Hyundai Ioniq 5 named electric car and driver of the year

New York
CNN Business

The Hyundai Ioniq 5, the only electric car with a sharp-edged design, was awarded the Electric Car and Driver of the Year award. It is only the second year that the award has been awarded.

The car’s staff and driver praised Hyundai’s performance — it gets up to 320 horsepower from two electric motors — and impressive fast charging capability and a relatively reasonable price tag. Prices start at $41,245 for a rear-wheel drive vehicle capable of up to 168 horsepower and 220 miles of range. The more powerful all-wheel drive version of the vehicle and driver tested costs $57,490.

The most noticeable thing about the Ioniq 5 is its design, according to the publication.

“Isn’t that the coolest design on the road?” Car and Driver Editor-in-Chief Tony Quiroga wrote in an article about the award.

The overall shape of the Ioniq 5 resembles a large hatchback or a low-profile SUV – you can see it either way – but it’s covered in sharp creases and straight edges. The taillights and front daytime running lights look like something out of a very low-res computer game. Surprisingly, the Ioniq 5 has a drag coefficient of 0.29 rather shiny which means it is less aerodynamic Tesla Model 3.

Quiroga said the car’s fast-charging, 800-volt electrical system and its easy-to-use and functional driver assistance technologies were also factors in the award.

Unlike most auto awards, such as Motor Trend Car of the Year, in the car and Driver’s EV of the year, the previous winner can compete again the following year. That means the Ford Mustang Mach E, winner last year, is in the race again this year.

Quiroga said magazine staff thought the Ioniq 5 was actually more fun to drive than the Mustang.

“Driving pleasure” was one of four categories in which vehicles were classified. Other things were of value, how well the car did its intended function, and technology.

The Ioniq 5 was also competing with Lucid Air, which won this year’s MotorTrend Award, and the Rivian R1T, which won this year’s MotorTrend Truck Award. Hyundai beat them, in part, because of their more accessible price tag and better value. The Lucid Air, tested by the car and driver, costs more than $140,000 and Rivian $93,000.

It was also competing with the Kia EV6. Although they operate as separate companies in the United States, Kia and Hyundai are closely related companies globally. The parent company of Hyundai owns a controlling stake in Kia.

While the Ioniq 5 and EV6 look very different from one another — both strikingly unusual in their looks but in different ways — they share a lot of their architecture, thanks to that relationship. Car and Driver performance tests on the two models yielded similar results, and the EV6 Car and Driver test was also priced just $3,000 less than the Ioniq 5. Again, though, the staff thought the Hyundai was a little more fun. Quiroga said driving the car from Kia.

The third vehicle, the Genesis GV60, also shares the same engineering platform as the EV6 and Ioniq 5, Quiroga said, but as its price has gone up, it has lost its value despite the judges’ praise.

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