Auto review by Veeno Dewan.

After a long much anticipated wait the fully electric Hyundai Ioniq  5 hatchback is finally arriving in dealer showrooms. With a top electric range of 488km, radical out of the box styling, a roomy interior, and a lot of high- end technology, the Ioniq 5 looks like a sure -fire winner. Its boxy looks, flush pop out  door handles and funky front and rear light cube treatments give it a unique look.

The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 is offered in three powertrain configurations and five trim levels. The base Essential trim is a single engine, RWD configuration that delivers 354-kilometre range and starts at $44,999. The next trim up is the Preferred model, which adds a  heat pump, 350 kW fast charging, keeps the same 354-kilometre range rating and starts at $46,999.

At the top of the range  are the two long-range models equipped with the larger 77.4 kWh battery. The first one is the Preferred model with RWD configuration that offers 488 kilometres of range –It starts at $51,999.

The only available AWD model is the Preferred AWD trim which starts at $54,999. This one can be optioned with the Ultimate Package as tested, comprising 20-inch wheels, a head-up display, panoramic sunroof, a Bose sound system, and remote parking feature. Our tester had the 239kW Electric motor, 77.4kWh lithium-ion polymer high-voltage battery and HTRAC All-Wheel Drive

Now in terms of electric charging, Hyundai says the Ioniq 5’ battery can charge from 10 to 80% in as miniscule as 18 minutes when using a fast charger (800V).  You can also gain a quick 108 km of driving range after just five minutes of plugged-in time. A 10.9-kW AC Level 2 charger installed at home will get the car from 10 per cent to a full charge in six hours and 43 minutes. The Ioniq 5 is also fitted with the V2L feature, which lets you use the battery’s power to feed appliances and charge electronics.

Like all Hyundai 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, ventilated, and heated seats, power liftgate, 20-inch alloy wheels, semi-autonomous parking assist, remote smart parking assist, and dual-zone climate control and more.

In terms of technology, the Ioniq 5 features  Hyundai’s second-generation highway driving assist tech with assisted, turn-signal-triggered lane changes, and cool  augmented-reality head-up display system which overlays graphics on the view out of the windshield.

Interior wise, the Ioniq 5 features a clean, neat cabin that is a little is more subdued than the funky exterior. In keeping with its green credentials much of the   interior such as the seats, headliner, door trim and floor, are made from recycled plastic bottles and natural, plant-based wool yarn. The dashboard is dominated by a twin-screen 12-inch setup that includes the instruments and the infotainment system. In the front, the fully flat floor leaves a surplus  of room below the dashboard and between the two front seats. By the way, those two front seats can also turn into cool recliners with leg support for short naps during charging.  The  front armrest/centre storage console in the middle can be also moved forward and back. Cargo space offers 532 litres with the seats up, but this increases to 1,600 litres with the rear seats folded down. There is even a tiny 56-litre space in the front hood for small items.

On the road, the powerful motors fitted to the Ioniq 5 deliver   that awesome “shove in the back” feel on acceleration so typical of high torque EV cars, in this case with 320 horsepower  and  440 lb-ft of torque available. With an electric motor at each axle, the Ioniq 5 AWD Hyundai EV  has a very impressive zero to 100 km/h in a scant  5.1 seconds. Its exciting to drive an EV at this price point that performs like a premium performance hatchback.  You can also tailor the driving dynamics with three available drive modes, Eco, Normal and Sport, which are selected with a button on the lower part of the steering wheel. As far as handling goes, the Ioniq 5 is agile  with minimal body roll and takes fast corners very well in a composed  stable manner. In terms of fuel economy, we  are looking at a gasoline equivalent of  2.4 L/100KM  of 2.1. City and 2.7 highway. All impressive numbers.

To sum up, I predict the Ioniq 5 will be a winner with its unique styling, awesome electric range, and roomy versatile interior. It’s a fresh take on the EV and   has  decent performance. Also note that with its  competitive pricing at just under the $45,000 mark, buyers will still be eligible for both federal and provincial EV discounts and rebates. The Hyundai Ioniq 5 has my vote! Very impressive and a good addition to the Hyundai EV lineup. Highly recommended.

 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 priced from $44,999 – $59,999.

Ultimate model as tested: $60,999.

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