Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
The entry-level Hyundai Ioniq 5 is fitted with a 58kWh battery and a 168bhp motor, which powers the rear wheels and gives it a 0-62mph time of 8.5sec. Meanwhile, one rung above it is another rear-wheel-drive model, but with a bigger, 73kWh battery and a 215bhp electric motor that's enough for 0-62mph in 7.4sec.
We tested the range-topping car, however, which has the same 73kWh battery, but an extra motor on the front axle, making it four-wheel drive and giving it 302bhp. With 0-62mph taking just 5.2sec, this version is a bit quicker than the Ford Mustang Mach-E Extended Range AWD and much quicker than any Volkswagen ID.4. It will even get close to the entry-level Tesla Model 3 in a straight line.
Refinement could be better, too, with the Ioniq 5 generating quite a lot of road noise at speed. However, the normal friction brakes work well with the regenerative braking system, which harvests energy that would otherwise be wasted and uses it to replenish the battery.
The side effect of this is that the car slows quicker than a conventional car would when you lift off the accelerator. You can control the strength of this regenerative braking effect – and how much energy is recovered – via steering wheel-mounted paddles, with it possible to make it so powerful that the car will come to a complete stop without you needing to touch the brake pedal at all. Regardless of how it's set, though, the responses are predictable – something that most certainly isn't the case in the Mach-E.
As for the Ioniq 5's range on a full charge, this depends on which version you go for. Official figures are up to 240 miles for the 58kWh rear-wheel drive, up to 300 for the 73kWh rear-wheel drive and 287 for the 73kWh four-wheel drive.
That falls short of the headline-grabbing 380 miles the Mach-E can manage, but the figures are there or thereabouts for what you’d expect from a new electric car in this price range and should still be enough to fit plenty of people's lifestyles.