By playing in their sandbox is to find an electric vehicle that is competitive enough for you to own.
Upon seeing the photo if the vehicle you’re about to read about, it simply answers the question that, yes, we are working with electric vehicles now on a regular rotation.
Not simply because we must. Your curiosity helped tremendously. After all, visions of Teslas charging up at their proprietary Superchargers across the country have prompted you to see if you could play in their sandbox.
By playing in their sandbox is to find an electric vehicle that is competitive enough for you to own. Something from a legacy manufacturer – one that is driving the EV conversation further.
Hyundai Motor Group arrived at the electric vehicle table talk with a trio of advanced models, augmenting a growing stable of battery electric and electrified vehicles across the group’s three brands. They developed a flexible platform that provides a right-sized solution for everyday driving, while the practicality consumers want.
This is the first of a trio of vehicles to be developed from Hyundai’s Electric Global Modular Platform – the award-winning 2022 IONIQ 5.
Yep. The 2022 IONIQ 5 already scored the World Car of The Year award back in April. A huge honor considering its prestigious jury from around the world. Hyundai needed a global EV that would challenge perceptions and competitors wherever it makes its presence.
What they delivered is a practical crossover with a classic-leaning design, advanced engineering and technological elements, and huge promises towards ease of living with an EV.
Let’s explain what’s underneath the IONIQ 5. The Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) is a flexible backbone for not just the Hyundai, but also for the Kia EV6 and Genesis GV60. While they share the same platform, each vehicle deviates in terms of design and driving experience.
Hyundai’s approach is to attract the everyday driver. An everyday driver that has a family – or friends – that would not mind being driven in an electric vehicle. In turn, the everyday driver needs practicality. It needs to have the space for everyone to feel comfortable, along with carrying things to wherever they want to go – gifts for weddings, vacations on the shore, or props for the Pride parade unit.
Therefore, the IONIQ 5 is a study in ”form following function.” I liken the shape to earlier Hyundai models – namely the Pony and Excel. It looks like a hatchback, but it is a crossover. It also sits on the same footprint as the latest Hyundai Tucson with a very long wheelbase – almost the size of the larger Palisade.
From there, it is all about the details. The square-matrix motif of the rear taillights will bring the old school gamers to its clutches. So will the quad LED rectangular headlamps. The pop-out door handles are another feature that will excite those looking for something different. In my Limited tester, the 20-inch alloy wheels just scream the year 2024.
Looking at the IONIQ 5, you get a solid mix of the past, present, and future of a civil society. Yet, it is also practical. This theme continues inside with a mix of familiar Hyundai elements with some future-forward ones. The use of white finishes in this Limited tester has been expanded to include the dashboard – a flat housing for the wide instrumentation and infotainment screens. You have access to plenty of information, but you really need the ones for speed, state of charge and range. The Limited model also includes a head-up display, as well.
Most controls should be familiar to any Hyundai owner – except one. Try to find the shifter. If you look to the lower right of the steering column, you will notice a stationary stalk with a knob at the end. Just turn to the appropriate direction – drive or reverse – and don’t forget to click the park button at the end. It is novel, but it works well.
You do get seating for up to five humans. There is plenty of space for adults with great head and legroom all around. Front seat occupants get bolstered seats that offer minimal fatigue on longer journeys. The center console moves back and forth, but only in a short distance. The open storage concept is pretty cool, but a covered stowage would be better.
Speaking of covered stowage, open up the hood. Instead of a front trunk, you get something resembling an engine cover. If you pop open the cover, you have access to less than a cubic foot of stowage – enough for the 110-volt charging cord.
Which means that you have a very usable rear cargo area. When you open up the liftgate, there is 27.2 cubic feet of space available. Fold down the rear seats, and there is 59.3 cubic feet of space for anything you can think of. Like I said, the IONIQ 5 is practical.
It is quite powerful. IONIQ 5 have three levels of performance and range to choose from. You can go with a Standard range model with a 58 kWh battery pack and a 220-mile range or an extended range model with a 77.4 kWh battery pack good for 302 miles. Both of these configurations use a single electric motor mounted on the rear axle.
This tester is the all-wheel drive model, which Hyundai puts an electric motor on each axle. It still uses the extended range battery pack, Hyundai states that it will return a 256-mile range from a full battery. In reality, I mustered as much as 235 miles from a 100% charge.
Speaking of charging, I have been using the Electrify America chargers out in Woodbury for the IONIQ 5 to see how well it returns energy back into the battery pack. The longest charge took 35 minutes to get from 39% to 99%. This is using their highest capacity charging ports. Hyundai does claim to have this fastest charging turnaround of any vehicle in its class.
In terms of the driving experience, the IONIQ 5 rides very smoothly. It handles the bumps well without transmitting them into the cabin, Handling is good – somewhere between soft and solid. Cornering is fine, but you do feel the extra weight of the battery pack, along with the lower center of gravity.
The steering is not as tight as you expect in a smaller vehicle. While there is some absence of feel, it manages will when you point the IONIQ 5 into a turn. On-center feel us fine, but it also very manageable.
The brakes are an interesting story. If you apply them, they do respond with good normal and panic stops. Pedal feel is good. There is a one-pedal function called i-Pedal that can be enabled so you not have to use the pedal to intervene. A Smart Regenerative System is designed to maintain charge levels while slowing down.
My 2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5 Limited all-wheel drive tester came with a sticker price of $55,920. If you compare that with comparable models, it is simply “right there.” Of course, that is before any tax incentives. The IONIQ 5 lineup starts at under $40,000.
With every electric vehicle we are working with, we are learning a lot from our experiences. Not just on how to measure efficiency and other key nuts and bolts items. Rather, how it would integrate with society. Or, on the highway with other vehicles.
In turn, the IONIQ 5 is making an impression. People are curious – very curious. They want to know whether this is as good as…you name any EV in the market, and that’s what they are comparing the IONIQ 5 to.
The bottom line is that Hyundai has produced an electric vehicle that for the mainstream audience. It is practical by design, which is what consumers need right now. Perhaps this is the electric vehicle we need right now.
DISCLAIMER: Vehicle provided by Hyundai Motor America
All photos by Randy Stern