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In-depth reviews

Hyundai Ioniq 5 review: performance, motor & drive

Outright speed and sporty handling aren't what the Ioniq 5 is about: instead, it's an extremely comfortable and refined everyday car

Overall rating

5.0 out of 5

Performance, motor & drive rating

4.0 out of 5

Model0-62mphTop speedDriven wheelsPower
58kWh RWD8.5s115mphRear168bhp
77kWh RWD7.3s115mphRear228bhp
77kWh AWD5.1s115mphFour321bhp

Unlike some of its electric rivals, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 doesn't prioritise sheer speed and sporty handling. Rather, it's intended to be a spacious, refined and comfortable family car, set apart by its unique design and high-tech interior. It fulfils this brief very well, but those looking for a truly engaging driving experience may be disappointed – or may need to wait for the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N electric hot hatch launches later in 2023.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 0-62mph, top speed and acceleration

While it may charge at lightning-quick speed, the Ioniq 5 doesn’t quite go down the road in the same fashion. The entry-level powertrain consists of a single, rear-mounted 168bhp electric motor and 58kWh battery for a range of 240 miles and 0-62mph time of 8.5 seconds.

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The next option is also rear-drive, but uses a 225bhp motor and so can cover 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds. Plus, its larger 77kWh battery means it has the longest range of the lot, at 315 miles. In rear-drive form, the Ioniq 5 may lack the startling performance offered by some of its rivals like the Ford Mustang Mach-E and the Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin, but the Hyundai's quick throttle response and linear power delivery make it feel more than lively enough when you want.

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The top-spec, all-wheel-drive 321bhp version of the over-two-tonne car goes from 0-62mph in 5.1 seconds – noticeably faster than the performance-oriented Volkswagen ID.4 GTX will do the same sprint – and also uses a 77kWh battery, however its 298-mile range is shorter than that of the single-motor car.

Handling

The Ioniq 5 prioritises comfort over handling, with soft suspension making for a smooth and relaxing ride. If comfort is a top priority, we’d recommend going for the 19-inch alloy wheels Hyundai offers, as the larger 20-inch wheels can cause the car to fidget a bit over smaller road bumps at lower speeds.

Otherwise, body lean is kept in check, and precise steering means the Hyundai is always predictable when cornering. Plus, behind the steering wheel are paddles for adjusting the regenerative braking system, which is a far more convenient setup than other cars which require you to dig through submenus on their infotainment screens.

Ioniq 5s produced from late spring 2022 add Smart Frequency Dampers (SFDs), which are said to improve the response of the rear suspension to increase ride comfort as well as improving both body control and handling – but we'll have to wait until we drive the updated version to confirm those claims.

If you like the Ioniq 5's futuristic looks but want something slightly more engaging to drive, the Hyundai Ioniq 6 saloon has a marginally firmer suspension setup and a lower centre of gravity offering even tighter body control, plus sharper steering.

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Welcome one and all, I’m Ellis the news reporter on Auto Express, the brand’s former online reviews editor and contributor to DrivingElectric. I’m proud to say I cut my teeth reporting and reviewing all things EV as the content editor on DrivingElectric. I joined the team while completing my master’s degree in automotive journalism at Coventry University and since then I’ve driven just about every electric car and hybrid I could get my hands on.

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