The 2023 Hyundai IONIQ 5 is racking up the awards and trophies. How does the Car and Driver EV of the Year stand out from the competition? It looks different, charges better, and goes further on a charge. Did I mention it rides like a Benz? Let’s take a closer look at the hottest EV in America.
“That’s a Hyundai?!” I hear it all the time. Owning an IONIQ 5 doesn’t come with many downsides, but small talk with parking lot strangers can be one of them. The 2023 Hyundai IONIQ 5 is a uniquely retro electric crossover with looks to turn heads, tech to blow minds and pricing to create an order backlog in no time. Calling a new entrant to the EV market a “Tesla killer” is a long overused trope. There’s no such thing, Tesla is in its own lane with a loyal fan base. But what is indeed possible and overdue are true EV competitors that can compete with the excitement that Tesla brought to the automotive industry. The all-new Hyundai IONIQ 5 just might be the one.
The Hyundai Pony (1975-1990) was the Korean automaker’s first mass-produced vehicle built for export. It was the stereotypical box car, economical and not entirely safe by today’s standards. As Hyundai looked to turn its 2010s IONIQ into an entire lineup of EVs, they decided to draw inspiration from the classic Pony. The team even decided to retrofit an original Pony with an EV powertrain and updated interior. Apparently Hyundai’s engineers had so much fun that they then turned a 1986 Grandeur into a lavish EV concept too. But it’s their production-ready EVs that are turning heads at auto shows and drawing new customers to the brand. With the Hyundai IONIQ 5 pricing just released and cars arriving at dealerships within weeks, here’s what you need to know about the 2023 Hyundai IONIQ 5, a nostalgic car from the future.
The 2023 IONIQ 5 Features the Fastest Charging in the Industry
Crossovers are all the rage right now, but size often comes at the expense of fun and enjoyment. Are crossovers and compact SUVs ever really fun to drive? The rear-wheel drive IONIQ 5 is tame enough that it would never be mistaken for a Model Y. On the other hand, not every car needs to compete with Tesla. The IONIQ 5 is nearly perfect for its use case: care-free urban commuting and floating along the highway.
Power and Performance
The RWD option is powered by a single motor that produces 225 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque when paired with the larger 77.4 kWh battery pack, but only 168 horsepower with the entry-level 58 kWh pack. The smaller battery is good for 220 miles of EPA-range. Most buyers will want the long-range battery RWD option, which is rated at 303 miles of range. Adding a second motor to the front axle gives the all-wheel drive option a spicy kick, nearly rivaling that of the much more expensive Tesla Model Y Long Range. With 320 horsepower and 446 lb-ft of torque, the AWD IONIQ 5 can get up and go with a 0-60 time of 5.2 seconds, a big improvement over the RWD’s seven second range. AWD lowers the range to 266 miles, which is significantly lower than the Teslas, but a bit better than most variants of the Mustang Mach-E AWD and Volkswagen ID.4. The low center of gravity and the fact that the car weighs over 4,000 pounds helps it tuck into corners nicely, keeping it well-planted on the road.
The IONIQ 5 is built on Hyundai’s new dedicated EV platform, the curiously-named e-GMP. This electric platform to be shared with Kia and Genesis offers decent efficiency and range, but exceptional fast-charging speeds. We’re talking even better than Tesla! The IONIQ 5 is the first of Hyundai’s new line of 800-volt EVs capable of charging at 350 kWh at a fast charger. The only other vehicle on the market capable of charging almost that fast is the $75,000+ Lucid Air luxury sedan. For the 2023 Hyundai IONIQ 5, charging from 10% to 80% (adding about 215 miles of range) takes just 18 minutes.
Party on the Outside, Living Room on the Inside
A distinctive angular design and unmistakable pixel headlights and taillights appeal to fans of retro styling. The IONIQ 5’s eye-catching styling breathes life into the electric vehicle market at a time when many car enthusiasts are lamenting the unemotional experience that many EVs offer. It’s almost too good to be true that this EV looks like a concept car that actually made it to production!
The 2023 Hyundai IONIQ 5 is available in three trims: SE, SEL and Limited. Each can be paired with either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The base SE trim is the only option for buyers wanting the standard range battery. The SE is equipped with smart cruise control, dual 12.3-inch touchscreens (one for the digital gauges and the other for infotainment), and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay. Cloth seating is standard, and so are the pixelated LED lights on the exterior. All trim levels come with Hyundai’s SmartSense safety features: Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, pedestrian and cyclist detection, reverse collision avoidance assist, and blind-spot collision avoidance assist.
Moving up a notch, the SEL gains ambient lighting, a power liftgate, and Hyundai’s semi-autonomous Highway Driving Assist II. The top-of-the-line Limited is decked out with 20-inch wheels, a panoramic sunroof, a heads-up display and Bose premium audio. The spacious cabin features a zero-gravity driver and passenger seats that recline nearly flat, presumably for naps during charging breaks. In Limited models, the center console slides back and forth and opens up to wireless charging below. The Limited also has Remote Park Assist, which essentially allows you to remotely maneuver your car in a parking lot.
Affordable Pricing (By 2023 Standards)
After much anticipation, Hyundai IONIQ 5 pricing has been announced. The ultra-competitive MSRPs quickly garnered automotive headlines. Starting at just $41,450 for the 58 kWh smaller battery base model, the IONIQ 5 is available for thousands less than was expected.
Most buyers will opt for the larger battery pack (77.4 kWh), which is comparable to other class competitors. With standard rear-wheel drive, the IONIQ 5 SE with the long range battery starts at $45,500. All-wheel drive is available for $3,500-3,900 more. The Limited trim starts at $52,600 and maxes out over $57,000 with all options included.
These base MSRPs are exactly that, suggested retail prices. Some dealerships are STILL adding $5,000 in ‘market adjustments’ to the MSRP. In 2023, we don’t recommend paying markups on any new cars. The market has cooled since last year.
Crossover Competition: How Does the IONIQ 5 Compare?
All in all, the IONIQ 5 is going to hold its own in the quickly crowding electric crossover segment. Cargo space is on par with the Mach-E at 27.2 cubic feet (59.3 with the seats down), but noticeably less than the ID.4 and Model Y. The IONIQ 5 is definitely the winner in terms of charging speeds. It takes about half of the time to charge to 80% as the ID.4 and Mustang Mach-E. Ford’s 2023 Mustang Mach-E appears to be chasing the more premium Model Y. It is hardly in the same class as the IONIQ 5 now that the price has been increased to $45,000-67,000.
Efficiency is a tad lower than the Tesla Model Y. The Model Y squeezes 330 miles out of a 75 kWh battery, but then again it does cost $20,000 more. The IONIQ 5 does offer one particular feature that Tesla fans are sure to envy: vehicle-to-load charging. By plugging in to either the port located under the second-row seats or the one adjacent to the exterior car charging port, high-powered electric equipment can be charged or powered using the vehicle as a giant mobile battery. This is the future we need!
CarEdge’s Take on the Hyundai IONIQ 5
The rear-wheel drive long-range IONIQ 5 seems to be the value sweet spot. At just $45,500 for 303 miles of range, super-fast charging speeds and looks to kill, the IONIQ 5 is going to be popular.
As with any EV, we recommend taking a test drive to really experience the thrill of driving electric. Zero tailpipe emissions is great, but so is zippy acceleration in near silence.