(The Car Connection) — So much has happened in the electric vehicle space since Hyundai wowed us with the Ioniq 5 late in 2021.
The Cadillac Lyriq reoriented GMs luxury brand with a value-laden gem. Nissan did something similar with the belated launch of the Ariya crossover. Rivals such as Ford and Kia introduced performance versions of their electric crossovers, while Rivian rocked the industry with the innovative R1T electric lifestyle truck. Mercedes-Benz and BMW fleshed out their EQ and i-Series electric vehicle lineups, and Audi expanded the E-Tron family.
Most significantly, Ford flipped the script on full-size pickup trucks with the launch of the F-150 Lighting, a fully capable electric truck with even better packaging and performance than its perennial bestseller, the F-150. It evolves the automotive industry in such a seismic way as to win the overall Best Car To Buy 2023 award.
So why doesn’t it earn double honors for The Car Connection’s Best Electric Car To Buy 2023? Efficiency. It’s not enough to have no tailpipe emissions; the Best Electric Car must be efficient with how it uses its energy and must earn a perfect 10 on our Green rating by averaging at least 3.0 miles traveled per kwh used. We also prize value, and the 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5 does that better than any competitors, despite sharing a TCC Rating of 8.4 out of 10 with the Lyriq, Ariya, and Rivian R1S three-row electric crossover. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
All but the base Ioniq 5 comes with a 77.4-kwh battery pack feeding a single motor with rear-wheel drive and a range of 303 miles. That translates to more than 3.3 miles per kwh, based on EPA ratings. Dual-motor all-wheel-drive models go up to 266 miles with 19-inch wheels, and hover at the 3.0-miles/kwh range. Like every other electric vehicle, range suffers from larger wheels with broader contact points.
In its second year of production, another big advantage of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 is its 800-volt architecture that enables CCS DC fast-charging from 10-80% in about 18 minutes. On a 240-volt home outlet, it takes less than seven hours to charge and it can accept up to 10.9 kwh. Most other mainstream electrics utilize a 400-volt architecture that at least doubles the fast-charge times.
New this year, all Ioniq 5 versions come with a more efficient heat pump as well as battery pre-conditioning that better preserves range, especially on cold days. The technical advantages bolster the more obvious charms of the 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5: its eye-catching design stands out in the gelatinous blob of aero-minded electric crossovers, and the interior takes full advantage of the clean-sheet approach to cabin design afforded by an EV powertrain.
The center console slides fore and aft 5.0 inches to open up even more front legroom, and the rear seats also slide back to optimize space depending on your needs. Fold down the 60/40-split rear seats and the already airy cabin opens up to 59.3 cubic feet of space, which is better than many compact crossovers. The front trunk is sized like a briefcase, and can only stow the charger, but clever packaging abounds inside the car where it matters most.
Inside, it’s remarkably quiet and consistently comfortable, and the retro-inspired hatchback shape with its hard creases and cuts leans into the future with impressive performance. The dual-motor AWD versions churn out 320 hp and 446 lb-ft of torque, enabling a 0-60 mph time of 5.0 seconds, better than all but the most muscular GT versions of the Ford Mustang Mach-E. It’s not the spryest handler, but its fully independent suspension soaks up road imperfections well. Four regen brake settings provide enough variability to coast like a gas car or engage one-pedal driving.
For about $47,000 with the larger battery pack, Hyundai equips the Ioniq 5 with a wealth of features such as heated front seats and twin 12.3-inch display and infotainment screens, as well as its excellent 5-year/60,000-mile warranty. With top safety ratings from the IIHS and standard driver-assist tech such as automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam headlights, and active lane control, the 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5 is a value that still stands out among other electric crossovers.
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