You absolutely will not mistake the Hyundai Ioniq 5 for anything else, because it doesn’t look like a single other thing on the road. The exterior is a mishmash of sharp lines that confuse and intrigue the eyes; there’s a downward-sloping character line across the side, the front end has some Robocop vibes and the rear end looks like it fell out of an 8-bit video game. I’ve had plenty of strangers ask about other Hyundai vehicles in the past, but the Ioniq 5 turned even more heads than usual, especially as it rolls up in complete silence.
While some colleagues don’t consider the Ioniq 5’s interior to be all that and a bag of chips, I think it’s plenty impressive. My Limited-trim tester’s two-tone gray interior wouldn’t be my choice, because the bright faux leather can pick up some very obvious smudges, but black is thankfully also on offer. But the whole shebang works — it’s straightforward and uncluttered, which makes it both look and feel quite roomy, and its panoramic glass roof only reinforces that airiness.
In terms of daily usability, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 offers it in spades. The door pockets are deep, and there’s a big cubby under the climate controls for additional storage. The Limited’s center console slides fore and aft if you want to have a little more breathing room up front; while it’s a neat trick, it’s not like it’s an absolute game-changer or anything. However, that console does offer even more storage for whatever knick-knacks end up in the car. One of my favorite things about the Ioniq 5, though, is the integrated footrest in the driver’s seat, which lets me kick back properly while waiting for the car to charge at a public station.
Out back, there’s about 27 cubic feet of cargo space, which is more than enough for most small families. It’s a little less capacious than the Tesla Model Y’s 30-cube cargo hold, but the Hyundai is ahead of its sibling, the Kia EV6, by about 3 cubic feet. There’s no frunk, but I didn’t miss it.
This example’s 77.4-kilowatt-hour battery pack, the larger of two on offer, isn’t going to win any awards for capacity, but my all-wheel-drive Ioniq 5 squeaks out a decent EPA-estimated 256 miles of range. If you ditch all-wheel drive (a $3,900 option), that range will grow to 303 miles.
The feds rate the Ioniq 5 around 2.9 miles per kilowatt-hour, a number that I found pretty easy to reach and beat. Most of my around-town antics return between 3.0 and 3.5 mi/kWh, according to the onboard computer, although highway driving will regularly push that figure down closer to 2.0 — and this is in the middle of a particularly cold winter, with daytime temperatures never going above freezing. The only noticeable weather-related difference is the estimated range at full, which hovers closer to 220 miles with a full charge.
The Ioniq 5 utilizes 800-volt architecture, which means it can accept charging speeds up to 350 kilowatts, sending the battery from 10% to 80% in about 18 minutes (that last 20% always takes longer as the charge rate slowly decreases beyond that point). The best charger I can find in my area puts out around 50 kW, which is still plenty quick. If you have a Level 2 home charger, this won’t be much of an issue, since you can just leave it plugged in overnight. But if you’re on the go, a cup of coffee or a quick jaunt through Target should leave enough time for the car to pick up sufficient juice.
Charging aside, driving the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 leaves me nothing less than utterly impressed. Compact-ish, hatchback-ish crossovers don’t often ride like something much larger and smoother, but thanks to a body the size of a Tucson and a wheelbase the size of a Palisade, the Ioniq 5 is seriously plush for its segment. The suspension’s softer tuning means most road nastiness gets diverted away from the cabin, and there’s more than enough sound deadening to keep things serene inside. The low center of gravity gives the Ioniq 5 some handling chops, but it’s such a softie that I doubt most folks will even be inclined to drive it as such; just keep holding out for an Ioniq 5 N, like I am.
The all-wheel-drive Ioniq 5 is Hyundai’s most powerful variant, offering a net 320 horsepower and 446 pound-feet of torque from its pair of electric motors. The automaker estimates a 0-to-60-mph time of 5.2 seconds, which is more than believable given how strongly the car will hustle off the line. But if you’re not feeling like a speed demon, the Ioniq 5 offers great pedal modulation for trying to squeak the efficiency out of every last electron. Thanks to a multi-stage regenerative braking system with a one-pedal mode, I almost never need to tap the brakes. Not only does one-pedal driving boost the car’s efficiency, it also teaches you how to maximize right-foot finesse for silky smooth stops in exactly the right spot.
As of this writing, most Hyundai Ioniq 5 reviews have taken place in perfect weather, so I am excited to report on how it handles Michigan’s thus-far-garbage winter. A remote start button on the fob gets the Ioniq 5 heating up, which it does quite quickly. However, the power electronics under the hood don’t generate nearly the same waste heat as an internal combustion engine, so you will likely need to take an ice scraper to the hood if you don’t own a garage, lest you shed frozen rock-missiles on the highway and shatter some poor bastard’s windshield, if not your own. Also, while I appreciate the unique flappy door handles, brushing off the car with the key in your pocket may inadvertently fill those handle gaps with enough ice to prevent them from closing. Word to the wise: Keep the doors locked or the key in the house to avoid this. And while I didn’t find a rear wiper necessary, per se, it would go a long way in removing highway salt buildup after longer journeys. I’d say you can just squeegee it clean, but it’s not like you’re regularly stopping at gas stations anymore.
Finally, let’s talk tech. The Ioniq 5 comes standard with a pair of 12.3-inch displays on a single panel. The 12.3-inch gauge cluster offers all the relevant information you need at a quick glance, with a configurable center section, and it will also give a detailed estimate of charging times if it’s plugged in. The infotainment screen to its right runs the latest version of Hyundai’s excellent telematics system, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in addition to a solid voice-recognition system and embedded navigation. When it comes time to charge, there are five USB-A ports — one under the dash, two in the center console and two for back seat occupants. There’s also a 120-volt outlet that can pull up to 16 amps (!) back there, too, in case you need to saw up some two-by-fours right quick.
The Limited trim also includes an augmented-reality head-up display, which zhuzhes up turn-by-turn directions with some snazzy arrows, but it’s not nearly as immersive as the only other AR game in town from Mercedes. Then again, the fact that Hyundai is the second automaker to use this tech after Benz is itself impressive. Is it necessary? Not really. But it’s cool.
Hyundai also made sure to load up the Ioniq 5 with a full complement of active and passive safety systems. My example sports adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, a surround-view camera of impressive definition, parking sensors and a rear occupant alert. It all works very well for a traditional hands-on system.
Right now, of the current batch of electric crossovers, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 would be the one I’d get. It feels less SUV-ish than the Ford Mustang Mach-E, although it’s not as fun to drive. The Volkswagen ID 4‘s infotainment quirks can be frustrating, and it didn’t leave the factory with one-pedal driving (although an over-the-air update will add it soon). The Kia EV6 is basically the Ioniq 5’s kissin’ cousin, but I like the Hyundai’s styling more, and its trunk is slightly larger. Given our experiences with the Tesla Model Y‘s driver-assistance features, that’d be a hard car to recommend. But some new contenders will soon challenge the Hyundai for its crown, including the Nissan Ariya, Subaru Solterra and Toyota BZ4X.
The Ioniq 5 is not a cheap proposition, though. A base Ioniq 5 SE will set you back $44,895 including $1,245 in destination charges, with the mid-trim SEL rising to $47,145 and the Limited starting at $51,845. That’s for rear-wheel drive, too; if you want AWD, it’ll cost you $3,500 on the lower two trims and $3,900 on the Limited.
Thankfully, Hyundai’s trim strategy means there are no costly options at each stratum. What you see is what you get. And what you get is awesome: Great on the road and great on the eyes, the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 has already catapulted itself to the top of an ever-growing pile of attractive, capacious battery-electric vehicles.