Automotive, Review, Test Drive

Hyundai Ioniq 5 EV Quick Review: Quirky Looks, Quick Performance, Excellent Value

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is easily one of the most unique-looking EVs in the market now. But beyond its quirky looks, this electric SUV also offer a ton of power under the hood, along with great value for money, thanks to the various incentives given by the Malaysian government for EVs.

If you’re shopping for a premium electric SUV, the Ioniq 5 should definitely, definitely be in your list. Not quite convinced? Then keep on reading – there’s a reason why it has won so many awards, including the coveted 2022 World Car of the Year title.

Without a doubt the design of the Ioniq 5 will turn heads. After all, it looks like something out of a science fiction flick; it wouldn’t even look out of place in a futuristic-esque game like Cyberpunk 2077, if you will. From the mesmerising 20-inch wheels to the “pixelated” taillights, this is a handsome (and very quirky) electric SUV.

Do note that this is the Ioniq 5 in the range-topping Max variant, which features a 72.6kWh battery that can return up to 430km of range on the WLTP cycle. That’s a respectable figure, though I wasn’t able to put this to the test. I only had a few good hours with the EV courtesy of a reader, who was generous enough to loan Nextrift the car (thanks mystery reader!).

This being the range-topping model, the Ioniq 5 Max also feature a dual-motor AWD configuration, offering a whopping combined output of 305PS and 605Nm of torque. This allows the electric SUV to accelerate from 0-100kmph in only 5.2 seconds.

Needless to say, the Ioniq 5 is a fast EV. Even when I’m cruising at about 80kmph, putting my foot down on the pedal can still really push me back into the seat! It’s really quite exhilarating to drive a car with so much power to offer, even if it doesn’t offer exceptional handling.

Don’t get me wrong, the Ioniq 5 still handles quite well with decent steering feel, but I wouldn’t exactly feel confident enough to negotiate a corner at high speeds with this car. At the end of the day, this is still an SUV with a higher centre of gravity than a much lower sedan or performance car.

As for the ride quality of the Ioniq 5, it’s great! It soaks up road bumps exceptionally well, so not much vibration is transmitted to the cabin. All in all, it’s a very comfortable car to be in.

One of the biggest differences between driving a petrol car and an EV like the Ioniq 5 is the ability to drive the latter with just the throttle pedal. Basically, when you lift your foot off of the throttle, it’s as if you’re depressing the brakes on a petrol car. This regenerative braking also charges up the battery of the EV.

Initially, it’s quite a jarring experience, but I got used to it quite quickly. Of course, if you don’t like this driving characteristic, you can easily adjust the sensitivity of this feature, or just disable it entirely with the paddles on the steering wheel. No, these are not paddle shifters – EVs don’t have any gears to shift.

Okay, enough about performance: what about the pricing of the Ioniq 5? Well, it’s offered in three variants: Lite (RM199,888), Plus (RM229,888), and the Max model you see here for a cool RM259,888. Yes, this is not an affordable EV, but given the sheer performance (and space) that you get with the SUV, it really does offer good value for money.

While it doesn’t look particularly big in pictures, the Ioniq 5 is without a doubt a large electric SUV. At 4,635mm long and 1,890mm wide, it’s physically bigger than one of its EV competition, the Mercedes-Benz EQA, which also cost quite a bit more at RM278,201.25.

There’s also the fact that the Ioniq 5 is built from the ground up as an EV, and it is a sleeker-looking car to boot. Well, in my opinion, at least.

While the Malaysian government is still offering various incentives for electric cars on our shores – EVs are fully exempted from import and excise duties, as well as road tax – the Hyundai Ioniq 5 (and most EVs here, basically) is especially compelling. However, at the end of the day, this is still an EV that needs to be charged.

Depending on where you’re located and whether or not you’ll have access to a charger at home, it can be difficult to get the Ioniq 5 charged up for your daily commute or trips out of the city. While there are quite a number of EV chargers in the Klang Valley area, locating one in other parts of the country can be a difficult task.

On the bright side, the EV charging infrastructure in Malaysia is definitely being improved upon, but not as fast as one would hope. So in the meantime, you’ll definitely feel the pinch as an early adopter, but if you’re ready for an electrified future, the Ioniq 5 is a fantastic choice.

And that is our quick review of the Ioniq 5! We also have a video review of the electric SUV in the works – stay tuned for that.

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