Hyundai Ioniq 5 Inspiration AWD review – dual personality.

Slap an additional motor, and the Hyundai Ioniq 5 adds another personality to its already sensible ensemble – unadulterated fun.

Hyundai’s electric era has taken the world by storm, epitomised by the trailblazing Ioniq 5. The harbinger of Hyundai’s ambitious Ioniq lineup has now spun off into multiple variants, each promising to sprinkle electric magic for every demographic profile out there.

Fans the world over have been raving about the Ioniq 5 N, the bonkers EV that even has ‘gears’ programmed into it. But, before that carries the spotlight away, we should take a closer look at the currently available dual-motor AWD variant.

There are 4 variants of the Ioniq 5 available in Singapore at the time of writing, and this is the top-of-the-line, no compromises Inspiration. If you thought Hyundai was all about playing it safe, think again.

Yes, it costs more than all of its siblings, but this particular Ioniq 5 makes you feel that paying the uprated road tax is worth it. And it does so with a bold stride, and unmistakable Hyundai flair.

classy looks.

Imagine if the iconic DeLorean from “Back to the Future” decided to bulk up, and you sprinkle a little “Blade Runner” magic. That’s the vibe of the Hyundai Ioniq 5.

No typical ‘fake grille’, and no false air channels. Hyundai instead went with a front light signature that seems to pulse with energy, giving the Ioniq 5 a face not just of function but of form.

Its profile is bold, its angles sharp, and its rear lights are something out of a sci-fi flick, signalling the future.

Understated power is the game here, and the Ioniq 5  is also subtle in its own skin. Apart from the huge rims and the tiny HTRAC badge on the back, you wouldn’t know this was the dual-motor variant… until you get smoked at the lights when this dashes off.

It doesn’t shout about its power, and it doesn’t need to either. Those who know, will know.

thoughtful cabin.

Stepping inside, you’ll be shocked at just how much space there is. The cabin exudes a sense of spaciousness, courtesy of its light tones and minimalist design, offering an ambience of serenity.

Since they are now built here, Hyundai provides the choice of either a luminous white interior or a more subdued dark option, and either way, the standard-fit sunroof bathes the cabin in natural light, creating the sensation of driving within your personal sun-soaked sanctuary.

The dashboard hosts a pair of 12.3-inch displays that are as visually crisp as they are functional. My only issue with the infotainment is the lack of wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto; future Hyundai models have this, but the Ioniq 5 is based on older architecture.

The steering wheel may initially overwhelm with its array of buttons. But once acclimatised, these controls are intuitive and handy to use. Volume and media controls are especially easy to use; handy when you want to savour the best tunes on the Bose sound system.

True, physical climate controls would be preferable, but touch-sensitive panels are a marked improvement over the hidden depths of screen sub-menus.

All occupants get loads of room in the cabin, and the rear seats are even tilt-adjustable. Hyundai also introduced the “Universal Island” which enables you to slide the armrest and its charging ports back and forth by 140mm, allowing you to choose between offering your screen-engrossed passengers convenient charging ports or indulging them with extra legroom.

Once this ‘island’ has undergone its tectonic shift towards the rear, the driver can gracefully exit via the passenger door – an invaluable asset when parking in a tight urban setting, without the need for in-cabin parkour shenanigans.

Hyundai astutely leverages the ‘no engine equals more room’ card when it comes to space. The Ioniq 5 proudly flaunts a capacious 531-litre boot, accompanied by additional storage for your charging cable, neatly tucked below.

Concerned that your cable might be buried beneath a shopping spree? An ingeniously designed 57-litre storage compartment up front provides a dedicated nook for it.

Sporting a vast wheelbase with three meters of space between the axles, the Ioniq 5 offers more room than a typical BMW 5 Series.

If anyone wants a visual definition of “you get more than what you paid for”, just ask them to step into the Ioniq 5’s cabin. 

more firepower.

Slap on an additional motor, and step up into a realm where power and elegance coalesce. The exterior and interior differences might require a keen eye to spot, but when you’re in the driver’s seat, the surge in power is as unmistakable as a thunderclap in a silent room.

Hyundai has endowed the Ioniq 5 Inspiration with 321bhp and a hefty 605Nm of torque that’s ready at the drop of a hat. All four wheels spring to life, propelling you from nought to hero in a mere 5.1 seconds.

Wave goodbye to the 9.5 seconds of the Prestige 58kWh as if it’s your neighbour’s cat you’ve never been fond of.

Switch to Sport mode and it’s like igniting a silent rocket – the dashboard turns red, and suddenly you’re gliding on a wave of relentless force, the kind that has you and your passengers melding with the upholstery.

Despite all of that power, cruising on the highway in the Ioniq 5 Inspiration is akin to sailing in the calm of the night sea – serene, untroubled, with the kind of cabin quietness and ride composure that makes you forget the world outside.

And with that extra punch under the hood, weaving through traffic becomes less of a chore and more of an art, elevating the driving experience to new zeniths.

It has got a spirited heart, but don’t be confused; this Ioniq 5 isn’t vying for the title of an electric sports car. Sure, its low centre of gravity and the clingy Michelin Pilot Sport 4s tyres make a valiant effort around the bends, keeping this sizable beast more anchored than you’d anticipate.

Yet, when you’re orchestrating over two tonnes of technology and luxury, you’ll feel the heft; it’s like guiding a well-mannered elephant around a china shop – possible, but you’re aware of every move.

Still, the essence of the Ioniq 5 lies in its rear-biased finesse, maintaining that rear-wheel-drive poise once it hits its stride.

The larger 77kWh battery not only brings more power to the fore but also stretches the journey’s horizon up to 454km, despite the added weight. My media drive encompassed 360km of pedal-pushing fun and 17.6kWh/100km on the clock, and I still had more than enough charge left for a day or two of fun. 

It’s efficient, near-silent, and handles with calm finesse. Plus, you look damm good while doing so.

willing to fork out for performance?

I hear the badge snobs are already turning up their noses, but one glance at the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and you’ll understand why Hyundai is swaggering into the ring with the luxury bigwigs.

It’s a blend of functionality and flair that shakes up the old guard’s cautious dance around electric mobility.

Now, the standard Cat A Ioniq 5 is nothing to scoff at, it’s a fine piece of engineering. But the dual-motor variant? That’s where the magic really happens.

It boggles the mind just how fast it really is, and it zips you through time and space with such finesse, that you’ll forget what engine noise is.

But here comes the million-dollar question: Would you skip the more budget-friendly Cat A model for the top-tier Inspiration variant?

Unlikely for most, but for the few who dare to be different, they’ll be rocketing past in serene comfort.

technical specifications.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 Electric

Engine: Dual Electrical Motors
Power: 239kW (321bhp)
Torque: 605Nm
Gearbox: Single-Speed (A)
0-100km/h: 5.1 seconds (claimed)
Top Speed: 185 km/h
Battery Capacity: 77 kWh
Drive Range: 454 km (claimed)
Energy Consumption: 5.26 km/kWh (claimed)

Price: S$2,42,850 with COE (accurate at the time of this article)
Contact: Hyundai Singapore 

Photo Credits: Sean Loo (@auto.driven)

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Sean Loo

Ignition Labs' resident editor loves all things retro, even though he was born in the late 90s. His main job encompasses tons of driving (and a massive carbon footprint), but he swears he turns off the lights each time he leaves his room.

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