REVIEW: Hyundai Ioniq 5

Recently I got to test drive Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 for 24 hours, but no doubt I will get an opportunity at a later stage to have this electric car for a longer period. I was very impressed with the car on what was one of our lovely ‘Indian Summer’ September days.

The much talked about Ioniq 5 is Hyundai’s s first pure electric car. It’s a car that has been designed as electric only, unlike their Kona and the namesake Ioniq, which are also available as hybrid models.

So that sets the Ioniq 5 apart from those other popular models, while also signifying a huge step forward for Hyundai. This car is designed to make more of a statement and show Hyundai’s serious ambitions with electric cars.

The Ioniq 5 is based on the Hyundai ‘45 concept’ which was shown at the Frankfurt motor show in 2019. While much of the concept is gone, the front design has been retained, as has the diagonal crease down the sides and the matte finish, resulting in a futuristic vision.

The car does look futuristic because you get a retro sci-fi looks, especially at the front and rear of the car. Looked at from the side, the car is rather more conventional and that is likely to boost its appeal.

The first question the neighbours ask when they see me driving an electric car, is ‘what’s the range.’ Officially, it’s 480km for the top of the range version, but of course much depends on the time of year you are driving and whether you are using air conditioning, lights, etc.

When I arrived at Hyundai’s Irish headquarters in JFK Drive, off the Naas Road, there were two Ioniq 5 models sitting outside, a white and a black. Paula, the always efficient receptionist in Hyundai, handed me the keys of the black car and I was off on the M50 to Ikea and then Jysk. This sounds like an ad for Scandinavian companies, but it’s all true.

In Santry I happened to meet a Russian man, who said he was seriously thinking about buying an Ioniq 5 for his wife and their two children. The man asked if I thought there would be enough room in the boot for their dog? I said it would probably be okay for a Maltese dog, but not for a Wolfhound.

I showed him the boot, which is not very deep due to the electrics stored in the boot area and then we parted. Driving a new car every week brings me into contact with some interesting people.

My wife loved it and she was very impressed with the ‘drawer-type’ glove compartment. The passenger side also gets a vanity mirror, a hand-grip over the door, but no hand-grip on the driver’s side.

The exterior colour was black, but inside it was dazzling white. In many electric cars I have driven the dash area always seemed to be minimalistic. But I think the dash in the Ioniq 5 is the nearest I have seen to a regular petrol or diesel car.

In most electric cars there is a button to choose drive, reverse etc., and it’s normally located between the driver and the front seat passenger. In the Ioniq 5 you choose the drive functions via a stalk, located to the right of the steering wheel.

There are four trim levels, Executive, Executive Plus, Premium and Premium Plus, with prices starting at €37,995 for the Executive with the smaller 58kwh battery. The Executive Plus starts at €40,995 and the top of the range Premium Plus starts at €53,495.

Hyundai say that the Ioniq 5 is redefining the way people look at electric cars.

If you are serious about buying an electric car later this year or in 2022, don’t do so until you have a test drive of this Ioniq 5.