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Iconic Ioniq Hyundai Ioniq 5 Premius Plus, this all-electric 'Beast' is a real beauty

Not only did I fall in love with it, the wife did too and says it is by far the nicest car I have brought home for a test drive - well since the Opel Mokka that is. Bold statement to say the least.

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The Ioniq 5 is the game-changer for electric cars this year

The Ioniq 5 is the game-changer for electric cars this year

The Ioniq 5 is the game-changer for electric cars this year

Picking up the keys last week to Hyundai's all-new super electric - the Ioniq 5 - at the manufacturer's Irish HQ on the Naas road, I was handed the keys with a warm smile and asked was I the lucky one picking up 'the Beast'?

I have been lucky enough to test drive two versions of the Korean brand's game-changing electric car over the last few weeks and boy have I just fallen in love with it.

Not only did I fall in love with it, the wife did too and says it is by far the nicest car I have brought home for a test drive - well since the Opel Mokka that is. Bold statement to say the least.

To try and explain how good this electric car is, I gave it my number one vote of the year for 2021 just a couple of weeks ago, alongside its Kia EV6 sibling.

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The dash has a host of features

The dash has a host of features

The dash has a host of features

The Koreans may have been late to the electric party last year as the Volkswagen ID.4 was already clocking up big sales numbers by the time it arrived. However, I really do expect it to knock the ID.4 off its perch by the end of this year, it is that impressive.

On the outside, the Ioniq 5 is like nothing you have seen before. It's so futuristic that if they were remaking the Back to the Future trilogy the DeLorean would be confined to the scrapheap.

The front bumper is defined by an eye-catching V-shape incorporating distinctive hidden lights that provide an unmistakable light signature.

The slide profile too, is modern and very aerodynamic looking and is highlighted by it auto-flush door handles that pop out upon entry and exit.

But it is on the inside where the Ioniq 5 really excels with its de-cluttered, extremely spacious cabin, that gives you similar leg and headroom in the rear to perhaps a Skoda Superb. The top-spec Premium Plus model I drove last week also features a large centre console that has lots of storage space and it slides back and forth between the front seats.

It dawned on me that if it was removed you could nearly fit a front bench seat that fits three passengers.

The rear seats also electronically slide back by the touch of a button on the side of the seat to create more legroom. It is a cleverly-designed car that oozes interior space.

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The rear seats move back and forth

The rear seats move back and forth

The rear seats move back and forth

The dash has a host of innovative features. A 12.5-inch touch-screen shares a panel with a 12.5-inch digital gauge cluster. The former acts as a hub for all things entertainment. This includes smartphone-integrated apps such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as advanced voice-recognition technology.

But it is on the road where the Ioniq excels most. I tried both the 58kWh and 73kWh electric motors and the choice is a no-brainer for me.

In two-wheel drive format, the 73kWh battery has a claimed range of 480km. I have to admit, I was close to achieving this during my week-long test drive. Fitted with 800-volt battery technology, the Ioniq 5 can fast charge on a 350kW charger from 10 to 80 per cent in less than 20 minutes - a quick coffee and your on the road again.

The smaller 58kWh battery has a claimed range of 350km, but if your budget can stretch that bit further I would highly recommend going for the larger 73kWh battery.

This is a game-changer for the Hyundai brand. The order books are filling up fast with customers opting for the larger 73kWh battery model.

Get your order in fast if you want to get your hands on one of the hottest cars in town.

The Ioniq 5 'Premium' 58kWh model retails at €44,495, while the 'Premium Plus' 73kWh retails at €53,495.

Prices includes €5,000 SEAI Grant for Private Customers and Government VRT Relief. Prices exclude delivery and related charges.

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