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The Hyundai Ioniq 5 electric car put to the test: charged quickly, under ideal conditions

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 outclasses the VW ID.4 when charging: On paper, the Hyundai can draw up to 220 kW from DC columns, i.e. with direct current. With the VW it is currently a maximum of 125 kW. The energy content of the Ioniq 5’s battery at 72.6 kWh may be a few percent lower than that of the VW ID.4 with 77 kWh, but those who charge faster leave earlier. For many interested parties, the race is over at this point: It has to be the Hyundai. However, the practical test showed that the Ioniq 5 could not fully keep the promise of high charging performance. In addition, it does not live up to the reputation of the outstanding efficiency that the original Ioniq has developed.

The great strength of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 is the lush space for people in combination with a high level of noise comfort. People over 1.90 meters tall can also sit comfortably here. And even those who feel constrained in small vehicles due to insufficient interior width can enjoy a high degree of freedom of movement in the Ioniq 5. The measurable centimeters are supported by a rather slim instrument panel and a center console, which is only hinted at: the footwell is continuous in the front area.

If necessary, the trunk volume can be increased using the standard sliding rear bench. Without the Bose sound system, it is 527 liters and grows to 1587 liters when packed under the roof with the seats folded down (ID.4: 543/1575 l).

In the case of the test car, which was equipped with rear-wheel drive instead of all-wheel drive, there was a larger compartment under the front hood: the “front trunk” for the rear-wheel drive version was 57 liters instead of 24 liters All-wheel drive variant. Even the bigger frunk is almost filled with the long three-phase AC charging cable (for the alternating current, for example, on the wallbox at home). The advantage of this solution is that it is separate when it is dirty. The weakness is that the front hood must first be unlocked using a lever in the footwell and then using the usual lever under the hood. Then the third opening lever for the plastic cover of the compartment must be activated. It’s easier with Tesla.

After the start, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 greets you with all sorts of “Bing-Bing”. The interior is kept in technical gray tones. The processing quality is high. However, the choice of materials is reminiscent of the VW ID.3 in some points, such as the cheap silver gray painted heads of the control levers.

It starts differently than with Tesla and VW – there it is enough to put your foot on the brake pedal – via a push button. After engaging the gear, the Ioniq 5 glides away. The legally prescribed artificial outside noise is thankfully barely audible inside. The Hyundai has a lot of pressure. Although the test car with rear-wheel drive supposedly has a low output of 160 kW (all-wheel drive version: 225 kW), it subjectively sprints cheerfully. The factory specification for the standard sprint is 7.4 seconds. That is a good second less than the comparable VW ID.4, which in turn accelerates very slowly.

With the Hyundai Ioniq 5, customers can choose from two battery sizes (58 and 72.6 kWh net capacity). Both accumulators can be combined with rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. The test car had the 72.6 kWh battery and rear-wheel drive. The basic price before funding is 41,900 euros. 3200 euros are due for the large battery (engine output 160 kW); with all-wheel drive it is 7,000 euros (225 kW) instead. The test car also had the Techniq package for 8,500 euros, which includes an indoor socket, among other things.
(Image: Christoph M. Schwarzer)

The boring impression of the ID.4 is partly due to the fact that the VW has perfect slip control. It moves in a very unspectacular way. Whether intentionally or not, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 lacks precisely this drive control. What might pass as sporty on a dry road, leads to a proper tail swing on wet roads and tight bends, even with moderate use of force. This is easily straightened out again by the alert driver and, in case of doubt, by the ESP. Still: this is a family car and not a Porsche Taycan. Please touch up.

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 seems a bit undecided when it comes to the suspension setup. On the one hand soft and swaying in curves, but bumpy on transverse joints and with agile rear-wheel drive, that is less harmonious in itself than the stoic and safe comfort of the competing VWs. Ultimately, the Hyundai is a strong glider, and that’s how it should be treated. Let go, enjoy, and if need be, a short power surge is enough for almost all overtaking maneuvers.

The steering provides adequate feedback, and despite the huge exterior width of 1.89 meters without a mirror (with 2.12 m), conducting in the city is simple. A smear is the turning circle, which is just under twelve meters far above the ID.4 (10.2 meters) and makes parking or turning difficult. That’s the price for the three-meter wheelbase.

The long wheelbase in conjunction with the short body overhangs cleverly conceals that the Hyundai Ioniq 5 is a pretty big car. Only when you are in the parking lot, when you look at other vehicles, do you notice what a hoot it is. The design polarizes: some seem to like it very much, which is indicated by raised thumbs. Others say, without being asked, that they don’t like the shape.

Unfortunately, even with moderate and moderate driving style, it must be determined that the power consumption is high. This is hardly surprising because the Ioniq 5 is wide and tall and heavy and strong. In mixed operation over 748 km, the energy consumption was 22.3 kWh / 100 km, resulting in a range of 326 km. Including charging losses – that is the value that the owner has to pay – the value rose to 24.8 kWh / 100 km (WLTP figure: 16.8 kWh). For comparison: A VW ID.4 driven in August took 18.6 kWh without and 20.1 kWh / 100 km with charging losses from the battery. The clear difference on a similar route cannot be explained solely by the early autumn conditions with which the Ioniq 5 was confronted. Apparently the Hyundai is less efficient.

It was possible to reduce power consumption below 20 kWh on a restrained federal road stage with the constant change from speed limits of 100 km / h, 70 km / h and through traffic through Lower Saxony: Here the display showed 17 kWh / 100 km. In city traffic it was 20.1 kWh with flowing traffic, dry asphalt and 16 degrees outside temperature. A value that rose to a good 30 kWh on a cold morning and a short distance.

On the motorway, the mean of several measurements and recommended speed (speedometer display 133 km / h) was 26.7 kWh, which corresponds to a range of 272 km. On a day with a headwind and rain, this 130 km / h figure rose to 30 kWh, and on the immediately following stage with the cruise control speed set to 160 km / h even to 40 kWh. So it would be over after 180 km. This is likely to irritate above all those customers who are not familiar with battery electric cars and who expect considerably more with the WLTP range of 481 km.

What the Hyundai Ioniq 5 lacks most is a route planner based on the Tesla model and especially the preconditioning of the battery for the charging stops. The Ioniq’s navigation system indicates when the destination is out of range. The charging points must then be manually integrated into the route as waypoints. At least it is possible to set a filter for networks such as HPC or Ionity. Even that did not always work as it should in the test; In Hamburg, for example, when filtering for DC, all AC columns were also displayed.

After a night at ten degrees, so by no means wintry, the full charging capacity was also not available. Admittedly, it is a provocation to come to a fast-charging station after driving 35 km on the freeway and with a battery level (SOC for State of Charge) of 41 percent. The test was aborted after ten minutes and an average charging power of only 58 kW; the peak should have been over 200 kW. In the same test, an Audi e-tron GT was able to call up full power because the battery was automatically preheated thanks to the route planner. The Ioniq 5 also has the hardware for this, and the checkmark for “winter mode” was set – only the software would have to be supplemented by Hyundai.

Even at the second DC stop, 100 kilometers further on the autobahn at speeds of up to 160 km / h, the full charging capacity was not available. With an SOC of 18 percent, there were initially only 113 kW. The charging itself heats up the battery, and you could watch in the cockpit how the power gradually rises: Up to the SOC of 80 percent it took 24 minutes and 52 kWh were bunkered.

Mathematically, this means that the average (!) Charging power was 130 kW. That’s top notch. This means that the Ioniq 5 continues to charge the ID.4 into the ground. Even more could be achieved with preconditioning: According to the factory, 18 minutes should actually pass for the SOC hub from ten to 80 percent, which corresponds to another 30 percent more with 169 kW charging power. On request, Hyundai cannot provide any information as to whether and when a change will take place here. However, it is pointed out that the Ioniq 5 is in principle OTA-capable, i.e. it can receive wireless software updates.

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