Hyundai Ioniq 5 EV drive impressions: Serene storm in world of electric cars

46 lakh
4.5 out of 5
Pros
  • Excellent range, fast charge support
  • Exhaustive feature list
  • Mature drive trait
Cons
  • Indian conditions may not be kind to upholstery colour and materials used in cabin
  • Brake pedal could have had more bite
Hyundai Ioniq 5 attempts to play in a league of its own, not just in the gradually increasing league of electric cars but even among the long lineup o
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The all-electric Hyundai Ioniq 5, launched earlier this year at Auto Expo 2023, is the second electric offering from the automaker in India.
The price of Ioniq 5 stands at <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>44.95 lakh.
The automaker informs the electric car has already received over 650 bookings and deliveries will begin in March.
The vehicle is based on Hyundai's Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP).
The electric car is powered by a PMS motor which is mounted on the rear axle. It comes with a 72.6 kWh battery pack and promises range up to 631 km.
It generates a power output of 214 bhp and 350 Nm of torque.
The interior comes with 12.3-inch dual screens with Hyundai's latest interface. 
Features such as Level 2 ADAS, Bose sound system along with dual-zone climate control are available. 
The electric car also offers ventilated seats.
Hyundai shares the other accessories used in the interior come from sustainable materials.
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Hyundai Ioniq 5 is based on e-GMP which is a platform dedicated towards electric cars.
The all-electric Hyundai Ioniq 5, launched earlier this year at Auto Expo 2023, is the second electric offering from the automaker in India.
1/10
The all-electric Hyundai Ioniq 5, launched earlier this year at Auto Expo 2023, is the second electric offering from the automaker in India.
The price of Ioniq 5 stands at <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>44.95 lakh.
2/10
The price of Ioniq 5 stands at 44.95 lakh.
The automaker informs the electric car has already received over 650 bookings and deliveries will begin in March.
3/10
The automaker informs the electric car has already received over 650 bookings and deliveries will begin in March.
The vehicle is based on Hyundai's Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP).
4/10
The vehicle is based on Hyundai's Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP).
The electric car is powered by a PMS motor which is mounted on the rear axle. It comes with a 72.6 kWh battery pack and promises range up to 631 km.
5/10
The electric car is powered by a PMS motor which is mounted on the rear axle. It comes with a 72.6 kWh battery pack and promises range up to 631 km.
It generates a power output of 214 bhp and 350 Nm of torque.
6/10
It generates a power output of 214 bhp and 350 Nm of torque.
The interior comes with 12.3-inch dual screens with Hyundai's latest interface. 
7/10
The interior comes with 12.3-inch dual screens with Hyundai's latest interface. 
Features such as Level 2 ADAS, Bose sound system along with dual-zone climate control are available. 
8/10
Features such as Level 2 ADAS, Bose sound system along with dual-zone climate control are available. 
The electric car also offers ventilated seats.
9/10
The electric car also offers ventilated seats.
Hyundai shares the other accessories used in the interior come from sustainable materials.
10/10
Hyundai shares the other accessories used in the interior come from sustainable materials.

As far as the question around Hyundai Ioniq 5 for India was concerned, it was always about ‘when’ rather than ‘if’. India has been a key market for Hyundai for several years now and as the company marches into a brave new electric world, having just the Kona here won't have sufficed. And so, at Auto Expo 2023, the company officially - and finally - launched the Ioniq 5 SUV at 45 lakh (ex-showroom).

The Ioniq 5 is not the first all-electric car from Hyundai. But in many ways, it actually, really is. Kona may have started the trickle charge but now with the Ioniq 5 here, Hyundai Motor India has truly underlined, stamped and highlighted just how serious it is about electric vehicles. But just because Hyundai is warp charging its electric ambitions with this EV, does it mean you ought to drive one back home? We landed in Goa recently to find the answer to just that.

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Here is a quick first-take on all that you need to know about Hyundai Ioniq 5:

Watch: Hyundai Ioniq 5 Review: First Drive Impressions

Hyundai Ioniq 5: How is it to drive in India?

We have spoken extensively on how the Hyundai Ioniq 5 looks from the outside and feels from within. And we will again lower down here. But this is the first time we got a chance to actually set the EV in motion. And there were surprises galore, mostly pleasant. It is only apt then that we begin from here.

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 may not have an imposing stance or styling but therein, the company is attempting to strike a chord with an elite group of buyers.
The Hyundai Ioniq 5 may not have an imposing stance or styling but therein, the company is attempting to strike a chord with an elite group of buyers.

In the 60-minute drive around the narrow lanes of south Goa, onwards to some winding and desolate roads just outside, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 was truly in its free-flowing element. A steady and stable drive trait is what instantly connects with the person behind the wheel, and unless the throttle is pushed with a serious intent, this EV is happy enough to hum its way forward confidently.

There is a 72.6 kWh battery at the very core of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 which is good enough for a claimed - and ARAI-certified range of 631 kms. While we really couldn't test that claim in our short drive, there was ample evidence of the 214 hp and 350 Nm of torque that are on offer. In Normal mode, the EV is responsibly enthusiastic - gliding forward quick but not jerking you back either. Engage the Sport mode and it elevates the thrill of pushing pedal to the metal.

Want to slow things down? The regenerative braking and iPedal technology is one of the best I have experienced with the slowing power engineered well enough to do the job while not seeming to be overbearing. But relying solely on the brake pedal and perhaps a bit more bite would have been better.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 has superb straight-line stability and remains composed even when the throttle is pushed aggressively.
Hyundai Ioniq 5 has superb straight-line stability and remains composed even when the throttle is pushed aggressively.

The other highlights were the superbly engineered steering which was well weighted to make me doubt if this indeed is a Hyundai, the reasonably good suspension set up and just how good the control over NVH levels are. Of course there is no engine but road and ambient noise was nearly nada, zilch, zero. Hyundai has also equipped Ioniq 5 with ADAS functions but we couldn't really test these enough to form a confident opinion.

But in terms of sheer drive dynamics, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 does offer a very well-planted character, one which ought to appeal to a diverse section of buyers.

Hyundai Ioniq 5: Cabin craft done right, mostly

A look at the dashboard layout inside the Hyundai Ioniq 5.
A look at the dashboard layout inside the Hyundai Ioniq 5.

The Ioniq 5 cabin is like this minimalist paintwork that pushes across grey strokes in straight and converging lines to form a compelling art form. With a wheelbase of 3,000mm, there is acres of room for all five passengers. There is no center console in the traditional sense and the section for the cup holders and the armrest between the front two seats slides up and back to offer customisation for space. The absolutely flat floorbed is another key element in allowing for generous leg space while there are plenty of storage options all around.

The dashboard layout too goes real well with the overall theme of the vehicle, stretched yet skipping the glitz. Two 12.3-inch connected screens - nearly wafer thin and with ultra crisp display - sit neatly on the dash while the steering too has a minimalistically-modern appeal.

As for the seats, all of these are can be electronically adjusted and offer memory function for up to three settings. The rear seats do recline back too but this alone is a manual operation. But much like what we highlight in most luxury cars, the light colour theme on the upholstery overall could be a nightmare to maintain in Indian conditions. Even during our short drive, we unknowingly laid two shoe marks on the seat section where the memory controls are at.

A look at the rear seats inside Hyundai Ioniq 5.
A look at the rear seats inside Hyundai Ioniq 5.

The feature list is typically well-loaded and the Ioniq 5 gets ventilated and heated front seats, heated rear seats, rain-sensing wipers, wireless phone charging support, heated ORVMs, a sunroof that stretches the entire length of the roof, Vehicle2Load function to power small electronic appliances and hands-free tail gate operation, among others. Once again, we could not test.

Hyundai Ioniq 5: Less SUV. More crossover. Much appeal

Hyundai Ioniq 5 is offered in three exterior colour options - Gravity Gold Matte, Optic White and Midnight Black Pearl.
Hyundai Ioniq 5 is offered in three exterior colour options - Gravity Gold Matte, Optic White and Midnight Black Pearl.

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 has been designed to sport a clean exterior profile from all sides. There is hardly anything flashy about the car, strange considering the combustion engine siblings like Creta, Venue, Verna and Tucson or even international models like Palisade. Even against Korean cousin Kia EV6 that is based on the same e-GMP platform, the Ioniq 5 appears more understated. Depending on personal preferences, this can be a great or not such a great factor.

But much like intricate artwork, the attention to detail is unmissable on closer inspection. Whether it is the parametric pixel projector LED head lights, the front bumper with skid plates, the active air flap which open for better cooling parts on the inside or the clamshell hood with sharp character lines, the Ioniq 5 face is handsome even if not flamboyant.

The mammoth 3,000 mm wheelbase is instantly evident from the side but there is more to the Ioniq 5 from this angle. The 20-inch wheels sport a unique alloy design unlike that on any other Hyundai car. Auto flush door handles are becoming increasingly common and make way into this EV as well. The ground clearance of 163 mm is the highest for any Hyundai car in India and amply helps the car negotiate speedbreakers that ought to be deemed illegal. And look even closer and you can notice Z-shaped character lines across the width.

Ioniq 5 can be charged from 10 to 80 per-cent in 18 minutes using a 350 kW DC charger. Using the wall unit provided by the company, it will take under seven hours to power it to full.
Ioniq 5 can be charged from 10 to 80 per-cent in 18 minutes using a 350 kW DC charger. Using the wall unit provided by the company, it will take under seven hours to power it to full.

As for the rear profile, the ‘Ioniq 5’ lettering is placed on the parametric pixel LED tail lamps while there is a rear spoiler with LED stop light mounted high up as well.

Hyundai Ioniq 5: Initial verdict

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 needs to be driven for far longer than we did. It also needs to be driven in deadly traffic conditions that most Indian cities are infamous for. But even in our rather short experience with the car, its strengths were evident while its scope for improvement apparent as well.

At 46 lakh now (ex-showroom) and coming in via the Semi-Knocked Down (SKD) route, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 manages to massively undercut the pricing on the likes of Kia EV6. Comparisons will also be drawn with the Volvo XC40 Recharge which too has a price range closer to 60 lakh. The Ioniq 5 isn't a mass-mmarket product by any means but generously provides a glimpse into the world of not just electric mobility but luxury mobility as well.

First Published Date: 11 Feb 2023, 11:00 AM IST
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