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2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 First Drive: Could This Be the One to Rattle Tesla?

The Ioniq 5 isn't the first to try to dent the armour of the electric-car behemoth, but it could be the most successful at it Automotive columnist: , Updated:

Auto123 gets in a first drive of the all-electric 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5.

We know how determined and relentless Korean automakers are; they’ve been that way for years now. Now that they’re tackling the electric vehicle sector, there are no half-measures. They’re all in, and they’re dynamic.

To that end, Hyundai is pricing the new Ioniq 5 just under the $45,000 mark, so the model will be entitled to EV discounts at two levels (federal and, where applicable, provincial). For Quebecers, for example, that means a $13,000 rebate, which as it happens no longer applies to the Tesla 3, recently up-priced. Hmm. If Hyundai can make enough of its all-electric crossover, Tesla has a strong rival on the market., 100% online, shop for your next car, buy online and get it delivered to you anywhere in Quebec!

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5, front
2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5, front
Photo: B.Charette

Styling that stands out
With a 3-metre wheelbase and styling inspired in part by the first Pony, the Ioniq 5 can't be mistaken for anything else on the road. That in itself is an accomplishment. This model is designed entirely as an electric vehicle, giving engineers the leeway to do things like push the wheels to the four corners of the vehicle, giving the vehicle a more generous wheelbase than the Palisade.

The 20-inch wheels are the largest wheels mounted on a Hyundai electric vehicle. The recessed door handles are supposed to improve aerodynamics and aesthetics. It remains to be seen whether those will stand up to the cold of winter. Rectangular headlights and LED taillights, along with sharp edges, define the look. The sloping rear C-pillar gives a sporty look, but cuts into cargo space.

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5, interior
2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5, interior
Photo: Hyundai

Modern and sleek interior
The interiors of new electric vehicles can induce culture shock, as if manufacturers feel pressure to think outside the box when it comes to interior design. The Ioniq 5's interior promotes minimalism. The cabin is dominated by two large 12-inch flat screens (one for the dashboard and one for the infotainment system). You can also add an augmented reality head-up display that essentially uses the windshield to overlay information.

Push-button controls are few and far between. We didn't much like the rotary shifters to the right of the steering wheel, which are a bit confusing to use. There are also a few irritants like the voice recognition that only works if your smartphone is plugged into the car via a cable. There's no wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto and no internet space.

Generous space
One aspect potential buyers will like is the amount of space. Thanks to that 3-metre wheelbase, passengers enjoy tons of legroom and headroom. Second row seats that slide 14 cm allow occupants to practically sit cross-legged. You also have a glass roof that runs the length of the vehicle and adds a sense of space.

Like the seats, the movable centre console slides 14 cm and offers cup holders and phone charging ports for front and rear passengers.  Cargo space offers 532 litres with the seats up, but this increases to 1,600 litres with the rear seats folded down. Since there's no engine in the front, there's also a tiny 56-litre space there for small items.

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5, screens
2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5, screens
Photo: Hyundai

Not too many gadgets
In order to be able to offer a base price capable of fetching both the federal and provincial rebates (where applicable), Hyundai had to trim a few features here and there. Just know you're not looking at a German model with a plethora of high-tech equipment.

However, the essentials are there. You have forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind spot warning, driver attention monitoring and rear cross traffic alert. Hyundai also offers remote parking, highway driving assistance and smart exit, which monitors oncoming traffic when passengers open the doors to leave.

Like all Korean vehicles, standard equipment is extensive. You get a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, satellite navigation, 8-speaker Bose audio system, 12-way power front seats with memory and sliding rear seats. The front seats are heated and ventilated, and heated in the rear.

You get a glass roof with power sunshade, power liftgate, 20-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and taillights, rear privacy glass, rear door sunshade, heated steering wheel, color-adjustable ambient lighting, keyless entry and start, semi-autonomous parking assist, remote smart parking assist, and dual-zone climate control.

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5, profile
2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5, profile
Photo: B.Charette

On the road
Regeneration is the buzzword in electric driving these days. Here you have no less than four regenerative modes that range from a no-regeneration mode through i-Pedal or one-pedal driving that applies the brakes as soon as you lift your foot off the gas pedal, and two other modes in between. You have three drive modes, Eco, Normal and Sport, which are selected with a button on the lower part of the steering wheel. Note that the one-pedal driving mode must be selected every time you take the wheel, which is a bit annoying.

On the road, the suspension is soft and comfortable despite our 20-inch wheels; these didn't affect comfort levels that we could tell. That said, an adjustable or piloted suspension would give more body to the ride, which is a little too soft. The steering is precise, even if you feel the weight of the car on the road.

While the radar cruise control works well, we found the lane keeping assist and semi-autonomous steering functions to be somewhat approximate. The system sometimes veers out of its lane on high-speed turns and can lose track of lines on country roads with poor road surfaces.

Even if the most powerful version is able to take you to 100 km/h in 5 seconds, power quickly runs low. Once you pass 100 km/h, you can feel that the energy level decreases quickly.

Visibility to the front, sides and rear is excellent.

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5, under the hood
2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5, under the hood
Photo: B.Charette

Choice of batteries
You have several possible combinations with the Ioniq 5. The entry-level model is a rear-wheel drive configuration offering 58 kWh (24 modules) with 168 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, and 354 km of range. This is the model that goes for $44,999. Next is an all-in-one model with a 77.4 kWh twin engine powertrain; there you get 320 hp and 446 lb-ft of torque and a range of 414 km. There's also a rear-wheel drive LR (long range) version with the 77.4 kWh motor in the back. This one offers 225 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque and a range of 488 km. That’s great range, but the absence of AWD is a big loss.

Overall comfort
Hyundai tries to set itself apart by offering driver and front passenger seats that can recline fully with an extendable leg rest. Hyundai probably figured that this will allow passengers to rest while the car charges at a public charging station.

The seats are large, but a bit on the mushy side. We would have liked a little more support. On the other hand, those who will be sitting in the back will be in heaven.  The seats are comfortable and roomy, and there's plenty of leg, head and shoulder room.

You should also know that many of the interior elements, such as the seats, headliner, door trim and floor, are made from recycled plastic bottles and natural, plant-based wool yarn.

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5, three-quarters rear
2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5, three-quarters rear
Photo: B.Charette

Fuel consumption and recharging
The Ioniq 5 uses 17.9 kWh/100 km in the rear-wheel drive variant and 19.0 kWh/100 km in the all-wheel drive model. It is compatible with 400V and 800V charging systems and can be charged up to 11 kW in three-phase AC and up to 350 kW in DC fast charge, the latter allowing it to be charged from 10 to 80 percent in 18 minutes.

It's also one of the few EVs that can use its energy to power other devices. Using an adapter that plugs into the Type 2 charging port, it provides a 15-amp household outlet that delivers up to 3.6 kW of power at 240V, which is more than enough to run a variety of appliances at the campsite or construction site.

It's remarkable what Hyundai has managed to do in such a short time. The Ioniq 5 isn't perfect, but it has no major flaws either. Hyundai has the ability to sell everything it makes without any problems. The first models are arriving in dealerships right now.

A word of advice, wait for the all-wheel drive model which is much better equipped to deal with winter than the rear-wheel drive which might dance on the snow. And if you don't like the styling, wait for the Kia EV6 - it's exactly the same vehicle dressed up differently.

Pricing for the 2022 Ioniq 5 starts at $44,999 and our 4WD Ultimate model sells for $59,999.

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5, rear
2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5, rear
Photo: B.Charette

We like

Unique styling
Fast charging
Ample interior space
Sliding rear seats

We like less

No rear window wiper
No basic 4WD version
Suspension a little soft

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5, three-quarts front
2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5, three-quarts front
Photo: B.Charette

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