by Jay Traugott
Like many automakers these days, Hyundai has begun pursuing an aggressive electrification strategy that began with the introduction of its Ioniq sub-brand. And now, the first of three planned EVs has been revealed. Presenting the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5, a battery-electric five-door hatchback with edgy styling inside and out, extensive use of eco-friendly materials, and impressive range.
The Ioniq 5 is the production version of 2019's 45 Concept and it's nice to see a good portion of its design surviving. The interior is also a dramatic departure from the norm and it'll be interesting to see how consumers react. Make no mistake about it, the Ioniq 5 is a technically advanced EV that rides on a new dedicated EV global platform. But the big question now is whether the vehicle can make a dent in the growing lineup of new EVs coming to market. The competition is already impressive and things are only beginning to heat up.
Hyundai has taken a chance with the Ioniq 5's exterior edgy styling, but fortune favors the bold. With inspiration taken from the Hyundai Pony, the firm's first production model 45 years ago, the Ioniq 5's wheelbase measures 118 inches, with a total length at 182 inches, width at 74 inches, and a height of 63 inches. Not only do these figures enable extensive interior space, but also short front and rear overhangs, a much sought-after design trait made easily possible with EVs.
Up front is a clamshell hood that helps to reduce panel gaps for improved aerodynamics. The front bumper has V-shaped daytime running lights with a unique lighting signature. The aero styling continues at the sides with the folding door handles. A strong character line runs the length of the doors above those handles to the taillights while a diagonal line cuts through the doors. Also notice the thick C-pillar. The 20-inch wheel designs are also optimized for aero efficiency. A total of nine exterior colors are available, five of which are exclusive to the Ioniq 5.
The Ioniq 5's innovative interior is designed to maximize space. It's no wonder Hyundai calls it a 'Living Space.' With its lounge-like aura, the electronically adjustable front seats recline nearly flat. Hyundai says it also reduced those seats' thickness by 30 percent, which helps provide additional space for rear-seat occupants. There's 19 cu. ft. of trunk space, increasing to 56.5 cu. ft. with the rear seats folded flat. The movable center console is called the 'Universal Island' that's capable of sliding rearward 5.5 inches to help passengers enter and exit more easily.
As a sign of dedication towards sustainability, the seats, headliner, door trim, and armrest are all made from eco-friendly materials, including recycled PET bottles, plant-based bio and natural wool yarns, and eco-processed leather-trimmed seats with plant-based extracts. Even the paint has plant extracts. A total of three interior colors are offered.
The dual-cockpit is adorned by two 12-inch screens: an infotainment system display and a fully customizable digital gauge cluster. The Ioniq 5 also has a Hyundai-first augmented reality head-up display capable of showing information such as navigation and other safety-related details.
The Ioniq 5 comes with a 58-kWh battery pack as standard and an optional 72.6-kWh unit. Both can be linked to a single rear motor or dual-motor setup. The more powerful battery, combined with all-wheel drive, produces 301 horsepower and 446 lb-ft of torque. Zero to 62 mph happens in 5.2 seconds (6.1 with the base battery) and cruises to a top speed of 115 mph. The 2WD variant with the optional battery requires 7.4 seconds to 62 mph, but it's likely the most efficient setup with a 292-298 mile range, based on the WLTP standard.
The Ioniq 5 can accommodate both 400-V and 800-V charging. With a 350-kWh charger, the battery is charged from 10 percent to 80 percent in 18 minutes. Sixty-two miles of range requires only five minutes of charging time. The new V2L function (Vehicle-to-Load) turns the Ioniq 5 into a mobile charger for things like electric bikes and scooters.
Hyundai's latest SmartSense suite of driver-assist features is standard, which includes Forward-Collision and Blind-Spot Assistance. The Ioniq 5 is the first Hyundai with the optional Highway Driving Assist 2 semi-autonomous system, consisting of a front view camera, radar sensors, and navigation data for more relaxing highway driving.
Official pricing has not yet been announced but Hyundai says the 2022 Ioniq 5 will be in dealerships across the country next fall. It should be eligible for state and federal tax credits.
Its main rivals will be the also all-new Volkswagen ID.4 and Tesla Model Y, though both are crossovers. However, the Ioniq 5's clever interior could steer buyers away from those competitors. The just-revealed 2022 Chevy Bolt EUV and refreshed Bolt EV hatchback are two more contenders, as is the Nissan Leaf hatchback.
Those preparing to buy their first electric vehicle have another excellent option with the Hyundai Ioniq 5. Its decent range, overall packaging, and unique styling are bound to draw plenty of attention and, hopefully, customers.