Hyundai Ioniq 5 Driving, Engines & Performance | Top Gear
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Car Review

Hyundai Ioniq 5 review

£36,940 - £56,095
Published: 03 Aug 2021


What is it like to drive?

The world has plenty of normal hatchbacks pretending to be SUVs. The Ioniq 5 is the opposite. This is a commanding driving position in a car that looks like a chunky hatchback. You sit eye-to-eye with van drivers.

Is the Ioniq 5 easy to use?

The drive selector control is a bit of a fiddle, hidden low and to the right of the slender steering wheel. Twist it this way and that for Drive and Reverse. The paddleshifters intuitively add and remove re-gen braking. Slowing up for a roundabout by clicking them – instead of tapping the brake pedal – quickly becomes the Ioniq 5’s in-built game. 

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Brake pedal feel itself is better than the likes of the Mercedes EQA – more progressive and reassuring. 

So far, we’ve only tested the flagship range-topper, complete with all-wheel drive and 443lb ft. As you’d expect for a car that’s quicker from 0-62mph than a Golf GTI, this grunt shrugs off the Ioniq’s 2,020kg kerbweight and makes this car a serious piece of A-road overtaking kit.

So it can be quick, but is it an XXL hot hatch?

Emphatically not. And while Hyundai’s N Division has mooted they’ll be working their magic on the Ioniq in due course, we’re not necessarily sure that’s a good idea. This is a deeply unsporty car, but don’t for a second presume that’s a bad thing. 

Sure, it’s fast, but tails off about 80mph. There’s no discernible motor whine, and though Hyundai went for old-school mirrors instead of rear-view cameras, wind noise is well-hushed. It steers quickly, to imbue a sense of agility, but here the weight and general unsportyness catches up with the Ioniq 5.

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This is not a car you’ll seek out corners in, it’s a car that deals with them, just fine, and gets on with its day. The suspension comes from the old school of soaking up bumps, not keeping the car as flat as possible in a bend. 

Instead, you marvel at touches like a rear-view camera view popping up on the digi-dash whenever you indicate, to expose any hidden cyclists in your blind spot. You lope along and let the Ioniq 5 waft, as a big premium German SUV might, except without the bolshiness and sense of distain from other motorists. 

We’re yet to take an Ioniq 5 for a long trip to assess the range claims, but a real-world endurance of 300 miles for the 72.6kWh version should be within reach.

Highlights from the range

the fastest

Hyundai Ioniq 5 239KW Premium 77 KWH 5DR AWD Auto
  • 0-625.1s
  • CO2
  • BHP325
  • MPG
  • Price£46,235

the cheapest

Hyundai Ioniq 5 125kW SE Connect 58 kWh 5dr Auto
  • 0-628.5s
  • CO2
  • BHP170
  • MPG
  • Price£36,940
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