Note: This article was written as part of a commercial content partnership between CompleteCar.ie and Hyundai Ireland.
When you look at the Hyundai Ioniq 5, it's a bit deceptive at first. The styling, carefully and precisely creased to give it a sharp-edged, but not blocky, look has a slightly retro-seventies look. It's a tribute to the original Hyundai car - the legendary Pony of the 1970s - which was not only a robust and mechanically tough vehicle but also one that was influenced by the work of the legendary Italian designer, Giorgetto Giugiaro.
So, at first, your brain takes in the Ioniq 5, and it looks like a large hatchback. But as you get closer, you realise that it's actually much larger than it looks, and so it's a car far better suited to space-hungry modern family life than you might think.
Before we get to that, though, check out the exterior styling details, such as the 'Parametric Pixels' lights, which use square elements that look like individual pixels. These, along with the flush-fit door handles that only pop out when you need them, are part of what gives the Ioniq 5 its clean-cut, lean look.
It's not just a look, either. The 'clamshell' bonnet, which cuts down on the number of gaps between panels, and the active air intakes at the front, which close up when they're not needed, help to improve the Ioniq 5's aerodynamics in a bid to increase range. Two years after it was first launched, it's one of those cars that still looks incredibly fresh.
Pricing for the Hyundai Ioniq 5 kicks off at €44,495 putting it up against competitors which are generally smaller and less roomy. No wonder the World Car Awards jury voted it World Car of the Year 2022.
Over 500 kilometres of range
Underneath, there's Hyundai's cutting-edge 'E-GMP' electric car platform, which gives buyers a choice of 58kWh or 77kWh batteries. Those allow one-charge ranges of between 385km and 507km, but the Ioniq 5's real party piece is its 800-volt charging system. Generally, only so far seen in exceptionally expensive electric cars from premium marques, an 800-volt system allows the Ioniq 5 to recharge at up to 220kW from a high-speed DC charging station. That means you can charge from 10-80 per cent in as little as 18 minutes. That's game-changing stuff - your coffee will barely have had time to cool down to a drinkable temperature and your Ioniq 5 will be ready to go again.
Let's circle back to the Ioniq 5's size, though. Remember that we said that its styling was deceptive, making it look smaller than it is? Well, here's how big the Ioniq 5 actually is, and why that matters. The overall length of the Ioniq 5 is 4,635mm, or 4.6 metres in simpler terms. That's not small, but it is about 150mm shorter than Hyundai's own big SUV, the Santa Fe. That's not the crucial number, though. The crucial dimension is the wheelbase.
Why wheelbase is so important
A car's wheelbase is the distance between the centres of its front and rear wheels, and it's a critical measurement as, in simplest terms, the longer the wheelbase, the roomier the car, and the more useful it is to your family. The Ioniq 5 has a three-metre wheelbase, one of the longest of any production model, and it means that the cabin is exceptionally spacious - it's even longer than that of the hugely practical Hyundai Santa Fe, which has a wheelbase measuring 2.7 metres. It's a brilliant demonstration of just how clever an electric car can be when it comes to packaging the interior space.
Inside, the sense of room - well, it's not just a sense, there really is lots of space - is helped by carefully scooped-out door panels that have their own ambient lighting, and a clean and uncluttered dashboard. Hyundai has retained separate controls for the heating and air conditioning - which makes it much easier to use than having those controls on a touchscreen - but other than that, physical buttons have been kept to a minimum, with functions such gear selection moved to the steering column, freeing up more space for storage.
On the subject of storage, there's lots of that in the centre console, which has cupholders, charging ports, wireless charging pads and space to stash a large handbag or a small backpack. Better yet, in some versions of the Ioniq 5, that centre console slides back and forth, so that those in the back can use it too.
Room for all the family - and their stuff
Speaking of those in the back, the rear seats are really comfortable, and you get an unobstructed view out thanks to big, square side windows. Want to relax even more? Well Premium Plus LE models and above get reclining rear seats so you can get into the perfect position for a snooze. Front seat passengers can have an even nicer snooze, with the option of a full-recline seat, that not only leans back but which has a little pop-up leg-and-foot rest for maximum comfort.
While you're settling into the comfort, those of you concerned about the environment will be comforted to know that Hyundai has ramped up the number of recycled and sustainable materials used in the Ioniq 5. The seats, headliner, door trim, floor and armrest use eco-friendly, sustainably sourced materials such as recycled PET bottles, plant-based plastic yarns and natural wool yarns, eco-processed leather with plant-based extracts, and bio paint with plant extracts.
So, each Ioniq 5's interior includes 730g of mixed sugar cane and corn; 294g of wool; 200g of flaxseed oil; and as many as 32 recycled PET bottles.
Finally, there's the boot. What good is any family-friendly car without a decent boot? Well, the Ioniq 5's is more decent than most, with 527 litres of storage space. Need more than that? Well, if you fold the back seat down, you'll have 1,587 litres to play with. Space really is the ultimate luxury when it comes to family life - the sensation that no matter how much you have to bring with you, it'll fit. No more juggling buggies or deciding which toys can come on the journey - just bring them all.