South Korean automaker Hyundai quickly realized the importance of developing electric vehicles and started working on them early, with considerable success. Indeed, the Kona Electric and the Ioniq Electric were impressive first attempts.

So, when Hyundai announced the Ioniq family and its first model, the Ioniq 5, everyone was eager to learn more and get behind the wheel. We did that ourselves with the most powerful version, the 78 kWh HTRAC with its large motor and all-wheel drive.

This time, we went to the opposite end of the range to test an entry-level Ioniq 5 in the Intuitive trim, equipped with the small battery (58 kWh) and a smaller motor, in a rear-wheel-drive configuration. So, is it worth it?

Specifications: Hyundai Ioniq 5 (58 kWh)

Model Hyundai Ioniq 5 (58 kWh)
Dimensions 4.63 m x 1.89 m x 1.6 m
Power (horsepower) 170 horsepower
0 to 100 km/h 8.5 seconds
Range Level Partial autonomy
Top Speed 185 km/h
Vehicle Charging Port Type 2 Combo (CCS)
Base Price (USD) $46,500

Design: Hyundai Ioniq 5 (58 kWh)

Well-designed, the Ioniq 5 appears smaller than it actually is. Behind the compact impression lies a vehicle that is 4.64 meters long, 1.89 meters wide, and 1.65 meters tall, with dimensions very similar to a Peugeot 5008.

The design is very modern, even futuristic to some, with striking lines without indulging in excessive embellishments. However, numerous details are present, such as the light gray front and rear skid plates and the stylish wheel arches.

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Pixelated lights, while very modern, remind us of 1980s video games, and overall, the design seems to create an ideal bridge between the past and the future. The sharp edges pay homage to the 1974 Hyundai Pony.

Interior Space – Hyundai Ioniq 5 (58 kWh)

Onboard, it’s difficult not to find your place as the interior space is quite generous. With a massive 3-meter wheelbase, there’s plenty of room for passengers, especially those in the back. Rear passengers enjoy legroom similar to what is found in limousines like the Mercedes EQS and BMW i7.

Even with a driver nearing 2 meters tall, an adult of the same height can sit comfortably without feeling cramped. Additionally, there’s ample headroom, making the rear seats seem like the best place to travel.

Behind the sliding, reclining, and foldable (2/3-1/3) bench seat is a decent 527-liter trunk (up to 1587 liters), sufficient but not exceptional given the vehicle’s size. However, it’s complemented by a 57-liter front trunk (Frunk) in our two-wheel-drive version (only 24 liters in other models), making it easy to store charging cables.

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Like the rear bench, the front seats – with manual adjustments – are upholstered in entry-level black and gray fabric. Though not exceptionally high-quality, they’re not an eyesore, but they do lack support, though they’re quite comfortable. Thanks to large windows, the interior is bright despite the lack of a sunroof.

Although the finishing seems well-made, our Ioniq 5 Intuitive trim doesn’t impress with material quality, as hard plastics are abundant, especially on the basic-looking door panels. The central console’s open storage compartment is also made of hard plastic. Above it, there’s a well-placed armrest with a small storage space inside.

Onboard Technology – Hyundai Ioniq 5 (58 kWh)

Even as the lowest trim, our test model comes standard with the “Dual Cockpit,” featuring two 12.5-inch screens side by side. The first, behind the steering wheel, serves as an instrument cluster and is far superior to those found in Volkswagen group models. This large, easy-to-read screen can display various information, such as consumption, navigation, etc.

However, unlike the previously tested 306 hp Ioniq 5, this model doesn’t have a heads-up display, which would have been useful, as the steering wheel rim obscures the speed display in the top left corner of the screen.

The infotainment touchscreen is clear, bright, responsive, and glare-resistant, with comprehensive features and quick-access physical buttons for the most useful functions. Voice control works efficiently, understanding GPS addresses correctly on the first try.

A minor drawback is the lack of a route planner for long trips, requiring third-party apps like A Better Route Planner or Chargemap on your phone. These apps don’t account for real-time consumption and sometimes suggest different routes than the car’s GPS, making them less convenient for long journeys.

The “EV” page can display remaining range with or without air conditioning use, and predictions are accurate. Separate climate control buttons are available, though the touch-sensitive ones can sometimes be unresponsive.

Notably, there are no USB-C ports, but there is one USB-A port in the front and two in the back.

Driving Experience – Hyundai Ioniq 5 (58 kWh)

Featuring simple propulsion and weighing 200 kg less than dual-motor models with large batteries, the Ioniq 5 we tested closely resembles what customers are really buying. It offers 170 hp and 350 Nm of torque from a single motor located on the rear axle, which helps move the 1980 kg Korean vehicle. Despite its substantial weight, it doesn’t feel particularly heavy to drive.

The immediate torque effectively eliminates any sensation of heaviness, and acceleration is respectable, with a 0 to 100 km/h time of 8.5 seconds. However, the Ioniq 5 does show its limits with quickly diminishing acceleration. For overtaking and merging, it’s never a problem.

There are three driving modes available via a steering wheel button: Eco, Normal, and Sport. We mostly tested the car in Eco mode, as the other two modes didn’t feel very different.

The real advantage of switching modes is the increased top speed, from 130 km/h in Eco mode to 185 km/h, which can be useful on some German highways for more assertive overtaking. On fast roads, overall noise insulation is good, but some wind noise disrupts the electric tranquility around 130 km/h, though it’s not a major issue.

Although it’s easy to find a comfortable driving position, getting used to the Ioniq 5’s size and visibility takes time. The 3-meter wheelbase is unusual and requires adaptation for urban driving and parking maneuvers. Visibility around the car’s four corners is not very good.

As for braking, there are three levels of regeneration available via steering wheel paddles. The deceleration is well-balanced, making passengers feel less uncomfortable than in some competitors.

However, we don’t understand why the car consistently refuses to change the regeneration level when the brake pedal is pressed. The I-pedal driving mode allows for complete stopping without using the brake pedal, and while it takes some getting used to, it eventually eliminates the need for the brake pedal altogether.

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The Ioniq 5 is not a dynamic car, but its lower weight and contained power with the 58 kWh battery make it interesting. The overall comfort is excellent, particularly with the 19-inch wheels (20 inches for the 306 hp version). However, on uneven roads, the Korean car exhibits a marked tendency to pitch and a somewhat lazy front axle in corners. The Ioniq 5 is clearly designed for everyday family use, but it’s a shame that the suspension is too soft, causing passengers to feel tossed around.

Key driver assistance features are present, including adaptive cruise control and semi-autonomous driving with a somewhat intrusive lane centering function, which can be easily disabled via a steering wheel button. Autonomous driving is at level 2.

Autonomy, Battery, and Charging for the Hyundai Ioniq 5 (58 kWh)

The manufacturer’s WLTP mixed consumption of 16.7 kWh / 100 km seems achievable under good conditions, as we covered 65 km at an average of 15.1 kWh per 100 km. However, it won’t be easy to go below 23 kWh / 100 km on the highway unless driving at a slower speed than 130 km/h.

In reality, after a week and 600 km of testing, the average consumption stands at 18.1 kWh. With the 58 kWh usable battery, this gives an estimated range of 320 km (384 km according to the WLTP cycle).

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The significant positive point is that the Ioniq 5 comes with a 175 kW onboard DC charger but on an 800-volt architecture, significantly reducing charging times. This gives a theoretical 0 to 100% recharge in 35 minutes on a compatible charging station and only 18 minutes from 10 to 80% (over 170 km on the highway with our recorded consumption).

In practice, the maximum value is not held for long, but the average power accepted during charging convinced us, with the Ioniq 5 accepting just over 100 kW when arriving at 80%.

On an 11 kW charging station, it will take 3h28, and on a 7.4 kW wallbox, it will take 5h09. Lastly, thanks to the V2L technology (reverse charging or bidirectional charging), the Ioniq 5 can recharge electronic devices or power a coffee machine via its plug if you travel with one.

Price and Competition for the Hyundai Ioniq 5 (58 kWh)

Excluding dealer discounts, the Ioniq 5 in the Intuitive finish with the 58 kWh battery and 170 hp motor is priced at $46,500. This is good news as the model is eligible for the maximum ecological bonus of $6,000. However, this price deprives you of any possibility of selecting even one option.

Some options can be chosen after purchase and do not affect the final price of the vehicle, but this forces you to opt for the only free paint option, for example. Your dealer will likely find a way to offer you one or two options.

This places it squarely against a Toyota bZ4X in the Pure finish at the same price, but with the advantage of a 71.4 kWh battery allowing for 500 km of WLTP range and 204 hp power. We can also mention the Hyundai Kona Electric, with more range (484 km) but smaller and especially with a much slower recharge (77 kW).

Another competitor is the Renault Megane E-Tech, which offers 454 km of range, rapid charging of 130 kW but lower interior space. Also, the Skoda Enyaq with 397 km of range and rapid charging at 120 kW. Finally, it’s impossible not to mention the Kia EV6, which is sold at a higher price than the maximum bonus threshold but can be obtained through negotiation with the dealer. For almost the same price as the Ioniq 5, it offers the same fast charging capacity and similar range, at 394 km. This is undoubtedly the number one enemy of this entry-level Ioniq 5.

Editpr’s Verdict

It’s hard not to recommend the Ioniq 5, even with its entry-level Intuitive trim, small battery, and modest 170 horsepower engine. Highly consistent in its offering, it provides adequate performance for everyday use and boasts an immense interior space. Most notably, it features ultra-fast charging, which is unprecedented in this price segment.

However, at this price point, we can criticize its somewhat basic finish and slightly disappointing average consumption. It’s fair to say that these aspects are average for the segment, without excelling, and we expected more from the Korean giant, which had previously offered a very convincing Kona Electric. Moreover, the lack of a route planner makes long trips challenging.

Nevertheless, Hyundai delivers an impressive package, well-equipped as standard, comfortable, and with a style that doesn’t go unnoticed. However, one must contend with a suspension that struggles to handle the vehicle’s weight on rough roads and strong competition in this price segment, below $47,000.

Pros of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 (58 kWh):

  • Ultra-fast charging
  • Price eligible for incentives
  • Exceptional interior space

Cons of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 (58 kWh):

  • High consumption
  • Soft suspensions
  • Lack of route planner