Electric crossovers are all the range. As EVs have become increasingly popular, a large portion of carmakers seem to have focused on crossover-sized cars. Sure, they’ll often market these as SUVs, but they’re actually smaller than what most people think of when they think of an SUV — and as such, they’re better thought of as crossovers instead. Two of the most popular of these crossovers are the Tesla Model Y and Hyundai Ioniq 5 — cars that have been out for a few years now.
But considering they’re both such highly respected cars, is one of them better than the other? To be sure, neither of the two cars are bad options — but one of them does have a slight edge. We put the two cars head –to-head to find out which one is actually best.
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The first thing you’ll notice about these two cars is their design. They’re both relatively unique compared to cars from other manufacturers, though perhaps not as much when compared to cars from the same manufacturer.
The Tesla Model Y, of course, looks much like other Tesla cars. Tesla has built a design language around its cars, and all but the unreleased Cybertruck use it. They’re so similar that sometimes it can actually be hard to tell which Tesla model you’re looking at. but the the Model Y still looks relatively fresh and modern, with a generally minimalistic aesthetic overall.
That’s not to say that the Ioniq 5 doesn’t look unique, though. On the contrary, it looks very unique. Hyundai has been making use of its new pixel aesthetic, which exudes a 1980s design sensibility — in all the best ways. It still looks modern too, thanks to the sleek, angular lines along the side and the long stretches of lights on the back.
Ultimately, design comes down to personal preference. Both cars look great, and this one’s a tie.
Interior and tech
The design sensibilities from the exterior of the car are apparent on the inside too. Both have highly functional interiors, but they look and feel quite different.
Like the exterior, the interior of the Tesla Model Y is quite minimalistic. Step inside and you’ll see few controls and buttons — the vast majority of functions are accessed through the display at the front of the car, including things like climate controls. Some people may not like this approach — after all, physical buttons and knobs are easy to use without having to look at them when you’re driving.
For those people, there’s the Ioniq 5. Now, to be clear, you’ll still access many of the Ioniq 5’s features through the display at the front. But at least the climate controls are given capacitive buttons underneath the screen. That screen supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, unlike the Tesla, which relies solely on its own infotainment system.
Other aspects of the cars’ interiors are slightly different too. The Model Y has a little more cargo space than the Ioniq 5, with 30.2 cubic feet, compared to the 27.2 cubic feet for the Hyundai. That’s not to mention the additional space that you’ll get from the large frunk in the Model Y. The seat materials are also a little different — a vegan leather in the Tesla, compared to a fabric cover in the Hyundai.
This one’s also subjective. If you like minimalism, you’ll prefer the Tesla — and while Tesla’s built-in infotainment system is better, the Ioniq 5 supports Android Auto and CarPlay.
The Tesla Model Y and Hyundai Ioniq 5 both benefit from that immediate power that you get from modern electric cars — but they don’t perform exactly the same.
The Tesla Model Y is available with two drivetrains as of the time of this writing. There’s the Tesla Model Y Long Range, which has a top speed of 135 miles per hour and can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds. And there’s the Tesla Model Y Performance, which steps that up to a top speed of 155 miles per hour and can get to 60 mph in only 3.5 seconds. That’s pretty quick.
The Ioniq 5 is available in a single- or dual-motor configuration with a number of different drivetrains, however, even the fastest, which will get you from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, won’t quite match the acceleration of the Tesla Model Y Performance. Unfortunately, the lower-end models of the Ioniq 5 are much slower, getting to that speed in over 7 seconds.
Performance is a clear win for the Tesla Model Y.
Winner: Tesla Model Y
Range and charging
Range and charging specifications are a little different between these two cars too. The Model Y has a range of 330 miles in the Long Range model, or 303 miles in the Performance model. Either way, you’re getting a car with a decently long range.
The Ioniq 5 can’t match those numbers. The base model of the Ioniq 5, called the Ioniq 5 SE Standard Range, offers 220 miles, however, the other models have a range of either 266 miles or 303 miles, depending on whether you get the all-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive model.
The Ioniq 5 may not have as long of a range as the Tesla, but it does charge quicker. The Ioniq 5 offers a charging speed of 350 kilowatts, which can get it charged up to 80% in only 18 minutes. That’s very impressive. The Tesla Model Y doesn’t charge slowly though — it offers a charging speed of 250kW, so you’ll still be able to get 50% of charge in 15 minutes, which isn’t bad.
Still, I think most will find range more important than charging speed. This one goes to Tesla.
Winner: Tesla Model Y
Pricing and availability
Last but not least is pricing and availability. Both of these cars are available to buy now — so if you choose one, you can pull the trigger. The Ioniq 5 ranges in price from $41,450 for the base SE Standard Range model, all the way up to $52,600 for the Ioniq 5 Limited model.
The Model Y isn’t quite that inexpensive. It comes in at $50,490 for the Model Y Long Range, or $54,490 for the Model Y Performance.
There’s a clear winner here — the Ioniq 5 is much cheaper.
Winner: Hyundai Ioniq 5
Overall winner: Tesla Model Y
The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is an excellent car, with a supercool design and great features. But it can’t quite compete with the electric car experience that of the Tesla. The Model Y performs better and has a longer range, making it the clearly better car. You really can’t go wrong with either of these two cars — but if you’re having a hard time deciding, the Model Y may be the way to go.