Expert Reviews

2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Review and Video

8.7
10
AutoTrader SCORE
This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car
  • STYLING
    9/10
  • Safety
    9/10
  • PRACTICALITY
    9/10
  • USER-FRIENDLINESS
    9/10
  • FEATURES
    9/10
  • POWER
    10/10
  • COMFORT
    8/10
  • DRIVING FEEL
    9/10
  • FUEL ECONOMY
    8/10
  • VALUE
    7/10

Sitting behind the wheel, there’s hardly anything that indicates how the 2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N is powered.

Faint-yet-familiar noises emanate from somewhere near the base of the windshield, muffled just enough to almost sound as if they’re coming from under the hood. Artificial though they may be, they lend a sort of authenticity to the in-car experience — not that this electric vehicle (EV) doesn’t look and feel like a proper performance machine, but it’s certainly not what (m)any of us are used to, at least not yet.

I slowly ease into traffic, with a burbling symphony of synthetic-yet-satisfying sounds filling the cabin. They’re getting louder in lockstep with the rising rate of speed, just like they would in a gas-powered car. After all, audible cues are crucial to the performance driving experience, providing hints of what’s happening in real-time without the need to glance down at the instruments.

As the car gets quicker still, I instinctively await the brief drop in revs that usually accompanies a gear change, but the sounds want to wind out seemingly endlessly instead, bringing my mechanical fantasy to a rather abrupt end. It’s no matter, though — not with the so-called e-shift system enabled.

With the quick press of a button, the electronic growl gets deeper and angrier — as if I’ve unleashed some sort of other, darker side of the Ioniq 5 N. Suddenly, simulated shifts that mimic an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission are firing off at will, while the steering wheel paddles that would normally control the regenerative braking system in an EV like this allow me to take over and dole out electric torque as I see fit, with fake backfires lighting off behind me as I do.

 

 

 

Driving Feel: 9/10

Given that introduction, the drive experience seems like a pretty good place to start diving into the details of the 2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N, a car that could very well reshape the way we collectively look at performance motoring. Of course, it could just as easily be a temporary stop on the journey towards emissions-free automotive enthusiasm, with the path as of yet almost entirely uncharted.

Should battery-sourced performance be the way forward, this Hyundai makes for one helluva guide. That’s not to throw shade at the Ford Mustang Mach-E GT and its optional Performance upgrade, either; that hopped-up EV that came before this one is a pleasure to pilot on a winding back road. But where its limitations start as far as emphasizing output over all-around agility, the Ioniq 5 N takes the baton and runs the relay on its own.

An entire overhaul took place to build this car, with new components and systems strategically pulled together to make it drive more like a dedicated performance model. The result is a competent handler that leverages its EV fundamentals — low centre of gravity, instant torque delivery, and regenerative braking — rather than shying away from them.

 Features: 9/10

Those fundamental features include an 84-kWh battery pack and twin electric motors, as well as unique regenerative braking that’s been tuned to sharpen turn-in response. Hyundai’s engineers also came up with a special thermal management system aimed at optimizing the temperature of the battery and motors for use on the track and dragstrip. Likewise, the traction control system can be tailored to the surface below.

The various performance parameters — of which there are plenty — can be adjusted via the 12.3-inch dash-mounted touchscreen, while drive mode buttons on the steering wheel can be programmed to call up custom settings, plus there’s a boost function that uncorks all the powertrain’s potential for 10-second bursts.

When it comes to creature comforts, the stuff from the regular Ioniq 5’s most expensive trim carries over, including heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and dual-zone automatic climate control. Other niceties include wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connections, built-in navigation, and an eight-speaker stereo. Hell, there’s even a head-up display.

Safety: 9/10

The same is true of the advanced safety systems, with an entire suite of them fitted to the Ioniq 5 N. Whether or not they belong in a performance car is a question worth asking, but when one weighs as much as this — it tips the scales at 2,205 kg (4,861 lb) — stripping some wiring and sensors isn’t going to cut anything noticeable anyway.

Power: 10/10

Much more noticeable is all the electric torque the Ioniq 5 N generates, although even then it’s not quite as eager to make itself known the way it would be in a gas-powered performance car. But first, the numbers: dual electric motors spin up a total of 545 lb-ft of torque to go with 601 hp, while both figures can be amped up for 10 seconds at a time with the button-activated boost mode.

That’s how to unleash 641 hp and 568 lb-ft of torque — big numbers by any measure, and enough to help this Hyundai rocket from a standing start to highway speed in a claimed 3.4 seconds. And going back to all the fancy technology it’s been fitted with, the car’s launch control system can be toggled through a trio of traction modes that tailor the acceleration experience to the surface below. Not even properly wet pavement is enough to stand in the way of everyone’s favourite EV party trick.

Fuel Economy: 8/10

Driving in a more relaxed manner is rewarded with better-than-advertised energy consumption rates, although outright range is still a little lacklustre in spite of the 84-kWh battery pack stashed under the floor. Officially, the Ioniq 5 N is good for 356 km on a full charge, although this test saw it touch an estimated 404 km with a completely juiced battery.

Likewise, while it’s supposed to burn through energy at a rate of 26.7 kWh/100 km, according to Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), the onboard computer indicated actual usage of 22.4 kWh/100 km across a little less than 400 km of testing. That’s barely more than the conventional version is good for (21.5).

When it’s time to charge, the Ioniq 5 N can hit speeds as fast as 350 kW. When hooked up to a DC fast-charger that’s capable of that quickness, which are few and far between, Hyundai says the state of charge can jump from 10 to 80 per cent in just 18 minutes. Of course, battery degradation becomes a concern at those rates, in which case a 50-kW station will do the job in an hour and 10 minutes in ideal conditions. Meanwhile, a full charge can be had overnight when hooking up to a 240-volt Level 2 unit.

Practicality: 9/10

Whether this Hyundai is a hatchback or a crossover is the subject of some debate — I happen to think of it as the former based on styling alone — but there’s no questioning its generously proportioned interior. While the front seats are bolted too close to the floor for passengers in the back to slip their feet underneath, there’s all kinds of room inside the Ioniq 5, N or otherwise.

 User-Friendliness: 9/10

Those spacious confines are accompanied by massive front and rear doors that make climbing in and out of either set of seats easy, plus the big windows provide good views of what’s happening outside. There’s also a full complement of controls for the infotainment system, plus a dedicated touch panel for managing the cabin’s climate.

In terms of performance, the Ioniq 5 N is accessible and easily customizable. Buttons on the steering wheel can be used to call up drive and boost modes, while two more can be used to activate different features and functions including the so-called e-shift system that mimics the feel and feedback of a dual-clutch transmission. Importantly, all those parameters can be dialled back just as easily for a more docile drive experience.

Comfort: 8/10

Hyundai has fitted this EV with an electronically controlled suspension system, although it skews toward the firm side even in its most comfortable setting. Rest assured: it isn’t rigid like a race car, but it’s not as forgiving as most EVs when it comes to on-road comfort. Likewise, the front seats provide a tight squeeze, although not spleen-bustingly so. Instead, they offer the kind of support that’s handy when hustling through corners while lending a legitimacy to the in-car experience as far as performance goes.

Styling: 9/10

Despite those seats and the outstanding exterior design, the cabin’s a little dreary for a car like this one. While there’s some blue stitching throughout, plus illuminated N emblems on the front seats, a few more splashes of colour would go a long way toward elevating the interior to better match the mood outside. As it stands, it looks like the one area that was neglected during the development process.

While the standard Ioniq 5’s exterior is stylish, this version is superb. The $1,500 matte finish is worth every penny for the way it spices up the already aggressive design that builds on the retro-inspired looks without going overboard. No, it won’t be for everyone; but it’s a tasteful head-turner with enough unique touches to stand out from a run-of-the-mill model.

Value: 7/10

Surely, the market for a mainstream performance EV that’s priced at about $80,000 before tax will be quite small. But it’s easy to take stock of where just about all of it is being spent, with all kinds of upgrades that enhance the way the Ioniq 5 N performs. Looking at its closest competitor, the Mustang Mach-E GT is priced at $73,885 before tax with its optional performance pack.

The Verdict

Hyundai hasn’t said how many examples of the Ioniq 5 N it’s bringing to Canada, but I can’t imagine it being more than a handful. (The head of the company’s Canadian operations hinted as much during a chat after this car’s debut last year.) Even so, it acts as a halo product for electric performance at large.

Bearing that burden in mind, Hyundai’s N division engineers have injected it with genuine charm. It isn’t trying to emulate gas-powered performance in an electric package — this oversized hatchback has its own defined traits and characteristics. It’s the rare kind of proof of concept that makes it to production almost entirely unchanged from its outlandish roots. Sure, it has its flaws; but the 2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N also has what it takes to prove personality can exist in an emissions-free future.

Competitors
Specifications
Engine Displacement 448 kW
Engine Cylinders Dual electric motors
Peak Horsepower 601 hp (641 hp w/Boost)
Peak Torque 545 lb-ft (568 lb-ft w/Boost)
Fuel Economy 2.8 / 3.3 / 3.0 Le/100 km city, hwy, cmb, 24.9 / 29.2 / 26.7 kWh/100 km; 356 km est. range
Cargo Space 740 / 1,680 L seats up/down
Model Tested 2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N
Base Price $78,199
A/C Tax $100
Destination Fee $1,950
Price as Tested $81,749
Optional Equipment
Performance Blue matte paint, $1,500