Caraganza First Drive Review 2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5: Raise the T

I find very little reason to get excited these days. Maybe it’s age, or circumstance, or low “T” which according to some dubious TV commercials I need more of (my wife for the record could care less).

I did get excited recently when I learned I’d be getting an all-electric car for a week. That excitement was really odd by the way. That’s because I once saw the emergence of all-electric cars as the End Times; the Second Coming of Jesus surely won’t be too far behind.

After a time though, I began to accept the electric car, albeit begrudgingly.

I was excited however because I had recently had some minor electrical work done and as part of that had installed an electric car charger at my house. You see, I now realize that electric cars are just fine, and as long as I can drive one without actually realizing I’m driving one, I’m fine with it. The biggest issue I still have with them is the lack of charging infrastructure we have. In the past when I got an electric car, I’d either have to keep an eye on my mileage or try and find somewhere to charge it. Then pay for it, if it worked, then wait for it to actually charge. All in all, it was annoying.

Now, I didn’t get a fast charger, a Level 3 in electric car speak, but a Level 1. While of course slower than a Level 3, it should be able to charge most cars to a full charge overnight. That was good enough for me and I was eager to give it a try.

The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 that was delivered last week would be the first time I could use the charger, and I was pretty fired up about that.

The Ioniq name isn’t an unfamiliar one. Hyundai had the Ioniq as a plugin hybrid since 2016. They ended production for the Ioniq in 2021 with a 2022 model. The Ioniq 5 debuted for the model year 2022. It’s less the sedan familiar to the Ioniq buyer and more of an SUV crossover.

There is an Ioniq 6 which is more like a sedan but won’t be available until later this year.

By the way, for the record according to Hyundai the word Ioniq is a fusion of two words – ion and unique. An ion has low mass and high mobility; electricity transforms into energy and power when two positively charged ions flow.

The Ioniq 5 is the first of a Hyundai sub brand, and the Ioniq name will also appear on a flood of upcoming EV models; Hyundai says they will have 23 battery-electric vehicles by 2025.

The Ioniq 5 has four trims: SE Standard Range, SE, SEL and Limited. All except the SE Standard Range can be had in rear- or all-wheel drive. The rear-wheel-drive Ioniq 5 uses a single electric motor located at the rear axle. It produces 168 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft of torque in the SE Standard Range trim level; the motor makes 225 horses in all other models. The AWD version adds a second motor at the front axle, for a combined total of 320 hp and 446 lb.-ft.

The SE Standard Range is powered by a battery pack with 58 kWh of capacity, affording it an EPA range estimate of 220 miles. All others use a 77.4-kWh pack. Rear-wheel-drive models with this larger pack have 303 miles of EPA-estimated range, while opting for AWD reduces range to 266 miles.

The SE Standard Range, the base, has features such as 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, a battery heating system and preconditioning, DC fast-charging capability (compatible with 350-kW chargers), keyless entry and push-button start, a digital instrument panel, dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 12.3-inch touchscreen, navigation, a six-speaker audio system and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The entire lineup has all the nanny features, like forward collision warning with automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, intersection collision mitigation, blind-spot warning with rear cross-traffic warning, blind-spot intervention, and a keeping system.

The SE adds a larger battery back, and the bigger electric motor; AWD models also have a heat pump that works to heat the cabin more efficiently.

The SEL gets power-folding side mirrors, a hands-free liftgate, ambient cabin lighting, auto-dimming interior mirror, heated steering wheel, rear air vents, simulated leather, a wireless phone charging pad, front parking sensors and a more advanced version of the adaptive cruise control and lane centering systems.

The top of the line Limited, which is the model I had for my week, adds 20-inch wheels on the AWD version, automatic wipers, a panoramic sunroof, projector LED headlights with LED accents, power-adjustable heated and ventilated front seats with driver’s seat memory settings, adjustable rear headrests, a sliding center console, rear sunshades, and a cargo cover. There is also a two-way charging system with power ports you can use to power small appliances, devices and even charge other EVs, and an eight-speaker Bose premium audio system.

The Limited also gets an automated parking system, a 360-degree camera system, a blind-spot camera, rear automatic braking, and a heads-up display.

When I first saw the outside of Ioniq I was really taken in by the retro boxy sort of look. And there was a great deal of room on the inside as well. But, if I’m honest, I was a little disappointed by that interior. One description I saw said it was “eco-friendly” which to me is the same as calling someone a vegan. While I respect one’s life choices, I do like to eat red meat and for me it’s impossible to eat an “Impossible” burger, because, well you get it.

Perhaps I was bit jaded then when I first sat in the Ioniq. Sure, there’s a lot of room, and the dash sure does look very futuristic and techy, and there is enough room that the front seats can recline and even have footrests, but overall it was a bit underwhelming.

On the road the Ioniq was fantastic; plenty of power, and a very good drive. And yes, I was able to charge it at home, and it was as soul satisfying as I hoped it would be. So, there’s that.

I just hope that Hyundai isn’t falling into the trap that happened to the first electric cars I saw on the market. That trap? Upping the price just because of what they are.

In this case the Ioniq 5 Limited AWD has an MSRP of $55,920. For someone like Hyundai who are known to make very good, but budget friendly vehicles, this gave me a bit of pause. I tried to justify it: maybe it’s due to the US rebate of $7500 for EVs, nope the Ioniq doesn’t qualify. Sure, the pricing is in line with others in its class and look I do hope they sell. I really do. And maybe if they dressed up the interior a bit, or maybe I’m just a disgruntled old man who at the end of the day isn’t very excitable.

Or maybe it’s just low T.

The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 Limited AWD
MSRP: $54,500
MSRP (as tested): $55,920
Engine Type: Electric
Battery capacity: 77.4 kWh
Fast-charge port type: SAE Combo
Horsepower: 320, 446 lb.-ft torque
Base Curb Weight: 4,663 lbs.
Range: 266 miles

Exterior Dimensions
Length: 182.5 in.
Overall width without mirrors: 74.4 in.
Height 63.0 in.
Wheelbase: 118.1 in.
Interior Dimensions
Front head room: 39.1 in.
Front leg room: 41.7 in.
Front shoulder room: 57.7 in.
Front hip room 53.9 in.
Rear head room: 37.5 in.
Rear leg room: 39.4 in.
Rear shoulder room: 57.7 in.
Rear hip room: 53.6 in.
EPA interior volume: 133.7 cu.ft.
Cargo capacity, all seats in place: 27.2 cu.ft.
Maximum cargo capacity: 60.2 cu.ft.
Ground clearance: 6.1 in.
Maximum towing capacity: 2,300 lbs.
Maximum payload: 937 lbs.

Basic: 5 yr./ 60,000 mi.
Drivetrain: 10 yr./ 100,000 mi.
EV Battery: 10 yr./ 100,000 mi.
Rust: 7 yr./ unlimited mi.
Roadside assistance: 5 yr./ unlimited mi.
Free maintenance: 3 yr./ 36,000 mi.

Greg Engle