The Bionic Car

by Petrol Mum
Hyundai IONIQ 5 front quarter

When I told my mother that the car I was driving was called an IONIQ 5, her response to me was “Did you say Bionic?” I laughed and said thank you, because Mum had just given me the title for review of the all-new Hyundai IONIQ 5.

Based on Hyundai’s first dedicated platform for battery electric vehicles (EVs), the IONIQ 5 builds on the company’s strong EV performance to date with the Kona and Ioniq models. The IONIQ 5 takes the traditional motor vehicle, and even the current crop of EVs on sale in Australia, to a higher level with its futuristic design and clever use of technology. 

IONIQ 5 is powered by a 653-volt, 72.6kWh lithium-ion polymer battery mounted beneath a flat floorplan and at a standstill the vehicle is very quiet, you may be surprised that not all EVs are. The powertrain consists of a 160kW permanent-magnet synchronous motor driving the rear-wheels and the AWD powertrain supplements this with a 70kW front axle-mounted electric motor, to deliver a total system output of 225kW and 605Nm. The claimed all-electric range is up to 451km and for my week I used 65.34kWh driving 356kms giving me a usage of 18.4kWh/100km or a maximum real-world range of 395kms.  

The steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters on the IONIQ 5 adjust the level of regenerative braking (and rate of deceleration), so the driver can minimise the use of the brake pedal and maximise efficiency. There are four drive modes being Eco, Normal, Sport or Snow and the driver’s digital dash can be linked to the drive modes or not. I spent my week in Level 3 regen driving mostly in Normal mode and occasionally I flicked to Sport mode for a little bit of fun, with a claimed 0-100km time is 5.2 seconds. The AWD did not lose traction no matter how hard I pressed the accelerator pedal and amusingly there is a positive symbol on the accelerator.

The charge port is located at the rear of the vehicle on the driver’s side and when you plug in the charging cord there is a locking sound and the lights adjacent to the plug start to flash to indicate that charging is in progress. These lights also indicate how much the battery has charged by illuminating more squares as the battery fills.

Using a CCS Combo2 (IEC 62196-3 Configuration FF) connector for DC charging from external power sources, the IONIQ 5 can support both 400V and 800V (e.g. 350kW) charging infrastructures. Connected to a 350kW DC fast charging station IONIQ 5 can be recharged from 10% to 80% in only 18 minutes. When connected to a 50kW DC fast charging station, IONIQ 5 takes 57min (2WD) or 62min minutes (AWD) to recharge from 10% to 80%, based on Hyundai’s claims. The sat nav only lists some of the charging infrastructure available, so you would need a third-party app to locate more.

For AC charging, the CCS Combo2 connector on the vehicle is also compatible with a standard Type 2 (IEC 62196-2) plug. This ensures IONIQ 5 is compatible with current and future charging infrastructure. For at home charging, IONIQ 5’s onboard AC charger has a maximum charging capacity of 10.5kW and can recharge the high-voltage battery in as little as 6 hours 6 minutes (10% to 80% charge) when connected to a charging station or wall-box of equal or higher capacity. That means IONIQ 5 can be comfortably recharged overnight, ready with 100% battery in the morning. I used the In-Cable Control Box portable charger where there are no charging stations available nearby. This allows the vehicle to be charged via a standard household 240V AC power outlet and a full charge using the portable charger takes approximately 31 hours at maximum capacity.

A party piece on the IONIQ 5 is a new Hyundai first Vehicle to Load (V2L) feature that uses the vehicle battery to provide an external power source making IONIQ 5 a charger on wheels. The V2L function is available after connecting the supplied V2L adapter to the charging outlet and has a maximum output of 250V, 3.6kW, 15A and I successfully boiled the kettle with the system.

The second trick feature is the seating flexibility in the IONIQ 5 with all four seats having power adjustment and numerous configurations that can be saved in the infotainment stsyem. The front seats have power adjustment for forward/back, recline, seat cushion height front and rear, front seat extension or you can go into full relax mode and engage the heating or cooled function from the infotainment screen (both of which work well). My daughter commented that this would make the IONIQ 5 a perfect car for star watching or laying back and enjoying the rain thanks to the panoramic sunroof. I liked when I changed the driver’s seat position a seat image comes up on the main screen to show me what I was adjusting and once the perfect position was found it could be saved on one the two memory positions. The driver can also move the rear seats forward and back or recline the passenger seat from the buttons on the side of the passenger seat.

The IONIQ 5 cabin is quiet and the lack of a transmission tunnel allows for an airy and open design. There are multiple storage options including a large glove box that slides out like a drawer or under the arm rest a space for your handbag. In front of this area is wireless charging for compatible devices and two USB ports. Above are two cup holders, which are large enough to fit a small tub of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, in case you need to know that. Between the driver and passenger footwell is another storage cubby with one 12V and another USB port.

The 12.3-inch touchscreen is mounted centrally and high on the dashboard to lets the driver easily view and access multimedia, climate control and electric vehicle information. Voice control can be engaged when Apple CarPlay/Android Auto is connected by pressing the button on the steering wheel with the masculine-looking silhouette on it. This new system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (connected with a USB cord), Bluetooth multi-connection, Satellite Navigation with live traffic updates, Sounds of Nature and EV functions display. I did note that the DAB/FM reception was poor outside on built up urban areas. The eight-speaker audio system is optimally tuned by BOSE engineers specifically for the model’s unique cabin acoustics and I liked the ambient lighting ring around the speakers.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 steering wheel

The rear seat has power adjustment for recline and forward/back with ample head and leg room for two adults. There are two ISOFIX/three rear tether child seat restraint points, but only enough room for two car seats due to the width of the back seat. The rear seats are heated and this can be controlled from the infotainment system. The rear windows have manual blinds, great for keeping the sun out of your little one’s eyes.

The centre seat can be folded down as an arm rest and has two rigid hard plastic drink bottle holders at the front or alternatively there is space in the door cubby for a 600ml size drink bottle. Rear vents are located in the B-Pillars with open/close and direction control. While at base of centre console are two USB ports and a storage cubby. Strangely there is a ‘transmission tunnel’ in the rear floor and no mat to not cover it.

The boot lid is power operated and can be opened and closed from the button under the lid, on the key fob or in the cabin. There are no tie down points or hooks in the boot but does have one 12V outlet, one light and is a good size or if more space is needed the rear seats have a 60:40 split folding mechanism. The boot floor can be lifted and stood up using the slots in the runners and under the floor there is storage for the tyre repair kit, cargo net and tow ball. I was slightly annoyed by the cargo cover that flops down and the fact that I had to flick it up out of the way to access the back of the boot. In addition, there is a 25-litre front under-bonnet boot space that would be ideal to carry the AC charging cable.

When fitted with the Genuine Accessory towbar IONIQ 5 can tow up to 1,600kg braked or 750kg un-braked, with a maximum tow ball weight of 100kg. Every IONIQ 5 is fitted with a trailer pre-wiring package, which makes towbar fitment and wiring seamless.

All IONIQ 5 models have a 5-star ANCAP (2021) safety rating with an Adult Occupant Protection score of 88% with 33.77 points out of 38 and a Child Occupant Protection score of 87% with 43.03 points out of 49. Occupants in IONIQ 5 are protected with the safety of seven airbags including dual front airbags (driver and passenger), front side (thorax and pelvis) airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, and a front centre side airbag.

ANCAP tests of the autonomous emergency braking (Car-to-Car) system showed GOOD performance with collisions avoided or mitigated in most scenarios, including AEB Junction Assist where the test vehicle can autonomously brake to avoid crashes when turning across the path of an oncoming vehicle or pedestrian. Overall, effectiveness of the autonomous emergency braking (Car-to-Car) system performance was rated as GOOD.

ANCAP tests of lane support system functionality showed GOOD performance overall, with ADEQUATE performance in the more critical emergency lane keeping (ELK) test. The extensive Hyundai SmartSense suite of advanced active safety and driver assistance elements also includes Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist and Blind-Spot View Monitor that projects an image of IONIQ 5’s blind-spot zone on the digital instrument cluster display whenever a turn signal is operated, using cameras mounted in the exterior mirrors. Plus, Smart Cruise Control, Surround View Monitor (SVM) system lets the driver see a full 3D 360-degree view of the vehicle and any obstacles surrounding it including front and rear ultrasonic sensors. The Parking Collision-Avoidance-Assist – Reverse helps prevent low-speed collisions with pedestrians or obstacles when reversing, at up to 10km/h and there is a quiet reversing bong to alert people that the IONIQ 5 is reversing.

Hyundai iCare includes Hyundai’s Lifetime Service Plan so customers can enjoy service pricing with no hidden fees, Roadside Support Plan and Sat Nav Update Plan, both available up to 10 years. All that and the reassurance of Hyundai’s 5 Year Unlimited Km vehicle warranty and 8 Year 160,000km high-voltage battery warranty. The service interval for the IONIQ 5 is 15,000km or 12 months, whichever occurs first and customer can pre-pay for a 3 year, 4 year or 5 year service package for $660, $1,464 or $1,684 respectively.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 with magpie

The Hyundai IONIQ 5 AWD is a really nice, solid feeling car to drive and provides a vision of what we can expect from future electric vehicles. As tested with no options fitted the IONIQ 5 AWD I drove was $75,900 excluding dealer delivery and on-road costs. Hyundai Australia sell the IONIQ 5 directly to customers via their website and offer cars in batches for customers to order (roughly 60-120 cars every 1-2 months). Customers need to place a $2,000 deposit to secure a vehicle and they only offer cars to customers which have either a production slot, are in production, are being transported, or are in Australia (to ensure reasonable delivery time frames for our customers).

Hyundai Australia aim to deliver customer cars which have been ordered within 3 months (with 6 months being the worst-case scenario), with the whole process is centred around providing our customers with the best possible experience – given the lack of supply and overwhelming demand for IONIQ 5. Their focus/priority is on our customers, providing them with the fairest (allocation) and most transparent ordering and sales process. Visit your preferred Hyundai dealer to drive the Bionic IONIQ 5 for yourself.

Adequate real-world driving rangeNot all nearby charging stations shown on sat nav
The cabin designPoor DAB/FM radio signal away from metro areas
Lots of features to impress your friends withThere is a ‘transmission tunnel’ in the rear footwell

Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.

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