First driving impressions of a Hyundai Ioniq 5

It is almost a full-size SUV hiding its sheer scale by the clever design.

BHPian carthick1000 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I had an opportunity to take the Ioniq 5 for a short test drive. I had it for about 1 hour. From the very first concept 45, I was quite interested in the Ioniq 5 project. I was very curious how the car looks, feels and drives. So this test drive is something I was looking forward to. As an electric car driver, I wanted to skip the whole EV part (Charging, menus and settings) and just purely DRIVE the car. So I came up with a route to drive under 1 hour (including traffic) which has a combination of different types of roads & speed limits found in NL. Here is what I it looks like:

This route should give me how the car behaves in slow city traffic, a bit faster city traffic, rural B-roads, highway and of course the most fun of all the roads on dikes. Here is a screenshot from street view of the dike roads:

Now having made the plan of the driving route, I reached the dealership few minutes earlier than my appointment just to keep the introduction short and sweet, so that I get enough time to drive.

I expected the car to be similar in size to a normal crossover. But boy I was wrong. It is almost a full size SUV hiding its sheer scale by the clever design. I took only one picture during the whole test drive visit and that is to show the sheer scale of Ioniq 5. To the right is a Hyundai i20.

For the sake of it, here is a comparison with an X3 & Q5:

Comparison within the same brand:

Now with the prelude out of the way, these are the following things I observed about the car. They are not in any particular order

Getting in & Loading

  • Coming from sedan, the driver's seat height is so tall, that you don't sit IN, but sit ON. Even at the lowest seat setting, I was on eye-level with other SUV drivers on the road.
  • Interior bits on the visual level looked and felt very upmarket. However, the electrical seat adjustment buttons were not up to the same quality as the ones on dashboard and door. There seems to be a well thought out cost cutting/saving went in design and production.
  • The rear seats were very roomy and the centre adjustable stack (in between front seats) is a boon for taller people. I am 1.93m and can sit in the rear (behind myself) with 3-4cms of leg space still.
  • Being a tall car, you get a good overview of the surrounding from the rear seat too.
  • Frunk (or Froot) of Ioniq 5 is a joke, as the dashboard storage has more volume than the frunk. I drove the 2 motor/AWD version. May be the 1 motor/RWD version might have a bigger frunk. But still I don't think there will be a huge space available. You open the frunk with a mechanical lever near the driver foot well, just like a normal car bonnet. This is annoying if you want to let someone put something in the car remotely. With Tesla, I can open it from a button on display or from the app.I received few packages in my Tesla Frunk while I was abroad.
  • The rear tailgate opens nice and wide and the cargo area has a flat loading floor. Electrically operated from inside, outside and from the app. Even at the maximum open height, I have to still duck to clear it. Probably not a problem for most people.


  • Starting is a simple affair. Open the door/Walk close by and the door handles pop out. Open the door and press start button. Key gets detected and the car is ready.
  • Manoeuvring in tight spots is like any other SUV. Good visibility due to tall driver's seat position, but tricky due to the sheer size.
  • With independent suspension all around, I expected the car to be very stable in corners and comfortable in straights. But I was disappointed. The suspension is very soft and the damping is not on par, which makes the car wave on smaller speed breakers and on highways, even small variations/wavy patches makes the car feel like a ship. This is something I would not call planted.
  • The vehicle is heavy not only on paper (2100 kg kerb weight for the 2 motor / AWD variant with 73 kWh pack), but also while driving. Long sweeping curves are fine, but tighter curves on B-roads and rural dike roads are not confident inspiring for spirited drives. And you cannot take fast roundabouts without slowing down considerably.
  • The only relief with the whole driving experience is the steering, which is weighted well for various speeds and provides good feedback. Also it is not as nervous/sensitive as the A-pedal.
  • Regenerative braking helps, but slowing down with the help of brakes alone is not very confidence inspiring. It just lacks the smoothness. I am not sure if it is due to the regeneration or the brakes itself.
  • A lot of adjustments for the seat & steering means, everyone can get into a good driving position. Also a commanding driving position even at the lowest height setting.
  • Seats are very ergonomic and offers plenty of support under thighs and have good side bolstering.
  • Standard is 19-inch wheels which looks pretty upmarket. This was the one on my test car. Rides on 235/55 section tyres. (Optional upgrade is 255/45 R20)


  • I find the 2 displays of the same size a bit cumbersome to operate with a lot of things in your face. Being a Korean car, there is a lot of menus and beeps one has to encounter while driving and parking. It is too annoying sometimes. Well, I can set most of them to OFF, but then safety is compromised.
  • Touch sensitive steering buttons work well, but you have to see them to press, as there is no contour for the buttons, which means zero haptic feedback. Everytime, you select something, you have to look into the instrument cluster to know what is selected. And the instrument cluster design is too busy.. Poor design.
  • The rear window does not go fully down.
  • The i-pedal which anticipates and regenerates based on the situation is somewhere between bearable (on highways) and annoying (in city traffic), as you have to control the A-pedal based on the traffic and also based on what the car thinks. It is counterintuitive.
  • I find the A-pedal very sensitive and it makes you tired too soon in city traffic.
  • You have to always turn off the car. It won't turn itself automatically when you leave/lock the car. It keeps on beeping constantly until it detects the key.
  • By default, the car creeps in drive mode, when brake pedal is not pressed. To disable creep, one has to select an Auto-hold button while pressing the brake pedal. This is enabled for a single drive. It is not stored in memory. So the next drive, you have disable creep again by enabling auto-hold. It is extremely annoying.
  • There are 3 stalks behind/around the steering wheel: wipers, Lights, Drive selector. All the three are bulky at best and it felt like driving an old Ford F-150 with gear and transmission mode selector levers all around. Added to that is the regeneration control paddle shifters, which makes the steering wheel area too busy.


Though I still will remain a fan of Ioniq 5 for its clever design, technologies like 350 kW charging (800V battery architecture), spacious cabin etc. I will not buy this one. Because it just lacks one major thing for my taste i.e. DRIVING PLEASURE! Also I can't oversee the niggles, on a day-to-day basis.

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