When the Hyundai 45 concept car was revealed two years ago, we were impressed by the sleek, creased sheetmetal and airy interior. But we figured that whatever production car came of the design would receive major styling changes to make it work. We were wrong. The Hyundai Ioniq 5 delivers on the looks of the concept inside and out with very few changes, and it's bolstered by the enticing E-GMP platform's range, features and powertrain layout.
The outside of the Ioniq 5 is as striking as the concept, and we're particularly impressed that Hyundai brought the boxy headlight and taillight treatments to market unchanged. The creases on the outside are intact, and they work great with the edgy, forward-leaning hatchback shape. The reveal car features 20-inch wheels that do look smaller than the concepts, but retain the detailed, aerodynamic design. There does appear to be more body cladding, which adopts little creased lines to help it fit in with the exterior's theme. The car has also sprouted door handles, but they're flush as to not distract from the shape and to aid aerodynamics. In some markets, the mirrors can be replaced with low-drag cameras and OLED screens, but they won't be coming to America. On the topic of cool, green features, a solar roof is available like that on the Sonata Hybrid, which can charge the drive battery.
As for size, the Ioniq 5 is unusual. It's nearly 2 inches shorter in length than the Elantra sedan and about 2 inches taller than a Kona, but its 118.1-inch long wheelbase is longer than the Palisade's. In EV terms, it's various dimensions align more closely to a Mustang Mach-E or Nissan Ariya than to a Nissan Leaf or the new Chevy Bolt EUV.
Inside, the dash is as minimalist as that of the 45, and it now has a fun magnetic panel that you can pin photos, notes and such to with fridge magnets. The seats now look more like what you'd find in a car rather than a midcentury modern home, but we're not too disappointed. Why? Well, the front seats not only recline, but even have a La-Z-Boy-like leg rest. The car adopts a moveable center console that can allow for additional space under the dash. The rear seats also slide fore and aft to provide either more passenger room or cargo space. Dual 12-inch displays handle instruments and infotainment, and the head-up display will provide augmented reality-style graphics and information. In a video shown to the press, it works similarly to the Mercedes-Benz augmented camera system in that it can project arrows that look like they're at a similar depth as the street you need to turn onto.
Underneath the striking body is Hyundai's first implementation of the E-GMP platform. It can be equipped with either a rear motor and rear-wheel drive or two motors and all-wheel drive. A standard 58-kWh battery or optional 77.4-kWh battery can supply power. The single motor configuration makes 215 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, and the dual-motor setup makes 302 horsepower and 446 pound-feet of torque. Despite the identical power ratings, the big 77.4-kWh battery versions accelerate faster than the small 58-kWh one. We've listed the powertrain combinations and acceleration times below.
- Single-motor 0-60 mph times
- 72.6-kWh: 7.4 seconds
- 58-kWh: 8.5 seconds
- Dual-motor 0-60 mph times
- 72.6-kWh: 5.2 seconds
- 58-kWh: 6.1 seconds
As for range, Hyundai has only given an estimate for the longest-range, rear-motor, big-battery configuration at 298 miles on the WLTP cycle. We would expect the EPA range to be a bit shorter. Based on what we know from the Kona Electric and its 64-kWh battery size and 258-mile range, we would expect the 58-kWh Ioniq 5 to have a range between 200 and 250 miles.
Hyundai says the Ioniq 5 will go on sale sometime in the first half of 2021 in "select markets," so it will probably be released for the 2022 model year. Pricing hasn't been announced, but that should be coming in the near future. The Ioniq 5 will also be joined in the next year or two by the Ioniq 6 sedan, based on the Hyundai Prophecy concept, and the Ioniq 7 large SUV.
Correction: The North American Ioniq 5's large battery option is actually 77.4 kWh, rather than the 72.6 offered in the rest of the world. The text has been updated to reflect this.