Cars/ First-drive/ Hyundai IONIQ 5 | Coolest EV On The Block | First Drive Review

Hyundai IONIQ 5 | Coolest EV On The Block | First Drive Review

Hyundai’s first model based on their all-new E-GMP


Timeless design, spacious interior, practicality


Intrusive electronics and dirt magnet interior upholstery


Hyundai India has finally launched the IONIQ 5 and invited a select few journalists to drive it around the streets of Goa. I’ve had the beautiful opportunity to drive the IONIQ 5 around India while filming. After having such a well-rounded experience with the IONIQ 5, I’mI’m happy to report that it’s a damn good vehicle. Allow me to elaborate on its highs and lows.

This is Hyundai’sHyundai’s first model based on their all-new E-GMP (Electric Global Modular Platform) and showcases a chassis made of high-strength steel. Being an EV from the ground up has allowed Hyundai to showcase some excellent space management and design an interior that’s supposed to feel like home. The IONIQ 5 takes inspiration from Hyundai’sHyundai’s first-ever product called the PONY. The PONY debuted in 1974 and aimed to showcase a design that would be pure and timeless. Following the same footsteps, the IONIQ 5 aims to do the same, with a modern-day twist. 

IONIQ 5 showcases a beautiful design that looks both retro and futuristic. The design follows a parametric pixel design both in the headlamp and taillamp. The clamshell hood features a nice set of clean lines and accentuates the seamless design language throughout the car. The front bumper features an active air flap that’ll open and close to aid cooling and aerodynamics. The IONIQ 5 is one handsome-looking SUV, and it’s easy to be awestruck by its beauty. 

Step inside the interior, and the parametric pixel design follows. The interior looks spacious, neat and also quite airy. I’mI’m not a massive fan of the white interior, as it’s practically begging to get dirty, but it’s currently the only available option. Hyundai takes sustainability to a whole new level with this interior. The seat upholstery is made using eco-processed leather, the switches, steering and crash pad are painted using bio paint, and the headlining and carpets are made using components from sugarcane and corn. Most manufacturers seem to have quite a simple approach to sustainability, but Hyundai has done a fantastic job bringing in great fit and finish and a sustainably sourced interior. 

Thanks to the dedicated electric architecture of the IONIQ 5, Hyundai has managed to liberate a lot more room inside the cabin, making the inside of the IONIQ feels surprisingly roomy. The IONIQ 5 features a flat floor thanks to the battery pack neatly tucked under the floorboard. The centre console can slide and be moved to fit your desired position. The IONIQ 5 features a frunk with a total capacity of 57 litres. 

The IONIQ 5 comes powered by a 72.6 kWh battery that produces a total output of 220 bhp and 350 Nm of torque. These numbers may seem relatively sedate but put your foot down, and the IONIQ 5 will propel from 0-100 in an impressive 7 seconds. The battery is surprisingly efficient, and you can come close to Hyundai’sHyundai’s claimed 631 km range. In the real world, I’dI’d say you’d easily get 430 kms out of it. The brakes work phenomenally well, allowing the IONIQ 5 to stop on a dime. The suspension and ride quality too are impressive but a bit too soft for my taste. They seemed to have been tuned for our streets more than our highways, and the ride can get a bit bouncy over some of our highways. 

The Hyundai IONIQ 5 was launched at a price of about 45 lakhs, and it goes up against the likes of the Volvo XC40 Recharge and the Kia EV6. The IONIQ 5 significantly undercuts its competition and poses quite a value proposition. It’sIt’s got good performance, practical interiors and a handsome design that looks too space-age for our streets. If you’re in the market for an all-new electric SUV, you should consider the IONIQ 5, as it may be the best on the block.

TopGear Magazine December 2023