- We here at Edmunds are taking a look at everything we drove in 2022.
- As part of a series, each of our writers is picking a personal favorite.
- My favorite car of 2022 is the Hyundai Ioniq 5 electric SUV.
The Best Car I Drove in 2022: Hyundai Ioniq 5
Electric and eclectic, the Ioniq 5 is a blast to drive
If you’re a firm believer in love at first sight then quickly look away from this review of the Hyundai Ioniq 5. That’s because I’ll be the first to admit my initial impressions of this angular little SUV were anything but amorous.
To start, what’s with all the strange intersecting lines in the bodywork? Why does the bluff front end remind me of one of those purposely generic no-name vehicles you see used in car insurance ads?
And why is Hyundai insisting the Ioniq 5 is a sport-utility vehicle when, in my journalistic opinion, it looks like a time-traveling DeLorean somehow sired an offspring with a humble Volkswagen Golf hatchback?
So when a 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 Limited equipped with the 320-horsepower, dual-motor and all-wheel-drive powertrain was dropped off outside my home, expectations were not what you’d call sky-high. Yet after spending a week test driving this quirky-looking electric car, the seven-day fling left me smitten.
The size and shape of the Ioniq 5 immediately proved ideal for zipping through busy traffic in my neighborhood just outside of New York City. Its angular exterior has a large and upright greenhouse, which makes outward visibility excellent and parallel parking a breeze.
Because of the low-slung layout of the electric powertrain, the cabin’s flat floor creates oodles (yes, I said oodles) of stretch-out space in the first and second rows. This engineering design also lends itself to creating a low center of gravity, which provides sharp handling and makes the Ioniq 5 much sportier than I imagined.
On the flip side, the ride was smooth and refined in every type of driving situation. The suspension was stout enough to withstand mortar-shell-sized potholes, but not too firm or jittery when wafting along a highway.
After my initial snobbery toward the Ioniq 5, I found myself truly laughing out loud while flinging it around tight corners and purposely wiggling the steering wheel side to side on empty roads and parking lots — once to the detriment of groceries I’d forgotten were in the cargo area.
And this is all before mentioning the performance of the powertrain. I’ve driven some speedy EVs, but this dual-motor arrangement has a Goldilocks just-right feel in how the Ioniq 5 balances solid driving range with strong acceleration (zero to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds as achieved by Edmunds' crack testing team).
My Ioniq 5 Limited had an EPA-estimated limit of 256 miles on a full charge, which was more than enough to avoid range anxiety during entertaining day trips with the accelerator pinned to the floor. This has even been improved for the 2023 model year, to 266 miles, as Hyundai has eked out small gains in range for the Ioniq 5 AWD.
I also warmed to the polarizing exterior that, for the record, I still believe looks like what might have been if the DeLorean brand had survived to build electric hatchbacks. As for being an SUV, well, life is best lived without labels, right? I’d still file this Hyundai EV under “H” for Hatchback, particularly with the Ioniq 6 sedan and Ioniq 7 sport-utility on the way.
Whatever you want to call it, the Ioniq 5 is a well-rounded EV with a distinctive shape and superb driving manners. Roomy inside and with a spacious trunk, my only serious complaint was having to hand back the keys when my test drive was done.
I'll admit it, the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 left me cold at first glance. Yet the funky design stands out in an increasingly competitive EV market. And with 320 horsepower and all-wheel drive, this electric car has the performance and handling to put a smile on your face during every drive.