Independent, Expert EV Reviews & Advice Since 2006

Hyundai IONIQ 5 N Review

The Hyundai IONIQ 5 N is a comfortable, refined family hatchback – until you press the buttons that turn it into a crazy 650 PS electric rally car…

  • Hyundai IONIQ 5 N
  • Hyundai IONIQ 5 N
  • Hyundai IONIQ 5 N
  • Hyundai IONIQ 5 N
  • Hyundai IONIQ 5 N
  • Hyundai IONIQ 5 N
  • Hyundai IONIQ 5 N
  • Hyundai IONIQ 5 N
  • Hyundai IONIQ 5 N
  • Hyundai IONIQ 5 N
  • Hyundai IONIQ 5 N
  • Hyundai IONIQ 5 N
  • Hyundai IONIQ 5 N
  • Hyundai IONIQ 5 N
Green Car Guide Rating: 10/10

Key stats

  • Model/Engine size:   Hyundai IONIQ 5 N 84 kWh 650 PS AWD
  • Fuel:   Electric
  • Electric driving range (WLTP): 278 miles
  • Maximum rapid ultra-charging rate:   263 kW

Summary

  • Comfortable electric family hatchback…
  • Until you press the buttons to turn it into a raucous rally car
  • 650 PS driving experience accompanied by simulated engine noise and gear changes
  • The most engaging electric driver’s car that you can buy

Background

The Hyundai IONIQ 5 is an electric family hatchback, primarily characterised by one word: comfortable. However Hyundai has now added an ‘N’ model, which completely transforms the IONIQ 5 into a fire-breathing rally car with an interactive driving experience.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 N

Hyundai IONIQ 5 N

Design & Engineering

Just as the IONIQ 5’s driving experience has been transformed with the addition of the N badge, so has the car’s styling. It has turned from being an interesting electric hatchback to something that resembles a cross between a Touring Car and a Rally Car, with purposeful-looking large alloy wheels, various aerodynamic aids and generous splashes of red design details.

The interior remains spacious and practical, with lots of rear legroom, and the boot is a generous 480-litres in size, with space for charging cables underneath the boot floor, and this increases to 1,540 litres with the rear seats folded down. However one change is a number of new features such as extra buttons that have appeared on the steering wheel, as well as sports seats that aim to keep you in place when cornering at rallying speeds.

The Hyundai IONIQ 5 N has an 84 kWh battery, the same as the regular (‘long range’) IONIQ 5 model, which recently increased in size from 77.4 kWh. There are electric motors at the front and at the back, giving all-wheel drive, and 650 PS / 740 Nm of torque.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 N

Hyundai IONIQ 5 N

Hyundai IONIQ 5 N Driving Experience

You can jump into the Hyundai IONIQ 5 N, select ‘D’ using the gear selector (which is slightly hidden away under the wiper stalk on the right-hand side of the steering column), choose Eco or Normal drive modes, and enjoy a very normal, comfortable and refined driving experience. At which point you may be wondering why the car looks so outlandish on the outside. So you might get a bit curious and select Sport mode – using the incredibly conveniently-located drive mode switch on the top left steering wheel spoke.

Sport mode spices things up a bit, but you may also decide to select ‘N Active Sound+’ – a simulated engine noise, giving the choices of Ignition, Evolution and Supersonic. Ignition makes the near-silent EV sound like a Subaru Impreza; Evolution is a futuristic electric sound (our preferred option); and Supersonic is based on the noise of a jet fighter.

And then there’s the option to select ‘N e-Shift’. This enables you to turn the single-gear EV into a car with a gearbox, by using the paddle shifters on the steering wheel. Of course, the gear changes, like the car’s noise, are simulated rather than real, but driving the IONIQ 5 N in Sport mode with N Active Sound+ and N e-Shift turns a driving experience that’s broadly similar in most EVs into something that more closely resembles a snarling and spitting rally car. You can even put the IONIQ 5 N into neutral and rev it.

The secret ingredient is the way that Hyundai has engineered the sound and the simulated gear changes – complete with appropriate changes in torque – to match accelerator inputs so realistically. The IONIQ 5 N really does offer huge amounts of fun for drivers who want the interaction and engagement of a petrol-powered performance car.

There are two ‘N’-buttons on the bottom of the steering wheel which allow you to select Custom 1 and Custom 2 settings, and an ‘NGB’ button on the top right of the steering wheel gives a 10-second torque boost. Maximum torque is 740 Nm, and there’s 650 PS of power, delivering acceleration from 0-62 mph in 3.4 seconds and, very unusually for an EV, a maximum speed of 161 mph.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 N

Hyundai IONIQ 5 N

The IONIQ 5 N has all-wheel drive, so all that power and torque is transmitted to the road effectively, but with a rear-wheel drive bias, so there’s a rewarding degree of adjustability in the driving experience. You can also switch off the traction control via a button on the dashboard to the right of the steering wheel.

The handling is really well sorted, with the rear axle featuring an electronic limited slip differential (e-LSD), which reduces wheelspin and improves traction by sending power to the wheel with the most grip. However the ride quality also remains comfortable most of the time, unless the car is faced with seriously large potholes, but there is some road noise from the large tyres at motorway speeds. The steering is also direct and provides decent feedback.

At this point we need to talk about N mode and N Track, including N Torque Distribution, N Race and N Drift Optimiser. The ability, for example, to adjust the torque distribution from front to rear is brilliant, however, like the other options in N Track, a warning notice pops up to say that these features can’t be used unless on a dedicated racetrack. Even though you can’t change the settings, it is possible to view the torque distribution when you’re driving, via a graphic at the far right of the driver’s instrument display.

Another brilliant button is the one on the steering wheel that you can press just once to switch off the lane departure warning system. It’s also possible to switch off the speed limit warning beeps, but this needs a bit more button-pressing on the screen on the driver assistance page.

Apart from the various ‘N’ features, the infotainment is basically the same as on the standard IONIQ 5 N – there’s a central 12.3-inch touchscreen, a driver’s instrument display and a Head Up Display (HUD). Under the touchscreen is a physical row of shortcut buttons including for set-up, media, map and home, and there’s even a physical, user-friendly volume control dial. Below this row of buttons is a small screen for climate controls. One of the very few details of the dashboard that isn’t particularly user-friendly is the way you have to change the cabin temperature, using the small arrows on the climate screen, which are quite a challenge to touch when driving.

The IONIQ 5 N has manual seat adjustment, which doesn’t give you the fine tuning of electric seats.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 N

Hyundai IONIQ 5 N

Hyundai IONIQ 5 N Electric Range and Charging

The Hyundai IONIQ 5 N has a WLTP combined electric driving range of 278 miles. The real-world range varied, as you would expect, depending on how the car was driven, with an average real-world range of 222 miles.

The IONIQ 5 N has an 800V electrical architecture, which results in a maximum ultra-rapid charging rate of 263 kW, which is excellent, and should allow a 10% to 80% charge in as little as 18 minutes at a suitably ultra-rapid DC charger. A 7kW home wallbox should give a 10% to 100% charge in 11 hours 30 minutes. The IONIQ 5 N also has a 10.5 kW on-board charger for three-phase workplace charging, when a 10% to 100% charge should take 7 hour 35 minutes.

The IONIQ 5 N also has Vehicle to Load capability, which is accessed via a three-pin plug socket in the rear footwell, or by using an external charging port adaptor.

A heat pump uses waste heat from the car’s powertrain to try and minimise loss of battery range when warming the car’s cabin in cold weather.

How to charge an electric car

Hyundai IONIQ 5 N

Hyundai IONIQ 5 N

Price And Model Range

The Hyundai IONIQ 5 N is priced at £65,000. Our test car had the options of Matte Paint (£900) and Vision Roof (£1,250). There’s also the standard Hyundai IONIQ 5.

The Kia EV6 is based on the same platform as the IONIQ 5, and the EV6 GT aims to offer a more performance-focused variant, but a lot more thought and detail has gone into making the IONIQ 5 N a much more rewarding driver’s car than the EV6 GT.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 N

Hyundai IONIQ 5 N

Conclusion

The Hyundai IONIQ 5 N is a game-changing EV. Here at Green Car Guide we’re in the business of promoting electric cars because they’re better to drive than petrol or diesel cars, and of course they don’t have any tailpipe emissions that impact on climate change or air quality. However, the vast majority of electric cars offer a broadly similar driving experience, because there are minimal differences between electric powertrains. This is sometimes quoted as a reason why some petrol car drivers are reluctant to make the change to electric.

So, rejoice – if you want an electric car with the interactivity and engagement of a petrol car, the Hyundai IONIQ 5 N is your answer. It offers 650 PS and a 0-62 mph acceleration time of 3.4 seconds, so you can’t argue with its performance credentials. Its handling is also very well sorted, yet it somehow also retains comfortable ride quality. But it’s the simulated performance car sounds and the gear shifts that set the IONIQ 5 N apart. And yet the rest of the car is also practical – it’s a five-seater hatchback with a very user-friendly cabin, with a decent electric range and ultra-rapid charging. Yes, it costs £65,000, but compared to lots of petrol performance cars, and compared to lots of premium electric SUVs, this could be seen as a bargain. The Hyundai IONIQ 5 N is awarded a Green Car Guide rating of 10 out of 10 – and it resets the criteria for awarding a 10 out of 10 verdict.

Car facts and figures Hyundai IONIQ 5 N Review

  • Test electric driving range: 222 miles
  • Consumption (WLTP): 21.2 kWh per 100Km
  • CO2 emissions (WLTP): 0 g/km
  • Vehicle tax rate (VED):   £0
  • Benefit in Kind (BIK) company car tax liability (2024/25): 2%
  • Price:   £65,000
  • Insurance group:   49E
  • Power:   650 PS
  • Torque:   740 Nm
  • Max speed:   161 mph
  • 0-62 mph:   3.4 seconds
  • Weight:   2,235 kg
  • Towing capacity: N/A
Paul Clarke

Review by:
Paul Clarke, GreenCarGuide Editor