Back in 2016, Hyundai released a mid-sized hatchback branded as the Ioniq available with hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric drivetrains. However, the first ‘ground-up’ EV from Hyundai is this, the IONIQ 5, and unlike its predecessor, the IONIQ 5 can actually tow. The IONIQ 5 is based on a new dedicated electric vehicle platform called the Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) which other full-electric Hyundai vehicles will be based on. Hyundai’s sibling brand KIA is also using this platform with the EV6 which has similar specifications. But how does the IONIQ 5 stack up as an electric tow car?
Key Hyundai IONIQ 5 Specs
- Official Towing Capacity – 1,650 lbs (all versions)
- Availability – Now
- Price – Starting from $43,650
- EPA Range – 220 miles (Standard Range/RWD) > 303 miles (Long Range/RWD)
- Estimated Towing Range (50%) – 110 miles (Standard Range/RWD) > 151 miles (Long Range/RWD)
- Maximum DC Charge Rate – 221 kW
Hyundai IONIQ 5 HP & Torque
- Standard Range/RWD – RWD with 168 HP and 258 lb-ft of torque
- Long Range/RWD – RWD with 215 HP and 258 lb-ft of torque
- Long Range/AWD – AWD with 302 HP and 446 lb-ft of torque
Hyundai IONIQ 5 Towing Capabilities
If you read my articles on the VW I.D4, Nissan Ariya and Polestar 2 for example you will know different towing figures are stated for European and US market vehicles (US vs UK Tow Car Comparisons).
Unfortunately, the IONIQ 5 continues this trend, with to quote the Hyundai Press Release ‘All configurations have a top speed of 115 MPH and can tow a trailer with a capacity of up to 2,000 pounds.‘
However, it now appears that Hyundai has downgraded the towing capacity of all IONIQ 5 models even further, down to just 1,650 lbs which is very disappointing.
In the UK as I discuss in my article on the IONIQ 5 on electrictowcars.co.uk while the standard range version gets a lower 750 kg (1,600 lb) towing capacity, the Long Range versions get a pretty respectable 1,600 kg (3,500 lb) towing capacity.
Why is that not the case for US versions of the IONIQ 5? I have no idea, and my attempts to get a response from the press teams of various EV manufacturers on this recurring issue have so far not borne any fruit. Therefore below I’ll discuss how the IONIQ compares on towing capacity to the competition.
Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) & Solar Roof
The IONIQ 5 features Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) technology, in other words, you can actually take power from the cars battery to power other things.
With a maximum output of 3.6 kW (16 Amps), that’s the same amount of power a typical RV service post provides. Therefore, what the IONIQ 5 could offer which no other EV tow car currently does (along with its sibling the KIA EV6) is off-grid RV/camping potential.
Now, obviously, if you want to be able to power an RV from the IONIQ 5 and not end up stranded then arriving at your destination with a good amount of charge in the battery would be crucial. As I discuss in my electric tow car guide, a range reduction of 50%+ when towing with an EV is to be expected.
Therefore, in an off-grid camping scenario when towing with the IONIQ 5 you would want to get in a good fast/rapid charge session as close to your final destination as possible.
The IONIQ 5 will also be available with a solar roof which can add charge back into the battery. No one should ever expect a significant number of additional driving miles from these roof-mounted solar panels, especially when towing. However, the roof-mounted solar panels on sunny days will add some charge to the battery.
Hence, when I first read about the IONIQ 5 V2L capabilities and I thought about off-grid camping I also thought that additional power from that roof-mounted solar panels could provide a practical contribution to the RVs energy consumption.
How significant the contribution would be would obviously depend on how sunny the days were and how much power the RV was pulling (electric heating/cooling would pull a lot of power).
However, in some scenarios at least the power coming from the solar roof could mean the remaining range in the car could be minimally impacted from powering the RV.
IONIQ 5 vs The EV Towing Competition
In terms of its price point and towing capacity, the Hyundai IONIQ 5 will be competing against the likes of the VW ID.4 and Nissan Ariya. However, the IONIQ 5 with its 1,650 lbs towing capacity is less than the VW ID.4 with its 2,700 lb towing capacity.
The IONIQ 5 does have a higher towing capacity than the Nissan Ariya with its maximum towing capacity of 1,500 lbs. The Nissan Ariya is rated at 1,500 kg in the UK/EU but only 1,500 lbs in the US (680 kg), its towing capacity for the US market was effectively cut in half, similar to the IONIQ 5.
So how does the IONIQ 5 compare to the Tesla Model Y? The Model Y is rated with a 3,500 lb towing capacity. Hence, the Hyundai IONIQ 5 as things currently stand does not compete with the Telsa Model Y as an electric tow car on trailer weight.
Where the IONIQ 5 steps away from the other competitors and more closely compares to the Tesla Model Y is fast/rapid charging speeds.
As I discuss in my EV towing guide and more specifically in my fast/rapid charging guide with energy consumption typically more than doubled when towing, getting power back into the battery as quickly as possible is going to be important.
How fast you can charge is limited by two factors, the charging technology within the car and the DC rapid/fast charger you are plugged into. Well, the IONIQ 5 features 400V and 800V charging technology.
What that means is the IONIQ 5 will be able to charge at up to 221 kW (for the Long Range versions). That means at a sufficiently rated charger, typically rated at 350kW, the IONIQ 5 can charge from 10 to 80 per cent charge in just 18 minutes.
If you compare that to the VW ID.4 with its maximum rate of charge of 125kW or the Nissan Ariya at 130kW you can see that the Hyundai IONIQ 5 is far ahead of its immediate competition on fast/rapid charging speeds and much closer to the Tesla Model Y at 250 kW.
Now, granted, the Tesla will still have the edge likely for several years to come as Tesla V3 Superchargers are currently more widely available than other charging network providers capable of those speeds.
But the point remains, unlike the other competition above from VW and Nissan and many other more expensive options from Volvo/Polestar, the Hyundai IONIQ 5 is ready to take advantage of those fast charging speeds.
Hyundia IONIQ 5 Reviews
The TFL (The Fast Lane) got hold of one of the first US specification Hyndia IONIQ 5 to be available and concluded on many attributes such as range and DC rapid charging speed its comparative to the likes of the Tesla Model 3 or Model Y.
In fact, they also believe it has better exterior looks and certain features are better than what Tesla is currently offering. In several instances, I also agree, and when it comes to towing the IONIQ 5 does better than the Tesla Model 3 with its zero-rated towing capacity in the US.
My Thoughts On The IONIQ 5…
Right, so, as I stated above, I love the styling of the IONIQ 5. When I was a kid, one of my favourite looking cars was the Alfa Romeo SV, and the front end/headlight design of the Hyundai IONIQ 5 definitely looks very similar and instantly got a thumbs up from me for that.
But let’s put the styling of the IONIQ 5 to one side, this site is more about focusing on the towing capabilities/specifications of electric cars. While the EPA range is respectable and the charging speed is excellent by current standards, the US towing capacity is a disappointment.
Just like many other electric tow cars around this price point, US customers are getting a less capable electric tow car than the EU/UK versions. So while over on electrictowcars.co.uk I state the IONIQ 5 is comparable and competitive against the Tesla Model Y, in US-spec, that’s simply not the case.