels that have an intricate design with a huge black center cap.
Overall, we found the design to be a mix of contemporary, futuristic, and nostalgic themes. That alone gave it some very curious and interesting looks from onlookers.
These themes are duplicated inside the IONIQ 5. The first thing you will notice is the thin housing for the two wide screens making up the instrumentation and infotainment. They also change backgrounds depending on the time of day – white during daytime, black at night. Beyond the aesthetics are informative and easy to understand graphics for the instrument screen. They also provide state of charge and range information, as well as speed and other vehicle information.
The center console can be adjusted for location and reach. It does not have any covered storage, but you can fit a huge bag inside of it. The transmission is actuated by a stalk on the right, but you change from drive to reverse to park with only the knob at the end of it. Many other controls are similar to ones found on other Hyundai models.
Front seating is supportive with enough bolstering to fit many bodies. There is room for four adults with excellent leg and head room. The fixed glass roof does not impede on headroom.
As for cargo space, you get 27.2 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats. Once folded down, that expands to 59.3 cubic feet. There is a little storage space underneath the trunk. All you have to do is to life the “engine cover” for less than a cubic foot – perfect for the 110-volt charging cord.
The IONIQ 5 comes in three levels of performance with a specific driving range for each. The standard specification is a single motor mounted at the rear axle, good for only 168 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Choosing this driveline delivers a range of 220 miles from a 58-kilowatt-hour battery. You can upgrade to a 77.4-kilowatt-hour battery that can deliver up to 302 miles on a full charge through a single rear axle-mounted motor.
If you want all-wheel drive, then you get a two-motor set-up – an electric motor attached to each axle. Our tester has this driveline, which puts out 320 horsepower with 446 pound-feet of torque running through the 77.4-kilowatt-hour battery. This driveline is said to deliver a range of 256 miles. However, our testing only came up with 226 miles on a completely full battery. Hyundai also claims to have the fastest recharge times in its class.
The mission for the Hyundai IONIQ 5 is to deliver a mainstream driving experience. It starts with a very smooth ride that absorbs rougher surfaces well. It also handles well, without much drama. You can thank the position of the battery pack, which lowers the IONIQ 5’s center of gravity.
Turning the IONIQ 5 is from a right-sized steering wheel. It may not deliver tight turns, but it can be pointed to where you need the vehicle to be just fine. On-center feel was pretty decent.
Which brings us to the brakes. You can set up the IONIQ 5 for a one-pedal set-up with some options. One is called i-Pedal, which is actuated by the paddle “shifters” on the steering wheel. You can also switch the IONIQ 5 to a Smart Regenerative System. Both will assist in maintaining the state of charge. If you have to use the pedal to stop the IONIQ 5, it works like any other vehicle with a good feel and feedback.
There are three trim levels available on the 2022 IONIQ 5. For a Standard Range version of the SE trim, pricing starts at $39,950. We had the top-of-the-line Limited model with all-wheel drive. Therefore, our tester came with a sticker price of $55,920.
We know that we would love to own an electric vehicle. And, there’s now so much to choose from. We also know that we want something to hedge against the rise in fuel pump prices, while taking advantage of available tax credits.
Why the Hyundai IONIQ 5? It is practical, offers adult interior space, a cool design, and it drives quite well. Oh, and it was already named World Car of The Year. That’s more than enough reasons to consider one.