The new Hyundai Ioniq 5 has arrived and it’s simply one of the best electric cars on sale right now
If the Ioniq 5 is a signal of intent from Hyundai, then rival car brands should be worried. This showcase of the Korean firm’s next generation electric car tech is hugely impressive in almost every area; from the performance to the charging speeds, few rivals can match it for the money. That it also looks unlike anything else on sale, inside and out, has great tech and is relaxing to drive, means there’s very little to fault.
This is the all new Hyundai Ioniq 5. The first car that will showcase the Korean brand’s second generation EV tech – quite an ominous thought for rivals considering that, at the more affordable end of the electric car market, Hyundai and its sister brand Kia already build some of the best offerings in the business.
This time, however, Hyundai is aiming higher. This is a car that has set its sights on premium rivals, with cars like the Audi Q4 e-tron and the upcoming Tesla Model Y seen as competition as much as the likes of the Volkswagen ID.4 and Ford Mustang Mach-e.
With premium construction comes a premium design. The Ioniq 5 is a world away from the Kona Electric or indeed anything else on the road; the retro-modern shape is covered in cool details. The multi-slotted glowing front panel, the 8-bit headlights (made from 256 individual LED ‘cubes’) and bold side surfacing are just some of the features that have created a proper head-turner.
Unlike Hyudai’s previous EVs, which used architecture designed to be compatible with combustion-powered offerings, the Ioniq 5 uses the brand’s Electric Global Modular Platform. It’s the first car to ride on the fully electric architecture, with the equally dramatic looking Kia EV6 set to be the next model to hit the roads.
The move upmarket has also resulted in an increase in size. Don’t let those neat proportions fool you – when you realise that the wheels this car rides on measure a whopping 20 inches, you realise that it’s almost like Hyundai has taken the blueprints for a family hatchback and clicked ‘select all’ then ‘resize 110 per cent’. At 4,635mm long and 1,890mm wide, the Ioniq 5 is longer and wider than Hyundai’s Tucson mid-size SUV – though its roofline is slightly lower. Perhaps more significant is the wheelbase; at 3,000mm, the gap between the front and rear axles is a couple of millimeters longer even than that on an Audi A8.
It’s a stat that really makes itself known once you swing open the huge back doors – the Ioniq’s cabin is simply vast. The floor is almost completely flat throughout, and rear occupants get genuinely limo-like levels of legroom. Yet compared to the finest luxury saloons, the Ioniq’s open plan feel and big windows make it so much brighter and more airy. The boot floor is high and the space is fairly shallow, but the area it covers is so huge that there’s still an impressive 527 litres of volume on offer.
Ahead of the driver sit a pair of screens. The central infotainment display uses a similar interface to other Hyundai models, but with cleaner graphics. The digital instrument display is equally clear to read – they’re not quite the sharpest resolution you’ll find in an EV (Tesla still holds that title) but everything is very logical and intuitive. The driver assist systems are particularly well integrated; on versions equipped with blind spot cameras, the images are displayed in real time in the instrument panel when the indicators are turned on.
It’s comfy, too. The seats are squishy yet supportive, while those in the front can recline almost completely – ideal if you fancy a quick nap when the car is charging.
Read more: Auto EXPRESS