2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 Review:Driving Impressions

Beverly Braga, Independent Expert | Dec 17, 2021

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is the automaker's first foray into dedicated electric vehicle (EV) territory consisting of an all-new platform and an all-new lineup. Futuristically quirky in design, the Ioniq 5 is a compelling, tech-focused product that showcases what Hyundai's new EV sub-brand is capable of.

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The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 officially launches the South Korean automaker's sub-brand of battery electric vehicles (BEV). The Hyundai Ioniq, a model that debuted for the 2017 model year in three different forms (hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric), is not part of the new BEV family. Technically.

Consider the original Ioniq as Hyundai's big toe dipping into the EV waters. That car is still around for 2022 but only as the Ioniq Hybrid and Ioniq PHEVthe Ioniq EV is discontinued. Since its arrival, though, Hyundai's lineup has expanded to include nearly a dozen models in various states of electrification, from full hybrids to fuel cells. This leads us to the stand-alone Ioniq brand, which is Hyundai cannonballing into the deep end of the EV pool.

Moving forward, all Ioniq vehicles are to be built on a dedicated platform known as the Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) and feature numeric names where even numbers represent sedans, and odd ones signify an SUV. The Ioniq 5, a crossover SUV, is the first of three all-new EV models to arrive by 2024.

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An all-new model, the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 release date is, well, now. With pricing just announced, dealerships can begin fulfilling orders this month. One exception is the base model. The standard-range Hyundai Ioniq 5 2022 on-sale date is slated for spring. However, the launch models will be available in Canada and 18 U.S. states with an eventual expansion nationwide. Hyundai has not announced the timing for Mexico.

Hyundai offers the Ioniq 5 in SE, SEL, and Limited trim levels. Rear-wheel drive (RWD) is standard, with all-wheel drive (AWD) an option for all trims. The Ioniq 5 SE Standard Range will start at $39,700, which excludes the $1,225 destination fee and any tax incentives. Should the $7,500 federal tax credit apply (plus local and state offerings), the Ioniq 5 would have a starting MSRP of less than $33,000. Being the entry-level model, the SE Standard Range features a smaller 125-kW rear-mounted motor, produces 168 horsepower, and has a 202-mile range.

Move up to the non-standard SE, SEL, and Limited RWD models and the electric motor amps up to 168 kW for 225 hp. Torque is 258 pound-feet, and range increases to 303 miles. AWD models, which pair a 74-kW front motor and 165-kW rear motor, are good for 320 hp and 446 pound-feet of torque, but range drops to 256 miles. The Ioniq 5 SE RWD starts at $43,650. AWD adds $3,500 to SE and SEL trims but is a $3,900 add-on for the Ioniq 5 Limited.

I tested a Hyundai Ioniq 5 Limited AWD in Digital Teal Metallic for this review. Because the pricing wasn't yet available, Hyundai did not provide a Monroney. But as Hyundai tends to do, there isn't much room for options when at the top-end of the lineup. Essentially fully loaded, the test car had a cargo cover ($190) and carpeted floor mats ($195), which would put its total price at $56,110.

Independent Expert Opinion: Interior Design, Comfort, and Utility - Find the best Hyundai deals!

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 Limited AWD Digital Teal Metallic Front Quarter View

Photo: Beverly Braga

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is a midsize crossover, but the interior feels much roomier. This is because the Ioniq 5 sits on an extended wheelbase (118.1 inches) that is not only longer than its competitors (think Ford Mustang Mach-E) but also Hyundai's flagship 3-row SUV, the Palisade (114.2 inches).

Hyundai lists the Ioniq 5's interior volume (passenger and cargo combined) at 133.7 cubic feet. This exceeds both the Mustang Mach-E (130.8) and Volkswagen ID.4 (130.2). A deep dive shows that the ID.4 beats both in cargo room, but the Ioniq 5 is tops in passenger space by more than several cubic feet. With a bigger canvas and no engine to block useable space, Hyundai designers employed a "Living Space" theme.

The center console, for example, is more of a center island. The entire section can be moved to and fro as much as 5.5 inches. And with nothing impeding the floor space between the driver and passenger, the sense of spaciousness is elevated. It's almost like having a front bench seat again, which comes in handy when both front occupants need to exit through the same door (like when an adjacent vehicle is parked too close).

The storage space within the cabin is useable and plentiful. In fact, you're likely to "lose" items from forgetting in which nook or cranny you placed them. There are compartments within the movable console, the center armrest, the lower dashboard, the frunk, and the trunk; even the door armrest features a gap between it and the door panel itself. Though, I wouldn't recommend placing objects there that could turn into painful projectiles (like a phone) during hard braking.

And in truly embracing the living area theme, Ioniq 5 Limited models have a "relaxation" function. When activated, the comfort setting will recline the driver's seat while raising leg supports to create a "zero-gravity" resting position. Nap, read, meditate, or whatever it is you want to do while in the chillax-ready chair. Note that the feature will not work when a rear passenger is buckled in. Their knees thank you.

Despite the interior room, the cabin feels surprisingly blah, especially when considering the distinctive design elements utilized on the exterior. The color palette is a mix of black, gray, and dark green. It's uninspiring. That said, Hyundai should be commended on its use of sustainable components.

Hyundai makes the armrests with recycled plastic bottles and door inserts from recycled fibers. Also, the carpet, headliner, dashboard, and door panels incorporate materials derived from sugar cane and bean oil. In fact, don't expect leather upholstery in the Ioniq 5. The standard heated front seats are stain-resistant cloth in the SE trim with leatherette surfaces appearing in SEL and above. But, boy, are they comfortable.

Independent Expert Opinion: Infotainment, Technology, and Safety - Find the best Hyundai deals!

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 Limited AWD Interior Dashboard

Photo: Beverly Braga

Technology is where the Ioniq 5 truly shines. The most appealing things within the lackluster cabin are the 12.3-inch screens for the digital cluster and infotainment. Massive, customizable, and standard, they feature an anti-glare sheen upon which polarized lenses have no effect. Finally, someone figured that out.

Also, in a Hyundai first, the Ioniq 5 is available with an augmented-reality head-up display. The AR overlays are visually projected 25 feet ahead and broadcast information like animated turn-by-turn directions.

Consumers who prefer more connectivity will be giddy with the Ioniq 5. In addition to over-the-air updates and an available digital key, Hyundai also pairs the Ioniq 5 with a redesigned bespoke Blue Link app. This next-level connected-car system features vehicle climate and charging scheduling, digital-assistant compatibility, and artificial intelligence (AI) voice recognition.

AI is embedded into Hyundai SmartSense as well. The standard advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) suite includes forward-collision avoidance with car/pedestrian/cyclist detection, blind-spot warning, automatic high-beam headlights, Safe Exit Assistlane-centering assistance, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, and more.

As the ADAS are utilized, machine learning will note your driving habits, such as preferred following distances and points of acceleration. Connected to individual Blue Link profiles, whatever driver data the vehicle gathers will not be applied to another driver and vice versa. Updates occur daily, so you and the Ioniq 5 should become like-minded drivers in no time.

Independent Expert Opinion: Driving the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 - Find the best Hyundai deals!

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 Limited AWD Digital Teal Metallic Rear Quarter View

Photo: Beverly Braga

Although the Ioniq 5 is meant for the masses, Hyundai's newest EV does have an enthusiast bent. The vehicle is RWD, which means more dynamic performance than if it were front-wheel drive. But a sports car, the Ioniq 5 is not.

The vehicle features four drive modes, of which Sport is one. Sport mode adds some weight to the steering feel, and the torque split is tuned for enhanced responsiveness. But the Ioniq 5 is still a crossover SUV. As with any EV, torque is instantaneous, which is always fun and, in some cases, a necessity, such as when merging onto a highway with a shorter-than-ideal on-ramp.

On curvy roads, the Ioniq 5 Limited AWD is confident and feels planted in corners. In this configuration, the Ioniq 5 can go from zero-to-60 mph in less than 5 seconds. But I wasn't looking to win any races. Selecting Sport mode will also absolutely kill the vehicle's range. Driving enthusiastically for just 5 miles drained about 20 miles of battery life. Yeesh. I switched back to Eco mode and engaged i-Pedal, which is one-pedal driving. With regenerative braking being gamified in a way, I found this more engaging, to be honest.

Don't let those paddle shifters fool you, either. Like many EVs, the Ioniq 5 has a single-speed transmission. With instant torque, there's no need to shift through a torque band like gasoline cars. The paddle shifters instead adjust regen levels. While this doesn't improve handling, per se, having the ability to change the vehicle's regenerative properties on the fly is a performance booster in a different sense.

The Ioniq 5 is surprisingly quiet, especially with an expansive greenhouse with a panoramic sunroof. With no engine to drown out unwanted sounds, Hyundai focused on sound dampening. Everything from utilizing acoustic tires to the exterior mirror design is to minimize road and wind noise.

Independent Expert Opinion of the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 - Find the best Hyundai deals!

While the Ioniq 5's exterior design may be a bit out there for some, the interior may be too subdued for others (like me). Yet, being a Hyundai, there is the value proposition. Versus competitors with 300-plus miles of range, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 is right in the hunt. Its 303 miles is similar to the 300 miles offered on the Mustang Mach-E Premium RWD. A similarly equipped ID.4 returns only 260 miles on a full charge. As if to make up for the shorter range, the ID.4 requires fewer dollars to start at $39,995 (sans destination fee). The mid-level Mustang Mach-E Premium starts at $49,100 and is most comparable in specs with the Ioniq 5 SE RWD.

Where the Ioniq 5 has no challenger is, hands-down, in its charging performance. Equipped with a new high-voltage battery and high-density charging system, the Ioniq 5 can reach an 80-percent charge in 18 minutes when connected to the DC fast-charging station. And within just 5 minutes, the Ioniq 5 can regenerate 68 miles of range. The Ford takes 45 minutes to reach 80-percent battery capacity on the same charger.

The Ioniq 5 should be a mass-market hit for the automaker. The vehicle checks more than enough boxes with regard to technology. The vehicle is thoroughly impressive, from a fast-charging battery and connectivity to safety and handling. The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is a high-quality first effort for the sub-brand, but it also means expectations are that much higher for its future models.

Beverly Braga is a freelance writer and consultant with nearly 20 years of experience as a storyteller and communications professional. In addition to JDPower.com, her work has appeared in numerous print and digital outlets covering the automotive, entertainment, lifestyle, and food & beverage industries.

The opinions expressed in this review are the author’s own, not J.D. Power’s.

No portion of these reviews may be reproduced, distributed, publicly displayed, or used for a derivative work without J.D. Power’s written permission. © 2022 J.D. Power

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