Hyundai IONIQ 5: First EV to Win Motortrend’s SUV of the Year

Photo: Motortrend

This year, Motortrend named the Hyundai Ioniq 5 the 2023 SUV of the Year, citing the EV’s overall design, spacious interior, value and efficiency as what makes it worthy of the title. This is the first all-electric vehicle to win in the SUV of the year category.

The news comes after the Hyundai Ioniq 5 also won the EV of the Year award from Car and Driver earlier this year.

The publication also notes that the SUV category is fairly broad and different people will give different answers for what makes a vehicle an SUV. In particular, the Ioniq 5 is a bit of an outlier, with some arguing that it’s a hatchback, a crossover or something else entirely.

To be sure, the Ioniq 5 is a compact SUV at most, and its hard-to-categorize body is well-liked by customers — especially for its just-over $40,000 price tag.

With a roomy build, an 800-volt architecture, 220 miles of range for the base model, and speedy charging times compared to many other EVs (around 18 minutes from 10- to 80-percent), the Ioniq 5 is considered a strong competitor in the SUV category.

“Some might argue it’s no SUV, but a little imagination and an off-road course will truly change their minds,” Motortrend senior editor Justin Westbrook said. “This is somewhere between a crossover and a rally car, and I’m not complaining.”

Other EV finalists in the category included the Kia EV6 and Rivian RS1. Tesla’s Model Y was not part of the contenders list, likely because the automaker doesn’t advertise with publications or in general.