Driven: The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 is better than the Tesla Model 3

The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 proves that old automakers must now be taken seriously in the field of electric vehicles.

No matter how you feel about Tesla and its eccentric leader, Elon Musk, it’s impossible to deny that the California automaker has led, and continues to be, in the lead in electric car racing. In fact, if it weren’t for Tesla, there probably wouldn’t be an electrification race between the world’s biggest automakers as it currently does.

The all-new Hyundai Ioniq 5 isn’t the first “affordable” electric car to be launched by a major brand, nor is it even Hyundai’s first electric car. However, it is one of the most exciting cars and is the best on sale at this price point.

Hyundai like no other

The Ioniq 5 supports the same Global Electrical Modular System (E-GMP) as the Kia EV6 and Genesis GV60. It’s the first in a long line of all-electric models Hyundai is developing that borrows its name from the Ioniq liftback that was introduced a few years ago and sold as a plug-in hybrid and EV. Don’t let the familiar name fool you; The Ioniq 5 is not the same as the original Ioniq, nor is it like any other electric vehicle on sale.

Two sets of engines for the car are offered in Australia. The first is the rear-wheel drive model which features a 160 kW (214 hp) and 350 Nm (258 lb-ft) electric motor while the all-wheel drive features a 155 kW (207 hp) and 350 Nm (258 lb-ft) engine at the rear axle and another with 70 kW (94 hp) and 255 Nm (188 lb-ft) driving the front wheels. This results in 225 kW (302 hp) and 605 Nm (446 lb-ft) of combined torque and is the variant we recently spent a week with.

Both variants feature advanced 800-volt electrical engineering just like the Porsche Taycan and both share a 72.6 kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery. The rear-wheel drive model has a range of 451 kilometers (280 miles) while the twin-engine version can travel 430 kilometers (267 miles) on a single charge.

One of the tricks of the Ioniq 5 party is the speed with which it ships. When connected to a 50kW charger, the AWD model’s battery can be charged from 10 to 80 percent in 61 minutes 42 seconds. Most impressively, this time drops to just 17 minutes and 16 seconds with a 350 kW charger. These charging speeds are faster than the Tesla Model 3. Another useful feature of the Ioniq 5 is the “loading cart” function. All you have to do is plug the 240V adapter into the charging port and have an outlet that can be used to power everyday household items.

Domestic pricing for the Ioniq 5 2WD starts at AU$71,900 ($52,295) before on-road costs, while the Ioniq 5 AWD starts at AU$75,900 ($55,204). More expensive variants will land in Australia at a later time.

EV who makes a statement

Prior to receiving the keys to our Ioniq 5 from the Hyundai Australia facility in Perth, I had never actually seen one. Of course, I’ve seen hundreds of photos and videos of the electric vehicle but nothing could quite prepare me to see it up close.

The Ioniq 5 has been reported to be larger in person than it appears in the pictures. However, it wasn’t as big as I expected. At 4,635 mm (182 in) long, 1,890 mm (74.4 in) wide and 1,605 mm (63 in) high, it is slightly larger than the Hyundai Tucson’s 4,630 mm (182 in) long and 1,865 mm (73.4) mm. inches) and 1665 mm (65.5 inches) in length. What really sets the Ioniq 5 apart from the rest of Hyundai’s models is the 3,000 mm/118 in wheelbase that’s longer than the Palisade, short front and rear overhangs and a lower roof that’s just 50 mm/1.9 in. Kona is much smaller.

The impression the Ioniq 5 makes on the road is undeniable. In fact, it caught more attention than any other car I’ve driven in my life. If Hyundai wanted to make a statement of its determination, it clearly did just that.

You won’t find another interior design quite like this

The inside is as interesting as the outside. Unlike Ioniq hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and EVs, the cabin of the Ioniq 5 is unlike anything else in Hyundai’s lineup. However, that doesn’t mean there’s a huge learning curve when jumping inside.

Enter the cabin for the first time and you will be immediately greeted by an open, airy and remarkably light interior that will make you feel like stepping into a boutique spa, ready for a hot stone massage. Get down into the driver’s seat and the two-spoke steering wheel will instantly attract attention, not only because of its shape but also because it doesn’t have the Hyundai badge.

The most popular is the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and the matching 12.3-inch infotainment screen. While Hyundai has complemented the white interior with white graphics on both displays, it features the same operating system as Hyundai’s ICE models. As such, it’s just as easy and quick to touch and no learning curve needed to get used to it. Oddly enough, there is no vertical display, although it is on some outdoor models.

A few other areas familiar with the interior of the Ioniq 5 are the physical buttons that you can use to navigate through different sections of the infotainment screen. This is where the familiar parts end.

For example, Hyundai equipped the car with a shaft-mounted transmission shifter. You twist it clockwise to engage driving mode, rotate counterclockwise to switch to reverse position, and press a button to switch to parking mode. It tidies up the cabin and also allows Hyundai to install its own unique floating center console that can slide back and forth and makes great use of the car’s flat floor.

Read also: We are driving the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5, what do you want to know?

One of the main advantages of the Ioniq 5’s long wheelbase is the amount of interior space it provides. Those sitting front have 1,034 mm (40.7 in) of headroom, 1,138 mm (44.8 in) of leg room, 1,465 mm (57.6 in) of shoulder room, and 1,368 mm (53.8 in) of headroom. hip space. The driver’s seat is relatively high, although not as high as a traditional crossover.

The rear is just as spacious with 953 mm (37.5 in) headroom, 1,002 mm (39.4 in) legroom, 1,465 mm (57.6 in) shoulder room, and 1,362 mm (53.6 in) hip room. The 6’2 frame has plenty of room in the back seat, although the panoramic sunroof feeds into headroom and if I sat straight, my hair would wipe the roof. Compared to the back of the Tesla Model 3, the Ioniq 5 looks massive.

There’s also plenty of storage space of 527 liters (18.6 cu ft) in the trunk or 1,587 liters (56 cu ft) with the second row folded flat. Our AWD test vehicle also has a 24 liter (0.8 cu ft) stowage compartment under the “boot” but it holds little more than a home charging cable. Rear-wheel drive models feature more front cargo space of 57 liters (2 cu ft).

What does driving look like?

The driving experience that the Ioniq 5 offers is nothing short of exceptional. But, before we move on any further, I want to make one thing clear: the Ioniq 5’s road performance shouldn’t be compared to that of the Tesla Model 3. Hyundai is a crossover and the Model 3, especially in performance guise is a sports car. As such, they feel very different down the road.

One of the first things that strikes you about the Ioniq 5 is how relaxed it is to drive. The suspension is soft and although it hasn’t received the native Australian road suspension tone like most Hyundai models, it remains compatible in all driving conditions. It’s noticeably softer than the Model 3, although that’s not a bad thing.

While the vast majority of Ioniq 5s will spend most of their lives on urban roads and highways, they do surprisingly well when driven in a sporty fashion. During one mission along some beautiful, rolling mountain roads, we found the steering to be accurate and it was always easy to see what the Michelin Pilot Sport EV tires were doing. There are massive amounts of grip on width and it feels lighter than the total weight of 2,100 kg (about 4,629 lbs). However, when driven through a bumpy bend at high speeds, it will bounce around and can become unstable for a brief period.

Hyundai claims the all-wheel drive variant takes 5.2 seconds to hit 62 mph (100 km/h) and we’ve been able to match that. There is no loss of traction when sealing on the throttle, even if the road is wet and the car continues to pull with force in excess of 120 km/h (74 mph).

This is how the brakes for an electric vehicle should be done

Perhaps my favorite aspect of the Ioniq 5 was the braking system. Both 2WD and AWD models feature vented 345mm x 30mm front and 345mm x 20mm rear brake discs and calipers that squeeze them tight and with great consistency. However, during my two weeks with the car, I mainly used the regenerative braking system.

Behind the steering wheel there are two toggle switches to control regenerative braking. You can disable the system completely which means the Ioniq 5 will roll smoothly when the throttle is raised, like putting an ICE car with a manual gearbox in neutral. On the other end of the spectrum is the Intelligent One-Pedal Driving Mode (iPedal) that allows you to drive the Ioniq 5 simply by using the accelerator. This mode is well suited for everyday driving, although if you get out of an ICE, it takes a while to get used to it.

Making the braking system even more noteworthy is the fact that if you use the regenerative brakes and then use the mechanical brakes, the transition between the two is very smooth, which cannot be said about the Nissan Leaf e+.

Several safety features are standard on all Ioniq 5 models sold in Australia as part of the Hyundai SmartSense range. These include Blind Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist, Blind Spot Vision Monitoring, Driver Attention Warning, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, High Beam Assist, Intelligent Speed ​​Limiting Assist, Lane Following Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, and Park Collision-Avoidance Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist, Rear Passenger Alert, Safe Exit Assist, Intelligent Cruise Control, and Surround View Monitor.

Unfortunately, I can’t comment on what it’s like to connect the Ioniq 5 to a fast charger. Perth is home to two 350kW ChargeFox chargers and neither of them wanted to work when I tested them. What I can confirm is that Hyundai’s claim that the Ioniq 5 takes 31 hours to charge from a regular home socket is completely true.

During our week with the car, we traveled 400 kilometers (248 miles) and could certainly hit the stated range number of 431 kilometers (267 miles) through a combination of urban and highway driving. With the i-Pedal system enabled, the vehicle overall consumed about 17.5 kW per 100 kilometers (62 miles).

This is The Get an EV

Far fewer affordable electric cars are available in Australia than in other markets, among which the Hyundai Ioniq 5 can be compared to the likes of the Tesla Model 3, Nissan Leaf e+, Mercedes-Benz EQA and the recently launched Polestar 2 with prices starting at $59,900. AUD ($42,592), A$64,990 ($46,220), A$76,800 ($54,620), and A$59,900 ($42,592) respectively. We haven’t driven the EQA nor the Polestar 2 but what we can say is that the Ioniq 5 is all the better than Tesla and is leagues above Leaf e+.

The Tesla Model Y isn’t yet available in Australia, but when it does arrive, it will be a more suitable competitor to the Ioniq 5 thanks to its increased size and cross-body style. As it stands, the Ioniq 5 offers technology to match a 3, great charging capabilities, a respectable range, and more comfort and space. It also vastly outperforms Leaf e+ in every way imaginable.

Hyundai is planning a slew of other electric vehicles with its Ioniq sub-brand and if the Ioniq 5 is any indication, EV buyers will come in handy.

More photos…

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