Motoring and Property Editor
6:00 AM 7th August 2021
Hyundai Ioniq 5 – UK Launch Review
Hyundai has been offering the buying public usable electric cars for many a year. I have covered plenty of miles in the Kona Electric, an SUV that is both easy to use and demands few compromises. Forget about range anxiety with a real-world range of 250 miles, winter or summer. Some premium manufacturers have yet to manage this.
Also available from Hyundai was the Ioniq, which could be had with either a petrol engine or in full EV guise. No more as the Ioniq 5 has just been launched, this time with only electric propulsion from either a 58kWh or long range 73kWh battery.
It is the first car in the new EV exclusive Ioniq sub-brand and the first Hyundai to be built on a new dedicated battery electric platform.
An invite to the media launch was gratefully accepted and my expectations were high.
Ioniq 5 joins an increasingly crowded sector and will need to do battle with the established Jaguar I-PACE, the Audi Q4 e-Tron and the Volkswagen ID.3 and ID.4 amongst others. There is also the new Mustang Mach E from Ford due in the showrooms very soon.
It’s a striking design and much bigger close up than will be apparent from the pictures. Hyundai says the look was inspired by its 1970s Pony and the family resemblance is clear.
I don’t claim to be an expert on car design, but I find the shape appealing with crisp lines and distinctive lighting front and rear.
Prices start from £36,995 for an entry-level SE Connect model with a 58kWh battery and a single motor powering the rear wheels. My test car however came in Ultimate guise with the long-range 73kWh battery and dual-motor four-wheel drive. Price, £48,145.
All models are well equipped though you’ll need the Ultimate if you want leather upholstery, tinted windows and a useful head-up display.
Walk up to the car and the flush door handles pop out, the car already prepared for the drive ahead. Most noticeable once you are underway is how hushed the cabin is and this sense of peace continues even at motorway speeds.
There are various drive modes with the ‘Sport’ setting giving the Ioniq 5 an impressive turn of speed. For those more mindful of eking out the maximum range, ‘Eco’ mode dulls the accelerator response, fine for town work.
Although the test car was left-hand drive, and therefore required a little more care than usual, I was surprised at how well the car handled once free of urban confines. Well-weighted and responsive steering clearly helped place the car with some accuracy, but the chassis felt nicely balanced.
Yes, there is a little body roll, but if that’s the price to be paid for a comfortable ride, then that suits me just fine. Only the very deepest potholes will make their presence felt.
Worthy of praise are the brakes which feel nicely progressive and of course there is the ability to vary the level of regeneration. Set at its maximum, the Ioniq 5 can be more or less driven using only the accelerator.
The generous exterior dimensions have allowed Hyundai to create a truly spacious cabin. The light-coloured leather in the test car certainly added to the airy feel, but there is ample space front and rear for all aboard to spread out.
The rear seats can be slid forward to maximise boot space if required, as with the batteries under the floor, the space is a tad shallow. Up front, a smaller compartment acts as a storage bay for the charging cables.
Hyundai has been making high quality interiors for many a year and the fit, finish and texture of the materials used will impress.
The screens ahead of the driver are clearly presented and the infotainment screen is relatively straightforward to use. There are some shortcut buttons, and the climate control gets its own smaller screen for ease of use.
Range and charging are the two issues that most interest the new electric car buyer and Hyundai appears to have this covered. The Ioniq 5 can use the very fastest 350kW chargers and connected to one, the battery can be boosted from 10 to 80% in just 18 minutes.
It is to be hoped that this type of public charger will soon become the norm, but we are some way off that at the moment.
Hyundai quotes 238 to 298 miles of range for its new electric baby, depending on the model chosen, and this will likely be accurate and ample for most driver’s needs.
So, how to sum up the new Ioniq 5? Distinctive looks, a spacious and comfortable cabin, refined driving characteristics and a decent range should pique your interest.
I look forward to driving one very soon on home turf, but in the meantime, I would take a look at Hyundai’s website for more information and book a test drive.
Hyundai Ioniq 5 AWD Ultimate
Range starts at £36,995
0-62mph in 5.2 seconds
Top speed 115mph
Range 238 to 298 (model dependant)
Emissions – 0g/km CO2