Car review: Hyundai Ioniq 5

Back from the future: Ten years from now, most cars may start to look like the Ioniq 5. That future is here

Car review Hyundai Ioniq 5
Car review Hyundai Ioniq 5

Is it a car or a spaceship? The Ioniq 5 looks a bit like the DeLorean time machine of ‘Back to the Future’ movie franchise of the 1980s. But place it sometime in 2030s and it still won’t look out of place. Ten years from now, most cars may start to look like the Ioniq 5. That future is here, and we drove it.

What is Ioniq 5?

It is Hyundai’s first born-electric car, and takes design inspiration from Hyundai Pony—South Korea’s first mass-produced and exported car, and one that put Hyundai on the global stage.

What does ‘5’ imply?

That it’s a midsize crossover car. It will be followed by bigger cars like the Ioniq 6 and 7, and later on smaller ones like the Ioniq 2, 3 and 4. The biggest ones are expected to be the Ioniq 8 and 9. Most of these are in planning stages.

How is the design?

It’s got a timeless design—the boxy shape makes it look like from last century, and everything else from the next century. The pixelated front and rear lamps make this car look like a robot. Because it doesn’t have an engine and gearbox, space for passengers has been maximised. There is luggage room even under the front hood. While auto-flush door handles look good, these don’t provide as good a grip as conventional handles.

How does it drive?

The steering wheel doesn’t have Hyundai logo, it fits perfectly into hands, and the gearshift lever is on the right side of the steering wheel (as a stalk). It has to be turned clockwise for driving and anticlockwise for reverse, and is a bit complicated to operate.Outright acceleration doesn’t overwhelm you, but the car is fast (0-100 km/h in just 7.6 seconds), very quiet (the only sound inside the cabin is that of screeching tyres and wind resistance) and very different (one-pedal driving).

What is one-pedal driving?

When you take your foot off the accelerator pedal, the Ioniq 5 decelerates very quickly, almost mimicking the conventional braking action. In a few seconds of taking your foot off the accelerator pedal, the Ioniq 5 will come to a complete stop. This way, it can be driven all-day long without using brake pedal at all.One-pedal driving increases the range of an electric car—when you take your foot off the pedal, a technology called ‘brake energy regeneration’ turns the mechanical energy of the wheels into electricity, and then stores it in the battery.

What is the actual range?

When I got the car fully charged, its display showed a range of about 400 km (nowhere near the claimed 631 km). While driving on a four-lane highway in Goa at about 100 km/h, the car covered 30 km but the range dropped 50 km. As I moved to hilly roads (the battery gets charged while going downhill) and drove in the Eco mode, the car covered another 50-odd km but the range drop was about 30 km.Overall, the correct range is what the car displays on the screen (not what the carmaker claims).

How is the cabin?

Possibly the maximum focus has been making the cabin as convenient and as comfortable as home. Front seats are ventilated and can be fully reclined, the sliding centre console acts like an adjustable armrest, the entire roof is glass, and the Bose sound system shuts off outside noise.An area of concern is that the entire cabin is white in colour, and so theoretically it can get dirty if not cared enough.

Is it a great car?

For its price, the Ioniq 5 is better than the best. It has made Hyundai challenge premium carmakers head-on, and beat them. For example, it’s more affordable, spacious, comfortable and advanced than Volvo XC 40 Recharge, and more value for money than Mercedes-Benz GLA, BMW X1 or Audi Q3. It also turns far more heads. It’s definitely not a driver’s car, but the cabin is a class apart.It’s priced Rs 44.95 lakh (ex-showroom). Most cars in this price range look like, well, cars. The Ioniq 5 is art.


Battery size: 72.6 kWhPower: 160 kW (217 PS)Torque: 350 NmDriving range: 631 km*0-100 km/h: 7.6 secondsCharging: 11 kW AC (100%): About 7 hours50 kW DC (10-80%): 57 minutes350 kW DC (10-80%): 18 minutesAirbags: SixLength: 4,635 mmWidth: 1,890 mmWheelbase: 3,000 mmPrice: Rs 44.5 lakh


Electric: Kia EV6 (Rs 61 lakh) and Volvo XC40 Recharge (Rs 57 lakh)Petrol/diesel: 

Audi Q3 Sportback (Rs 51 lakh), BMW X1 (Rs 46 lakh) and Mercedes-Benz GLA (Rs 

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First published on: 18-02-2023 at 01:00 IST