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she's electric Hyundai's stunning EV is yet another reason why the Korean brand can teach the Germans a thing or 5


The Hyundai IONIQ has everything both inside and out

The Hyundai IONIQ has everything both inside and out

The Hyundai IONIQ has everything both inside and out

The Hyundai IONIQ has everything both inside and out


The Hyundai IONIQ has everything both inside and out

Supposedly, there are only winners at the annual Continental Tyres Irish Car of the Year awards but if anyone came away feeling they lost it was more than likely Hyundai.

The car giant’s IONIQ 5 is a work of art and has brought their EV range to the next level after the Kona pretty much broke the mould a few years back.

The reason they drove away empty handed last week is because, simply put, they were in the group of death alongside the overall winner Kia EV6, VW’s ID.4, Audi’s Q4 eTron and Skoda’s Enyaq. That is five incredible cars vying for one like-for-like award. And when you consider how many top prizes the IONIQ 5 has picked up around Europe this year, the Irish result may have surprised a few.

But here’s the thing. This Hyundai is exceptional and no amount of silverware is going to change that. I had it for a week recently and it was as good as I had expected. Jumping into a car that is lauded by so many peers means I was fearful of not meeting expectations. But it didn’t let me down.

Firstly, it is much bigger than you expect. It is actually wider than the all-conquering Tuscon and also 235mm longer than the 7-seater Santa Fe. It also comes with high-voltage battery technology to allow super-fast charging.

It is also much lower to the ground than the other two Hyundais which means it doesn’t look like a crossover vehicle like it is claimed.

It is very striking looking; like a concept car from the future. Only it actually is a reality, and you don’t have to look all that hard on Irish roads to find one.

There are daring angles and lines where there shouldn’t be and both the front and rear are have rectangular LED lights giving it a distinctive appearance day or night. Then you step inside and the amazement moves to a new level.


The Hyundai IONIQ has everything both inside and out

The Hyundai IONIQ has everything both inside and out

The Hyundai IONIQ has everything both inside and out

It is probably the highest-level interior Hyundai has ever produced with exceptional ergonomics and detail throughout. There is a lovely steering wheel, which unlike every other car company in the market hasn’t been emblazoned with a giant car logo.

The controls, paddles (for brake energy regeneration) and stalks are all very easy to use and the thicker stalk for ‘drive selection’ is well positioned too.

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There are two 12-inch screens that are loaded with features and information and thankfully the climate controls are outside of these.

The centre console has loads of space for storage, USB ports and a wireless phone charger, while the glovebox is huge and comes in the form of a sliding drawer.

The kids had absolutely no gripes about row two either with oodles of leg room and space between them on long journeys. When I jumped in the back I was shocked at how much space there was and I reckon three adults could easily fit in.

Overall the interior can hold its head high as being unique, future-proof, user-friendly, slick, comfortable and spacious.

The rear seats slide forward also which won’t come in handy until you need to create some extra boot space. And if you do need to go even further you can fold the rear seats down flat. Normal boot space though is 527 litres which means it is on a par with all of its competitors, although you get the impression that the sloping roof means if you were to fill it up to the max you might lose some litres on its competitors.

The electric powertrain is almost completely silent and creates a lovely smooth driving experience. I found myself flipping it into ECO mode for most of my test week to attempt to eek as much out of the range as possible. But when you do move the drive mode onto more exciting settings you can actually have even more fun with this.

You are promised around 340km (the 58Kw battery) and if you mind your drive style you will get it. Which a lot of competitors cannot promise.

Entry level will cost you around €38k but you should expect to pay around €44k for the 73Kw version and expect to spend up to €64k for the fully-loaded offerings.

This is an absolute beauty.

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