Hyundai Ioniq 5 First Drive Review: THE Rs 50 Lakh Car To Buy?

  • Feb 11, 2023
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Rs 45-50 lakh may seem like a lot for a non-luxury badge, but the Ioniq 5 bombards you with more than just value for money!

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is both Hyundai’s second electric car for India and Hyundai’s most expensive car in India. So what does spending nearly half a crore rupees on a Hyundai get you?

Like No Other

  • The Ioniq 5 looks absolutely nothing like any other car you’d see on our roads. It doesn’t just blur the lines between concept and production car design, it almost eliminates them!

  • Retro-futuristic designs are difficult to get right but work brilliantly when executed well. Cars like the Ioniq 5 and new Ford Bronco are great examples of this.

  • There is a pixel/square obsession seen throughout the exterior, dotting the LED headlamps, pop-out door handles, charger flap, charge port and taillights. 

  • While the stacked pixel LEDs around the headlights function as DRLs, there’s also a striped light bar integrated above the front bumper. This is almost invisible during the day but you won’t miss it at night.

  • However, it’s hard to gauge the car’s size in images. The design is more hatchback than SUV so you may presume it’s a compact car. But for context, the Ioniq 5 is 5mm longer than the Hyundai Tucson and its wheelbase measures in at 3,000mm – a little finger’s length short of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class long wheelbase!

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  • Its 20-inch wheels also have a design that’s anything but subtle. Combine this styling package with its size and the Ioniq 5 will have heads turning everywhere it goes.

  • While its cousin, the Kia EV6 looks unique as well, the Ioniq 5 makes it look relatively traditional.


  • The Ioniq 5 comes with a Vehicle-To-Load (V2L) adapter that plugs into the charging port. This turns the car into a powerbank on wheels that can power household appliances or camping equipment.

  • Its laden ground clearance sits at 163mm (23mm more than a Skoda Kodiaq).

Unusual Inside

  • The Ioniq 5 puts its large wheelbase to good use, offering tremendous cabin space. Even with six footers in the front and rear, there’s heaps of space to spare. Much more than what you’d get in similarly priced entry-level European luxury SUVs.

  • The seats are very supportive and comfortable even for those who have broad shoulders and/or are overweight.

  • Courtesy of the purpose-built EV’s, E-GMP platform, the Ioniq 5’s floor is flat at the front and rear. The front armrest console is slide-adjustable, which can make the rear seat experience more accommodating for a middle passenger.

  • What also stands out is how well-built the interior is with a generous use of soft-touch materials and high quality plastics. There’s a greater sense of occasion inside vs any other car you could buy for a similar price.

  • While the unique layout is a big draw, the practicality of the cabin stands out even more so. This includes a massive storage area below the front armrest (which also hosts the wireless phone charger), in the footwell and a deep drawer where you’d expect a traditional glovebox.

  • One negative in the cabin is the seat’s underthigh support. At least taller users may feel the need for more of it as you do end up sitting in a slightly knees up position.

  • Both the front and rear seats are electrically adjustable and correspond to the two memory settings available.

  • All the seats are heated while the front seats are cooled as well.

  • Surprisingly, there are no type-C USB chargers in the cabin. Only type-A ports - two each in the front and rear rows.

  • Boot space stands at 527 litres, expandable to 1,587 litres with the rear row folded down. While the boot is large length wise, it’s not very deep, so stacking large suitcases will involve removing the parcel tray. 

  • There’s an additional 57-litre storage frunk under the bonnet too where you can fit a soft bag or small boxes.

Tech Talk

  • Dual 12.3-inch screens take up most of the real estate on the dashboard. The touchscreen infotainment interface will be familiar to new age Hyundai car owners, but the theme and touch response feels better and smoother.

  • There’s a decent bit of kit for rear seat occupants. Aside from the electrically slide-adjustable seats, the backrests can be reclined, there are sunblinds for the windows and rear windshield, rear AC vents integrated into the pillars and there’s a regular plug point below the rear seat as well that can be used for phone/laptop chargers.

  • Rear seat occupants can also enjoy a clear vertical view with the fixed panoramic glass roof.

  • The Ioniq 5 also gets a 360-degree camera with blind-view monitoring. It must be mentioned that all the cameras have a great resolution and video clarity.

  • Since the Ioniq 5 is only sold in one fully loaded variant in India, safety features like six airbags, front and rear parking sensors, TPMS and the full suite of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) come as standard.

  • The external V2L adapter comes as standard in India. Aside from powering devices, the EV can also be used to charge another electric car

  • The Ioniq 5 gets active air flaps in the front bumper. They automatically open or close depending on the car’s cooling/aerodynamic requirements


  • While the Ioniq 5 comes to India with the long-range 72.6kWh battery pack (standard range overseas = 58kWh), it is only offered with rear-wheel drive, unlike its imported Kia cousin the EV6 which is also available with all-wheel drive.

  • Delivering 217PS and 350Nm, the car has a claimed nought to 100kmph sprint time of 7.6 seconds. The ARAI-rated range stands at 631km which should equate to a real-world range of 500-530km.

  • Driving the Ioniq 5 through the narrow lanes of Goa, you are made aware of the car’s width. Thankfully, the slightly high-up driving position and great all-round visibility, combined with the light steering make it easy to manoeuvre the car.

  • As you’d expect of an EV, the performance is brisk but the Ioniq 5 puts it down cleanly with no screeching off the line that’s often seen in front-wheel drive electric cars.

  • One word that’d describe the Ioniq 5’s drive experience is friendly. Overtakes are easy but even pinning the throttle down doesn’t push you into your seat or feel overwhelming.

  • Similarly, the regenerative braking isn’t too harsh even at its highest level. There’s also a single-pedal mode (i-pedal) that will bring the car to a dead stop once you lift off the accelerator. 

  • While the Ioniq 5 does ride on large, 20-inch wheels, the sidewalls are large enough to offer good bump absorption. The ride is notably on the firmer side (more so than in the Audi Q3, for example) but still comfortable over rough patches and potholes.

  • A more detailed road test will give us a better idea of how ADAS works in India. Initial impressions are good as the car seemed comfortable with Indian vehicular proximity. For example, while approaching a biker ahead, the car did sound a warning after closing the gap to a car’s distance but it didn’t panic brake like a lot of European car ADAS systems tend to.

Charging Your Ioniq 5

350kW DC* (10-80 per cent)

18 minutes

150kW DC (10-80 per cent)

25 minutes

50kW DC (10-80 per cent)

1 hour

11kW AC Home Charger

7 hours

*As of February 2023, the highest available charging speed in India is 240kW

Bang For Buck

Many may be drawn to buy the Hyundai Ioniq 5 just because of the way it looks. But the car backs up the attention-grabbing design with real substance in its space, practicality, tech and quality experience. Rs 45 lakh (ex-showroom) may not get you a luxury brand’s badge with the Ioniq 5 but it gets you a whole lot of car that will make you realise how much you’ll miss out on if you choose the big badge instead.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 Video Review

Hyundai IONIQ 5
Hyundai IONIQ 5
Rs. 46.05 Lakh
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