The all-new Hyundai IONIQ 5 is a defining vehicle for the brand. The IONIQ nameplate has been around a while and showcases both their hybrid and EV ambitions. Whereas the current Hyundai IONIQ remains the only model that comes as a Hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid and full EV, the IONIQ 5 adds to the range by becoming the first dedicated EV platform. What this means is the car has been designed completely differently without the strings attached of a platform needing to flex between an EV and a combustion engine.
We’ve reviewed the new model to see what all the hype is about and have picked our top features that we believe make this car truly unique!
Active air flap
When it comes to EVs, efficiency is a hugely important element of the overall design. The more efficient use of energy, the better the all-important range figure. Incorporated into the front design on IONIQ 5 is an ‘Active Air Flap’ which consists of two inlets, electronically opened and closed by the onboard computer. When open, more air flows through to cool the battery (for efficient performance) and also helps control the climate control system. The system very intelligently uses the cold air from the flaps when it needs to get cooler air into the cabin and then conversely it closes to allow heat from the motor to be used to heat the interior. With a simple flap opening, it puts less strain on the heating and cooling elements in the air conditioning unit creating a gain in efficiency. The flap when opened also reduces the overall aerodynamic drag, which again in turn increases the range the IONIQ 5 can travel.
There’s always debate about how truly eco-friendly EV cars are. Hyundai has made innovative steps to show that vehicle production can have less impact on the planet. The use of eco-materials in the make-up of the interior truly sets it apart from other EVs. A typical IONIQ 5 contains 730g of sugar cane and mixed corn to create the headlining and carpet trims, 200g of flaxseed oil to dye the leather, 32 recycled PET bottles to create the woven upholstery and 0.08 square metres of recyclable paperette. Even the interior paints have been re-thought with the door trims and dashboards being painted with colours made from rape and corn flowers.
We have cheated a little bit and crammed two features into this pick, although they are related and frankly too cool to miss out. The first is a world-first for an EV in the form of multi-charging capability. Essentially all EVs up to this point have been built to handle either a 400V charging system or a more expensive 800V. Normally most end up being a 400V platform, as it’s more readily available in the current charging infrastructure. The lower voltage naturally limits the overall pace of the charging time which is its main drawback. The IONIQ 5 has been built to handle BOTH which means if you do find an 800V charger then you could charge up the battery in just 17 minutes. When using a 400V charger, the vehicle flows the current through the traction motor and inverter in order to step up the voltage level to 800V.
On top of this, the IONIQ 5 has an adapter available on the charging plug that allows ‘bi-directional charging’. This means you can plug a standard three-pin plug device into the adapter and run that from the charge available in the vehicle battery. It can run up to a 16 amp device which covers most household items. Who would have thought you could take a mini-beer fridge on a camping trip in your EV? (Priorities right…?)
The storage space
The chassis of the IONIQ 5 is actually slightly longer than a Hyundai Palisade SUV! Add to that the really compact motor design and the short overhangs at the front and rear and you are left with a truly massive interior space. It’s the most striking thing about this car when you get in – just how much room everyone has. When the seats are flattened at the back you have 1,587 litres of capacity to play with. The high roofline means you can fit bulky items in the back with relative ease. On top of the boot capacity, you also get cargo space in the front engine bay, 57 litres if you choose a RWD or 24 litres for an AWD. This is the perfect space for charging cables and adapters (or even the consumables destined for the mini-fridge…)
With all that extra space Hyundai decided to add a ‘Relaxation Mode’ to the front seats. With the touch of a button, they can recline and stretch out to become almost bed-like. In fact, the reclining position is inspired by the same position that astronauts have to be in during a launch. It has been found to be the most comfortable position when reclined for a long period of time without actually fully lying down. We quite like that the car asks you to check no one is in the back when you turn the mode on. Good to know Hyundai is looking out for the kids even if you’ve forgotten to!