Electric power has transformed the straight-line performance capabilities of regular family cars, but the leap forward is sometimes paid with another one heading sideways.
Batteries are heavy, meaning EVs often don’t stop or turn as well as a more traditional ICE car, and that really shows up in extreme handling situations like the moose test. While some EVs, like the Tesla Model Y, breeze through the lane change maneuver without a problem, others, including the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Skoda Enyaq iV, deliver the kind of white knuckle oversteering ride you’d more likely associate with a vintage VW Beetle.
So how does Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 fare? The stylish Korean EV has been showered with praise for its styling and 800v charging capability, but when the moose test experts at Spain’s Km77 fired it through a lane-change course the Ioniq 5 definitely lost its cool until the team tweaked the braking controls.
The first couple of runs taken at 48 mph (77 km/h) resulted in the Ioniq 5 bouncing like a rodeo horse on the hard right turn, then slamming straight into the cones on the other side of the course because it was unable to make the left turn that followed.
But those runs were made with the Ioniq 5 running very little regenerative braking. After upping the regen to the third of four available levels, meaning the car slowed as the throttle was lifted, as would happen with an ICE car, the test team was eventually able to coax the EV through the course at 50 mph (80 km/h).
That’s a much better result than Km achieved with the Skoda Enyaq (42 mph, 67 km/h) or VW ID.4 (45 mph, 73 km/h), and also superior to the 48 mph (78 km/h) squeezed out of the Ioniq’s Kia EV6 cousin. But it’s some way off the 52 mph (83 km/h) recorded by the Tesla Model Y.
Km described the Ioniq 5 as “safe and controllable”, but they weren’t exactly gushing with praise for its agility, saying it didn’t feel nimble, and highlighting some body roll in the slalom test performed afterwards. The takeaway for Ioniq 5 buyers is to always run with plenty of regenerative braking if you want to stay out ditches, and the takeaway for Hyundai’s N team is that there’s plenty of work to do before this “controllable” regular hatch can become a fun N-badged hot one.