Hyundai Ioniq 5 Comes Out Looking Highly Conceptual

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
hyundai ioniq 5 comes out looking highly conceptual

The Hyundai the Ioniq 5 compact crossover made its debut Monday evening and it’s another win for the brand’s styling department. Despite being known as budget-minded automakers by Hyundai and Kia have delivered some of the most interesting designs the industry has to offer and with surprising consistency. The Ioniq 5 simply carries that formula into a product line that offers a healthy variety of battery, powertrain, and charging options without aiming too high or low.

Based on the Hyundai 45 EV concept from 2019, the Ioniq crossover looks as though it could be a show vehicle. But Hyundai has confirmed that this is actually the production version. The model’s angular design is interesting in itself and requires minimal embellishment, though the Parametric Pixel headlamps are a great touch and really help set the vehicle apart. While it won’t be the car for everyone, it certainly has its charms and will turn plenty of heads until more automakers decide to ape its style.

Underpinned by the manufactures’ new Electric-Global Modular Platform, the Ioniq crossover (more of a hatchback, really) was intended to be an EV from inception. This helped Hyundai maximize interior volume by not having to worry about pesky items like a transmission tunnel and promises that the Ioniq 5’s interior is airy and cavernous. It also allowed for the vehicle to have a longer wheelbase (118.1 inches) than the Palisade, despite the model’s overall dimensions placing it just a step above the Tucson. For those who don’t want to break out the measuring tape, that’s 182.5 inches long by 74.4 inches wide with a relatively short height of just 62.2 inches.

Alleged to be offering 18.8 cubic feet of space behind the rear seat, the Ioiniq 5 really sweetens the pot with the seats folded down so drivers can enjoy 56.2 of storage bliss. European models also come with another 2 feet of space in the frontal trunk while the North American units halve that space.

Trim has been broken down into four categories. The Standard Range 2WD (rear) configuration offers a compact 58-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack that juices up the 160-kilowatt rear motor. Hyundai claims the setup offers 218 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque (converted from Nm). The standard model can also be had in all-wheel drive, though this comes with the added benefit of a second motor capable of driving the front wheels and a not-so-modest bump in output. Standard AWD units come with 235 hp and 446 lb-ft of immediate torque.

Long Range variants come with a larger 77.4-kWh energy source, though some markets (not ours) will get a slimmed-down version of it. Sadly, the latter is the only one Hyundai has any test data for at present and it’s using the famously optimistic European WLTP testing cycle to estimate range. But it’s hardly a disaster at 300 miles and may even sway a few shoppers who have been underwhelmed by other electric vehicles with a smaller operating area.

While the Long Range 2WD uses the same rear motor as the Standard Range, AWD versions get a beefed-up front motor resulting in a combined output of 306 hp and 446 lb-ft of torque. Hyundai said it has managed to clock the crossover hitting 60 mph in 5.2 seconds (vs the Standard Range 2WD’s 8.5 seconds).

The Ioniq 5 is said to be capable of recharging at up to 350 kW, if you can find the applicable DC fast-charging solution. While 240-volt and 110-volt will also be available, the manufacturer wants to flaunt its maximum charging capacity. Hyundai is claiming 350 kW should allow the car to absorb enough energy for 62 miles of range in a 5-minute fast charge scenario or get you back up to 80 percent (from 10 percent) after 18 minutes. You can even use the vehicle to recharge other devices, something the company promised it would discuss at length in the near future. All we know now is that output will be about 3.6 kW with the possibility of more with the correct adaptor.

Outside of the brand equipping it with all the latest digital bells and whistles (Hyundai’s SmartSense, Remote Parking Assist, augmented reality HUD, BlueLink, 12-inch touchscreens), we’re still sitting in the dark on a few issues. Pricing, passenger volume, economy figures, and recharging capabilities are all supposed to be forthcoming. But Hyundai did let slip that the interior would be blessed by a column-mounted shifter, which is the only way to fly for laid-back and spacious cruising.

Availability could be a little wonky with everyone suffering from parts shortages and these EVs never seem to launch without some kind of trouble. But Hyundai would like to make the Ioniq 5 available in the most receptive markets by summer, with the U.S. launch scheduled for autumn.

[Images: Hyundai]

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  • MKizzy MKizzy on Feb 24, 2021

    Styling is subjective but the IQ5 looks promising in pictures except for the steeply raked hatch stealing precious seats-up cargo space. A darker minimalist interior probably looks (and wears) better as it seems rather basic in white. Because renting a ICE vehicle for road trips is a stop gap measure towards BEV adoption, a 300 mile range + fast charging hits the lower end of the sweet spot for 100% ICE replacement capability in most driving situations. I’ve read measurements indicating the IQ5 is about CRV sized which some commenters say is too large. However, with compact to mid sized CUV’s dominating the market, any mainstream BEV must be at least this size and up to reach the widest audience.

    • Matt Posky Matt Posky on Feb 24, 2021

      You're right. It is roughly the size of a CR-V (if not a wee bit bigger) with a lowered ride height.

  • Amwhalbi Amwhalbi on Feb 24, 2021

    I'll take an angry face over the old "smiling fat lip" Mazda had on the last or next to last gen 3 sedan. A vehicle's looks are pretty far down on my priority list, and I generally like Mazda, but that front end would have been a deal breaker for me.

  • Jim Bonham Full EVs are not for everyone, they cannot meet all needs. Hybrids do a much better job of providing the benefits of EVs without most of the drawbacks. I have a hybrid sedan with plenty of room, plus all the bells and whistles. It has 360 hp, AWD, does 0-60 in just over 5 sec.(the instant torque is a real benefit), and I get 29 mpg, average. NOT driven lightly. I bought it used for $25k.Sure, it's a little heavier because of the battery, motor, etc., but not nearly as much as a full EV. The battery is smaller/lighter/cheaper and both the alternator and starter motor are eliminated since the motor assumes those functions. It's cool to watch the charge guage show I'm getting energy back when coasting and/or braking. It's even cooler to drive around part of the time on battery only. It really comes in handy in traffic since the engine turns off and you don't waste fuel idling. With the adaptive cruise control you just let the car slowly inch along by itself.I only wish it were a Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV). Then, I'd have A LOT more EV-only range, along with even more of that instant torque. The battery would be bigger, but still a fraction of the size of a full EV. I could easily go weeks without using much, if any gas (depending upon my commute) IF I plug it in every night. But I don't have to. The gas engine will charge the battery whenever it's needed.It's just not as efficient a way to do it.Electric companies offer special rates for both EVs and PHEVs which lower your operating cost compared to gasoline. They'll even give you a rebate to offset the cost of installing a home charger. You can still get federal (up to $7,500, plus some state) tax credits for PHEVs.What's not to like? My next daily driver will be a PHEV of some kind. Probably a performance-oriented one like the new Dodge Hornet or one of the German Hybrid SUVs. All the benefits, sound, feel, etc., of a gas vehicle along with some electric assist to improve fuel economy, performance, and drivability. None of the inherent EV issues of cost, range anxiety, long charging times, poor charger availability, grid capacity issues, etc. I think most people will eventually catch on to this and go PHEV instead of going full EV. Synthetic, carbon-neutral eFuels, hydrogen engines, and other things will also prevent full EVs from being 100% of the fleet, regardless of what the politicians say. PHEVs can be as "clean" (overall) as full EVs with the right fuels. They're also cheaper, and far more practical, for most people. They can do it all, EVs can't.
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