Electric SUV Maybe?

So it’s been about half a year since I last wrote about the next vehicle we might get in a post called SUV Maybe? and I wanted to revisit the topic now that we’ve finally paid off our car!

That’s right, I’m living the no car loans life right now, but with our current vehicle being a Kia Forte, I don’t know how much longer the seven year old car will live. It’s not that it’s falling apart, but it creaks and groans more than it used to, more and more expensive parts are needing replacement, and we are both tired of driving something that feels like a leaf on the wind during winter highway driving to visit family.

In my last post, I strayed away from electric vehicles because they were all too expensive. I gave the win to the Nissan Ariya, but coming in at around $75,000 for a decent set of options, it is just too much money. But we recently test drove a $55,000 Hyundai Ioniq 5 and let me tell you about that experience!

Hyundai Ioniq 5

Ioniq 5 72 481km | If we transition into an EV sedan, it wil… | Flickr

So Annie, on a drive around town, noticed what looked like a Hyundai Ioniq 5 in a dealership lot and wanted us to go check it out. When we arrived, it was the Ioniq, a fully electric vehicle that seemed like a pretty good deal from early indicators online.

We walked around it, and it felt like a good sized vehicle, the styling was okay and the blue looked great. As we were getting ready to head back to our car, a sales person came out and started talking to us about the Ioniq and then he said, “do you want to be the first people to test drive it?”

Annie looked at me with her eyes wide and we both nodded. A short while later, Annie was in the driver’s seat, I was in the passenger seat, and we pushed the button to start the vehicle. It was pretty exciting to hear nothing and to not really feel any change before she put the car in drive and we started to move forward. I told her to stick in the dealership lot for a moment to make sure we understood how to drive it. I don’t know why, but I expected there to be a bigger learning curve than there was and after a few moments, we were on the city streets with it letting us know about people in our blind spots, trying to assist us in keeping to our lane, and quietly driving down a main drag in Kingston.

We both found the visibility to be great. Our current vehicle has thick pillars out front that you can lose an entire truck in and easily have a person disappear into, and that’s always made us feel a little frustrated.

It was amazing just how natural and normal it felt. It had lots of cool features but the fact that it was electric was no big deal.

We marveled at the notification of how much the range would likely change if we had the heat on for the entire use of the battery. The Ioniq 5 can charge up to 350 kW with DC fast charging which would allow it to get around one hundred kilometers of range in about five minutes. Even if we had to charge for an hour to go from 10% to 80% battery, that would be completely fine for our longer trips, but with those 350 kW chargers it can do that amount of charging in around twenty minutes!

When it was my turn to drive, I put it in one pedal mode and other than two times where I felt nervous, I didn’t need to press the brake pedal to come to a complete stop. Regenerative breaking was doing the job quite well! At another point, I tested to see what the lane keep system would do if I ignored it and pulled through it’s minor correction and the car beeped at me letting me know that if I want to change lanes, I should put on my turn signal. Most people might get annoyed at such things, but anything that helps improve safety is okay by me.

We brought the Ioniq 5 back to the dealership after about twenty minutes and gave the key fob back. With smiles on our faces, the sales person let us know that it would be one to two months if we ordered the rear-wheel-drive version and almost a year if we wanted the all-wheel-drive version. He provided us some pricing information and noted that the base model comes in at under $45,000 Canadian.

Now of course, we wouldn’t want to get the base model as it doesn’t have a heat pump for the battery and it’s features are very limited, but even with $15,000 in upgrades, it comes in at only ten to fifteen percent higher in cost than some of the gasoline or hybrid SUVs that I had configured for my last range of vehicles.

The interior space of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 felt very similar to the Hyundai Tucson, and as such there was plenty of leg room and space for a car seat if we ever needed one and with a range of around 400 KM, it should do the trips to visit Annie’s family in the winter time with only a short charging top up where we’d normally grab a bite to eat anyways!

So Buy It?

We aren’t currently in any rush to buy a new vehicle, but I enjoy the planning process. With our current vehicle paid off, we are going to take funds we’d normally spend on our financing payments and put it aside to build up a down payment for a new vehicle. We are still considering all of our options, but I love the fact that electric options are becoming a reality. There is potential that we could get an all-electric SUV as our next vehicle in late 2022 or sometime in 2023. If, in the spring, we still feel like the Ioniq 5 is the best option for us, we might put down the $500 refundable deposit for one, but there are so many other options that are just coming to market.

Other Options?

Okay, so what are some other electric SUVs that we are considering? Normally, I’d do a long post about all the options, but what exists is changing fast, and the prices and availability are still all over the place. We are also looking at the VW ID4, Toyota bZ4X, Ford Mustang Mach-E, and the Nissan Ariya. We are still big fans of the Nissan Ariya, but it might be well outside of our price range when it comes out, so we will have to wait and see.

I was hoping to see some good showings from Mazda or Honda, but the Mazda MX-30 EV has a tiny battery and doesn’t come in a true four door model, so it’s not worth considering for us. And Honda doesn’t bring out their Prologue until the end of 2023 for their 2024 model release. Maybe we will still be looking at vehicles then and can add the Honda Prologue EV into the competition for our money…

What do you think about electric vehicles? Are you surprised that we still aren’t looking at an offering from Tesla? Let me know!

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