“The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is the spiritual successor to the VW Golf”
The most successful car of all time? You know, the one bought in greater numbers than the combined power of the Ford Model T (16.5 million sold), Volkswagen Beetle (21.5 million) and MINI (5.5 million)?
It’ll be the Toyota Corolla, in countless body styles – mostly finished in Born To Be Mild beige paint jobs. Since 1966, more than 50 million buyers around the world have purchased one!
But a very different success that no one could have predicted is currently being achieved by a very different car – the relatively low-selling (yet) all-electric Hyundai Ioniq 5 5. We are witnessing a stylish and affordable car. ish (in EV terms) hatchback wagon dramatically increasing his status from rookie lightweight contender to reigning and respected world heavyweight champion.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that the Ioniq 5 is now generally considered by those like me who have studied it closely and driven it (repeatedly in my case) to be the last greatest grand car global audience.
In that sense, it’s the spiritual successor to the Golf – and like the Golf, the Ioniq 5 is a historic vehicle. It’s also embarrassing for the Volkswagen empire. How come? Because the most natural and obvious successor to the phenomenally successful Golf in old-school petrol or diesel forms could and should have been an all-new Golf in state-of-the-art purely electric form. Except Volkswagen complicated things by effectively and slowly killing off the legendary Golf that took half a century to build and maintain. His replacement ? The nothing ID.3 (or greater ID.4). I’m a big fan of EVs. But only if they are absolutely right. And ID.3 and ID.4 are not. IN MY HUMBLE OPINION.
What Hyundai, its workers and its Ioniq 5 have achieved in the past 10 months is unprecedented. The drama began in early July 2021, when that title awarded it the biggest – the coveted Auto Express Car of the Year trophy. Then, late last year, the vehicle was judged by a panel of international designers, racing drivers, marketers and media (including Steve Fowler and me) as the world’s best best cars of the year. And since then, several other organizations have lined up to pin their medals or perch their trophies on the 2021/22 achievement. Now, as we near the end of the Ioniq 5’s first full year as the best vehicle on the market, nominated jurors (again with Steve and I) have it – surprise, surprise – voted Car world of the year.
But don’t forget that in the fast-paced automotive industry, the Ioniq 5 is actually last year’s model in some ways. The 2022/2023 awards season begins just weeks away, with the Auto Express Awards Ceremony the first major to roll off the blocks.
What’s to come over the next 12 months or so is tantalizing. No detailed predictions from me at this early stage of the game, but something tells me that the all-new Range Rover and, at the other end of the scale, the Dacia Jogger might just do the housework – despite the fact that the two, for the time being at least, relying on old-school internal combustion engines. You know, the kind of engines still bought, used and loved by most drivers in the world.
Click here for our list of the best electric cars on sale…