THE EV evolution continues with the 2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5, another piece of the Korean car maker’s affordable electric vehicle offerings. Available in two flavours, its design can be perceived as legitimately polarising.
The first of its two options is a two-wheel (rear) drive with a 160kW single electric motor. It’s priced at $71,900 plus on-roads. But that’s not what we’re testing. Instead, we’re behind the wheel of the 225kW/605Nm all-wheel drive variant.
The design, Hyundai says, is a modern interpretation of their first ever passenger car – the Pony. While looks are subjective we can tell you that the IONIQ 5 has garnered a serious amount of attention, and people either loved it, or hated it.
We personally like the fact that Hyundai has resisted the urge to go full spaceship like other EVs, because let’s face it, playing to the “futuristic” and “Sci-Fi” motif gets very boring, very quickly.
The LED lights front and rear do a fantastic job of lighting the road and making the IONIQ 5 visible. In particular, the rear lights, which appear to be 8-bit inspired, tie in beautifully with the retro yet modern aesthetic.
Aerodynamics too have been carefully considered to enhance the IONIQ 5’s range. In the fastback body profile and sculpted lines, that works well, but the jewel aerodynamic wheels tend to look a bit awkward.
You can’t argue with the results though as Hyundai claims the drag coefficient of the IONIQ 5 comes in at 0.288. For scale, a La Ferrari has a drag coefficient of 0.30.
We wouldn’t go telling the boys down at the pub that the IONIQ 5 is a Ferrari beater, but it is a cool titbit to keep in your pocket.
Moving inside, the cabin is open and airy thanks to the IONIQ 5’s lack of transmission tunnel and vision glass roof, which provides plenty of natural light and space. This particular model also gets sustainable eco-pressed leather seats.
They’re heated and ventilated up front and provide 12-way power adjustment. Rear seats are also heated and can slide up to 135mm to open up boot space or to give rear occupants slightly more leg room.
Between the two front seats is, what Hyundai have labelled, a universal island, essentially it’s a centre console that can be moved forward or backward 140mm and houses two USB charging ports, a wireless charging pad, a small cubby and an armrest.
There’s a heated steering wheel and two 12.3-inch screens up front, housing all the information you will ever need to know about the IONIQ 5. You’ll also find cameras mounted in each wing mirror that activate in the dash when you use your indicator.
While visibility is very good, it makes changing lanes that bit easier and gives the driver more confidence in their surroundings. A reverse camera, 360-degree camera, blind spot monitor and a plethora of steering and brake assists also feature.
Boot space comes in at 527-litres with the rear seats in place and 1,587 litres when they are folded flat. There is also a 24-litre cargo compartment up front under the bonnet. The driving experience of the IONIQ 5 can be summed up in one word; quirky.
We say this because all the elements of a traditional car are there, but some operate in a new fashion that you may not have expected.
For example, there are paddle shifters, which, in a car fitted with an auto transmission would allow you to flick through the gears, up and down. In the IONIQ 5, the left paddle increases the level of regenerative braking, and the right decreases the level.
That’s after you’ve got used to the fact the only way you know the car is on is that there’s a simple ‘Ready’ message on the instrument cluster. It’s an EV, so of course you don’t hear the car come to life, as it were.
In this case, you simply see the respective letter light up, when you choose drive or reverse. Moving off the line is a smooth affair though, and getting up to any speed is done without any shunting or fuss.
For a truly new world experience you can dial the regenerative braking all the way up and operate the IONIQ 5 with the accelerator pedal only. We found it quite surprising how quickly you got used to driving it like this and how well it slowed you down.
Steering is light, to the point of being numb, and pushing the IONIQ 5 through a set of corners with any gusto will result in waves of understeer, especially if there is water on the road.
If though, you drive it with the knowledge that it is a city car, an A to B car and not a performance car, then the IONIQ 5 is a pleasure to operate.
The suspension does a fantastic job of keeping the ride level and comfortable over Sydney’s less than optimal roads too, with only the biggest potholes causing it any irritation.
Hyundai have done a great job of dealing with noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) coming into the cabin. Keeping in mind you don’t have any engine or driveline noise to mask other sounds such as tyre roar or wind noise, it’s surprisingly well insulated.
That’s not to say you feel like you’re in a Rolls Royce, but you also don’t feel like you’re in a tin can going through a hurricane either. The stereo is a real disappointment though.
Taking the engine and driveline noise away and adding great NVH should mean the IONIQ 5 has a great sounding stereo, but it just doesn’t. If all you want to do is listen to the radio then you’ll be fine, however, if you’re a music lover then prepare to be sad.
In terms of refuelling, the IONIQ 5 will let you know where the nearest charging stations are via the navigation screen, which is a great feature. We found that upon arriving at our first charging station, it was faulty.
Now with range anxiety well and truly kicking in, we headed off to the next closest. Upon arrival this charging station also did not seem to be operating, which resulted in a phone call to tech support to restart the charger (cue IT crowd jokes here).
Once it was working, the dash let us know that it would take over 10 hours to charge (a supercharger would have been handy at that point). Hard not to feel like a dinosaur and long for a simple 5-minute fill up at the servo.
The IONIQ 5 was this writer’s first ever experience driving, and living with, an EV. The comfort in day-to-day driving is sublime and its manners out on the road make it a treat to drive.
The frustration felt in trying to charge it up did ruin the experience somewhat though. If you are able to find a reliable charger, or have a charging solution at home, or work, that you can use without fuss, then it will leave you only with a positive experience.
To find out more about the 2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5 AWD, visit the Hyundai website. For the record, you can jump into your own for $75,900 plus on-roads.
Our 2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5 was supplied by Hyundai Australia. To find out more, contact your local Hyundai dealer. You can watch David’s video review on YouTube.