We had the opportunity to take charge of Hyundai’s Ioniq 5, an electric car whose top-of-the-range model is priced at nearly 60,000 euros. A great first for Hyundai, which had accustomed us to much lower prices. But the Ioniq 5 is finally responding, as we will see in this test carried out in Spanish territory.
Essay by Alexandre Lenoir
It only took two years for Hyundai goes from concept to series. If the Ioniq 5 It is not the first electric vehicle of the Korean brand, but instead marks the passage of the surname Ioniq from the simple name of a model to that of a brand within the brand. Several models are thus expected in the years to come. But before the Ioniq 6 sedan arrives next year, it’s up to this 5, half sedan, half SUV, that we are interested. In a world undergoing rapid electrical change, what is the Ioniq 5 worth? We tried it in Valencia (Spain), in its top of the range Executive HTRAC version.
Design: it breaks the benchmarks
Look at it from a distance and its big Golf look will make it go almost unnoticed. Get closer and its size of SUV will undoubtedly already leave you more questioning. Come closer and there you will discover a car that does not actually look like any other. Finally, get behind the wheel and you will not be able to help but notice the multiple glances which are made on this new rolling object.
To design the Ioniq 5, designer Luc Donckerwolke broke the brand’s own stylistic codes.
For starters, what looked by far to be a classic compact actually turns out to be more in line with the odds of a C-segment sedan. 4.63 meters long, it overflows indeed a Golf of 35 centimeters. And the rest of the odds are to match. If we still stick to the German benchmark compact, it measures 20 centimeters (1.69 m) and has a wider width of 11 centimeters (1.89 m). Its competitor, the Tesla Model Y still unavailable in Europe, is longer (4.75 m), wider (1.98 m), but less high (1.62 m). Even more impressive, its three-meter wheelbase is compared neither more nor less to that of limousines of the type Mercedes S Class, BMW Serie 5 GT or Audi A8! It’s also 11 centimeters more than that of a Model Y and 12 more than that of a Model 3. No less. By force of circumstances, the overhangs are obviously very small, with the wheels (19 inches minimum) camped very close to the front and rear shields.
At the front, the closed grille is overlooked by the rectangular pixelated lights which are reminiscent of the By Lorean of Back to the future. They are enclosed in a translucent strip whose link to the shield is ensured by an arrow-shaped surface backlit by LEDs (which only work when stationary in France) installed as standard across the range. As far as we are concerned, we appreciate that Hyundai has not given in to the fad of scrolling indicators, both front and back.
On the hood and the sides, the flat surfaces are articulated with each other by clear and tense fracture lines. Unlike too many ply vehicles of the moment, it’s both avant-garde, but also minimalist and tasteful, just like the flush grips that are almost becoming the norm on new electric vehicles. Mostly, it helps to reinforce the massive appearance, almost techno-industrial of the car. A kind of flat design applied to a body, in short. Note that under the front hood, there is a secondary trunk of 24 or 57 liters depending on the version. It allows, at worst, to store the charging cables and, at best, to accommodate a travel bag. Around the wheel arches, a slight turbine relief creates dynamism even when stationary.
On the back, same geometric gimmicks: the lights and indicators are again made up of large light pixels arranged on the narrow transverse strip. It does not look like anything else and so, of course, it is noticeable.
A generous interior
The car’s extraordinary wheelbase is evident in the passenger compartment, with good legroom for second row passengers. These will also be comfortably installed, the seat height allowing for a more natural and relaxing posture than in many electric competitors where the depth of the foot cellar is eaten away by the thickness of the floor where the batteries are housed. . The rear seat can slide and recline electrically or manually depending on model. Just behind, the trunk totals 526 liters in normal configuration. This is very correct in absolute terms, but its loading threshold located very high due to the engine placed below may not be suitable for everyone.
Up front, our test model is equipped with Zero G seats, which Hyundai claims to be inspired by NASA technologies. In practice, this translates into a rather comfortable upholstery, heated, ventilated and adjustable in all directions, but also by a rather nice “nap” function when you have to wait in the shelter and warm (or cool!) for the charging to finish. With a single double press of a button, thethe seat begins a kinematics which installs it in the berth position, with an extracting calf rest. It is closer to the recline of a dentist’s chair than a business class seat, but the desired effect is there.
Between the two seats, the central column which supports the armrest is modular, so that the interior can adapt to the demands of any situation. Under the dashboard, in the center, there is a cavity in which is housed the USB-A port to be used for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This location, a little far from everything, is a bit surprising, because it is not the most practical for dropping off or picking up your smartphone. Just as curiously, on this vehicle doped with technologies, Hyundai does not offer wireless CarPlay. And almost anachronistically, all the USB sockets (5 on board, in all) are in USB-A format and not USB-C yet more and more used.
For the rest, the overall presentation is flattering and the use of a few materials that are a little less expensive in terms of feel or appearance is compensated by an irreproachable assembly. If you haven’t ridden in a Hyundai for a few years, or if you have a negative prejudice about the Korean brand, you might change your judgment once you sit in the Ioniq 5.
Techno atmosphere on board
The white interior of our test model certainly consolidates that futuristic feel one gets when taking a seat on board. Not that the car is much more spectacular than others on the market, but this clear tone of the furniture pairs beautifully with the theme of digital instrumentation. This consists of two 12.3-inch screens arranged side by side, a bit like the Mercedes MBUX.
The instrument cluster behind the steering wheel is not the most readable we’ve seen. It displays too much information, some of which is unreadable due to the rim of the steering wheel. The display style that changes depending on the selected driving mode is a bit kitsch and not easy to interpret either. You understand, of course, but the eyes are always looking for information. On the other hand, we can be satisfied with the head-up display which is one of the most complete on the market. In particular, it presents navigation instructions in augmented reality – similar to what Volkswagen offers on the ID.4 and Skoda on the Eniaq – but also the tracking of other vehicles on the road with discreet white dots. This may be relevant in poor visibility conditions.
On the right, the infotainment screen displays the same pallor and fineness of line, but the information is on the other hand more readable. Hyundai also had the good idea not to deport all of the car’s functions there. Separate settings are therefore kept for air conditioning and heating, for example. Same, the steering wheel is studded with buttons, in particular to control the on-board computer display, operate the cruise control and certain driving assistance systems or manage the audio system and hands-free controls. Some of them are located a little too close to the rim of the steering wheel, so they can be inadvertently activated while maneuvering, for example. Finally, if there was a small flaw to fix, it would also be the very lazy turn signal reminder, since it requires a sharp turn to intervene. So, at each exit of a roundabout, we had to activate it.
It also goes without saying that the car ecosystem provides for a complete set of connected services, OTA updates offered for three years and a remote management mobile app whose graphics are reminiscent of the instrumentation of a Tesla.
A complete range of engines
Our test model is equipped with the large 73 kWh battery and of two engines totaling 306 horsepower, one on the front axle, the other on the rear. While in this configuration the car does have four-wheel drive, it works mainly in propulsion, the two front wheels being mainly used in the acceleration phase, in addition to the rear wheels. Depending on the tire you choose (19 or 20 inches), you will havean approved range of 460 and 430 kilometers respectively. This twin-engine version is only available in a top-of-the-range Executive finish.
With this same 73 kWh battery, Hyundai offers an intermediate version of 218 horsepower, with the only rear engine. This configuration allows in particular to benefit from a greater cargo volume at the front. Again, depending on the size of the rims, autonomy varies from 450 to 480 kilometers (WLTP cycle). This battery + engine configuration is available in all three trim levels.
Finally, entry-level and offered in the first two trim levels with 19-inch rims, the version equipped with the smallest battery (58 kWh anyway) claims 170 horsepower and a range of 384 km. We will come back to that.
As it is easy to see, choosing 19-inch rims is obviously relevant when it comes to autonomy. And as it is also for the comfort on board and the wallet during the renewal of the tires (the Michelin PS4 SUV of 20 inches approved for this car are worth around 70 euros more per tire than their 19 inch version, i.e. 280 euros more to change all four at the same time), you might as well not fall for this option billed at 400 euros.
On the road, convincing behavior
Taranting from 1.9 to 2.1 tons, the Ioniq 5 is not a light car. As we suspected, its area of natural development is rather the motorway, where its comfort is royal and its course-keeping provided by many assistance if the driver so wishes, since the car is certified at level 2 out of 5 for autonomous driving. In other words, it can stay in its traffic lane, accelerate or slow down depending on the traffic ahead and the maximum authorized speed, and even change lanes after the driver activates the turn signal.
On the secondary network, however, it does not demerit. If we exclude the rapid series of sharp turns, it manages not to take too much body roll as long as we stay at reasonable speeds. The roundabouts even went flat, which is not the least of the qualities in a country that keeps adding them up (roundabouts). The management is rather informative and mechanical braking (four discs) is easy to adjust. Again, this is not the most obvious quality of an electric vehicle in general.
When it comes to braking, the driver can now also count on the car’s i-Pedal function, which is activated by reaching the last regeneration level with the “-” paddle located on the left of the steering wheel and which allows you to come to a complete stop. These levels are four in number (from L1 to i-Pedal), the fifth level corresponding to a freewheel. After a few minutes of getting started, it is already very easy to almost forget the brake pedal and only drive with the paddles and the accelerator. To measure the accessible power, the driver can also use the driving mode selector positioned on the left under the steering wheel hub. It then has three options (Eco, Comfort, Sport), as well as an additional snow mode.
In Sport mode, which gives the full disposition of 306 horsepower and 605 Nm of torque, the beast can accelerate from 0 to 100 km / h in just 5.6 seconds. But do not think that in Eco mode the car is anemic, since the acceleration and pick-up it offers are still more than enough to never have the feeling of running out of power. Finally, at top speed, the Ioniq 5 can reach 185 km / h, a pace at which it is electronically restricted.
Electrical management: Hyundai hits hard!
The Ioniq 5 is based on Hyundai’s all-new all-electric eGMP platform. There will therefore be no hybrid or thermal Ioniq 5, which constitutes a turning point for the brand which, until now, offered several choices of traction chains for some of its models (Kona, Ioniq “sedan”, Tucson …).
In concrete terms, this platform uses so-called 800-volt battery technology, which until now has only been found – excuse the little – on rare prestige electric vehicles, such as the Porsche Taycan for example. This allows the car to be connected to ultra-fast chargers of 350 kWh in direct current and thus to pass the large battery of 73 kW from 10 to 80% of load in less than 20 minutes.
At peak load, the Ioniq can thus exceed 220 kWh, but the most useful thing is that this peak is rather well maintained over time and that, in the final phase, the power admissible by the batteries remains quite high (between 30 and 50 kWh). Optionally, a solar roof provides up to 200 watts of power. It is always operational and can thus, according to Hyundai, meet the electricity needs to travel up to 1,000 kilometers per year. The on-board charger allows you to draw 11 kWh on wallboxes and classic public terminals. The car’s exterior combo socket is also reversible and therefore can be used to power any electrical device, and even several at the same time. Inside, there’s also a 220-volt outlet under the back seat, which can be used while the car is in motion to power a computer, cooler, etc.
Finally, the consumption announced on the technical sheet (19 kWh / 100 km for the 20-inch version) is widely accessible, since over the nearly 250 km of our test combining motorway, secondary network and urban areas, we recorded 17.7 kWh / 100 km while driving normally (understand without overdoing eco-driving but using the regeneration tools offered by the car), even if a long section of road crossed a natural park where the speed was limited to 60 km / h.
On the financial side: here is the first Hyundai at 60,000 euros!
When you were invited above to forget the image you may still have of Hyundai and its insipid cars, this also translates into the list prices of the Ioniq 5. At the entry level (already very well equipped), you will have to pay 44,300 euros to offer it to you, which makes the car eligible for the maximum ecological bonus of 6,000 euros. It is admittedly a little more expensive than an ID.4 or an Eniaq, but the equipment endowment is largely in favor of the Korean, just as the 800-volt technology makes life much easier on electricity. In high-end version and HTRAC, it is 59,900 euros that you have to pay, to which you can also add some options such as the solar roof (600 euros) or the color of your choice (from 200 to 900 euros).