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TESTED: The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 Is Shockingly Fun to Drive

TESTED: The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 Is Shockingly Fun to Drive

We're as surprised as you are

  • The dual-motor 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 is the quickest to 60 mph among similarly equipped competitors.
  • We think the Ioniq 5 drives better than the Performance models from Ford and Tesla.
  • Max towing capacity is a class-trailing 1,650 pounds (cue sad trombone).

If you enjoy the experience of driving, it's understandable why you might have some concerns about the electrified future. But if the Hyundai Ioniq 5, a family-friendly electric SUV, is any indication of what's to come, then we'd say the outlook is promising.

The all-new 2022 Ioniq 5 joins the popular small electric SUV segment, which so far includes the Tesla Model Y, Ford Mustang Mach-E and Volkswagen ID.4. All of these models offer your choice of one or two electric motors, which determines whether they're rear-wheel drive (single motor) or all-wheel drive (dual motor). We tested a dual-motor Ioniq and were seriously impressed by how well it drove. What exactly impressed us? Here are all the details from our test track.

How does the Ioniq 5 perform?

The dual-motor Ioniq 5 is rated at 320 horsepower and 446 lb-ft of torque, a significant bump of 152 hp and 188 lb-ft over the standard single-motor spec. For context from the gas-powered world, that's in the same ballpark as the performance-oriented Audi SQ5 (349 hp, 369 lb-ft). Compared to rival dual-motor EVs, the 320-hp Ioniq 5 edges out the VW ID.4 (295 hp) but trails the Ford Mustang Mach-E (346 hp).

The Ioniq 5 weighed in at 4,698 pounds on our scales, which is a few hundred pounds heavier than comparable gas-powered SUVs but lighter than both the Mustang Mach-E and the ID.4. Here's how Hyundai's new EV stacks up against some notable competitors.

Edmunds logo
Test Car
Test
Date
Weight
Acceleration
0-60
Acceleration
1/4-Mile
Braking distance
60-0
Skidpad
2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 Limited dual-motor AWD12/13/214,698 lbs4.7 sec13.3 sec @ 100.0 mph118 ft0.91 g
2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line dual-motor AWD02/14/224,649 lbs4.7 sec13.2 sec @ 101.1 mph115 ft0.92 g
2021 Tesla Model Y Long Range05/10/214,405 lbs4.8 sec12.9 sec @ 110.5 mph112 ftN/A
2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium Ext Range AWD11/30/204,822 lbs5.2 sec13.6 sec @ 101.9 mph120 ft0.85 g
2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Pro S dual-motor AWD01/10/224,900 lbs5.7 sec14.1 sec @ 97.5 mph123 ft0.87 g

What really jumps off the page here is the Ioniq 5's 0-60 time, which leads the pack — even the fancy-pants Tesla, which does ultimately triumph at the quarter-mile mark. Oftentimes EVs will get their quickest acceleration time on the very first pass, when batteries are topped off and there's less thermal management in effect. This wasn't the case with the Ioniq 5, as each successive run was marginally quicker than the last. Our fifth run was where the numbers finally leveled out. While there was no indication that using the power-braking technique (pressing the brake and accelerator pedal simultaneously right before launching) improved the Ioniq's performance here, it didn't hurt and it's what we used in achieving our quickest time. We also ran with traction and stability control turned off just to help minimize the chances of a computer intervention, though we experienced no wheelspin.

Braking performance is also a strength for the Ioniq 5. The low center of gravity means minimal nosedive at maximum braking effort and a solid, confident feeling. We did experience a bit of tire chatter, which is not a common occurrence, but the Ioniq still managed a respectable stopping distance of 118 feet from 60 mph.

Subjectively, what impressed us the most was how the Ioniq 5 handles. Even compared to the performance versions of the Model Y and Mustang Mach-E, the electronic reins on the Ioniq 5 appear to be much longer, meaning it's free to move in a much more natural and predictable manner without stern intervention. Sport mode adds a little bit of heft to the steering, which improves feel and precision, and we found it very easy to pick a line through a corner and stick to it.

This doesn't happen by accident. The Ioniq 5 recorded a 0.91 g average around our skidpad on Michelin all-season tires (with a high treadwear rating of 540), which is pretty remarkable. The closely related Kia EV6 in GT-Line trim benefits from a slightly sportier tune, but the Ioniq 5 is more than enough fun to drive for an SUV, plus it provides a more comfortable ride when you're just out for a cruise.

What else should I know about the Ioniq 5?

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is available with two battery-size options and one or two electric motors. The base model comes with the smaller 58-kilowatt-hour pack, while fancier variants like our test vehicle receive a 77.4-kWh pack. In base trim, called the SE Standard Range, the Ioniq 5 makes a modest 168 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. Jumping up to the larger battery actually bumps the power to 225 hp, though torque remains the same. Finally, if you opt for dual-motor all-wheel drive, which our top-trim Limited model came with, the combined total output for the motors is 320 hp and 446 lb-ft of torque.

Notably, the Ioniq 5 is the first vehicle from Hyundai built on a dedicated EV platform and not one shared with a gasoline-powered vehicle like the Hyundai Kona or Ioniq (not to be confused with Ioniq 5) hatchback. It's also the only model in its segment (alongside its Kia EV6 mechanical twin) to employ an 800-volt battery architecture that among other things allows for ultra-quick charging at 350-kilowatt DC fast-charge stations.

Other pertinent items that come with the Limited trim include larger 20-inch wheels and tires (AWD only). With the 20-inch wheels you gain 20 millimeters of width at each tire (versus the standard 19-inch wheels) but also unsprung weight, which results in an increase in cornering grip but also decreases driving range. Even equipped with the larger 20-inch tires, though, we found that the Ioniq 5 surpassed its EPA range estimate of 256 miles, traveling a total of 270 miles on a single charge.

If the Ioniq 5 falls short in any one area, it's towing. While there are a number of reasons electric vehicles aren't ideally suited for towing, if you plan to do it on occasion with your EV, the Ioniq 5 is not the best choice. All Ioniq 5 variants except the base model are rated to tow up to 1,650 pounds, which falls well behind the Mustang Mach-E and Model Y at 3,500 pounds, and even the ID.4 at 2,700 pounds.

Edmunds says

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is a very well-rounded offering in the growing compact electric SUV segment. Even if it's not the quickest or most spacious in its class, it has a satisfying amount of punch and is more comfortable and fun to drive than we'd ever expect it to be. And it delivers all of this at a highly competitive price, made more attractive by a $7,500 federal tax credit. The funky styling may not be everyone's cup of tea, but this latest EV brew from Hyundai is definitely worth a taste.