Hyundai IONIQ 5, 239kW, 4×4 – Number five lives!

To succeed, electric cars need to be not only usable and environmentally friendly, but also interesting. Ten years ago, no one would have expected Hyundai to be among the technological leaders in the electric car market, and certainly no one would have expected it to be with a hatchback that has the proportions of a mid-size SUV and a design inspired by the 1980s. But the IONIQ 5, familiarly dubbed by the editors as the “Johnny Five” is just that. Does that make it the most exciting electric car available on the market! Let’s find out…
Hyundai first unveiled its new E-GMP platform a while back and shares it with its sister model, the Kia EV6. Both Korean brands’ upcoming next EVs will also be based on this platform. This means the usual layout with a chassis containing a flat battery pack with a capacity of 58 or up to 77.4 kWh and rear- or all-wheel drive. The electric motor is always at the driven axle, and so the tested Johnny, which is quite difficult to place in any “box”, is built on this standard basis.
At first glance, the Five looks like a classic hatchback, but on closer inspection you’ll be impressed by its size. Before its birth, Hyundai introduced a concept that was actually a modernized Pony hatchback from the 1980s, and it has translated that design “toy” into production form right here. The Five combines edgy retro elements with some futurism and the result is quite interesting. I’d calmly place it somewhere in the 1980s sci-fi movie pile of imagining the future. Some may not like it but for me it’s such a realistic CyberPunk on the go.
As I’ve written before, the surprise with the Five is that this isn’t the lower-mid-range hatchback you’d expect based on the proportions. At 4,635mm long, it’s almost as long as, say, a Skoda Enyaq, but the Johnny is a little wider and a centimetre or so shorter. In fact, it’s such a bloated, mid-range family hatchback with an incredible 3,000mm wheelbase.
I won’t describe the design in hackneyed phrases for long, as there will be photos and video wandering around somewhere. In short, there’s a low and wide body with sharply cut edges, including an impressive moulding on the side. The Johnny is very sleek and impresses at first glance. Elaborate detailing then on the second one. For example, the rear lights composed of square segments, the frowning front lights, the beautifully integrated roof spoiler – all of these combine to give the impression of a retro concept that someone has launched on the road.
Inside, then, the same impression continues. Especially with the light finish, which I like immensely, here again it looks like something you’d expect to see at a car show rather than on the road. Impressive are the two displays in front of the driver with a white background (they can of course be switched to dark mode or left on auto at night), which offer clear information on everything you need. One handy thing we’ve become accustomed to with Hyundais is the circular blind-spot display using the cameras in the mirrors, which come on as soon as you let go of the turn signal.
Apropos mirrors… we have extra digital mirrors with displays inside and retrofuturo antennae outside. This would be the only extra feature I would definitely not add on, and thumbs up for it being in any trim only as an option. It’s nice, it catches eyes, it sparks conversations but ultimately it’s a step backwards.
Aside from the benefit of a better image at night, digital mirrors are a completely unnecessary thing that I got used to throughout the week and eventually didn’t. There is a lack of spatial vision, as the image is still the same when tilted, whereas when you exit and connect using conventional backstops you can change the angle a bit and look at oncoming traffic. The positioning of the twin displays in the interior is counter-intuitively low, and if I could make a recommendation, it’s to see how it’s done, including the tasteful cameras (instead of square antennae) on the outside: Honda E
So inside it looks like a modern minimalist living room, and the interior is not only visually excellent, but also in comfort. The seats don’t offer excellent lateral cornering, but there’s plenty of room in both rows. In the front, there’s no centre tunnel to restrict me in the spacious and comfortable seats, so I can roll out comfortably.
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At the same time, I’m in no danger of activating a function with my right knee. There’s just a floating and sliding center console in the middle with a huge amount of storage. And when you want to nap on the charger, separate buttons put the driver and passenger seats in a relaxing position that reclines the backrest and raises the footrest.
When I sit back, I have a king-sized space in front of my knees and plenty of headroom. Plus, the rear seats are very comfortable and can fit three adults. The designers extracted every last millimetre of the floor plan. An armrest with cup holder and seat heating make travelling in the back more pleasant. In addition, the bench seat can be moved up to 15 centimetres to provide extra legroom or luggage space in the boot.
That one has a 527-litre capacity (and thus less than, say, Enyaq at 585 litres) and is pretty shallow. But it does offer extra storage space under the floor at the sides and in the rear, with an electric motor in the middle. With the rear seats folded flat, we get a respectable 1,587 litres in the Five.
Concern’s competitors may envy the Johnny Five’s under-the-front-hood cubby, where things like charging cables can fit. With the Five with the quad, it’s only 27 litres, but with the rear-wheel drive it’s already a nice 57 litres to spare. Plus, the plastic lid holds up when opened, so it won’t fall on your hands when you’re stowing items inside.
If you’ve gotten used to electric cars being pretty fast, and if your expectations are set by, say, Tesla, you won’t be disappointed at all with this version of the Johnny. In fact, the Five is a very fast car with up to 239kW (325bhp), which is 25bhp more than, say, the Enyaq RS. There’s also a massive 605Nm of torque transmitted to all four wheels and available instantly. It hits 60mph in 5.1 seconds and is electrically limited to 185mph, so you won’t suffer from old Fabia overtaking syndrome on that motorway either (unless it’s an RS 😀 ).
It’s similar with battery capacity and range. The largest 77.4 kWh battery offers a range of up to 481 kilometers for rear-wheel drive and 454 kilometers for the tested quad. This also roughly matches the competition in the same category, such as the much-mentioned Skoda Enyaq. Like perhaps all electric cars, the Five has a slightly worse real-world range than that claimed. But a lot depends on driving style and conditions. Since I finally tested in temperatures above 20 degrees, it was more cheerful in the case of test week than it would have been in winter. Real-world range was over 400km with a fully charged battery, and even the air conditioning on didn’t give it a hard time, as Johnny was using the heat pump to the max and was very good at working with residual heat.
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On paper, the fuel consumption of an ATV with 20″ wheels is 19.1 kWh/100km. Realistically it was around 20 kWh/100km in combined mode in less than 1000 test kilometres. The rides were primarily county, occasional highway, and about 30% of the rides in town. So finally an electric car that is close to its paper consumption. Understandably it depends, as with all cars, on driving style. For quieter drivers moving mostly off the motorways, even with such a powerful four-wheeler, getting closer to the advertised paper range will not be a problem.
The E-GMP electric platform enables high charging capacities of up to 220 kW thanks to its advanced 800V architecture. Charging from 20 to 80% is a matter of just 18 minutes on a fast charger and recharging 100 kilometers requires just under FIVE minutes. Even home charging can be handled comfortably overnight thanks to the three-phase on-board AC charger with 10.5 kW. And let’s not forget the ability to charge external devices using the V2L function, so your car can easily recharge your electric scooter, for example.
And how does Johnny drive? In practice, the acceleration in Five Seconds is very addictive and punchy. That’s because the electric motors have no lag and you’re not waiting for any gear changes. You simply push the pedal and let the Five shoot forward. Literally, because Johnny is so damn fast, and anyone who doesn’t expect it may experience a mild shock and nausea. But at the same time, Johnny is very comfortable, quiet and cultured. It’s actually a car of two personalities. It can serve as a casual, quiet and economical everyday car, but it can transform into a dynamically superior and corner-capable sports car in a second at the touch of a button on the steering wheel.
The chassis is comfortable enough despite the 20-inch wheels and stiffer tuning. The Johnny Five isn’t downright floaty, but it’s comfortable and doesn’t let any bumps throw it off. You only know about the really big ones in the cabin through a sort of muffled thump from the wheels. The steering is steeper in Sport mode and you’ll be pleased with the small turning radius, so manoeuvring in tight underground garages will be a raspberry.
Hyundai will give you a 5-year unlimited mileage warranty on the Five, and the high-voltage lithium-ion polymer battery is covered for 8 years or 160,000 miles, whichever comes first. The Jonny starts at €47,490 in FAMILY trim, €49,340 in the mid-range option called STYLE and the highest trim tested, PREMIUM, starts at €60,990. We also had the lovely optional Digital Teal-Green Pearl paint for €790 and the “unfortunate” digital mirrors for an extra €1,300. The total price of the test car came to €67 050, and a look at the competitors’ price lists will tell you whether that’s a lot or a little.
The Johnny Five, in its most powerful version, with its large battery and a range of over 400km, is finally an electric car that can be driven on a daily basis and commuted to work and over medium distances. Whereas at other times I charged practically every day or bi-daily, with the Five it was twice a week and I got around all my work and private errands with it.
The Johnny Five rolls its competition with its unique design, innovation, fast charging, V2L support and, thanks to its three-metre wheelbase, it offers amazing spaciousness. Even we only had the opportunity to test this most powerful version, I can safely say that for the money it’s an absolutely great buy and the Džony lives up to the high expectations I had for it without fail. Stephany and Crosby would be very happy with him… ?