Hyundai Ioniq 5 — Electrification done right

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

(June 5, 2022) In automakers' fast and furious rush to turn entire inventories electric, they have done a commendable job building stylish, highly desirable vehicles. We've driven about a half dozen of the new EVs over the past 18 months and have seen first hand how easy it is to fall in love with the new electrification.

The latest example that's come our way is the praiseworthy Hyundai Ioniq 5, which we discovered a superb compact-sized crossover with space-age styling, a comfortable and quiet interior, large easy-to-use controls, and outstanding performance in the model we drove. And we quickly discovered its futuristic design is a head-turner. Example number one, a framing crew building a new house in a subdivision we visited stopped working to get a look at the strange car. We could see four or five heads peering out through the studs for a look.

But as manufacturers around the world pour billions of dollars into EV research and development, we can't help wondering if the industry — and government — is putting the cart before the horse. Entire countries in Europe and several U.S. states have even passed legislation outlawing the sale of internal combustion engines by a set date somewhere between 2030 and 2050, depending on the state or nation.

This is being done with no viable charging infrastructure in 90 percent of the U.S. and no immediate plans to accommodate millions of EVs with our aging power grid. There are huge swaths of the U.S. where residents have no fast charging station within 50 miles of their home, and many millions live in apartments or condos where plugging into their own 240V unit is nearly impossible.

But we digress. All that aside, the Hyundai-Kia group has turned out a pair of outstanding offerings in its first large-scale push into the EV market — the Kia EV6 and the Hyundai Ioniq 5. These spacious vehicles are extremely easy to live with on a daily basis and should satisfy their owners for months and years to come.

Both electric vehicles qualify for a $7,500 government tax credit, bit we caution would-be buyers that with ever-increasing sales current tax credits will run out at some point in the near future. That is unless Congress passes new EV purchase legislation.

For this review we spent seven days and 250 miles with a two-motor AWD Ioniq 5. It features impressive charging speeds and has an estimated driving range of up to 303 miles. Available with rear- or all-wheel drive, the EV makes between 168 and 320 horsepower depending on configuration. Its spacious interior boasts an intriguing dashboard loaded with technology, reclining front seats with footrests, and generous rear-seat passenger space.

The Ioniq 5 starts at $40,925 for the base SE Standard Range edition, moves to $45,295 for the SE, $47,545 for the mid-level SEL and tops out at $52,395 for the Limited. Edmunds car-shopping site says be prepared to pay between $3,000 and $4,000 over sticker price. Then subtract the federal government's $7,500 tax credit and any additional state incentives available. Our test Limited with AWD and a couple of extras including the attractive Shooting Star (dark gray) paint ($1,000) carried a bottom line of $56,920.

Here's what each of the four trim levels brings in terms of performance and range. The base model uses a single electric motor located at the rear axle making 168 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The motor generates 225 horsepower in all other models. The AWD version adds a second motor at the front axle for a combined 320 hp and 446 pound-feet of torque.

The base SE Standard Range is powered by a 58 kWh battery pack with a range of 220 miles. All other trims use a 77.4-kWh pack. Rear-drive models enjoy a, EPA-estimated range of 303 miles. Opting for AWD — while increasing horsepower — reduces range to 256 miles.

If you live for performance, the two-motor setup is ready to reward the you with a 0-to-60 time of 4.5 seconds with a quarter-mile time of 13.2 seconds @ 102 mph. We enjoyed the immense performance, but it comes at the expense of range, which we found to be with a full charge between 250 and 260 miles for our AWD model. We figure the one-motor setup with 225 hp should offer as much performance as most owners desire for the daily chores of life — and it comes with the 300+ mileage range.  

The Ioniq 5 has a unique look from its unusual 20-inch Parametric Pixel-inspired wheels to its space-age front end. Bodysides display an exaggerated diagonal slash pointing from the base of the A-pillars to the rear wheels. Flush door handles, smooth surfaces, and an expressive rear end provide a sophisticated appearance.

The Ioniq 5 has many innovative infotainment and connectivity features. A 12.0-inch touchscreen shares a panel on the dash with a 12.0-inch digital gauge cluster. The touchscreen acts as a hub for all things entertainment. This includes smartphone-integrated apps such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as advanced voice-recognition technology.

There's room inside to house four adults in comfort. And transport 27.2 cubic feet of cargo under the hatchback behind the seats.

Every Ioniq 5 comes with a comprehensive set of safety features including forward collision mitigation, adaptive cruise control, blindspot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, blindspot intervention that automatically steers the car back into its lane if a lane change is attempted while another vehicle is in the blindspot, and a lane keeping system.

Like all Hyundai products, the Ioniq 5 comes with a 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. Complimentary maintenance is covered for three years or 36,000-miles.

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5


Base Price: $40,925; as driven, $56,920
Motors: Electric
Horsepower: 320
Torque: 446 pound-feet
Transmission: 1-speed direct drive
Drive: all-wheel
Seating: 2/3
Wheelbase: 118.1 inches
Length: 182.5 inches
Curb weight: 4,662 pounds
Turning circle: 39.3 feet
Luggage capacity: 27.2 cubic feet
Cargo capacity: 60.2 cubic feet
Towing capacity: 1,500 pounds
EPA electric range: 256 miles
EPA rating (MPGe): 110 city, 87 highway, 98 combined
Battery capacity: 77.4 kWh
0-60: 4.5 seconds (Car and Driver)
Also consider: Kia EV6, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Chevy Bolt

The Good
• Rapid acceleration from dual-motor setup
• Comfortable ride
• Loaded with technology
• Quick charging rates

The Bad
• Rear visibility somewhat compromised

The Ugly
• Fully loaded model can exceed 55 grand