I drove electric SUVs from Tesla and Hyundai — and I’d pick the $41,000 Ioniq 5 for its super-fast charging and futuristic looks

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The Tesla Model Y (top) and Hyundai Ioniq 5.
The Tesla Model Y (top) and Hyundai Ioniq 5.

  • I tested the Tesla Model Y and Hyundai Ioniq 5 to see how the two popular electric SUVs compare. 
  • The Model Y delivers lots of cargo space, quick acceleration, and big, iPad-like touchscreen. 
  • The unique-looking Ioniq 5 is cheaper while still offering good range and a minimalist, techy interior. 

Tesla got Americans interested in electric cars. But it’s far from the only option now that the world’s carmakers are getting serious about electrification.

One of the hottest battery-powered rides not sold by Elon Musk is the Hyundai Ioniq 5 SUV. It offers many of the same appeals of a Tesla — a minimalist interior, impressive driving range, and advanced technology — in a stunning, cyberpunk package. 

How does the newcomer compare to Tesla’s popular Model Y? I drove both SUVs to find out. 

Which is cheaper?

The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 Limited AWD.
The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 Limited AWD.

The Hyundai starts at $41,450 for the 2023 model, compared to $65,990 for the Tesla

Choosing an Ioniq 5 with a fancier trim and optional all-wheel drive bumps the price closer to Tesla levels. The 2022 Limited AWD model I tested cost $56,000. 

Tesla has one big advantage: Since it sells direct-to-consumer without dealerships, the price you see online is the price you pay. 

What about range?

The Tesla Model Y.
The Tesla Model Y.

The Model Y earns a strong range rating of 330 miles. That’s with battery-draining all-wheel drive as standard. 

The Ioniq 5 isn’t far off, with estimates spanning from 220 miles for the cheapest model to 303 miles for one with a larger battery and rear-wheel drive. All-wheel-drive models split the difference with 256 miles. 

How fast do they charge?

The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 electric SUV.
The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 charges at an Electrify America fast charging station.

The Ioniq 5 can use powerful, 350-kilowatt fast-charging stations to recharge from 10%-80% in 18 minutes. That’s huge for road trips, provided you can find a plug

The same top-up would take the Y 30 minutes. But Tesla owners get access to the company’s extensive Supercharger network, which makes filling up seamless

How do they drive?

The Tesla Model Y electric SUV.
The Tesla Model Y.

The Model Y’s snappy steering and thrilling acceleration will spice up a commute. The Hyundai isn’t as exciting, but it’s still quick and makes light work out of highway merges (in all-wheel-drive guise). It rides more comfortably than the stiff Tesla. 

What about interior space?

The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5.
The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5.

Building a vehicle from scratch without a transmission, engine, and gas tank allowed Tesla and Hyundai to offer flat floors, extra cargo space, and clever features.

The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5.
The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5.

A highlight in the Hyundai’s open and uncluttered cabin: You can slide the center console backward to free up floor space for a backpack. The Tesla is more spacious overall, aided by a front trunk and a massive under-floor bin in back.

Both embrace the minimalist, techy look that Tesla pioneered, but the Hyundai delivers more physical controls and less screen. 

The Tesla Model Y.
The Tesla Model Y.

How does tech compare?

The Tesla Model Y.
The Tesla Model Y.

Teslas have been called smartphones on wheels ad nauseam, but that’s the best way to describe them.

The Model Y’s 15-inch touchscreen controls everything from the windshield wipers to the glove box while offering cool extras like games, Netflix, and the ability to blast music outside the car. A sleek app lets owners monitor their car remotely and use their phone as a key. 

The Tesla Model Y.
The Tesla Model Y.

Tesla dispenses with basically all conventional buttons, which may repel some buyers. 

The Ioniq 5 is also tech-forward, featuring two 12-inch screens and, optionally, a head-up display projected onto the windshield. It has two household outlets for charging laptops or powering a campsite. 

The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5.
The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5.

Verdict

There isn’t an objective winner here. Both are excellent options for buyers with different priorities. 

I’d choose the Hyundai because it charges remarkably quickly and nearly matches the Tesla’s range, but starts at a more affordable price. Plus, it feels cutting-edge without cramming too many basic functions into touchscreen menus. Stunning, retrofuturistic looks help the Ioniq 5’s cause. 

Still, buyers who prefer iPhone-level tech, sporty driving characteristics, a bigger interior, and the awesome Supercharger network will be right at home in a Model Y. 

Read the original article on Business Insider
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