A versatile, sophisticated family EV
Here in Australia a long-entrenched conservative Federal government provided no support for EVs for years (even going so far as to claim "Evs would ruin the Australian weekend'), meaning few choices of EV car makers, and really challenging availability confront anyone wanting to buy an EV.
We were coming from a 7-seat VW Tiguan Allspace which we loved, and passenger and load carrying versatility was high on our list of priorities for an EV. The Hyundai Ioniq 5 (from the very short list of available ZEVs in Australia) appealed because it has such good legroom and headroom.
The more we read about it, the more it appealed, especially the sense of being a 'real' EV, designed from the gound up to be one, with a flat floor, and a design that celebrated its uniqueness.
Buying online, from small allocations to Australia, with no opportunity to see and test drive a demonstrator, was stressful, but once we had the car we knew we had made the right decision.
We were not focused on performance, but the smoothness of the acceleration and the immediate responsiveness were a great surprise, even in Eco mode. Comfort and capacity for our family of 5 was the greatest need and the Ioniq 5 delivers in spades. Lots of room in front and back, and the flat floor makes the rear centre seat practical for long journeys (our 8-year-old fell asleep in the middle seat on a long trip).
Most notable is the quiet. Not just the lack of engine noise and vibration, but the soundproofing in the car is extraordinary - road noise and outside noise are much reduced. Its serene and very quiet which interestingly adds to the comfort. We took the family and all our luggage on a 600km round trip south of Sydney and approaching Sydney again, my wife wondered 'how is this car so comfortable' - the silence, the smoothness and the great interior combine to mean I can drive this car so much further without fatigue compared with our ICE car, and passengers are rested. The sound system is also great and the quiet cabin lets the sound system really sing.
Range is excellent - using a combination of Eco mode and Auto Regen its possible to get long-distance consumption below 16kWh/100km with a full load, meaning the car will go a long way beween charges. Eco mode and Auto Regen are also persistent, so are preselected now on starting the car.
I was worried at first about the lack of a rear wiper, but so far I haven't missed it, even on long country trips. One thing I have missed is side window seals that wipe water off the glass when you retract the windows.
I'd read reviews that criticised the ride and handling, but I find both to be great. Similarly, I have had no issues with turning circle.
The driver assistance features are comprehensive (here in Australia, the initial batches of Ioniq 5s were all the same specs except for AWD vs RWD) and useful, though I don't like the lane keep assist, as I find it a little squirelly. This is always activated on starting the car, and I wish I had the option to turn it off by default (maybe in a future software update).
Re performance, when we did get to test drive an Ioniq 5 (after ordering one), we tested the AWD. Performance was impressive but the RWD has plenty of acceleration and passing power, while providing greater range and a more practical frunk. I have found no need to use Normal or Sport modes - Eco provides plenty of shove.
Ioniq 5s are still rare on Australian roads, so we get plenty of comments and are unofficial brand ambassadors for passersby. Its cool to see someone taking photos of your car, and wanting to know all about it.
I guess finally, I'd say I would never have considered a Hyundai before the Ioniq 5. But the Ioniq 5 is no typical Hyundai. It is beautifully made and appointed, with real attention to detail. For me, it has redefined Hyundai as a luxury and innovative brand. A journalist here said the Ioniq 5 was the 'EV you can't buy' (as they are only offering in tiny numbers, that are snapped up in minutes) and we feel like we won the lottery now we own one.