The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5: the new electric CUV rises to the top
SAN DIEGO, CA – Almost five years ago, Hyundai launched the Ioniq family of electrified cars, with a hybrid BEV, plug-in hybrid and a range of 200 km.
A year and a half later came the Kona Electric. The 258 mile (415 km) range of this CUV is still remarkable, helping it win three Wards 10 Best Engines and Propulsion Systems trophies, as of 2019.
Now Hyundai is launching an even more impressive BEV, the Ioniq 5. Unlike the existing Ioniq, this new model is a CUV, and built on a dedicated platform, the new E-GMP (Global Modular Electric Platform) from Hyundai to support more BEVs including larger CUV and sedan recently featured at the LA auto show, as well as a host of BEVs from sister brand Kia.
The Ioniq 5 (photo below, left) has better range than the Kona Electric: 303 miles (488 km) for the 225 hp rear-drive model. It’s one of the longest runs to date in a historic automaker’s BEV, and on par with some Teslas.
But perhaps the biggest attraction is its ability to recharge quickly on the latest generation ultra-fast chargers, thanks to its 800 V electrical architecture standard in all qualities. Hyundai claims just 18 minutes to get the lithium-ion battery from 10% to 80% full on a 350 kW charger.
We’re in awe after spending a day in a 320hp (with 256 miles) Ioniq 5 dual-engine all-wheel drive model [412 km] range), but there are downsides.
The greater range and power of the Ioniq 5 than the Kona comes from its larger capacity 77.4 kWh battery, using lithium-ion polymer cells from SK Innovation.
The BEV’s range depends on weather and riding style, but despite some aggressive maneuvering in cold and rainy weather, we only used 47 miles (76 km) of range covering 44 miles (71 km) on our first leg. An enthusiastic throttle combined with the massive 446 lb-ft of our test vehicle. (605 Nm) of torque at a standstill – and the twists and turns of the CA-79 from San Diego to Julian – crush our desire for the hyper-mile. We go into a later stage, going 36 miles (58 km) but using only 23 miles (37 km) of range, reaching 5.4 miles / kWh.
The Ioniq 5 has three riding modes to suit your mood: Normal, Eco and Sport. Compared to ICE models with these modes, the difference between them in this BEV is more obvious, transforming the personality of the vehicle.
In Sport mode, acceleration is dazzling from low speeds. Unsurprisingly, the always aggressive Hyundai plans to boost the vehicle’s performance even further with a sport or N variant.
In Normal drive mode, the Ioniq 5’s throttle leans more rampant than moderate, while Eco firms up the throttle so it’s not easy to compress – far too restrictive for the ride we want to do. on this day, but nonetheless a nice feature if you want to keep the range in dense commuter driving. One reason to use Eco: We see a 5 mile (8 km) bump of range when switching to mode. In comparison, we lose 5 miles of range going from Normal to Sport.
Our test model, with MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspensions, handles well and takes sharp turns in Sport mode in the CA-79’s steeper curves.
But our time behind the wheel is wasted by intrusive advanced driver assistance system technology.
The lane centering feature, when activated, tightly squeezes the wheel, so much so that we fight against the vehicle for control. Fortunately, it’s easy to turn off via a push button mounted on the steering wheel.
The automatic lane change feature is a mixed bag, in our experience requiring more intervention than a simple turn indicator (i.e. you have to push the steering wheel), but then it’s is without intervention, planting us between the lines in the next lane.
However, Intelligent Cruise Control (aka Adaptive) works well on a busy I-805 in the late afternoon, keeping up with the traffic and braking us naturally. Hyundai says machine learning helps the SCC mimic a driver’s acceleration style.
The infotainment system is easy to use, with a familiar Hyundai main menu, albeit on a lighter background and with a faster response time to inputs than in other Hyundai’s. The clustered screen graphics clearly convey information about driving style, such as a bar that turns bluer one foot ahead.
Interior materials are low-gloss and attractive, although largely gray and black. The color comes from the ambient lighting, including around the speaker grilles on the doors.
Interior comfort is high with plenty of legroom in the front and rear. A hallmark of the MPV segment, the center console slides rearward. It can serve as a table for rear passengers who may wish to put their laptops on it. There is a 115V outlet there to power the devices.
Speaking of power devices, you can use the Ioniq 5’s battery to power a variety of things, like a compressor to inflate an air mattress while camping, by purchasing an adapter that plugs into the charging port.
Kudos to Hyundai for not watering down its design concept too much, but, if we have any reservations about the Ioniq 5, it looks and looks like other BEV CUVs. It becomes difficult to distinguish an Ioniq 5 from a Model Y from a Volkswagen ID.4, etc.
What doesn’t help is that every OEM mimics Tesla’s sterile, futuristic styling. Hyundai takes minimalism to a new level as the Ioniq 5’s steering wheel lacks a Hyundai logo – just four small square pixels. While they echo pixels on the outside and inside, the lack of a logo on the steering wheel, as well as the lack of jazzy boot animation – like in the Ford Mustang Mach-E – makes it that anonymous feeling.
Without an exhaust tone, pedestrian noise is a way for OEMs to distinguish their BEVs, but the hovering spacecraft buzz of the Ioniq 5 is very similar to that of other BEVs. How about Mozart or Motley Crue, the sound engineers?
Overall, however, we believe that, at the reach alone, it will be a tough competitor.
Hyundai is sweetening the pot even further by offering Ioniq 5 buyers a bargain: two years of free charging with Electrify America.
It took 15 minutes to get our battery from 44% to 80% on one of EA’s new 350kW DC fast chargers used here, with an observed top speed of 132kW – lower than the top speed of 235. kW that the Ioniq can accept. The deviation could be a problem with the charging equipment, LAN, or Ioniq’s battery management system. Some other reviewers reportedly got nearly 235 kW in their test vehicles while using chargers from the same station.
The Ioniq 5 starts at $ 39,700 for a 168-horsepower base model with a range of 220 miles (354 km) and goes up to $ 54,500 for an AWD Limited. it is assembled in Korea and has just been released for sale in the United States.