Green Vehicles

2023 Best Mainstream EV: Hyundai Ioniq 5

With its bold styling, the future is now! The Hyundai Ioniq 5 was voted as AutoTrader’s Best Mainstream Electric Vehicle for 2023 by a group of over 20 automotive journalists who considered every mainstream EV on sale in Canada. These top picks are based on cars that jurors can confidently recommend to their family and friends.

The Ioniq 5 managed to beat some well-established heavy hitters in the EV scene, including the Tesla Model 3, Chevrolet Bolt, Volkswagen ID.4, and Kia EV6. It’s definitely a car that gets a ton of attention on the road with its mix of retro edges and pixel-art taillights. Dan Ilika, AutoTrader’s Road Test Editor, stated that “its presence is undeniable, with subtly stunning style that’s complemented with tremendous road manners and tons of modern tech.”

Pricing varies between $44,999 and $60,999 before government incentives, and overall driving range starts at 354 kilometres and goes up to 488 kilometres on a full charge depending on the trim level. The flagship Long Range model with dual motors and all-wheel drive has 320 horsepower and 446 pound-feet of torque, which is more than enough to rearrange your stomach contents when putting the pedal to the metal.

Direct Current (DC) “Level 3” fast charging capability is an important attribute in today’s EVs, and the Hyundai Ioniq 5 is currently one of the best in the industry. While public charging infrastructure still needs to catch up in terms of both abundance and reliability, it can do 800-volt, 350-kilowatt charging at compatible stations. At this speed, the battery can go from 10 to 80 per cent charge in just 18 minutes. For drivers in a rush, 100 kilometres of range can be added in just five minutes. For most situations, overnight Level 2 charging (at approximately three to seven kilowatts) at home will be what most drivers will end up doing and the slow rate is technically better for the battery’s longevity.

The exterior dimensions of the Ioniq 5 are a bit deceptive – online photos suggest that it might be a compact hatchback, but it’s really inch-for-inch the same size as a Hyundai Tucson crossover SUV. As such, it has plenty of room for small families, although the sloping rear liftgate impacts cargo space somewhat. The Hyundai shares a platform with the Kia EV6. The Hyundai is a couple of inches taller, and as such, taller drivers or those with longer torsos will find themselves having an easier time getting in and out compared to the Kia, even if overall headroom measurements are similar once you’re in.

Inside, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 is a little less futuristic looking, but it’s still a nice interior nonetheless. There are plenty of screens and capacitive touch controls, and while they are pretty intuitive, they are a bit more distracting than hard buttons and knobs. Pay attention to the Premium Relaxation Seating feature with the Ultimate Package, which takes your living room’s recliner and adapts it to the driver’s seat. It’s pretty useful for a cat nap while charging!

Looks aren’t the only futuristic feature for this electric Hyundai. With the latest in autonomous driver assist systems, drivers get the usual forward collision warning, lane keeping, and blind spot monitoring systems, but they’ll also get a lane change assist function that can automatically shift lanes at highway speeds.

Bottom line: the Hyundai Ioniq 5 offers most of the function of a Tesla Model 3 but at a more reasonable price tag. It’s more than just a pretty face, and because it looks good, drives well, and isn’t priced to the moon, that makes it a winner amongst the eyes of the jury.