2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5 Limited review

By Staff Writer
Mar 27, 2023 | Hyundai, Electric Cars, Review, Ioniq 5 | Posted in Features | Never miss an article

Photography by J.G. Pasterjak

Remember when Hyundai first teased the 45 EV Concept back in 2019, the car that would go on to become the Ioniq 5?

Photography Credit: Courtesy Hyundai

Yeah, we didn't think the production car would look anything like that, but here we are.

Styling aside, how well does the Ioniq 5 do daily driver things? We drove one for a few days to find out.

Other Staff Views

David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is everything the Ford Mustang Mach-E wants to be. There, I said it.

Where the Mach-E’s styling looks forced and saccharine–and even a bit bloated–the Ioniq 5 delivers crisp, refreshing and upmarket lines.

Look at the Hyundai’s nose. Clean, elegant, subdued. Instead of a caricature of something else, the Hyundai is a futuristic styling exercise brought to life.

Inside, the Hyundai delivers soft, upmarket touch points and a stylish, integrated wide-screen display. The experience is calming and curated.

The Mustang? Here, we’ll just bolt this iPad to the dash, and hope you don’t mind hard plastic.

Let’s compare seats: comfortable and supportive (Ioniq 5) vs. flat and blah (Mach-E).

Even outside door handles? Smooth and integrated (Hyundai) vs. just weird and awkward (hello, Mach-E).

Where the Mach-E felt a bit like a novelty rushed to market (look, an electric Mustang) the Ioniq 5 delivered a more developed experience, from walking up to driving off.

J.G. Pasterjak
Production Manager\Art Director

The Ioniq 5 basically settles the argument—if it were even still ongoing—over whether mass-market electric vehicles are “there” yet. Yeah, we’re there, and the Ioniq 5 is brilliant, unique, useful and interesting in all the right ways.

But the Ioniq’s goodness just underscores the badness of pretty much EVERY other factor surrounding EVs at the moment. The public charging infrastructure is hot garbage, with too few stations, charging too much money, for too slow charging, and that’s even if they function when you arrive on e-fumes to begin with. Compound that with predatory dealers and supply chains still reeling from peak pandemic-era slowdowns, and you end up with amazing vehicles being inserted into a turbulent world that refuses to let them shine.

And that’s a bummer, because while Hyundai in general is killing it these days, the Ioniq leverages that general corporate goodness with a bit of a sci-fi twist in the form of the minimalist, but comfortable interior. While some of our friends and neighbors criticized the interior for being a bit too sparse—and, to be fair, it’s a departure from the traditional design of a highly-driver-centric cockpit we’ve become accustomed to—the minimal form is no less functional, and feels airy and open, which is something we can’t say about all modern cars.

Most of the controls being touch-screen based is a minor inconvenience at times, but Hyundai still does the service—as with their gas cars—of providing actual buttons for a few mission-critical functions. And the touch screen is also highly customizable, allowing you to basically set up “hot keys” to more quickly access frequently used functions.

The driving experience is pretty sweet, too. The Ioniq rides and handles like most modern medium-sized crossovers, which is to say better than it should given the tall form factor, but the added instant torque of the electric drivetrain means never having to say you’re sorry about shooting off the red light first when you need to make some lane changes to get to Kohl’s. The single-pedal mode, which allows you to all but eschew the brake pedal in normal operation, isn’t as smooth or intuitive as Ford’s implementation on the Mustang Mach-E, but after some familiarization, it became my favorite way to drive the Ioniq, as it was with the Mach-E.

So the good news is the Ioniq 5 is awesome, but the bad news is pretty much everything else about the state of the EV union is still in shambles. Which is probably fine, because current wait times for the Ioniq 5 are about a year IF YOU ALREADY HAVE AN ORDER IN. Without your quarter on the machine, well, maybe they’ll get public charging straightened out by the time you take delivery.

Chris Tropea
Associate Editor

While I didn’t get a lot of time behind the wheel of the Hyundai Ioniq 5, I have to say I am impressed.

I was really excited to get behind the wheel of the Ioniq 5 because, on paper, it seemed like a great option when shopping for an EV. Perhaps not surprisingly, I was not disappointed; the interior was a very nice place to spend time in, and offered plenty of space.

Driving felt like any other car but you were greeted with loads of torque as soon as you touched the accelerator–especially in sport mode.

My only regret? That I didn’t get more time with it to test the range and some highway driving.

If you happen to be in the market for an EV, I recommend you check out the Ioniq 5. 

Tom Suddard
Director of Marketing & Events

My time with the Ioniq was brief, but after 25 miles I’d rendered my verdict: One of the best new cars I’ve driven, and easily a step up from its competition at Tesla and Ford. It looks amazing, drives great, has plenty of range for a daily driver and has build quality that seems borrowed from Genesis instead of from, well, Hyundai.

The interior is also exceptionally well-packaged. Think Mustang Mach E with more room and better looks, or Tesla without the rattles and emotional baggage. This thing is awesome, so sign me up—without the inevitable dealer markup, please….

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Flynlow (FS)
Flynlow (FS) Dork
3/28/23 4:12 p.m.

"Yeah, we didn't think the production car would look anything like that, but here we are."

Hey Hyundai, now do the N Vision 74 :P

Jokes aside, thanks for the impressions, I do think Hyundai knocked it out of the park with this one.  I'm still not a CUV buyer, but I can't wait to buy an EV GTI/Civic SI/etc.  We're so close to getting it right...so much so that if the rumored N version of the Ioniq 5 gets built with a slightly lower/sportier suspension and the same or better range, I may go "close enough" and pull the trigger. 

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
3/28/23 4:24 p.m.

In reply to Flynlow (FS) :


If I were to guess, I think companies like Hyundai are first offering the EVs they know they can sell–like CUVs–and are then going to start offering us the GTIs and Sis us folk are after.

Aaron_King GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
3/28/23 4:47 p.m.

The Ionic 6 is a sedan at least, though it falls down in the looks department to me

calteg SuperDork
3/28/23 4:57 p.m.

Huzzah for minimalist interiors. The RSX was the high point of modern interior design, that's a hill I'll die on.

TVR Scott
TVR Scott GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
3/28/23 6:46 p.m.

There's one in my neighborhood I've seen while walking the dog.  It's a great looking car.  I was very impressed.

Honestly Hyundai is pretty much killing it on the styling front lately, IMHO.  As opposed to the crack-smoking designers at Toyota, but I'm getting off track.

My wife wants to upgrade to an EV soon, and has a MINI in mind, but this might be a better fit for her needs.  Good to hear it's a nice ride.

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