Love it or hate it, the automotive world is going electric, and few brands have made bigger strides in the transition than Hyundai. The giant Korean automaker recently announced its newest EV, the Ioniq 6, but I recently got a week of wheel time in the 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5, an electric crossover that looks ripped right out of a 1980s sci-fi arcade game.
Strong electric performance
The Ioniq 5 comes standard with a 168-horsepower single-motor powertrain, but my test SUV came with the range-topping 320-horsepower dual-motor setup. It also provides 446 pound-feet of torque and all-wheel drive, and the range is limited to 266 miles.
Performance, while not mind-blowing, is strong and gives the Ioniq 5 a lively feel on the road. At the same time, the SUV is smooth and refined, and the silent electric powertrain gets a boost from a quiet interior and good road manners. The suspension system irons out road imperfections with ease, keeping things calm and collected at most times.
Charging the Hyundai Ioniq 5
Charging, which can be annoying in Maine due to the lack of infrastructure, was fine. The closest local charger to my house is a 50-kW unit at the supermarket. The Ioniq 5 can charge at up to 350kW, so the speeds were a bit disappointing, taking about 45 minutes to charge from 65 to 95% before a road trip. Your charging speeds will be much better if you live in a more up-to-date part of the country with faster charging available.
The interior space and finishes are both top-notch, though I have some complaints about the front-seat layout. The gear shift lever is located on the steering column, and the twist-stalk gear selector reduces knee room for the driver. At six feet tall, I found that my most comfortable seating position left my right knee in contact with the shifter stalk and poked into the climate controls in the dash. It’s not super uncomfortable, and I got used to it over time, but it’s important to take a test drive before you settle on buying any vehicle.
The back seats are surprisingly roomy, and we had no issues installing a full-size rear-facing car seat for a friend’s young child. My two daughters’ booster seats fit easily, and the seatbelt locations make it easy for little hands to buckle themselves. The Ioniq 5’s funky exterior shape features a steeply sloped rear window, which cuts into cargo space and can make it hard to move taller items. Our (overweight) Goldendoodle could fit but had to duck inside the vehicle to allow the door to shut.
I’ve always loved Hyundai’s simple infotainment, and the Ioniq 5 is more of a good thing in that department. All models come with a 12.3-inch touchscreen running Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, navigation, and more. My Limited test model came with the available Bose premium audio system, a head-up display, and wireless charging.
One colossal downside here is that Hyundai does not offer USB-C ports in the Ioniq 5. I can’t remember the last new mobile phone I saw with a USB-A port, so it’s an odd decision to leave the newer standard out of such a forward-looking vehicle. It also made it inconvenient to dig out an old phone cord to connect since wireless smartphone capability isn’t on the table.
Most advanced safety tech comes standard, including blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alerts, lane keep assist, lane departure alerts, safe exit assist, forward collision warnings, automatic emergency braking, and more. The top Limited trim adds a blind spot camera system that projects a video image into the gauge cluster when the turn signals are on.
The 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5 earned a Top Safety Pick + award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which includes “Good” scores in all crash categories. The headlights earned “Good” or “Acceptable” scores, depending on the trim, and front crash prevention systems both earned “Superior” scores.
The Ioniq 5’s retro-futuristic styling, great tech, and solid electric performance are enough for me to say that it’d be at the top of my list if I were shopping for an electric crossover. The interior feels luxurious, and the tech is easy to use, making the Ioniq 5 a delight to live with on a daily basis. There are a few gripes – mainly with the front-cabin seating ergonomics and the lack of USB-C. Even so, a few minor complaints don’t detract from what is otherwise a fantastic electric vehicle.