Early this summer, I purchased the most exciting car I’ve ever owned — a 2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5. I’m not a car aficionado; I’m a Pacific Northwest mom with two kids who was addicted to Subarus. But after two months and more than 2,500 miles of driving, I’ve become an IONIQ 5 fangirl.
How did I end up with an electric car? With three drivers in the house and gas prices through the roof, considering an EV seemed wise. The trouble was, I wanted a car with all-wheel-drive capability because that makes me more comfortable driving in icy weather. I also wanted to drive a long time between charges so I wouldn’t freak out about battery life.
My husband and I went to look for cars in early June, thinking perhaps we’d lease a Nissan Leaf for a while and then buy a Subaru Solterra when they became available. But as soon as we hit the dealership, we received a rude awakening about supply chain issues and empty lots. At the time we looked, there were no Leafs available for lease. It was a similar story at Hyundai, where we test drove a used Kona. Feeling discouraged, we were about to give up when I spotted a radical-looking SUV that my mind struggled to identify. “What’s that?” I asked the salesperson.
“It’s an IONIQ 5 but it’s already sold,” he told me. “You can look inside if you want to.” Then he said the magic words. “They come in all-wheel drive.”
An all-wheel-drive SUV? “That’s my car,” I told my husband. “Let’s buy one.”
“Who are you and what have you done with my wife?” my husband asked. I never make impulse decisions like that.
We put down a deposit that day. There were six IONIQ 5s coming to the Pacific Northwest and one of them would be ours. Not only did we order our IONIQ 5 without test-driving one first, but the car was so new that the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) crash test ratings hadn’t come out yet.
Once we took possession of our new car at the end of June, it proved to be everything I’d hoped for and more. It’s a 2022 IIHS Top Safety Pick, the 2022 Car and Driver EV of the Year and the World Car Awards 2022 winner at the New York Auto Show. The range is between 256-322 miles per charge depending on if I turn on the air conditioning. We get two years of free charging at Electrify America Stations, plus the Snohomish County PUD gave us a $400 credit. There is a $7,500 federal tax credit coming to us as well.
Speaking of charging, my fears of running out of juice are gone. There’s a button to push on the dashboard that will guide you to the closest public charger. At most stations, I can change the battery to 80% within 30 minutes. We also installed a charging port at home so I can charge overnight.
I adore driving my IONIQ 5 because it’s fun. The acceleration is incredible. You barely touch the pedal and boom! You’re off! I had to actively train myself not to speed because it goes so fast. Since there’s no engine noise, the ride is exceptionally quiet.
The Hyundai IONIQ 5 starts at $44,000. Subtract the $7,500 tax credit from that and you’re at $36,500. That’s on par with buying a gas-powered minivan. Before this summer I had a hard time wanting my local government to invest in EV infrastructure like public charging ports because that felt like supporting rich people who owned luxury vehicles. But moms driving Hyundais? Yes please.
Currently there are so few IONIQ 5s on the road that people often point and stare at us. I’ve never owned a “cool” car in my entire life so that’s really strange to me. But I bet it’s only a matter of time before there are IONIQ 5s everywhere. The future is now. I’m driving a safe, powerful, electric vehicle that helps make our nation less dependent of foreign oil — and it’s exhilarating.
Jennifer Bardsley is the author of “Sweet Bliss,” “Good Catch” and more. Find her online on Instagram @jenniferbardsleyauthor, on Twitter @jennbardsley or on Facebook as Jennifer Bardsley Author. Email her at email@example.com.