Badge snobbery, who? Hyundai’s Ioniq electric cars are drawing interest from luxury car customers, according to one executive.
The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 electric car is drawing more interest than ever to Hyundai’s products – including from traditional buyers of luxury cars like BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi.
Launched last year, the Ioniq 5 is the first in Hyundai’s new line of dedicated Ioniq electric vehicles (EVs) – bringing with it a unique retro look that stands out from every other new car on showroom floors.
Speaking at the reveal of the second Ioniq dedicated EV, the Ioniq 6 sedan, Hyundai global marketing and customer experience chief Thomas Schemera said the car was not just appealing to existing Hyundai buyers – but those of premium cars as well.
“Ioniq 5 has been creating a buzz since it launched all around the world. This was also our intention, to change the paradigm – to offer an extraordinary user experience combined with a very progressive design.
“Customers from premium brands are pouring into our dealerships showing a big interest,” Schemera continued.
“At Hyundai, regarding our Ioniq product line-up, we offer premium appeal without premium pricing. I guess that describes the situation very well.”
The Ioniq 5 medium SUV offers comparable space, performance and range to other mid-size and large electric SUVs from luxury brands including BMW and Mercedes-Benz – but at, in some cases, just over half the price.
However, at $69,900 plus on-road costs for the entry-level model, it’s still not an affordable car for most – and twice the price of a base-model, petrol-powered Tucson. Buyers may also argue Hyundai lacks the badge cachet of the German luxury establishment.
The Hyundai brand’s recent push upmarket through its electric cars is a far cry from its positioning in the 1980s and 1990s, famed for the $9990 drive-away offers regularly attached to its budget Excel hatchback.
Hyundai says much of its new-found premium aspirations are evident inside the cabin, priding itself on offering soft materials at a reasonable price.
“Let’s face it, everybody wants a premium-touching interior. And this is where we’re really focused. Even though it’s a volume brand, we really create very nice premium [interiors], in a way with a little bit of [the] luxury field, with a story,” said SangYup Lee, Hyundai global design chief.
“I think this is really something we must deliver. Even though it’s an inexpensive car, they put those premium [elements] into it. So this is one of those things we’ll continue to develop.
“Even though we are volume brand, [regarding] the premium touch [and the] level of the design, we raised the bar and this is something that we carried on developing,” Lee said.
The Hyundai Ioniq brand focuses on three ‘pillars’ – led by ‘living space’, created by a long wheelbase delivering expanses of cabin space, and front ‘relaxation seats’ with reclining functionality.
Sustainable materials are also used heavily throughout the Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6’s cabins.
For everything you need to know about the 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6, click here to browse Drive’s coverage.