“Going to Goa? Lucky you. Have fun!” This is one of the most often-heard statements from colleagues and friends when one is going to Goa to test drive a new car. And this time, it was actually fun, despite the humid weather. The car I was to drive was the electric Hyundai Ioniq 5 at the invitation of Hyundai India.
Hyundai had shown the Ioniq 5 at the Auto Expo 2023 and the car has been on sale in Europe for a while, also winning accolades like the 2022 World Car of the Year award. There’s good reason for that, as this “SUV” as Hyundai calls it (in my view it’s rather a very large hatchback), is as stylish as it gets, with a retro-futuristic design, and yet one that’s green and practical.
Too Long Didn’t Read (TLDR)
- 631 Km claimed range makes it a practical EV
- 3000 mm wheelbase and skateboard design translates to acres of interior space
- Rear wheel drive, 217 PS power and 350 Nm torque make it fun to drive
- Storage space of 527 litres in the boot, 57 litres in the frunk and massive glove box and console
- All electric ventilated seats with multiple adjustments make for a comfortable, silent ride, insulated from the world
- White leather interiors (pebble grey colour says Hyundai) will be tough to maintain
- No rear wiper, only demister, impractical for a dusty country like India
- Only heated rear seats, while the front seats are heated and cooled
Who should buy the Hyundai Ioniq 5?
The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is a car that would suit anyone who loves to drive herself/himself to work, or a person who loves to travel or go camping, and is practical enough for trips out of town with its extended range. The large boot, low centre-of-gravity, exciting performance and functions like vehicle-to-load, make it a great choice for enthusiasts looking for a green, sporty car that ticks multiple use cases. With an ex-showroom price of Rs 45.95 lakh, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 is better value for money than its competition – the Mini Cooper Electric and Kia EV6.
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Hyundai Ioniq 5 review: Design
The Hyundai Ioniq 5 looks familiar yet, futuristic. Remember the movie “Back to the Future”? Yes, there is a resemblance to the Delorean DMC 12, with some inspiration from an 80’s Volkswagen Golf and a bit of Lancia Delta Integrale in its design, but in a whole new futuristic package. The sharp cuts and lines on this car actually cleverly mask its size. For perspective, the dimensions of the Ioniq 5 are larger than a Toyota Innova Crysta! It is 4635 mm long, 1890 mm wide and has a wheelbase of 3000 mm – longer and wider than many SUVs.
The massive 20-inch wheels with 255/45 tyres are proportionate to the car and lend themselves well to the overall design. The pixel LED headlamps and large pixel elements for the taillamps make a strong style statement, giving a retro-futuristic look. Ground clearance, fully laden is a healthy 163 mm.
Hyundai Ioniq 5 review: Performance
Electric cars are all about their performance and the Hyundai Ioniq 5 doesn’t disappoint. It comes with a 73.6 kWh battery pack (800 volts) that’s neatly tucked into the floor of the car with the AC and other peripheral mechanisms in front and the motor at the rear, powering the rear wheels. This setup makes for a low centre-of-gravity and the width and length make it incredibly stable.
The car puts out 217 PS of power and 350 Nm of torque, which comes in instantaneously, providing some exhilarating moments. It gets four driving modes – eco, normal, sport and snow, and also four levels of regenerative braking that can be adjusted via the paddle shifts behind the wheel. At its lowest level, the braking is so strong that one can indulge in single-pedal driving, where lifting off the accelerator slows the car immediately – good for city traffic, or crawling through off-road conditions.
Also Read: Hyundai Ioniq 5 vs Mini Cooper SE: Ioniq vs Iconic EVs comparison!
The electric steering weighs up well, feeling firm and precise. Given the size of this car, the turning radius is decent. One does not realise how large it is until you begin to negotiate the narrow bylanes of picturesque Goa and have to pass an oncoming vehicle.
Hyundai Ioniq 5 review: Comfort
The unique proposition of the Ioniq 5 is the amount of space it offers. Being an all-electric platform, the floor is flat and the cabin is roomy. The front seats are powered, ventilated and heated, offering multiple modes with memory settings – even a one-touch recline, in case you want to catch 40 winks. The 60:40 split rear seats are only heated (would work well in winter). They can recline and slide offering you lounge-like comfort. They are soft and comfortable, just like a recliner in your living room.
The interiors only come in white leather (made with sustainable materials), and even the headliner is sugarcane and jute derived. It gets dual-zone climate control, with rear vents on the B-pillars. The white interiors and moon roof add to a sense of space and airiness all around, while excellent visibility. The suspension is firm, but with the long wheelbase and large wheels pushed to the corners of the design, there isn’t much discomfort on bad stretches of road.
Hyundai Ioniq 5 review: Features
The Ioniq 5 is loaded with all the features you would expect and then some. However, if one was to nitpick, the addition of a rear wiper and perhaps a sunroof instead of a moon roof would have been appreciated. The car gets two 12.3-inch screens up front, juxtaposed on a sleek panel in front of the driver, which has a magnetic soft board at the end to pin up stuff or even stick on a mobile phone holder.
The gear selector is on a fixed stalk behind the steering, but with a rotary knob to select reverse or drive. The drive mode selector looks race inspired on the steering wheel, seeming like a knob, but is a button. These are the small quirks one would find in this car.
The infotainment system has a screen for 360-degree cameras, shows up all the settings for EV modes, Apple Car Play, Android Auto, and in-built navigation, with Bluelink to remotely control many features. It’s hooked up to a Bose sound system which makes for a really pleasant drive experience. The second 12.3-inch screen is the instrument panel that is dynamic – showing essential car information and navigation.
The car gets ADAS (advanced driver assistance system) with lane-keep assist, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and park assist. These features work well even on narrow roads with lane markings and in crowded streets with random jaywalkers.
There are many charging sockets – all USB type A – around the car and even a 250-volt plug point below the rear seat to power regular household appliances or laptops.
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An interesting feature for those who love outdoor activity is the vehicle-to-load function, where the car can provide 3.6 kWH power output from its charging socket to perhaps power a campsite or your home in an emergency or even help another EV in need. It’s like a large mobile inverter or power bank if you please.
Hyundai Ioniq 5 review: Space
If you are the kind of person who likes to pack in a lot of stuff, this is one car that can swallow a whole lot and then some. The 527-litre boot is flat and can be loaded up with a lot of luggage. There’s underfloor storage as well, where the subwoofer is housed. There is no spare tyre in this car – instead, it just gets a puncture repair kit and tyre inflator. The 60:40 rear seats can be folded down for a fully flat floor that can load 1587 litres of luggage. And then there’s the “frunk”, additional storage space in the bonnet for 57 litres of stuff, a sliding centre console that can hold small bags and also has a wireless phone charger, and a large drawer-like glove box that can store half your office files! Yes, the usual door pockets, cupholders and rear-seat pockets are there too.
Hyundai Ioniq 5 review: What we think
The design, being retro-futuristic, inspired by some pony cars from the 80s, is a head-turner. It is sporty and practical too while providing a decent electric range on a single charge. As more electric cars become mainstream, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 is one that makes a strong style statement. It’s a car that will appeal to the driving enthusiast, who wants a sporty car, yet spacious enough for long trips and outdoor activities, and packed with comfort features. At the price point it is offered, it is a decent alternative to many internal combustion engine cars and even large SUVs. The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is iconic!
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