The Ioniq 5 has only been on sale for a short time, but its made a big impression with us, recently securing the ‘One to Watch’ award at the Business Car Awards 2021. 

It is not difficult to see why, the retro-styled hatchback body has some impressive detailing that wouldn’t look out of place on premium brands. These include the distinctive front and rear lights, the light bar hidden in the front air dam, the surface detailing on the wheel arches and power opening charging flap. Hyundai claim the design was influenced by the original Pony model, but is it just us or is there some Lancia Delta in the styling mix too? 

The Ioniq 5 is also perched on top of Hyundai’s dedicated E-GMP platform – the same one that underpins Kia’s new EV flagship – the EV6. This equals a decent range and charging capacity. 

We got to drive left-hand drive AWD versions in mid-spec Premium trim at the launch, but now we’ve had the chance to drive a UK-registered rear-wheel drive Ioniq 5, also in Premium spec, to see what it’s like. 

Like the AWD version, this Ioniq 5 is powered by a 73kWh battery, but with a lesser output of 217hp, and 350Nm of torque..

The Ioniq 5’s 300-mile range is the equal of rivals, but is still an impressive figure and seems realistic after spending a week with the car. Of more interest, if you can find a 350kW public charger, is that this Hyundai can be charged up to 80% capacity in less than 20 minutes, or a quicker 60 mile top up in an almost unbelievable five minutes. This car also benefits from a year’s subscription to the Ionity charging network. 

There might be a retro theme to the exterior of the Ioniq 5, but the interior feels very much state-of-the-art. The dashboard is dominated by two 12in screens for the instruments and infotainment, there is also a movable centre console and a draw instead of a glovebox. 

The quality of the trim and materials also seems to have taken a massive leap forward, too. The hatchback styling does a good job of disguising just how big this Hyundai is. The result is an impressively spacious interior – legroom in the back wouldn’t look out of place in some limousines. Plus, there is a 540-litre boot, which although shallow, is practically shaped.

With 217hp and acceleration to 62mph in 7.4 seconds, the Ioniq 5 never feels slow on the road, and this is backed up by precise steering and tidy handling – although the Ioniq 5 never feels as dynamic and sporty as its Kia EV6 sister. The brakes too are strong and easy to modulate. Did we miss the extra traction of the AWD model? Only on a couple of occasions, where this Hyundai struggled to put its power down under heavy acceleration.

Our one issue on the original drive was the ride on that car’s 20in wheels, which felt unsettled and jarring. This time round, our test car was fitted with the slightly smaller 19in wheels, and we’re pleased to report the ride is more resolved – although it’s still not perfect over potholes. This is probably the result of the heavy battery pack in the floor. The lack of any engine noise also made the Ioniq’s road noise more noticeable. Along with perhaps more wind noise than you might expect around the wing mirrors. 

As we’ve said already, we love the Ioniq 5’s design, but despite the impressive rear camera, we’d have liked a rear wash wipe to clear the rear screen more easily.

These are minor issues, as Hyundai really is at the top of its game with the Hyundai Ioniq 5. A deserving award winner, it really will give EV rivals a headache as it’s such a complete car and thankfully very different proposition to its Kia sister car.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 Premium 73kWh RWD 

P11D: £41.890

Residual value: £18.566

Depreciation: £23.324

Fuel: £1.255

Service, maintenance and repair: £1.701

Cost per mile: 43.8p

Range: 300 miles

CO2 (BIK %): 0g/km (1%) 

BIK 20/40% a month: £7/£14

Luggage capacity: 540 litres

Engine size/power: 217hp with 73kWh battery