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2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5 RWD LR

This week we were behind the wheel of the 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5 RWD LR. Our last EV in a string of electric vehicle loans, and I am happy to say we saved the best for last. Thanks to its dual motors and larger battery pack, the Ioniq 5 was fast charging and gave us greater drive longevity. And for those two points alone, the Hyundai had me seeing that EV life can be a bright one.

I appreciated the exterior of the Ioniq 5. A sleek and stylish sub compact with contoured side panel, and rims that gave it some pageantry. The latter like petals of a flower standing still and a pin wheel when rolling.

Although when it came to the interior trim, things felt disjointed and/or missing. The all too popular, discrete pop out, flimsy handle offered little grip to open the heavy door. Inside, there was plenty of leg room and individual space within the front cabin. So much so that it almost felt hollow, especially with the con-caved side doors.

That feeling coupled with the cloth seats and plastic features had the Hyundai Ioniq 5 coming across like a base model vehicle. Especially with the on-budget feel of the buttons and their lack of bounce back when pushed. There was also no sun roof and very little headroom. And manual push pump seat adjusters for every one, minus the driver. A little out of place, where all other car brands are striving to give their EVs a space-age feel, often adding trim and designs not seen in their other builds.

The only element that felt inline with the electric feel is the wrap around dash that transitioned into the infotainment. Dual screens with one behind wheel, and the other closer to the driver’s centre. A stylish addition that made the cabin feel high tech, like a command centre.

There was plenty of room to put my hand bag in between the feet of the driver and front seat passenger, and even more under the elevated arm rest with its own rubber mat. Not sure what you would use the latter space for when your purse feels more comfortable closer to your feet and you don’t need it within grabbing distance.

The arm rest itself is stable and elevated to a good height. The hidden compartment under it is shallow and doesn’t hold much.

Curious was the cascading height from the arm rest to dual cup holders, each with their own USB port; down to the bucket-like bin up front with another usb port and a 12v 180w charge outlet. I guess the latter is for those who plug-in appliances and cooks in their car?

As for how the Hyundai Ioniq 5 drives: it felt unstable, you got every bump and every shake. Otherwise it handled fine, with no standouts. There is no front view camera, and only a distorted back one. We did enjoy the rounded handle ends for the light, windshield wiper, and the gear shift, all set behind the wheel. Each offering a nice sensation in hand.

For your seat warmer you have to scroll through the infotainment system to the heat function then adjust accordingly. A multi-step process that seems inconvenient when this is one of the more heavily used functions during the colder months.

Plenty of time was put into the climate setting with autonomous options like automatic recirculating air, activation upon washer fluid use and when entering tunnels; having the car automatically dehumidify and defog and defrost with smart ventilation. Plus having the air conditioner activate drying and climate control in ECO mode.

In short, for all the shortcomings, there are much greater pros. For the most important factors of an effective EV: charging time and battery life the Ioniq 5 comes out on top.


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