Does the IONIQ 5 look sporty or not? It all depends on whether you remember punchy hot hatches from the ‘80s. Either way, its performance is strong; the entry-level RWD car has a reasonably potent 168bhp and will hit 60mph in a whisker over eight seconds. Definitely quicker than an ‘80s hot hatch. And as you spend more, the figures only get better, with the top spec IONIQ 5 packing 320bhp, which is what modern-day performance hatches possess. Whether it needs to be this quick hardly seems to matter, as choosing the higher power output doesn’t hurt its range much at all.
Over at Kia, its EV6 cousin boasts a 577bhp GT version with supercar levels of acceleration. Not to be outdone, Hyundai is preparing an N-badged performance variant of the IONIQ, which is set to break cover later in 2023.
For all its impressive power, though, it’s actually a very chilled car… reflecting the laidback interior. It’s smooth, calm and relaxing…. even though the batteries are carried underneath the floor and the centre of gravity feels low, it’s more of a limousine than a performance car. That’s not to say that it can’t go fast, just that the IONIQ 5 doesn’t really seem to revel in being hustled along. And perhaps fittingly for a car that doubles up as a mobile bedroom, it’s also exceedingly quiet on the move. In fact it could give its German rivals a run for their money when it comes to refinement.
One thing we love is the level of regeration, and you have different modes to choose from. ‘Eco’ gives a nice grabby feeling on the brakes, one you can enhance by using the paddles on the steering wheel.