Hyundai IONIQ 5 – What Can It Tow?

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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 and a very reasonable/practical towing capacity of 1,600 kg too. 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 shares similar specifications to the IONIQ 5.

Hyundai IONIQ 5
Personally, I think Hyundai has nailed the styling of the IONIQ 5, I think it really looks like a modern/futuristic vehicle design with sharp lines and I love the pixel/LED headlights: Image –

Key Hyundai IONIQ 5 Specs

  • Official Towing Capacity – 750 kg (SR RWD), 1,600 kg (LR RWD & LR AWD)
  • Availability – Now
  • Price – Starting £36,995 (SR RWD) > £45,145 (LR AWD)
  • Range (EV Database) – 195 miles (SR RWD) > 240 miles (LR RWD)
  • Estimated Towing Range (50%) – 98 miles (SR RWD) > 120 miles (LR RWD)
  • Maximum DC Charge Rate – 175 kW (SR RWD) > 221 kW (LR RWD & AWD)
  • Rapid Charge 10% to 80% – 18 min (SR RWD) > 17 min (LR RWD & AWD)
  • Check Used Hyundia IONIQ 5 Specs

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

So as you can see from the key specs above, there are two towing capacity ratings for the Hyundai IONIQ 5. If you opt for the Standard Range version with rear-wheel drive (SR RWD) it is limited to towing up to 750 kg. However, if you opt for either of the Long Range variants with rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive you get a towing capacity of 1,600 kg.

A 1,600 kg towing capacity for the IONIQ 5 is competitive with the likes of its sibling the KIA EV6 but also more premium options such as the Tesla Model Y. In fact, the IONIQ 5 can tow 100kg more than the likes of the Polestar 2 and Volvo XC40 Recharge which are limited to a towing capacity of 1,500kg.

The world reveal of the Hyundai IONIQ 5 in Feb 2021

There was a Project 45 launch edition but they were all quickly snapped up, with just 3,000 units available across the UK and Europe. Essentially the Project 45 is a bells and whistles Long Range/AWD version including features such as a solar roof which I’ll discuss more below.

It’s called Project 45 in reference to the 45 EV concept car that Hyundai first showed off in 2019 and the IONIQ 5 does actually look very close to the concept which is not usually the case when comparing concept cars to production cars.

What the Project 45 has which also applies to other IONIQ 5 versions is a maximum noseweight for the tow ball of 100 kg. A maximum nose weight of 100 kg is very respectable/useable for a car with a 1,600 kg towing capacity. A 100 kg nose weight capacity will give lots of options for different trailers/caravans.

Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) & Solar Roof

So the towing capacity, range and pricing all make the Hyundai IONIQ 5 a very compelling package. However, there are two other features on the IONIQ 5 that I think are very interesting. 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 caravan 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 caravanning/camping potential.

Now, obviously, if you want to be able to power a caravan 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 Hyundai’s ‘Ultimate Camping’ promotional video shows the two V2L connections on the IONIQ 5, one inside the vehicle but the external charge plug with the adapter can also be used for V2L even when the car is turned off/locked.

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 caravanning/camping I also thought that additional power from that roof-mounted solar panels could provide a practical contribution to the caravans energy consumption.

How significant the contribution would be would obviously depend on how sunny the days were and how much power the caravan was pulling (electric heating 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 caravan.

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, Skoda Enyaq and Nissan Ariya. However, the IONIQ 5 with its 1,600 kg towing capacity beats the VW ID.4 and Skoda Enyaq with their maximum 1,200 kg towing capacity. The IONIQ 5 will also have a higher towing capacity than the Nissan Ariya with its maximum towing capacity of 1,500 kg.

In fact, the IONIQ 5 (along with its KIA sibling the EV6) has specifications more closely matched to the Tesla Model Y. Where the IONIQ 5 steps away from the other competitors and more closely compares to the Tesla Model Y is fast charging speeds.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 Charging
The 400/800V charging technology is what separates the IONIQ 5 from the competition from VW, Skoda and Nissan and puts it closer in line with the charging capabilities of the Tesla Model Y: Image –

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 will feature 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/Skoda Enyaq with their 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 even ahead of the Tesla Model Y at 210 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, Skoda 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.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 Review

There are lots of positive reviews around about the IONIQ 5, one of the most detailed is the review below from What Car. The high rapid charging speeds and the performance of the IONIQ 5 are praised along with the significant amount of space within the car, not just for luggage, the rear passenger space, in particular, is very impressive.

A very positive review on the Hyundai IONIQ 5 from What Car

Personally, I’m a big fan of the styling of the IONIQ 5, though I get that it wouldn’t be to everyone tastes. Also, as referenced in the review the interior materials are not class-leading, with better materials to be found in its sibling the KIA EV6.

The range of the IONIQ 5 is also discussed in the review above (obviously) and WLTP range figures are given which are overly optimistic of all cars. I choose to reference EV-Database figures which would suggest a real-world range of 235 miles for the Long Range AWD variant and 240 miles for the Long Range RWD variant.

However, now the various IONIQ 5 versions are in the hands of customers/testers there appears to be more of a difference in range between the Long Range AWD and RWD versions.

IONIQ 5 LR AWD VS RWD Efficiency Results

Going off the official range figures and the EV-Database while it would appear the Long Range RWD version gives a few miles more range over the AWD version, its not that significant. Well, real-world testing would imply otherwise.

Case in point, I’ve included the video below from an IONIQ 5 Project 45 owner (LR AWD) who tested the efficiency of his car against a Long Range RWD version. Travelling at 70mph on the motorway the estimated range of the AWD versions worked out to be 210 miles and the RWD version worked out at 232 miles.

A comparison of the efficiency differences between the RWD and AWD versions of the IONIQ 5

There are a couple of reasons the RWD version will be more efficient than the AWD version. For instance, the RWD version is lighter, not only because its carrying around one less motor, but its also on slightly small/lighter allow wheels.

However, I suspect its also to do with the types of motors used in the IONIQ 5. I suspect they may be permanent magnet motors front and rear. Whereas with the AWD versions of the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y for example they use a permanent magnet in the back and an induction motor in the front and as a result they have class-leading efficiency results.

I’m going to be expanding my Electric Tow Car Guide & FAQ to cover this topic about AWD systems and electric motor efficiency differences in the future. The point being though, with the IONIQ 5, the AWD system does appear to be a bit hungry for electrons.

My Thoughts On The IONIQ 5…

Right, so despite the reduction in efficiency with the AWD version over the RWD version of the IONIQ 5 either choice is one of the best electric tow cars currently at this price point when you look at the total package. A 1,600kg towing capacity with 221kW rapid charging speeds to go from 10% to 80% charge in 18 min is excellent.

As the single motor version of the IONIQ 5 is RWD and not FWD (Polstar 2 & Volvo XC40) it can still make an excellent tow car with regards to traction. Once coupled up to a trailer/caravan more weight is placed in the rear axle hence better traction.

Now, personally, I prefer the styling of the IONIQ 5 to its sibling the KIA EV6. However, the EV6 may actually be the better electric tow car. For instance, the EV6 can charge slightly faster and it does appear that the styling of the EV6 is more aerodynamic which means more range at motorway speeds.

Currently, the EV6 also has a slightly larger battery at 77kWh, whereas the current Long Range IONIQ 5 is around 73kWh. However, Hyundai has confirmed the IONIQ 5 is also going to be upgraded to the same battery capacity as the EV6. Bit of an odd decision on that one in the first place from Hyundai.

Then again, the IONIQ 5 is cheaper than the EV6 by a few thousand pounds. All in all then, if you are in the market for an electric tow car between £40K and £50K the IONIQ is one of the best options currently available.

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