2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5 Limited AWD - Review by David Colman
Far exceeds any other EV I’ve driven to date
Special Correspondent to THE AUTO CHANNEL
If you are currently shopping for an electric vehicle, you can do no better than Hyundai's 2024 Ioniq 5 LIMITED AWD. From the moment we stepped into its brilliantly designed cabin, we were intrigued with this product. Here are but a few highlights from our first short drive. The simple act of closing the door from the driver's seat has been thoroughly re-imagined by Hyundai. Instead of reaching for a tiny door pull or spindly armrest, you simply can simply lay your left hand anywhere along the open space trough that separates the full-length arm rest from the door to tug it shut. Once ensconced in the exceedingly handsome and comfy "Memory Power Driver's Seat with Relaxation Function," you notice that Hyundai has provided a swiveling leg rest for extra support when needed. You then address the perfectly sensible array of actual physical switches on the dash which are augmented by a 12.3-inch digital screen to monitor Navigation duties as well as entertainment choices. Thankfully, the basic climate control functions are still switch accessible.
When you hit the prominent and legibly labeled Start button, the Ioniq fires right up and is ready to be driven away as soon as you engage a gear. Unlike so many high zoot German electrics, this one dispenses with all the cutesy "at your service" hysterics for straight responses to straight inputs. In other words, the Ioniq won't do anything you don't tell it to do. This represents an altogether refreshing minimalism in an EV world gone nuts answering questions you never thought to ask. Take the gear shift mechanism, for example. Instead of requiring you to memorize senseless patters of idiosyncratic gear control usage, this one is brilliantly simple, easily remembered and attached to the steering column, of all places - just like the old "three-on-a-tree" manual shift everyone used back in 1955. In the Ioniq, the shift stalk requires just a twist of the knurled knob at the end of the stick to access Drive, Neutral or Reverse. So twist the knob in the appropriate direction and you're off and running. Where's Park you ask? Push in the end of the stick and you're Parked, with the E-brake engaged as well. This brilliant piece of engineering puts to shame the utterly ridiculous devices I have encountered lately in the EV world.
Attaching the shift stick to the steering column also provides another major benefit. Since there's no longer a need for a center console to house the shift mechanism, Hyundai eliminated the space-hogging center console in lieu of an open floor plan with brilliantly conceived storage bins. This revision makes the front seats of the Ioniq feel spacious and unimpeded - like the kind of living room you'd expect to find in an adventure van or motor home. Another bonus of the Ioniq 5 is its deceptively large cargo capacity. This cleverly honed capsule may look like a sports sedan from the outside. But once you lay the rear seats flat (a couple of lever tugs does the job), you've created a flat load floor big enough to haul a full-size bicycle around! That's not at all the impression you get from looking at this sleek missile from the outside, but in reality, it will swallow 28 cubic feet of stuff.
Driving dynamics are excellent. Like Porsche, Hyundai has put the Drive Mode dial on the steering wheel spoke, where it belongs for instant access when you need it. The 20-inch alloy rims Hyundai has selected for the Limited model are startlingly reminiscent of the BBS honeycomb alloys Porsche bolted on their 935 Turbo racers back in the day. In the Ioniq application these rims support a set of fat Michelin Primacy Tour all-season radials (255/40R20) that contribute good handling as well as a low profile stance to the Ioniq.
While you can buy lesser versions of this groundbreaking EV with front wheel drive and single motor horsepower ratings of 168hp and 225hp, the all-wheel-drive twin motor version we tested is definitely the way to go. In this configuration, the motors produce 320hp and 446lb.-ft. of torque, a slingshot combo good for zero to sixty in 4.5 seconds and an NHRA-worthy standing start quarter-mile run of 13.2 seconds at 102mph. On an 80% charge you can expect a range of 266 miles before you'll need to refresh your lithium ion 77.4kWh battery system with your 10.9kW onboard charger.
Now is the time to act if you are sold on this primo EV. Hyundai is currently offering a complimentary home EV Charger plus $600 towards its installation if you select an Ioniq 5 or 6 from existing stock and do so by the end of October, 2023. I am certain this vehicle would be my choice in this category because its design, build quality, appearance and stability far exceed any other EV I have driven to date.
2024 HYUNDAI IONIQ 5 LIMITED AWD
MOTOR: Front and Rear permanent magnet synchronous AC
HORSEPOWER: 320hp (combined)
TORQUE: 446lb.-ft. (combined)
FUEL ECONOMY: 113 miles city/90 miles highway
CHARGING TIME: 8.5 Hours (240v)
PRICE AS TESTED: $58,005
HYPES: Brilliant Interior Design, Cutting Edge Exterior
GRIPES: Charge Station Anxiety replaces Range Anxiety
STAR RATING: 10 Stars out of 10
©2023 David E Colman