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Expert Review

Hyundai IONIQ 5 Hatchback (2021 - ) review

The Hyundai IONIQ 5 is an impressive all-electric family car, with loads of space inside, stylish looks and plenty of range

The Auto Trader expert verdict:

5

The pace of development in electric family cars has suddenly accelerated, the Hyundai IONIQ 5 one of a new generation of EVs built on dedicated platforms bringing benefits in interior space, range, performance and cost. Like the Volkswagen ID.4 (and the related Skoda Enyaq), the IONIQ 5 is available in various battery and drive configurations to suit different needs, the best-case 300-mile range, strong performance and real sense of style all impressive while the competitive asking price when compared against its immediate rivals also appeals. An impressive vehicle that, for most buyers, will make switching to electric as appealing as it is simple.

Reasons to buy:

  • tickSmart looks inside and out
  • tickHuge interior space
  • tickExcellent range and performance

At a glance:

2021 Hyundai IONIQ 5

Running costs for a Hyundai IONIQ 5

Owning and running an electric car is, of course, a lot easier for those who have their own driveway, off-street parking or garage where they can install a home charging point and, if you’re lucky enough to have that, cars like the Hyundai IONIQ 5 make it very easy to say goodbye to petrol or diesel for good. Check out Rory Reid’s explainer video for why the latest generation of electric-only platforms under the latest EVs are important but, short version, the IONIQ 5 benefits from being engineered from the start as an electric car, rather than converted from an existing petrol or diesel model. That means more space for occupants and batteries, more range, better performance and near price parity with the equivalent internal combustion crossover or SUV you might also be considering. That home charging can save you heaps on running costs, the range is sufficient that you won’t be too dependent on more expensive public power points and – as with all EVs – there are huge incentives in VED (or road tax, as it’s known), Benefit In Kind and more to make the switch a no-brainer for both private and company drivers. Although priced above the threshold for the latest government plug-in grant the IONIQ 5 still looks decent value compared with immediate rivals like the VW ID.4 and Skoda Enyaq, given the performance and other features it offers.
Expert rating: 4/5
2021 Hyundai IONIQ 5

Reliability of a Hyundai IONIQ 5

The IONIQ 5 is an all-new platform for Hyundai but the firm already has extensive experience of building electrified vehicles and an all-round solid reputation for reliability, so we’d see no reason to be concerned here. Electric vehicles are simpler than internal combustion or hybrid models, too, so there’s generally less to go wrong. And if it does you’re covered by Hyundai’s five-year warranty, which means you can sleep easy for the duration of a typical 48-month finance plan. The battery gets its own eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty, too.
Expert rating: 4/5
2021 Hyundai IONIQ 5

Safety for a Hyundai IONIQ 5

Tech is a big part of the IONIQ 5’s offer, so you’re well covered in terms of the kind of driver assistance systems most people expect these days. Should the worst happen you’ve got plenty of airbags (including a central one up front) and Isofix child seat fixings on the rear bench and front passenger seats but – of course – Hyundai would rather you don’t need to put these to the test in the first place. Even the entry level model has automatic emergency braking that kicks in if you don’t spot pedestrians, cyclists or oncoming cars when pulling out of junctions while the cameras and radar can keep you in lane (and a safe distance from the car in front) to take the stress out of heavy traffic. Given visibility isn’t all that great it might be worth going up a trim level to get the parking sensors and Blind Spot Collision Assist, the top model offering the cost option Tech Pack with even more functionality, including blind spot camera view in the instrument binnacle when you put the indicators on.
Expert rating: 5/5
2021 Hyundai IONIQ 5

How comfortable is the Hyundai IONIQ 5

One of the great advantages of designing an electric car from a clean sheet of paper as Hyundai has with the IONIQ 5 is freedom from accommodating a conventional internal combustion engine and ability to put the batteries and motors out of the way. Hyundai has used this to stretch the wheelbase – the useful space between the front and rear wheels, in other words – to exactly three metres, which is longer even than the VW ID.4 and Skoda Enyaq IV. This means shorter overhangs front and rear, which is good from a styling point of view and makes the IONIQ look more compact on the road, and also opens up huge space within the car. Front seat passengers are as well catered for here as they are in any regular car but legroom in the back is truly astonishing, to the point the annoyance of little ones kicking you in the back as you drive will be a thing of the past on the basis their legs won’t even reach! The flat floor means tons of footwell space front and back, and there’s a nifty sliding centre console between the front seats so you can configure the interior space as you like. The IONIQ 5 is a little bit down on boot space compared with the ID.4 and Enyaq IV but not by much and, while the load area is a little shallow, it’s big enough for most family clobber. Long doors help access to both front and back, though might prove less useful when parking beside narrow pavements, or when all the parent and child spaces have already been bagged at the supermarket. And while the flat floor is good for legroom for all three rear seats the central seat is a bit of a lump, so the middle-seat passenger still gets a bit of a raw deal. On the road the IONIQ 5 rides well enough, that long wheelbase also helping it feel stable both at speed and over urban obstacles like speed humps. Like all electric cars the lack of engine noise is also very relaxing, though that does show up a bit of tyre roar over poor surfaces that could get intrusive on a longer journey.
Expert rating: 4/5
2021 Hyundai IONIQ 5

Features of the Hyundai IONIQ 5

There are three trim levels, though the entry-level one is really just there to hit a price point and mid-level Premium is worth the stretch given it opens up a wider range of battery and drive options, as well as throwing in more kit as standard (see Safety). Saying that, all versions get a 12.3-inch central touch-screen with built-in navigation and connected infotainment, along with CarPlay and Android Auto if you prefer to use your phone apps. This is paired with a similarly sized digital instrument cluster for a widescreen effect similar to that on the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and its various relatives. While it’s impressive that Hyundai includes this as standard the physical borders around the screens mean it can’t match the slick, premium feel of the Mercedes set-up, or others like the Honda E. Trim and seating options get progressively fancier as you work up to the top trim level, this one getting leather upholstery and more. This model also gets Hyundai’s nifty ‘Vehicle 2 Load’ or V2L package, which means you can turn your IONIQ 5’s charge port into a power source for charging electric bikes or whatever else you might want to run off a domestic style three-pin socket. In theory you could even charge (or top up) another electric car off it, assuming that leaves enough charge in your own battery to get you home afterwards!
Expert rating: 5/5
2021 Hyundai IONIQ 5

Power for a Hyundai IONIQ 5

Dedicated EV platforms like that under the IONIQ 5 and its VW family rivals mean manufacturers can offer various different battery and drive options in a way those coming from conventional internal combustion or hybrid powered cars may find confusing at first. Short version? You can get your IONIQ 5 with a choice of two batteries and three power levels. The standard 58kWh battery is only available with a single motor and rear-wheel drive with 170 horsepower, while the bigger 72kWh option is available in 217 horsepower single-motor or 305 horsepower twin-motor, all-wheel drive. We drove the latter, and it’s got a real turn of speed in its sport mode but is equally happy cruising in its standard or eco settings with significant shifts in character from the Porsche-style wheel-mounted mode button. Regeneration is adjusted from the steering wheel, the i-Pedal setting giving you ‘one-pedal’ driving where you can slow to a halt just by lifting off the accelerator. This is good around town but on the open road you might prefer to reduce this effect, which is easily done from the paddles and soon becomes second nature. If range is more important to you than silently blitzing sports cars off the line then the 78kWh, single-motor option is your best choice. You lose a little in acceleration (though it’s still impressive) but a little more range, with the official figure promising 300 miles in ideal circumstances. We’ll need more time in the car to put that to the test but first impressions of the all-wheel drive model suggests the IONIQ 5's range prediction is pretty accurate, so you should be able to plan your journeys and charge stops accordingly.
Expert rating: 4/5

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