There are major cons to going with an established automaker for your first EV. Electric cars from so-called "legacy" manufacturers tend to have clunkier software, less seamless integrations of key features and a worse sales process that relies on frustrating dealers. But as this 2.5-year ownership review of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 shows, there are big benefits for going with a legacy-brand EV. 

As The Ioniq Guy explains in his latest video, the car has been pretty much flawless. Despite being a first-model-year car on a new platform, his Ioniq 5 has experienced no serious failures. That's particularly impressive when you consider that the Ioniq 5 has a sophisticated, 800-volt-class electrical charger that's a generation ahead of what most automakers have experience with. Competitors like the Tesla Model Y, Volkswagen ID.4, Toyota bZ4x and even the newer Chevy Equinox EV all use more pedestrian 400-volt-class architectures. The only other cars running at or above 800 volts—besides other Hyundais and Kias—are things like the Porsche Taycan, Audi E-Tron GT, Lucid Air and Tesla Cybertruck. Those are all way more expensive.  

One of the supposed downsides of moving toward an 800-volt-class architecture is that it's newer, more advanced technology that automakers have less experience with. You'd expect reliability problems, like the ones Tesla Cybertruck owners are facing. Yet Hyundai has managed to make some of the fastest-charging EVs on the planet cheap, reliable and satisfying to own. The motors and high-voltage batteries seem to be stout, with no wide-scale problems.

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5

Yet Consumer Reports puts the 2022 Ioniq 5 toward the bottom of its reliability rankings, thanks to issues like 12-volt battery drain, creaking rear hatches and internal charging controller issues. The Ioniq Guy needed his battery replaced and didn't experience the creaking hatch problem, while Hyundai has put out a service bulletin for the charging controller problem. Yet this is still a far less serious list of issues than those that typically accompany first-model-year Teslas or Rivians, and Consumer Reports data shows that reliability improved dramatically for 2023

But Tesla has definitely figured out its reliability issues with the Model 3. The company has pretty much perfected the drivetrain and all serious hardware issues since the bumpers-falling-off days. Yet it's the finer details of quality where Hyundai's carbuilding experience pays off. The Ioniq Guy painstakingly goes over almost every detail of the Hyundai, with the front end, interior, exterior trim, windshield and more showing shockingly little wear. The only quality concern is a small paint bubble on the rear hatch, which he should get addressed before the 3 year/36,000-mile paint warranty expires. Other than that, though, the only markings on the Ioniq are from user error, not quality. For a first-year vehicle on a new platform, that's a good scorecard.

More importantly, it also showcases how worry-free electric vehicle ownership will be in the future. Tesla, Rivian, Hyundai, Ford and others are all quickly solving EV quality and reliability problems, which are natural with any new technology. As they're refined, though, these EVs are going from headache-filled early adopter products to thoughtless consumer-grade tanks. Once software and electronic issues are sussed out, there just aren't many moving parts to worry about. As more automakers gain experience and compete to lower warranty claims and increase customer satisfaction, reliability should far surpass ICE vehicles. Pretty soon we'll be bored of cars long before they start breaking down.

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