One of the most hotly anticipated new electric cars of 2021 is the Hyundai Ioniq 5, an uber-cool hatchback that looks set to provide real competition to Volkswagen’s all-conquering ID.3.
The Ioniq 5 is the third all-electric car from the Korean car maker but it is, in fact, the first vehicle it has produced that is designed, from the ground up, to be batteries only. (The much admired original Ioniq and Kona were both electric cars that were upgraded from conventional combustion-engined versions.)
The Ioniq 5, however, was only ever created to be purely electric, which means that Hyundai has been able to build a bespoke hatchback that is laden with incredible technology, has been designed around its electric powertrain to be supremely practical, and is also blessed with looks that give it serious hot hatch vibes.
So What Makes The Ioniq 5 Special?
Well to start with it comes on its own purpose-built electric platform that has allowed the Hyundai engineers to create a car with a real Tardis-effect: it looks small, sculpted and poised from the outside, but is cavernous inside, with a fully flat floor through the whole cabin, which frees up huge amounts of additional space.
Its exterior design has been described as futuristic, retro, modernistic, minimalist and plenty more adjectives to boot. The reality is the Ioniq 5 just looks the part – its bonnet is a big ‘clamshell’, meaning it wraps over the front wheel arches and along the cool LED headlights when it closes to create a big surface area of beautifully sculpted metal. Those clean lines become even more dramatic along the 4 doors where a sharp, angular ‘slash’ creates beautiful light effects when seen from different angles. Compared to many other electric vehicles in its class, the Ioniq 5 is a genuine design statement.
And the car’s exterior looks genuinely hint at the similarly impressive interior design, where all that space has been used to brilliant effect to hone an interior that is airy, modern and overtly high-tech.
In Premium spec, huge, comfy front ‘relaxation’ seats can be powered back like a first-class airline seat at the touch of a button and thanks to the car’s perfectly flat floor, the centre console between the front seats can even be slid into the rear of the cabin to provide a table for passengers in the back. And it’s not a gimmick, because with the console right back the front seat passengers can move across the whole width of the cabin, and get in and out of either door. Handy if you want to make sure you can step out onto the safer side in a narrow street.
Ahead of the driver sit two stunning 12-inch screens – one a set of digital gauges which can be configured to show different modes and the second an infotainment touchscreen. There’s even an optional head-up display with augmented reality which can project essential information like navigation directions and road sign information onto the windscreen.
Driver safety aids don’t stop there, either. The Ioniq 5 comes will all the latest technologies including semi-autonomous driving capability, forward collision avoidance, blind-spot monitoring, speed-limit assistance, driver attention alerts and automatic high-beam headlights.
So It’s Good-looking And Clever – But Does It Perform?
That’s a simple yes. The Ioniq 5 comes with two different options for battery size – a 58kWh base model and an extended range 73kWh version. Both battery versions come in rear-wheel drive as standard but the bigger battery can also be specced as an all-wheel drive, dual motor model with more than 300 horsepower and a 0-62mph time of just 5.2 seconds!
That high-power version will obviously impact on your range, but Hyundai estimates that the less powerful 214bhp rear-wheel drive 73kWh Ioniq 5 will have a WLTP range of close to 300 miles. Even the entry-level Ioniq 5 is no slouch – it will also be rear-drive with a 168bhp motor for an 8.5-second 0-62mph time.
The Ioniq 5 can also use its battery storage to help charge other machines via something called ‘vehicle-to-load’ charging. This allows the car itself to charge accessories like an electric bike or e-scooter at speeds up to 3.6kW. It’s worth nothing that vehicle-to-load charging is not available on the entry-level SE Connect Ioniq 5.
And uniquely in its class, the Hyundai also comes with an 800-volt charging system – previously only the preserve of serious performance models like the Porsche Taycan. An 800-volt system allows the Ioniq 5 to connect to the fastest chargers available, including the 350kW ultra-rapid Ionity stations with whom Hyundai has now gone into partnership, meaning Ioniq 5 drivers will get a free 1-year subscription to use Ionity.
That means a theoretical charge from almost empty to 80% in around 18 minutes. Even a 5-minute boost at 350kW will load over 60 miles into your batteries. In the world of EV this is absolutely as good as it can get.
So What Will It Cost?
Being Hyundai’s range-topping EV, the Ioniq 5 has a price tag that might give anyone who had been considering buying outright pause for thought. At Vanarama we’re eagerly waiting to see how the first leasing figures come in, as we are confident that the Ioniq 5 will be a much more affordable machine when its costs are spread out over the lifetime of a lease.
Ioniq 5 will come in three trim levels: SE Connect, Premium and Ultimate. List prices start at £36,995 for the entry-level, rear-wheel drive, 58kWh battery version - which is the only model that you can spec in ‘SE Connect’ trim. The same powertrain in ‘Premium’ starts at £39,295, and a 58kWh, rear-wheel drive Ultimate model can be yours for £42,295.
If you need more range, the larger 73kWh battery, Premium models start at £41,945 and £42,295 in Ultimate trim. Then, there’s the top-of-the-range all-wheel drive, 73kWh powertrain which is also only available in Premium and Ultimate spec; they start at £45,145 and £48,145 respectively.
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