Ioniq 5 first impressions

Malcolm Macpherson recently purchased a new Ioniq 5 from Central Otago Hyundai in Cromwell.

We asked him to give us his impressions.

Bought from Central Otago Hyundai, Cromwell. Cyber Grey. RWD, big battery. 10km on the clock.

I’d watched lots of overseas videos, so was expecting a big car. Same wheelbase as a Landrover Evoque. Three metres axle to axle. Lots of tech. Quiet. Quick enough off the mark, pretty sprightly in sport mode. Nice fit and finish. Eye-catching. Pixilation – those distinctive head and taillights. And the Zorro crease in the side panels.

All true, but what first struck me was how it felt inside. Space to burn. Flat floors front and back. Those two big screens. Legroom, headroom. Digital options for Africa.

The I5 is the first of Hyundai’s EV-specific architectured vehicles – based on their E-GMP platform – offering long wheelbase and short overhangs front and back, and the much-heralded flat floors.

Driving: feels planted (as does my 40kWh Leaf), sure-footed. Lane-keeping is a bit disconcerting – the car takes over, just a bit, when it thinks you’re getting too close to the ditch line. I’ll tinker with that. I like my seat set high, and from there the visibility is excellent. Both front seats will lie right back (electric for the driver, mechanical for the passenger). I can see myself doing that while charging. The cabin is quiet – minimal tyre noise.

We’ll see how the efficiency pans out – on delivery, the car was showing 20.1kW/100km, which had dropped to about 19 after the 32km mostly open-road run home.

Comparable to what? Overseas reviewers mention the VW ID4, the Ford Mustang Mach-E, a pending Nissan (the Aryia), and a Skoda, but avoid direct comparisons to either the Tesla M3 or MY. I can’t comment, never even having even sat in either Teslas, let alone driven one, but the I5 is a bigger car, with more internal space. There are Hyundai fanboys who list all the reasons why an I5 is better than a Tesla, but to me, that’s a silly argument.

Am I happy with the car so far? Without a doubt. It’s a joy to drive, eats up the kms, with endless fun to be had through the hundreds of options on the two screens. It’s going to take a while for the novelty to wear off!


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