We took Hyundai Singapore’s Ioniq 5 family to Desaru, and savoured the electrical quirks and tranquillity that it delivers.
Malaysia road trips. Ah, what a topic. It’s the evergreen story that keeps on giving, a tale as old as time. And trust me, you’ll see tons more, year after year, decade after decade.
If you’ve been keeping tabs on my AutoApp escapades, you might raise an eyebrow and go, “Hold on a minute! Isn’t this the third pilgrimage to the same Resort in Desaru this year?” Well, yes, you’ve got a good memory. And yes, the same destination, but each journey is like a snowflake—unique, charming, and enchanting in its very own way.
Let’s be honest; these road trips possess an uncanny ability to keep us hooked, to ignite that sense of wonder, to fan the flames of excitement. Why, you ask? Because every experience is a world unto itself.
My trusty stead this time round is the Hyundai Ioniq 5. The Made-in-Singapore marvel is here to redefine the game, taking the ordinary and injecting it with an elixir of electric charisma.
I could finally push an EV at faster speeds!
No matter how much horsepower you’ve got under the hood, the legal speed limit in Singapore is at best 90km/h. Plus, with the ever-congested roads we face on a daily basis, you will never get to experience the true capabilities of an EV here. Each green light is a swift and short burst of speed, followed by rapid deceleration as you catch up to the car in front.
In Malaysia however, the speed limit on the motorways is 110km/h, and in non-peak midday traffic, travelling to your destination is nothing more than a carefree experience. Of course, we do not encourage speeding, but some bits do beckon you to travel slightly faster, bar the ol’ rozzer every now and then.
Most EVs have one major disadvantage over their ICE counterparts; lower top-end speeds thanks in part to their motor-driven assemblies. By being in Malaysia, it allowed me to achieve higher speeds, thus enabling me to better access just how an EV would fare if subjected to more zooms.
And I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Ioniq 5 handled itself beautifully on Malaysian tarmac. Even at speed, its lower centre of gravity (thanks to the low-slung batteries) helped it maintain a steady cadence as we wafted along. At no point did I feel the car become floaty or unsettled as we cruised; high praise for the Ioniq 5, especially with its SUV-hatchback-esque proportions.
Miles ticked away as the Ioniq 5 effortlessly devoured the distance. Though I did not get to try out the dual-motor variant, the ‘Cat A’ single motor offerings were more than sufficient in terms of power; 107kW (143bhp) and a generous 350Nm on tap. While lower-powered, this lighter variant still packs enough punch, and is a great companion to coast to our resort at Desaru… coast.
EV charging is not as daunting as you think.
Due to the sustained pace I was doing throughout the trip, I did notice that battery consumption was a little on the higher side. It’s no secret that EVs consume more juice when travelling fast, and I was averaging about 24.2kWh/100km on the highway bits.
Not a deal breaker by any stretch, but you do need to factor in sufficient charging locations as you go about your trip.
Which is why, after a serene breakfast at Talula Hill Farm and Resort, the cars made a quick pitstop at Shell Skudai R&R in order to get some much-needed power. There were also charging stations located at the Anantara Resort, which we generously occupied (sorry other EV owners!).
But, as you can clearly see, we didn’t even need to leave the resort in order to get a full battery, all ready for the next day’s festivities.
Yes, depending on battery capacity, you may need to plug in more times than someone else needs to top up fuel, but that doesn’t mean an EV can’t survive the “harsh” Malaysian peninsula.
Plan in advance, and your journey can be as seamless as a relaxing cup of coffee by a hillside.
the Ioniq 5 has a trick up its sleeve too.
Hyundai has included a unique feature in the Ioniq 5; external Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) functionality. Basically, the car can become your mobile generator.
Plugging the adapter into the car’s charging port is literally all that’s required to get the party started. To demonstrate this, the Hyundai folk have graciously set up a portable movie theatre right on the grounds of a completely deserted carpark, powered solely by the Ioniq 5.
Enjoying an episode of Brooklyn 99, beer in hand, sitting on a Hyundai field chair (which you can purchase, by the way) right smack in the middle of nowhere is exactly my kind of peace, and it’s more amazing knowing that all this is powered by the Ioniq 5.
Hyundai, if you wish to try out some outdoor al-fresco steamboat ideas, I’m all ears.
The designers even engineered an inflatable bed that fits snugly in the back of the Ioniq 5, so once you’re ready to settle in for the night, you can just crawl in and gaze at the star-filled sky.
How? With the Ioniq 5’s standard fit panoramic sunroof, of course.
electricity can be your friend.
I’ve driven up North many, many times. But this was the first time I’ve exclusively used EVs to get around. Even though our journey may only cover the Southern part of Malaysia, getting around was just as easy as any ICE vehicle.
And it was quite the sight to pull up to the petrol stations, waving off the pump attendant, and heading straight in just for a box of good-value ice cream.
The Hyundai Ioniq 5 proves that you can have a great time in Malaysia. All you’ve got to do is grab the motivation to pack your passport and head for the land borders.