This is Hyundai’s exciting new electric car, the IONIQ5, and it is one of the standout cars to launch in Ireland this year. At a glance, it looks like a hatchback but it is actually closer to an SUV in terms of size, being only slightly smaller than a Hyundai Sante Fe but with a longer wheelbase.
The IONIQ 5 has generated huge interest online since it was first revealed, not only for its head-turning retro-esque looks and innovative interior, but also its long-range and fast charging capabilities. It offers up to 481 kilometres of range depending on which version you go for, and prices in Ireland start from around €37,995 including grants.
Starting outside, there is so much to talk about and it is a big car in the metal. The IONIQ5 sits on a new bespoke electric car platform that will underpin lots of new electric Hyundai models in the coming years, and this is the first.
It sits between the Hyundai Tucson and Santa Fe in terms of size, but it actually has a longer wheelbase and it sits lower to the ground than both of those cars. Hyundai is also keen to point out that it is bigger than Ireland’s best-selling electric car right now, the Volkswagen ID.4.
Standout features include a light motif that runs across the front end of the car, creased side styling, flush door handles and cool pixel LED lights at the rear.
As standard you get large 19-inch alloy wheels and the IONIQ5 comes in two battery sizes, a 58kwh battery that gets you 384 kilometres of range, or a larger 73kwh battery that gets you up to 481 kilometres of range.
First impressions are very good when you sit inside, it is exceptionally spacious as Hyundai has managed to add in lots of extra room by stretching the wheelbase of the car. The driver’s areas is dominated by a pair of 12.3-inch screens in a flush panel across the dashboard, which looks great and the finish is good too.
It’s less minimalistic than a Tesla Model 3, as you get plenty of buttons on the steering wheel and functions across the dashboard too, although this does take getting used to. The driving position is good with plenty of adjustment to get comfortable and there are lots of storage areas dotted throughout the cabin including a sliding drawer-style glove box.
You can even slide the centre console backwards and forwards to give rear passengers more legroom or to have more floor space up front. This could be useful if you need to step out the passenger door if you have parked on busy street, very clever! You can also recline the front seats to be virtually flat and that allows you to rest in comfort as you wait for the car to charge.
The huge 12.3-inch touchscreen system is good to use and it has with Apple Car Play and Android Auto connectivity, and you also get plenty of physical buttons. Rear passengers get lots legroom thanks to the flat floor layout. Rear headroom is good if not quite as strong as what you will get in large SUVs, but for the most part it is a very comfortable space. You also get two USB-c charge points, handy storage areas to hold a smartphone, two sets of ISOFIX mounts and a comfy armrest with cup holders
Boot space is very good too and this will be key for family buyers, with 540 litres of space which is on par with the Volkswagen ID4 and bigger than the Ford Mustang Mach-e. There is an additional storage area under the floor for storing charge cables beneath the floor, while the rear seats drop down in a 60/40 arrangement when extra space is needed.
Out on the road the IONIQ5 is very smooth to drive with a raised driving position that gives you a commanding view of the road. The drive selector behind the steering wheel takes getting used to as it is located close to other controls. You can adjust regenerative braking with paddleshifters behind the steering wheel and also select driving modes with a button on the steering wheel, including ECO, Normal and Sport
The IONIQ5 is very relaxing to drive, it’s quiet through town, smooth at motorway speeds and it has enough power for an exciting drive and overtaking too. It is available with one or two electric motors, which means rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel drive, this one is the rear-wheel drive model.
The rear wheel drive model makes 225 horsepower, while the faster all-wheel drive model makes 320 horsepower, and the difference is considerable as it is a heavy car. Acceleration is swift in the entry rear wheel drive model all-wheel- 0-100km/h taking 7.4 seconds.
Through turns it performs well too, even though it is a heavy car with agile steering through tight corners. In terms of charging, the IONIQ 5 excels as it has 800 volt charging and a max 220 kilowatts, which means you can reach 80 percent charge in 18 minutes with a rapid charger.
Top spec versions also have have vehicle to load charging which means you could in theory put power back into the grid when you have plugged in at home, or even use it to power your laptop or even charge another electric car, albeit very slowly
For the high specification 73 kwh battery versions, the claimed range is up to 481 kilometres, but you could expect to get around 400 kilometres in real world driving conditions.
The IONIQ5 launches to the Irish market in four different specifications, Executive, Executive plus, Premium and Premium Plus. The entry Executive model with the smaller 58 kwh battery starts at €37,995 including grants, and it’s well specced with 19-inch alloy wheels, a heated steering wheel, ambient mood lighting inside, heated seats, dual zone climate control, electric mirrors, a reversing camera, wireless smartphone charging, the 12.3 inch screens and lots more.
Step up to Executive plus from €40,995 with either the 58kw battery or the larger 73kw battery for €44,995, and you get a heat pump which is great for wintry Irish weather, an electric driver’s seat, half leather upholstery, privacy glass, the sliding centre console and automatic door handles.
Premium specification starts at €44,995, adding leather seats, v shaped integrated LED grille lighting, chrome detailing and lots of driving aids including highway driving assist and forward collision avoidance.
The top of the range Premium Plus starts from around €53,495 and is only available with the larger 73 kilowatt battery and it leaves little to be desired, with 20-inch alloy wheels, relaxation seats, surround view monitoring, remote parking assist, an electric tailgate, heads up display and vehicle to load technology.
The Hyundai IONIQ 5 mixes standout styling with a hugely spacious and practical interior, and it’s great to drive too. What’s more it has an impressive spec of standard equipment, although you will have to splash out for some of the more desirable features. For example the range-topping all-wheel drive model costing a whopping 65,000 euro, which is high-spec Tesla Model 3 territory. Handling isn’t quite as sharp as some other EVs too due to the heavy body weight. Overall it's a very impressive new electric car option for 2021, and one that is likely to prove popular with Irish buyers.