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In-depth reviews

Hyundai Ioniq 5 - Electric motor, drive and performance

Although set up for comfort, the Ioniq 5 should still be quick enough for most

Overall Auto Express Rating

5.0 out of 5

Electric motor, drive and performance Rating

4.2 out of 5

Price
£43,445 to £57,945
  • Looks great
  • Impressive charging ability
  • Spacious
  • Not an engaging drive
  • Shallow boot design
  • No rear wiper
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Hyundai is serious about its all-electric future, with the Korean car maker planning to introduce 23 all-electric models and reach a sales target of 1 million BEVs by 2025. The Ioniq 5 sits on the manufacturer’s first dedicated BEV platform called E-GMP, while the tech will also underpin the production of smaller and larger models.

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Unfortunately, the Ioniq 5 still incurs the typical weight penalty that comes from housing big, heavy batteries. Its design allows for the battery pack to be placed under the floor to help deliver a low centre of gravity, and with it, less body lean in corners. Hyundai’s all-electric hatchback weighs around two tonnes, but performance remains solid. Opt for the all-wheel-drive variant, and the standard Ioniq 5 has pretty rapid acceleration off the line if you decide to stamp on the pedal, with 321bhp at your disposal. Otherwise, the power delivery is all very relaxed, with the Ioniq 5 easy to pilot around town. 

We wouldn’t say the standard Ioniq 5 is an entertaining car to drive around twisty lanes, because it majors on providing great levels of comfort rather than B-road thrills –- a brief it fulfils impressively well. We feel that the rear-wheel drive version will suit most needs because it provides well-balanced handling, with plenty of grip and traction. All-wheel drive models, while faster, don’t transform the driving experience. 

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Higher-end cars, fitted with larger 20-inch alloy wheels, provide a little more fidget over slow-speed lumps and bumps than you’d perhaps like, but overall, the Ioniq 5 offers a composed ride, with limited body lean and the light steering is well-suited to the car’s set-up.

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Don’t be disheartened If you’re a performance fan, though, because the arrival of the Ioniq 5 N proves that the fun factor of the i20 N and i30 N hot hatchbacks can translate into an electric car. The N model is powered by twin electric motors producing 601bhp normally, rising to 641bhp if you engage ‘N mode’. The Ioniq 5 N has also been mechanically tweaked with features such as firmer suspension, larger alloy wheels and bespoke tyres. 

0-62mph acceleration and top speed 

The Ioniq 5 is currently available with a choice of three batteries, three power outputs and the option of rear- or all-wheel-drive. Entry-level cars use a 58kWh battery and a 168bhp motor driving the rear wheels, with 0-62mph taking a reasonable 8.5 seconds.

Hyundai initially offered a 73kWh battery setup for the 214bhp rear-wheel-drive version and 301bhp all-wheel-drive variants, but this has now been replaced with a 77.4kWh unit. Their 0-62 sprint times were slightly improved, too, at 7.3 seconds and 5.1 seconds, respectively. The top speed of both models is 114mph, which is 1mph less than the RWD model.

The Ioniq 5 N wades in with an 84kWh battery — the largest of the line-up. When it comes to performance, this electric hot hatch boasts a supercar-like 3.4-second 0-62mph time, and its top speed is 161mph. 

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