2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5

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2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 Test Drive Review: Instant Icon

It doesn't happen often, but every once in a while, an automaker emerges (seemingly out of nowhere) with a new vehicle that makes you go, "wow." That's the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5, a new electric car that arrives on the market ready to battle the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Volkswagen ID.4, and even the vaunted Tesla Model Y; no easy task. Hyundai has been on a roll as of late, building compelling products that match established segment leaders but at a lower cost. The Ioniq 5 is a bit different - it's not necessarily cheaper, but in almost every tangible way, it's better.

Hyundai offers two configurations: a single motor generating 225 horsepower or a dual-motor setup silently throwing 320 hp to the ground. "Woah, this thing has some kick," your passengers will say. That's after they marvel at the futuristic styling, lounge-like interior, and stellar build quality. If the Ioniq 5 can't make people stop saying, "but it's still a Hyundai," we don't know what car can. Not only will this likely be the car that permanently alters the perceptions of Hyundai, but it will also make people consider making the switch to an EV.

Is the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 a good SUV?

  • Exterior Design 10 /10
  • Performance 8 /10
  • Fuel Economy 8 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 8 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 9 /10
  • Reliability 9 /10
  • Safety 9 /10
  • Value For Money 9 /10
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2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 Models

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
SE Standard Range
Single Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Single Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
Single Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
Single Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive

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Exterior: Taking Its Own Path

If you're questioning why we just waxed lyrical about this car in the opening paragraphs, maybe you just haven't laid eyes on the Ioniq 5 in person. Nothing about the design looks derivative (unless you count that it looks like a modern-day Lancia Delta Integrale), so people notice it out on the road. Those square Parametic Pixel LED lights will almost certainly become the next styling trend other automakers copy, because, WOW, they look cool.

Angular headlights lead into boxy styling, executed with more grace than the Kia Soul or Nissan Cube. It's no wonder the Ioniq 5 has taken home nearly every design award in the auto industry. Every time you look at it, you notice a different element: the pop-out door handles, the streaks in the bodywork, and those glorious retro taillights. Our tester's white paint job gave it that high-tech iPod look, while other colors like Digital Teal and Shooting Star (matte grey) provide more luxurious or aggressive curb appeal.

The overall proportions aren't gargantuan, but the Ioniq 5 rides on a longer wheelbase than a three-row Palisade. Even with 20-inch aero-design wheels that appear straight off a concept car.

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Performance: Smooth Jolt

Every Ioniq 5 sold in the US market uses a 77.4 kWh battery pack; the smaller 58 kWh pack in the Kia EV6 is not available here. A single motor sends 225 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque out to the rear wheels, enabling a 7.4-second 0-60 mph time that should feel comparable to the average gas-powered compact crossover. Thrill-seekers should opt for the dual-motor all-wheel-drive model. A second motor at the front ups the output to a combined 320 hp and 446 lb-ft and drops the 0-60 time to the mid-four-second range. The initial shove will throw passengers into their seats with more violence than an average crossover.

Driving range is dependent on the motor setup, with the single motor rated at 303 miles on a charge and the dual motor sapping its battery in 256 miles. Based on our time with the car, these ratings appear to be conservative estimates unless you stomp on the throttle at every red light.

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The Ioniq 5's range figures are class-competitive, but the charging speed is the true party piece. On a 350 kW charger, Hyundai says the Ioniq 5 can reach a peak speed of 235 kW. That's enough to bring the battery from 10 to 80 percent charge in just 18 minutes, or add around 68 miles in five minutes. You will not find an EV under six-figures that can charge quicker - provided you can find a charging station capable of these rates. Adding to the Ioniq 5's value, Hyundai includes unlimited 30-minute charging sessions from Electrify America for two years. Charging on a Level 2 plug at home takes around 6 hours and 43 minutes, meaning the car should be juiced up and ready to go overnight.

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Driving Impressions: Tuned For Comfort

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 shares its platform and drivetrain with the Kia EV6, but the two have unique characters out on the road. Whereas Kia tuned the EV6 to feel sporty, Hyundai took the opposite approach, making the Ioniq 5 a comfy cruiser. Even with 20-inch wheels, the Ioniq 5 glides over most road imperfections without making a fuss. Through the bends, the Hyundai exhibits a bit more body roll than its Kia sibling in exchange for its softer ride. We wouldn't say the two are worlds apart, but it feels like Hyundai and Kia are aiming for slightly different customers. If you care about sporty driving, the EV6 holds a slight edge. If comfort is more important, we say get the Ioniq 5.

As with most EVs, power is instantly accessible, making it a thrill to pass slower traffic on a whim. The drive modes (Normal, Eco, and Sport) drastically change the throttle mapping, making the initial throttle tip-in more or less pronounced. Hyundai includes three brake regeneration modes controlled via the paddle shifters plus an i-Pedal mode that enables one-pedal driving. We love having the flexibility to have strong brake regen or coast-on-demand.

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Interior: A Modern Lounge

Though we slightly prefer the Kia EV6's driving manners, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 earns our love of the interior. While Kia made its EV look more like a conventional ICE car inside, Hyundai's designers went in an entirely different direction. This car's interior looks like a futuristic lounge. Every surface feels premium to the touch and visually stunning. The interior features eco-friendly materials, including recycled PET bottles, plant-based and natural wool yarns, and bio paint.

Not only is this cabin attractive to look at, it's practical too. The floor is completely flat and with no transmission tunnel taking up space, the driver and front-seat passenger can stretch their legs unhampered. Speaking of leg stretching, the driver's seat includes a footrest with the ability to lean back while the car is parked. Relaxation doesn't get much better.

Thanks to its large wheelbase, the Ioniq 5 boasts a whopping 39.4 inches of rear legroom, more than the Mustang Mach-E or ID.4. It's worth noting those back seats can slide and recline, letting rear passengers find their ideal position.

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Behind the second row, the Ioniq 5 provides 27.2 cubic feet of cargo space. If you fold the seats, it opens up to 59.3 cubic feet. There's a small storage box up front that we'd be embarrassed to call a frunk, but it has enough space to fit a home charging cable.

A Universal Island moveable center console provides enough space for a large handbag plus two cupholders and USB ports. On the top Limited trim, a full glass roof (with a closable cover) makes the cabin feel even more open.

As for the technology, dual 12-inch screens supply Hyundai's familiar infotainment infrastructure, which is easy to operate. There's no wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, but our complaints with the system end there. The eight-speaker Bose audio system sounds ok, but it lacks the punch of the Meridian sound system in the EV6.

Every Ioniq 5 comes well-equipped with safety features such as Highway Driving Assist, smart cruise control, blind-spot monitors, and more. Some key safety features locked to the top Limited trim are the blind-spot view monitors in the gauge cluster, Remote Smart Parking Assist, and Remote Smart Parking Assist.

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Verdict: A Segment Leader

After spending plenty of time behind the wheel of the Hyundai Ioniq 5, we believe this is the new segment leader for affordable EVs. It delivers the best blend of futuristic styling, luxurious interior design, fast-charging, competitive range, and outstanding comfort. Hyundai took a bold swing with this car, and it pays dividends in curb appeal. We think there's more to love about the Ioniq 5 than the Mustang Mach-E or ID.4. The Kia EV6 is the closest competitor, with low-slung styling and a sportier interior. Tesla still boasts better range and more performance, but the Model Y is far more expensive than the Ioniq 5.

If you are in the market for a reasonably affordable EV, the Ioniq 5 needs to be at the top of your list. We'd pick it over any rival in its segment, with the possible exception of the EV6 if you prefer its styling and sportier character. Once again, Hyundai has hit a home run.

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Pricing & Competitors: A Strong Value

Pricing for the Ioniq 5 starts at a reasonable $44,000 for the rear-motor SE model, not including any federal, state, or local tax credits. The Mustang Mach-E and ID.4 undercut the Ioniq 5 on price, but don't offer as many standard features and come with a shorter range. Kia's EV6 is also cheaper than the Hyundai thanks to a less powerful Light model with a smaller battery but the more comparable Wind model is pricier than the base Ioniq 5.

We'd likely step up to the $46,250 SEL trim with its nicer interior and added features, or if you can swing it, the decked-out Limited trim for $51,100. Buyers who require AWD can add it for $3,500 ($3,900 on the Limited), which also rolls in a major power bump at the expense of range.

Now, for the big question; is it better than a Tesla Model Y? Tesla has Hyundai beaten on range and performance, at least until the upcoming Ioniq 5 N comes along churning out nearly 600 hp. However, the cheapest Model Y currently available costs $64,990 (with no available tax credits), putting it in a different price category compared to even the most loaded Ioniq 5.

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2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 Video Review

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