The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is Esquire’s Car of the Year

The all-electric Hyundai Ioniq 5 is like an eight-bit fever dream that will make you wonder why all everyman cars can’t

It’s just the sad truth: many cars look the same these days. Handsome enough but, you know, just another collection of artful swoops on wheels.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 (Image:

Hyundai Ioniq 5 (Image:

Which is why when you roll down the street ina Hyundai Ioniq 5, people do a double take as if they were seeing a glitch in the matrix. It’s one of the most delightfully distinctive everyman cars on the road today. Whereas most electric vehicles tend to resemble an inflated dolphin or a frog that’s swallowed another frog, Hyundai’s $42,745 electric vehicle is unabashedly angular; it wouldn’t look out of place in the Roblox metaverse. The playful shape harks back to sporty hatchbacks from influential Italian design maestro Giorgetto Giugiaro—in particular, the Lancia Delta Integrale and the Hyundai Pony, one of the first South Korean cars made for export.

That rare combination of utility and original design in a car made for the masses is the reason we designated the Hyundai Ioniq 5 our Car of the Year. And while it exudes small-car styling, the Ioniq 5 is actually longer than the Hyundai Palisade SUV, which means plenty of trunk space as well as massive legroom and headroom for all passengers. It’s extremely quiet even at high speeds, and it has the impeccable build quality and driver-assistance technology usually reserved for cars at a steeper price. Yet this is not a luxury vehicle. The Ioniq 5 embraces clean design and simplicity over opulence in a world where many cars seem to have gone through a maximalist design-by-committee machine. It feels just right.

Read more: Esquire

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