Hyundai Ioniq 5 vs BMW iX3 vs Volvo XC40 Recharge: space and practicality
While the iX3 and XC40 offer similar amounts of interior space, neither can touch the cavernous expanses of the Ioniq 5’s cabin and boot
The Volvo is the most compact car in this test, being 210mm shorter than the Ioniq 5 and 309mm shorter than the iX3, so it comes as no surprise that it's also the least spacious inside and offers the least amount of boot space. Although, when compared to the BMW’s cabin, there’s little to differentiate the two – rear headroom is pretty much the same, while kneeroom is just a couple of millimetres short of the iX3’s.
The BMW's door pockets are big enough to hold large bottles, while a central compartment hides away the wireless phone charger and a pair of cup-holders when they’re not in use. For the most part, interior storage is well thought out in the XC40, too. There’s a removable waste bin in the centre console and large door pockets. The glovebox is fairly small, however, while four USB-C ports (two in the front, two in the back) plus a 12-volt socket mean you’ll have no problems keeping a family's worth of devices topped up.
The iX3 is physically the largest car here, but while its cabin is just as spacious as the petrol and diesel-powered X3s', it doesn’t make use of its footprint as effectively as the cavernous Hyundai. Rear legroom is where this is most obvious; even taller passengers will have no issues sitting in the back of the BMW, but the Ioniq 5 still tops it with ease.
So, while both the iX3 and XC40 offer enough room for your average family, the Ioniq 5 is a cut above. Step into the back and you’re greeted with limousine-like legroom and around 50mm more kneeroom than the iX3, to be exact. The Ioniq 5’s flat floor also provides plenty of space for feet across all three seats. Headroom is great, too – roughly the same as in the BMW – and the backrests can also recline to give even more space if needed.
The Hyundai's cabin is filled with useful touches, including a large glovebox that opens like a drawer and a couple of deep cupholders between the front seats. Overall, it's a strong demonstration of the advantages of building your electric car on a dedicated platform, as opposed to adapting a combustion-engined one, as Volvo and BMW have done.
At 527 litres, boot capacity in the Hyundai is larger than both the BMW’s 510 litres and the Volvo's 465 litres. The area it covers is huge, but it’s fairly shallow with a high floor, which makes carrying bulky items a little trickier, particularly compared to the iX3. On the plus side though, the Ioniq 5's bumper is shallow, so it doesn’t get in the way during loading.
Fold the rear seats down, and again the Ioniq 5 tops the other two, with 1,587 litres of space compared to the iX3’s 1,560 and the XC40’s 1,328. There’s also a small space under the Hyundai’s bonnet that’s ideal for storing charging cables. There’s space under the boot floor in the BMW to keep the parcel shelf or the charging cables (but not both at the same time) and the Volvo benefits from a modest 31-litre storage space under the bonnet.
In This Review
- 1IntroThe Hyundai Ioniq 5 is one of our favourite electric family cars, but how does it stack up against the more premium offerings in the electric SUV class?
- 2Range and chargingThe Ioniq 5 leaves both the iX3 and XC40 behind here, thanks to its 220kW ultra-rapid charging speed
- 3Performance and handlingWhile the dual-motor setup in the XC40 offers stunning performance, and the Ioniq 5’s ride is the most comfortable, the iX3 stands out as the most engaging of the three to drive
- 4Space and practicality - currently readingWhile the iX3 and XC40 offer similar amounts of interior space, neither can touch the cavernous expanses of the Ioniq 5’s cabin and boot
- 5Interior and infotainmentWhile the iX3 and XC40 interiors are as well built as you’d expect from their respective brands, the Ioniq 5 is simply more comfortable and packed with technology
- 6Running costs and warrantyAll three models have low running costs, including company-car tax, but the Hyundai’s lower insurance ratings and comprehensive warranty put it ahead here
- 7Safety and reliabilityThe Ioniq 5 and XC40 have five-star Euro NCAP crash-test ratings and all three cars feature a plethora of safety systems
- 8Verdict and specificationsThe Hyundai Ioniq 5 claims victory over its pricer competition from BMW and Volvo thanks to its spacious cabin, ultra-rapid charging capabilities and supremely comfortable ride quality