I hid my trusty Kona Electric in the garage for a week to experience its new stable mate, an AWD Hyundai Ioniq 5 as my ‘daily driver’. Although I was a bit limited by Melbourne lockdowns, I still managed to drive several hundred kilometers up to enable myself to write my first impression of this.
My first conclusion – while the Ioniq 5 by category is a medium-sized SUV, it feels a whole size up inside. This comes from the all-new, e-GMP-only electrical platform it is built on.
It has a completely flat floor, and the wheels are moved out towards the corners, and the firewall is moved forward (since the ‘engine’ space does not have to be that big). It gives the designers a lot more interior space to play with – and they have certainly made the best of that opportunity.
By moving the drive selector and the electric parking brake to the steering column and dashboard, respectively, the usual center console in front of the seats is gone.
Adding an entire glass roof also lets in a huge amount of extra light, giving a more open and airy feel to the interior. Additionally, the spacious feel adds a line consisting of two flat LED screens without the usual enclosure.
By using higher-strength materials, Hyundai has also made the front seats less bulky, opening up more legroom on the rear seat – helped by the addition of a sliding center console that can be moved forward to provide more legroom for the center rear seat passenger. .
‘Futuristic feeling’ in Ioniq 5
My second conclusion – Hyundai has given the Ioniq 5 a more premium (and futuristic) feel. With angular exterior lines, door handles that align with the doors / pops out as you approach, and a front bar-style front with U-shaped daytime running lights, the Ioniq 5 attracts a few seconds of glances as you drive past.
It’s also full of features – too many to mention in a short “first impression” review.
I will therefore leave it to others to describe the Ioniq 5’s long list of them – but will mention the reclining front seats with footrest function, sat nav with live traffic updates, cordless phone charging, several driver profile settings that automatically adjust the seats, both ‘parking assistant’ and ‘remote parking assistant’ functions etc. etc. etc. etc.
My third conclusion – the Ioniq 5 is the kind of car that should appeal to families as it can easily accommodate 4 to 5 adults in size plus their luggage. With a smooth ride, large luggage space and a towing capacity of 1600 kg – it is easily able for both the daily family trip and the camping trips on a long weekend with a caravan or trailer.
It can also be recharged on highway DC fast chargers with up to 220 kW, which means that a charge of 10 to 80% can be done in just under 18 minutes. With a range of 430 km for AWD or 450 km for 2WD, this means you only need to stop every few hours to recharge even if you pull.
In terms of power and charging, the Ioniq 5 is also the first BEV marketed here with vehicle-to-load (V2L) capability. This means that you can draw 240V AC power from the battery via a special adapter that comes with the car.
A handy feature for campgrounds – and a warning of what’s to come as the CCS charging socket standard evolves to offer full vehicle-to-network (V2G) capacity over the next few years. However, Australia does not get the extra internal socket offered in some other countries.
Another useful feature is when you set left or right that the relevant side camera image appears on the driver screen to show what is happening on the side of the car.
In terms of cons – I could only find two, both perhaps suggesting that the stylists had a little too much to say about the final design. The first is that there is no rear window wiper. This may have been sacrificed to give a clean look to the exterior, but it is a bit annoying when starting in the morning if the vehicle was left out during a wet night.
The second is that despite the large screen located in front of the driver, very little of it is used to provide useful information! In fact, the driver display suggests that it is optimized to coordinate with the Head-Up Display (HUD) option… which is not currently offered with the Ioniq 5 sold here.
As a result, the speed reading is hidden by the road in the upper left corner, and the center is dedicated to detailed tour information that is of little immediate use.
Annoyingly, you can also switch the center information data section to show only the speed reading that you can in the Kona or Ioniq BEVs. Once you get used to it, the speedo is easy to find – but it’s a disappointment that no better use was made of the screen.
Where’s that speedo again?
Comparison of Ioniq 5 offered here with what has been released abroad shows more than just the lack of HUD. We also do not get the internal V2L socket, solar cell roof option or the more efficient heat pump with reverse cycle. (Australia gets the less efficient resistive element heater).
However, we get the heated steering wheel plus heated and cooled front and heated outer rear seats. The ‘Standard Range’ version with a 58 kWh battery is also not offered (at least in the first instance).
Summary: Hyundai has increased a gear from their already high bar for electric cars. In the Ioniq 5, they have created a spacious, exclusive-feel, feature-packed full-battery electric vehicle (BEV) that matches, if not better, its fossil-fueled rivals in every way. It is also a worthy new entrant to the most popular vehicle segment in Australia – the ‘mid-size SUV’.
However, it is still not without a weakness or two. (But let’s face it – which car is not?) In addition, it can be difficult to understand the thinking behind choosing which features to include / exclude for the Australian version versus those offered in other markets.
Incidentally, for those who wonder about ‘Remote Smart Parking Assist’ – where you can stand outside the car and it will self-park in both parallel and perpendicular situations – unfortunately, in the few situations I tried to test it, the car was more nervous than I was and it refused to try!
Ioniq 5 prices and basic details:
2WD: $ 77,300 on the way (before state-based grants)
AWD: $ 81,500 on the way (before state-based grants)
Possibility of towing: add $ 1490
2WD: 451 km
AWD: 430 km
Luggage volume in liters (1 liter = 10 x 10 x 10 cm)
- Seats up: 531 L
- Seats down: 1591 L
Front boot (‘foot’):
- Total length: 4635 mm
- Total width:
- 1890 mm (mirrors in)
- 2152 mm (mirrors out)
- Total height: 1605 mm
- 1 phase AC: 7.4kW max. (45 km charged / h)
- 3-phase AC: 11kW max. (67 km charged / h)
- DC: 220kW max. (1300 km charged / h)
Charging port location:
Energy consumption: (WLTP)
- Rear wheel drive – standard
- Four-wheel drive (AWD) – optional
Towing: NB: Only long-range versions are classified for towing
- 1600 kg braked / 750 kg unbraked.
|0 to 100 km / h
|2WD with long range||160||7.4|
|Long range AWD||225||5.2|
Bryce Gaton is an expert in electric vehicles and a contributor to The Driven and Renew Economy. He has been working in the EV sector since 2008 and is currently working as an EV electrical safety trainer / supervisor for the University of Melbourne. He also provides support for EV Transition to business, government and the public through his EV Transition consulting firm EVchoice.