Hyundai Ioniq 5 first drive

Hyundai Ioniq 5 first drive

Hyundai may already be one of the leading manufacturers of electric cars, but it certainly isn’t resting on its laurels. The likes of the Ioniq and Kona Electric have laid excellent foundations, but now it’s time for the next generation of electric Hyundai models. Step forward the Ioniq 5. It kicks off the use of the Ioniq badge to encompass a number of EVs, and launches a number of new features for Hyundai. We attend the UK launch to get a feel for how the important new model gets on.

Review by Chris Lilly


Driven was the range-topping Ioniq 5, featuring the larger 73 kWh battery and dual electric motors for all-wheel drive. There’s also a 58 kWh battery available with rear-wheel drive, or a 73 kWh rear-wheel drive option too. This version packs in 224 kW (305 hp) into the crossover body, which allows for a 0-62mph time of just 5.2 seconds.

The Ioniq 5 feels plenty quick enough in real-world driving too, with the sort of instant response you’d expect from a twin-motor EV, and plenty in reserve even when cruising at motorway speeds. It’s easy to use too, with no jerkiness or excess power at low speeds.


Although it was only a short test of the Ioniq 5’s capabilities, I was impressed with the ride and handling. It’s safe, settled set-up, unlikely to encourage driving that gets the pulse racing, but the Hyundai is capable of dealing with twister stuff when the need arises.

It’s remarkably agile for what is a surprisingly large car, with a four-square stance no doubt aiding this. The steering is relatively light and free from feedback, but this attribute shines when on faster roads. Equally, there’s plenty to let drivers know what’s going on beneath the wheels in tighter confines such as town streets.


As mentioned above, the Ioniq 5 might look like a conventionally-sized (if a little taller) family hatchback, but it’s actually a car-size larger than that. The design and proportions work well to deceive the eye, and although it’s a bold new design for Hyundai, personally I think the styling is fantastic.

The larger exterior translates well to the cabin too, with lots of head and leg space for occupants, even in the rear. It’s a light and airy practical car, that looks like it could easily deal with life as a family workhorse. Especially as on top of the spacious boot, there’s a front storage area too.


Hyundai Ioniq 5 first drive interior

The interior of the Ioniq 5 is one of the best on the road I reckon. The design is clean without being unnecessarily so (mentioning no names), and the materials used throughout are lovely, with interesting textiles used extensively in some models, and faux leather in others. The switchgear is great to use, and even nice to look at, with a stalk used as a drive selector, dropped below and behind the steering wheel. Unconventional, but a good design and easy to find.

The large screens give the driver and occupants all the information they need, and the displays are quick to respond, easy to read, and intuitive to use. The driver’s instruments can be customised as well, depending on what they require.


Headline news here is that the Ioniq 5 comes with a range of up to 300 miles on a charge. That’s for the single motor 73 kWh model; the AWD version tested here achieves 287 miles according to official figures.

The initial drive only covered an hour or so’s driving, but early impressions are good. Range calculated off percentage of charge used and miles covered gave a range of 290 miles on a charge. At certain times that was looking closer to 320 miles too - though that was largely in town driving. Still, the range is close to that officially quoted. Further testing will confirm or alter this.


Hyundai’s upgraded its brake energy recuperation system with I-Pedal now fitted. This allows all the versatility of the previous system, with multiple levels able to be selected using the steering wheel paddles, whilst now also allowing ‘one-pedal’ driving without having to hold a paddle down. It works well, and is one of the best systems on the market.

Other familiar features such as pre-conditioning and connected apps are also fitted. Unfamiliar ones are too though, with vehicle-to-X charging possible using a three-pin plug (in the cabin or from the charge port. Surely set to become a useful feature for a great many drivers. Ultra-rapid charging is available from the 800V system, which sees a charge to 80% available in as little as 18 minutes. AC charging can be carried out at up to 10.5 kW.


There are three trim levels across the range. SE Connect kicks things off, but is only available on the 58 kWh RWD model. Premium and Ultimate are available across all three powertrain configurations. Fitted as standard are 19-inch alloys, climate control, LED headlights, drive mode select, rear parking sensors, keyless entry and start, 12.3-inch infotainment system with smartphone connectivity and 12.3-inch digital driver’s display.

Premium adds electric driver’s seat, and heated front seats, LED headlights, heated steering wheel, smart electric tailgate, and driver assist systems. Finally, Ultimate upgrades the wheels to 20-inch alloys, and adds alloy pedals, electric and vented front seats, heated rear seats, rear privacy glass, vehicle-to-load charging, and Bose audio system.


The new Hyundai Ioniq 5 is good, very good. In fact I reckon it’s the best pound-for-pound EV available to buy right now. Brilliant in a great many areas, there’s no real weak spot, and plenty of intuitive ideas to liven the car up. Now (unofficially) the Hyundai Ioniq 5-stars.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 first drive rear

Model tested: Hyundai Ioniq 5 Ultimate 73 kWh AWD
Body-style: Family crossover
Engine / CO2: 224 kW electric motor / 0 g/km
Trim grades: SE Connect, Premium, Ultimate

On-road price: range from £36,995. Price as tested: £48,090
Warranty: Five years / Unlimited mileage
In the showroom: Now
Review rating: 5.0 Stars

Chris Lilly

Author:Chris Lilly
Date Updated:12th Aug 2021

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