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I spent a week recently behind the wheel of the Hyundai IONIQ 5, this mid size CUV relies completely on electric power, BEV, and it is the first model from the South Korean. carmaker to feature the Group’s Electric-Global Modular Platform, E-GMP for short. The design of this Hyundai owes a great deal to the 45 EV Concept, which was first shown at IAA 2019.

During my period with this vehicle it draw a lot of comment, some favourable and some not so favourable. Its unique exterior design displays clean and sharp lines; for me its looks are much more acceptable than many of its competitors. One minor irritation, the flush door handles which proved difficult when trying to open, apparently a problem now no more as they now pop out. Clearly Hyundai has answered the criticism and acted to rectify the problem. A standout feature is the cutting edge parametric pixel lights at the front and at the rear and there is a sensor zone for ADAS in place of the traditional grille; I just wish that manufacturers of BEVs would give their cars a proper face just like Mercedes have managed, this would take away from the bland front end.

The IONIQ5 rides on a tasty set of twenty inch wheels which to my surprise did not in any way tale away from the ride comfort and I have no doubt that the fitment of Michelin rubber wear plays a part in this respect. I have attended a number of press events with the French company and always delivering not only grip but comfort has been a plus. This member of the Hyundai family delivers performance and ultra-fast charging thanks to 400V and 800V multi-charging technology. The state-of-the-art 800-volt battery technology is double the industry standard of 400 volts and in combination with a 350 kW DC super-fast charger, this results in a consistently high charging performance; the 800-volt battery is capable of going from 10 to 80 per cent charged in just 18 minutes and according to Hyundai with less than five minutes of charging, you can enjoy 100km (62 miles) of range. However my advice to any would be owner do consider fitting a home charger. Range anxiety is always to the fore when I have a BEV on test. I managed at best a range of 300km (186 miles), well short of the figure stated by the manufacturer and indeed better than a number of similar vehicles which have come my way.

The model I tested was top of the range and featured AWD and not for a minute do I see many taking off road with this vehicle, however added safety in snow, greasy or wet roads. Looking at performance, it’s acceptable, with rest to 100kph (62mph) in 6.1 seconds and a top speed of 185kph (115mph). Those who appreciate technology will not be disappointed; an Augmented Reality Head-Up Display (AR HUD) projects relevant information to the driver’s line of sight across the windscreen, while other features include a twelve inch digital cluster, twelve inch AVN with a Bose premium sound system supporting Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, dynamic voice recognition and wireless phone charging. Being a BEV for those who enjoy music on the move, I do not, this will be a plus feature and part of the package is Hyundai’s connectivity technology, Bluelink connected car services which includes Connected Routing, Remote Charging, Last Mile Navigation and User Profiles.

The IONIQ5 comes with a large number of safety systems and all who travel in this Hyundai no doubt will be impressed with the spacious, ultra modern interior. One irritation, I did discover that there was no rear wiper, replaced instead by a system known as an air wiper and take it from me, it does not work; it failed to clear grim and dirt thrown up, so it was back to a good old bucket and brush. Hyundai must have a rethink in this one.

Summing up, rge IONIQ5  is a BEV that is different from the rest in many ways, but on a personal note, I would require a vehicle which would offer a much better range.

ian Lynas

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