The Road Beat: 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5
By: Mitchell Weitzman
Hyundai Ioniq 5 is an easy choice for an EV. It does everything well, including an attractive price. And gosh, just look at it.
What is it?
Hyundai's first foray with a new ground-up EV design (other EV offerings were based off existing combustion-powered models). It looks like a concept car from the 1980s, has impressive power, and a range over 200 miles. Oh, and the price is $55,920 fully loaded. Convinced yet?
There's a lot to love about the Ioniq 5, starting with the sensational looks. Now, looks are subjective, but my friends and myself love the way this thing looks, being akin to a Lancia Delta Integrale. Others might not like it, and I have heard from some who disagree with me, but every single drive I went on with the Ioniq 5 resulted in stares from pedestrians and other drivers. Yes, it attracts attention—people want to look at this thing. It also begs the question of "Why oh why is a Tesla Model Y so dang ugly?"
This dual-motor, AWD model possesses 320 horsepower, and it frankly feels like a lot more. With the driving set in sport for the quickest throttle response, pinning the pedal to the floor results in borderline neck-snapping acceleration, something neither my friends nor myself expected. 0-60 MPH takes just 4.5 brisk seconds, and the whole car feels like a (silent) missile compared to the comparable VW ID.4 Pro S model, which costs the same and needs an extra second to hit 60 from rest. This is great and, most importantly, fun performance.
Range is good enough for the most part, with the car's onboard estimate hovering around the 230-mile mark during a warmer week with A/C being used, which is admittedly short of the EPA's claimed 256 mile range for this model. Still, 230 is good enough for normal uses outside of a road trip. But, where the Hyundai really shines is in its quick-charging ability, utilizing 697 volts for 350 kWh mega-charging. The official claim from Hyundai is that it can charge its 77 kWh battery pack from 10% to 80% in 18 minutes. Granted, you do need the most powerful 350 kWh chargers for this to happen. This is the quickest charging in the business currently, so if you can locally utilize one of these chargers at a nearby station, you'll be in luck.
Despite a modest 182" overall length, I enjoyed the spaciousness of the Ioniq's interior, with an excellent view and visibility out front, and an airy environment throughout inside. Adult passengers had no qualms towards the rear seats, too, in regards to space and comfort. The build quality isn't luxurious, but it is well-made with good materials throughout that are a step above that same recent VW, too. Overall, it's a nice place to be, and I found the touchscreen infotainment easy in use as well.
On the road, the Ioniq 5's party piece is its rapid acceleration when prodded, but it's also an easy and exceptionally quiet car on motorways. The steering is accurate and the chassis responds to inputs well, even if the steering is completely dead with zero feedback. Chuck the silent hatchback into some bends and the Ioniq 5 remains planted and composed, likely owing to the design advantages of an EV that allows the battery pack to be mounted on the floor, lowering the center of gravity. It's AWD setup allows for decent grip and traction in corners, too, with a catapulting-like effect when exiting a turn with the power down. It doesn't move between turns with the grace and poise of the Veloster N hot hatch, nor is it as fun, but it is capable and potent in its balance and ability.
You do get a few choices for regeneration, that is, the car's ability to harness otherwise wasted kinetic energy and use it to marginally replenish the battery (the remaining range estimate already takes this into account). This is adjustable via the paddle shifters behind the wheel, where you can 'shift up' for less regeneration and therefore less drag for better coasting, or 'downshift' for aggressive regeneration. I found myself switching between modes a lot, with my favorite being the most regeneration that allows one-pedal-driving. What is OPD? There is so much regeneration that you nearly never have to touch the brake pedal. You can lift off the accelerator and it's akin to hard braking - It's that drastic. It takes time to get accustomed to, but I did enjoy the ease of using only one pedal and it did seem to boost efficiency ever so slightly by never wasting your in-motion energy.
What could be better?
While I might adore the exterior, the interior is just a bit boring. It's well-made, sure, and highly functional, but it doesn't have the 'wow' factor that the bold body carries. Just a little utilitarian to me; I'd like an interior design to match the outside. Take the taillights for example, straight our of Tron. I want that on the inside.
While the range is decent, a long-range Tesla can go just that little bit further, and the lack of chargers in your area might be a concern. For example, the closest 350 kWh charger to me is 20 minutes away in Folsom, CA; Tesla has a big advantage still in charging infrastructure. Also, and I'm not alone with this from other's reports, I've had trouble on several Electrify America charging stations, being difficult to use, or just flat-out not working.
You could charge at home,
but that is only recommended if you have a 240V charger installed. If you
don't, like me, charging at home frankly sucks. Using the cable included with
the car and plugged into a normal 110V socket (via an extension cord for extra
reach to my outlet), juicing this Hyundai is done to the tune of only, quite
literally, less than 2 miles of range per hour. That's right. You need a
240V charging unit at home (they cost under $1,000 installed last I checked)
for this to make sense. I left it plugged in overnight once, for 12 hours mind
you, and the range only increased by 18 miles. That's a dog that doesn't hunt.
Maybe my wall outlets blow, because I would have expected it to charge at about
4 miles per hour. If your commute is ten miles or less, then maybe you could
manage with such slow charging. For some simple maths, with my energy costing
about $0.30/kWh, and the Ioniq averaging 3 miles per kWh and with its 77 kWh
battery capacity, it would cost $23 to completely fill the battery at home and
travel its estimated 230 mile range.
The new EV standard?
For the most part, the Ioniq 5 is a massive triumph for the South Korean automaker. It looks awesome, it's nice to drive, and has decent enough range with ultra-quick charging (when available). It completely wipes the floor with VW's disappointing ID.4 option. And, if you don't need the performance of this dual-motor AWD model, there's a RWD version with 100 less horsepower that can go another 50 miles of distance. I keep mentioning Tesla, too, and that's where the Hyundai's value comes into play: a Tesla Model Y Long Range starts at over $5,000 more, and that's without a single option. The biggest rival then? Ford's Mustang Mach-e, which costs roughly the same and has similar range. It's not quite as quick (except for the expensive GT trim), but it also has a catchy if gimmicky design. Sister-brand Kia, also has the stylish EV6 GT to choose from that is basically this car's twin. Either way, the Ioniq 5 is a choice earned on merit, and should be at the top of your lists for consideration of an EV. It's so impressive that if you weren't considering an EV, it's at least worth a gander to see if it meets your needs.
2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 Limited AWD
As-tested price: $55,920
Pros: Standout styling, great performance; fast-charging
Cons: Bland (but nice) interior; finding a 350 kWh chargerVerdict: The new standard for EV consideration