The new rear-wheel-drive Hyundai Ioniq 5 EV saves you £6k on the AWD version
This more affordable rear-drive Ioniq 5 has all of the hi-tech strengths of the dual-motor range-topper, but adds extra value for money into the mix. You lose a little performance, but it’s still more than quick enough, has excellent real-world range and blazingly fast charging, while it mixes polarising looks with decent practicality and a roomy cabin. Factor in fantastic infotainment, enough comfort and strong quality inside, and in this spec at this price, it receives top marks.
Hyundai has really stirred things up with its first electric car on a bespoke platform, the Ioniq 5. Indeed, the oversized hatchback made enough of a splash to earn our coveted Car of the Year title. It did so in range-topping Project 45 specification, though – so we’ve been curious to see whether more modest versions have the same appeal. Now’s our chance to find out.
There are seven versions of the Ioniq 5 on offer to UK customers, with a choice of three powertrains. This 73kWh Premium-spec car features a rear-mounted electric motor with 215bhp and 350Nm of torque, which means that it also offers the longest official range of any Ioniq 5, at 300 miles.
This car’s 7.4-second 0-62mph time isn’t as fast as the dual-motor model’s 5.2 seconds, but it does bring a useful saving of just over £6,000 on list price.
In a weird way, that drop in price might well shift perception of the Ioniq 5 from “that’s a lot of money for a Hyundai” (unfair though that is) to “that’s a lot of car and battery for that amount of cash”. And the good news is that rear-drive Ioniq 5s – even those with the smaller battery – still have cutting-edge 800v tech.
Find a fast enough public charger and you can replenish the battery at up to 350kW – so you can go from 10 to 80 per cent in less than 18 minutes. Kia’s forthcoming EV6 aside, nothing else at around this price offers that level of tech.
On the road, this Ioniq 5 feels almost as impressive as the full-blown version. Instant electric-motor punch means that it feels quick from rest, and while it’s only brisk at best beyond that point – losing one motor doesn’t save much weight, so it still weighs more than 1,900kg – it’s perfectly acceptable in most situations. The lack of a front motor means that sheer geography places you further away from any electric whine, too, so if anything it’s more refined.
The chassis set-up is fundamentally the same as before – which is to say it feels inherently stiff and heavy, but that it still does a good job of soaking up low-speed bumps and potholes, and there’s a nice tendency to float along once you’re up to speed. There’s a bit of patter from beneath, but in general it’s a comfortable experience.
Read more: AutoExpress