New Cars: Hyundai Ioniq 5 – The Most Attractive And Compelling EV Yet – And A Quick Drive In A Mustang Mach E

I don’t talk much about it here, but I’m in hog heaven watching the EV revolution unfold. New cars arriving one after the other that are actually new, not just the endlessly remodeled same-old, same-old. Yes, I was quite excited about the Tesla Model 3 when it arrived, and was tempted to get one just for the sheer hell of it. The Model Y is more practical if not quite as exciting. And of course there’s so many others that have arrived, although most haven’t quite stirred my soul so much yet. Until I saw this.

The new Hyundai Ioniq 5 is doing it for me. This is handsome, mostly original, has some terrific styling details, is the right format, size and configuration. Most of all, it’s not a “Crossover/CUV”, which frankly is a term that needs to increasingly die with cars that have zero off-road aspirations or abilities. The Ioniq is just the new format, here to stay: reasonably tall (63.3″), but no more than it needs to be.

It’s dimensions are similar with the obvious direct competition, like the Model Y, Mustang Mach E and VW ID.4, but it’s the best looking, to my eyes. And its long (118″) wheelbase and short overhangs maximizes interior space.

The interior is not only very roomy and attractive, but has no center console on the floor in the front! That alone is enough to make this my favorite EV so far. I hate center consoles. This is how it should be, and is, in my xB and van. Freedom to move feet around, when the cruise control is set. And the large headroom and foot room just add to a feeling of spaciousness and lack of constriction, a major priority for me.

And when—if— Hyundai’s autonomous features are complete, here’s the way to travel in comfort.  For those of you still lamenting the death of the traditional sedan, it’s time to get over it and step up into business class. The sedan is truly dead, at least to me.

I’m not a fan of breathless YouTube videos, but this one does show a lot of its details much better than can be seen in the pictures.

My son Ted got the use of a Mustang Mach E for a week, and he and his GF drove down Thursday evening for an overnight stay before heading for the coast of northern Humboldt County coast. I had an opportunity to take it for a bit a of a drive on my favorite 20 minute loop out a curvy country highway with some nice long straights too. It was a terrific drive; the Mach E’s instant and seamless acceleration, like all EVs in it class, is of course highly compelling. As is one-pedal driving, which I love. That’s real progress; why should one have to move one’s foot to slow down and come to a stop? No good reason. But then I’m the guy who uses cruise control on even the shortest local drives. I like the idea of telling the car what to do, rather than have to use one’s limbs. I’d probably love Autopilot.

I’m not as much of a fan on the Mach E’s styling. A bit too overwrought to me, and it looks five years old compared to the Ioniq 5. The fake Mustang-esque grille is a turn off, and the hips over the rear wheels are a bit much for me. I get what Ford was trying to do, capture the muscle-car feel, but it’s not to my taste.

If you haven’t yet, make sure to check out Jim Klein’s review of the Mach E.

Meanwhile, I’ll spend a bit more time savoring the Ioniq 5.