Help, I Can't Stop Thinking About The Hyundai Ioniq 5 N

Photo: Hyundai
Photo: Hyundai

When I showed up to review the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N, I knew it would be quick. Having more than 600 horsepower on tap tends to do that. I’d also seen promises that it would be much more track-capable than the Kia EV6 GT, so I went in expecting it to be pretty good. Once I was behind the wheel, I quickly realized it wasn’t just good. It was outstanding. The power made me want to do stupid, illegal things, and the brakes and handling encouraged it, too. Ever since then, I just can’t stop thinking about it.

Just so you understand, that drive program was the first time I can remember where I was legitimately excited to change seats with my drive partner because I needed her to experience the sheer driving joy that is the Ioniq 5 N. It almost didn’t feel fair to keep the driver’s seat to myself for the rest of the leg. She needed to feel the ridiculousness of Hyundai’s so-called corner rascal. And anyone who’s driven one will tell you the same thing. The reason we all sound like we’re a bunch of paid shills is because the Ioniq 5 N is legitimately that good.

I mean, we’re talking so good that Matt Farah seriously considered getting one instead of the Porsche Macan EV that he had on order. Think about that for a second. Hyundai built an electric crossover so good that it’s being directly compared to a Porsche by someone who can afford the Porsche. That’s madness.


The Ioniq 5 N wormed its way into my brain, and I honestly think it’s breaking me. Everything I’ve driven since has left me wishing I was driving the Hyundai. All I can think of is how much better every single drive would be if I was in an Ioniq 5 N. Now, granted, just about everything is more enjoyable to drive than my dying 2008 Subaru Forester, but I’m talking about other cars, too, including new ones that aren’t even vaguely competitors for the electric Hyundai.

I’m normally not like this, either. When I got my first shot behind the wheel of a Porsche 911, it was a revelation, but I didn’t spend my week with a Mustang GT constantly thinking about the 911. And I certainly wasn’t thinking, “You know what would make this Lexus LX so much better? If it was a 911.” That would have been absurd.

And yet, after driving the Hyundai, I feel like I might just be losing my mind. A car I drove for a couple of hours shouldn’t be taking up this space in my brain, and yet it is. It’s not like my brain is a McMansion with a three-car garage and a pool, either. At best, we’re working with a one-bedroom walkup here. I need that brain space back for things like remembering doctor’s appointments and where I put my keys. But no. I just keep thinking about the Ioniq 5 N, and I don’t know if there’s anything I can do to fix it.

Maybe it’s too late for me, but at least I can warn everyone else. Unless you’re serious about buying this car, do not under any circumstances test drive one. Turn back now. They’ll make you give the keys back when you’re done, and then you’ll be stuck driving home in something that isn’t an Ioniq 5 N, thinking the whole time about how you wish you could afford one. Trust me. You don’t want to do that to yourself. Once you cross that line, there’s no going back.

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