The Tesla Model Y was the world’s best-selling car in the first quarter of 2023 and the best-selling EV in the United States in the first half of 2023. It was also the best-selling car in the European Union in the first half of this year. So it goes without saying that the American zero-emissions crossover is very popular, both on the domestic market and overseas.

But some people don’t want a Tesla, for various reasons. This is why we put together this handy comparison piece that compares the Model Y with one of its biggest and most potent competitors, the Hyundai Ioniq 5.

While Hyundai’s sales volume can’t quite match Tesla's with about 30,000 Ioniq 5s sold in the U.S. in the first 11 months of 2023, compared to the roughly 200,000 Model Ys sold in just the first half of the year, the Korean EV is still a compelling alternative to the wildly popular American crossover.

Tesla Model Y

Tesla Model Y

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5

With this being said, let’s look at how the two cars stack up.

Tesla Model Y vs. Hyundai Ioniq 5: Price

  • Tesla Model Y: Starting at $43,990 without tax credits and delivery fees

The base version of the Model Y, which is often referred to as the Rear-Wheel Drive because it only has one rear-mounted electric motor, comes as standard with a Midnight Silver Metallic paint, 19-inch Gemini wheels wearing all-season tires, and an all-black interior with seating for five people.

A glass roof, central touchscreen display, dual wireless smartphone charger, and heated steering wheel are also part of the package, as are the heated front and rear seats. Power-adjustable front seats also come as standard.

What doesn’t come as standard—and is seen as a feature and not an oversight—is any sort of gauge or display behind the steering wheel. All the information is relayed to the driver through the central display only, so there’s a bit of a learning curve here, compared to cars that have traditional gauges showing speed and other info.

Tesla Model Y interior

Tesla Model Y interior

In fact, all versions of the Model Y come with pretty much the same features as the most affordable trim. In other words, you don’t have to spend extra for a more expensive variant just to get the glass roof, as is sometimes the case with other carmakers.

However, there are some optional extras that can be added no matter the powertrain choice, like different wheels, paint colors, and a tow hitch. Tesla doesn’t detail the power and torque output of its various drivetrain configurations, but it does advertise the zero to 60 mph time and top speed of its cars. In the case of the base RWD Model Y, it can reach 60 mph in 6.6 seconds and the top speed is 135 mph.

Spend $5,000 more for the Dual-Motor All-Wheel Drive Long Range Model and you can experience a quicker 0-60 mph time of 4.8 seconds, while the top speed is the same.

The top-of-the-range Performance, which costs $52,490, slashes the sprint time to 3.5 seconds and ups the top speed to 155 mph.

  • Hyundai Ioniq 5: Starting at $41,650 without tax credits and delivery fees

The Hyundai Ioniq 5’s trim levels are a bit more complex, similar to what you’d find on a combustion vehicle. In the United States, the EV is available in four variants, one of which is rear-wheel drive only.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 Disney100 Platinum Edition

The list of choices starts with the SE Standard Range, which is the most affordable but it’s also the only version that can’t be had with all-wheel drive. It has an MSRP of $41,650 and comes with a single, rear-mounted electric motor making 168 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque, as well as the smallest available battery pack that has a capacity of 58 kWh.

Next in line is the SE, which starts at $45,700 and comes as standard with a more powerful 225-hp rear electric motor and a bigger 77.4 kWh battery. A dual-motor all-wheel drive setup that makes a combined 320 hp and 446 lb-ft is available as a $2,500 option.

The same goes for the slightly better equipped SEL trim that starts at $47,250–this one adds a hands-free power liftgate–as well as the top-of-the-line Limited that goes for $53,350.

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5 interior

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5 interior

For the extra cash, the Ioniq 5 Limited adds standard Premium LED front accent lighting and projector-type LED headlights, power-folding side mirrors, silver bumpers and body cladding (as opposed to the black ones on the other versions), premium side sills, premium gloss-black exterior accents, a panoramic sunroof, and an eight-way power adjustable passenger seat, in addition to the eight-way power driver seat that’s available on all the other trim levels.

Ventilated front seats, a memory driver seat, and adjustable head restraints are also standard on the Limited, as well as a Bose Premium sound system and a head-up display with augmented reality functions.

The Ioniq 5 comes with a heated steering wheel, a wireless smartphone charger, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink from the SEL trim upward.

Tesla Model Y vs. Hyundai Ioniq 5: Range

The Tesla Model Y has a base EPA-rated range of 260 miles when choosing the entry-level RWD model. The Long Range model offers 310 miles of range, while the Performance is somewhere in between, delivering an estimated driving range of 285 miles on a full charge.

On paper, the Ioniq 5 can’t quite keep up with the Model Y range-wise. The SE Standard Range, which is rear-wheel drive only, offers up to 220 miles of driving on a full charge, while the bigger battery on the more expensive versions can deliver up to 303 miles when hooked up to a rear electric motor only.

The optional all-wheel drive eats 43 miles of range on the combined cycle, bringing down the EPA estimate to 260 miles for AWD-equipped Ioniq 5s.

As always, though, these figures are taken with a grain of salt, as various factors such as driving speed and ambient temperature can decrease the number of miles that can be driven on a full charge.

According to Consumer Reports, the Model Y fails to meet its advertised EPA range all year round, with the worst performance seen during a highway drive at a constant 70 miles per hour and an average temperature of 16 degrees. After driving in these conditions, the Model Y Long Range returned a calculated real-world range of just 186 miles.

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 was submitted to the same test and the real-world range in cold weather, as calculated by CR, was 183 miles, whereas the EPA estimate said it could travel 256 miles on a full charge (the EPA estimates were different from those advertised today).

Tesla Model Y vs. Hyundai Ioniq 5: Efficiency

Efficiency is an extremely important factor for EVs because it determines how much electricity you'll "burn" on the road and end up paying for in the long run.

According to the EPA window sticker, the Model Y can eat anywhere between 26 and 30 kilowatt-hours per 100 miles driven, depending on the powertrain. The base RWD version is the most frugal, with 26 kWh/100 miles, followed by the AWD Long Range with 28 kWh/100 miles, and the AWD Performance with 30 kWh/100 miles.

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is a bit more power-hungry than the Model Y, which can be partly attributed to its slightly higher weight. The Ioniq 5 weighs between roughly 4,000 lbs and 4,700 lbs, while the Model Y tips the scales between 4,154 lbs and 4,398 lbs.

As a result, the Ioniq 5 consumes 29 kWh/100 miles in long-range RWD guise, 30 kWh/100 miles when specced with the standard range battery, and 34 kWh/100 miles when the big battery is powering the dual-motor AWD system.

Gallery: 2021 Tesla Model Y

Tesla Model Y vs. Hyundai Ioniq 5: Charge Time

Tesla says the Model Y RWD can accept up to 170 kilowatts, while the Long Range and Performance can go up to 250 kW. Moreover, the EV can be recharged from either a 120-volt household outlet, a 240V source using the Tesla Wall Connector, or Tesla's expansive DC fast charging network of Superchargers. When connected to one of the latter, the Model Y can add up to 162 miles of range in 15 minutes, according to the company.

All Ioniq 5 variants are capable of accepting up to 220 kW from a compatible DC fast charger which enables the EV to go from 10% state of charge to 80% in 18 minutes. On a 240V charger, topping up the battery from 10% to 100% takes five hours and 50 minutes for the small battery and seven hours and 10 minutes for the big battery.

Tests done by Edmunds show that the Hyundai Ioniq 5 with a dual-motor powertrain is capable of charging at a speed of 673 miles/hour when hooked to a DC fast charger, while the Tesla Model Y Long Range can add 538 miles/hour when charging from a high-output source.

With all this being said, it's worth noting that Tesla's fast-charging network is considered one of the best, if not the best out there, with stellar reliability and availability. There are over 12,000 stations in North America, which have been available only for Tesla users, but that's about to change starting in 2024 when EVs from several other automakers, including Hyundai, will get access to the Supercharger network in the U.S. and Canada. That's sure to improve the ownership experience for non-Tesla drivers who need to recharge while on the go.

Tesla Model Y vs. Hyundai Ioniq 5: 0-60 MPH

The base RWD variant of the Tesla Model Y can accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in 6.6 seconds. The Long Range trim is slightly faster, reaching 60 mph in 4.8 seconds, and the Performance can do it in 3.5 seconds.

Both the RWD and Long Range versions of the Tesla Model Y have a top speed of 135 mph, while the faster Performance can reach 155 mph.

Hyundai doesn’t advertise the 0-60 mph sprint times for the Ioniq 5. However, Edmunds recorded a time of 4.7 seconds for the AWD-equipped EV, while Car and Driver managed an even quicker 0-60 mph sprint of 4.5 seconds.

Gallery: 2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5

Tesla Model Y vs. Hyundai Ioniq 5: Top Speed

The Tesla Model Y RWD and Long Range can go up to 135 mph, while the Performance version ups the top speed to 155 mph.

Hyundai says the top speed of the Ioniq 5 is 115 mph. 

Tesla Model Y vs. Hyundai Ioniq 5: Driver-Assistance Systems

  • Tesla Model Y: Autopilot, Enhanced Autopilot, and Full Self-Driving

All Tesla EVs come with the company’s so-called Autopilot advanced driving assistant system that includes traffic-aware cruise control and a steering assistant called Autosteer. Optionally, one can buy the $6,000 Enhanced Autopilot suite that adds supervised, Level-2 capable automatic lane changes, automatic parking, and the so-called Navigate on Autopilot, which “Actively guides your car from a highway’s on-ramp to off-ramp, including suggesting lane changes, navigating interchanges, automatically engaging the turn signal and taking the correct exit,” according to Tesla.

There’s also the so-called Full Self-Driving (FSD) option, which costs $12,000 and adds the ability to autonomously steer the car on city streets and to automatically stop at traffic lights and stop signs. However, as Tesla states on its website, driver supervision is needed at all times and none of these features make the car autonomous or actually "fully self-driving."

  • Hyundai Ioniq 5: A Lot Of “Assists”

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is also available with Level 2-capable technology: partial automation where the car can take over steering, accelerating and braking under certain circumstances, but still with the driver's hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go is available as standard on all trim levels, which includes navigation-based cues and something called Curve Control.

Forward Collision Avoidance Assist, Parking Collision Avoidance Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, High Beam Assist, and Highway Driving Assist are all part of the offer, depending on the trim level.

Tesla Model Y vs. Hyundai Ioniq 5: Interior

  • Tesla Model Y

Tesla’s crossover offers an airy cabin thanks to its standard panoramic glass roof. But that roof can also cause some issues in the summer, as there is no sunshade to protect you from the heat. 

The Texas-based automaker says that infrared and ultraviolet light is “effectively blocked,” but owners have complained about having trouble keeping the cabin cool on a very hot day.

Five seats come as standard and the Long Range variant can be optioned with two additional seats in the trunk making for a seven-seat layout.

Tesla Model Y interior

Tesla Model Y Interior

As with the Model 3, the Model Y has a single central touchscreen display that’s used to relay all the information to the driver. This was done for cost-cutting reasons and it may take a while for someone who’s only driven a car with conventional dials behind the steering wheel to get used to Tesla’s setup.

There’s also no integration with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto—not even the wired kind. However, Tesla’s infotainment system has native apps for various streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music.

  • Hyundai Ioniq 5

The Korean EV only comes in a five-seat layout but there’s enough room to actually fit five adults inside, whereas the Model Y has a slightly more cramped rear bench.

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5 interior

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5 Interior

The perceived quality is also regarded as better than the Tesla and the general layout is more in line with a traditional ICE vehicle. Expect more buttons and traditional controls here, but a lot of functions still route through the car's screens. There’s a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel and another 12.3-inch touchscreen that does infotainment duty.

There are also physical buttons for the climate control system, but you still have to go through the touchscreen to access the settings for the seat heater, ventilation, or heated steering wheel.

The Ioniq 5 has a neat (and huge) sliding cubby between the front seats and comes with wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, but there’s no wireless option.

Tesla Model Y vs. Hyundai Ioniq 5: Build quality

Historically, Tesla models, especially lower-priced ones, have been known for having some build quality issues. That’s why Consumer Reports continually criticizes the brand’s cars for having problems with body hardware, paint, trim, and the climate control system.

That said, things have improved over time and new cars seem to be screwed together much better than older units. The same Consumer Reports goes on to recommend both the Model Y and the Model 3 as good enough cars that are worthy of your hard-earned money.

The Ioniq 5 seems better built and has slightly better-feeling materials throughout, but it’s not exactly a Rolls-Royce either.

Tesla Model Y vs. Hyundai Ioniq 5: Driving Dynamics And Ride Comfort

The Tesla Model Y is a surprisingly engaging car to drive despite its heavy weight, with the steering feeling light and quick to respond and the body staying relatively composed during hard cornering. That said, driving over uneven surfaces isn’t this EV’s forte, especially in Performance guise, with small bumps and cracks making their way to the cabin.

On the other hand, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 offers a somewhat cushier ride and a more laid-back overall feeling that might go a long way on road trips. At the same time, however, the car’s relaxed ride won’t necessarily be to the taste of performance seekers. alumnus Brandon Turkus rated the Ioniq 5’s comfort with nine out of 10 stars in his review of the 2022 model year EV, saying that the Korean crossover is spookily quiet at speed, with virtually no wind noise and only modest amounts of tire roar from its all-season tires. 

Laminated glass on the front and rear doors and acoustic glass on the windshield will do this, and the effect is so pronounced that the Ioniq 5 doesn’t have fancy active noise cancellation to quiet down the cabin. Then again, neither does the Tesla Model Y.

What Our Experts Say

But specs will only tell you so much. Nothing compares to a proper test drive to see if a car really suits your needs and desires. We encourage you to try both as extensively as you can, and in the meantime, here’s what our team of expert journalists thinks about each option. 

  • Tesla Model Y

It’s very hard to fault anyone who wants to buy a Tesla Model Y these days. It’s almost the default choice for a modern EV; it’s spacious, quick, capable, and offers access to the best charging network ever built. We have our issues with Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Beta system, but Autopilot these days works extremely well on highways. Either way, the Model Y pushes the boundaries of automated driving assistance more than most other options (even though proper human supervision is crucial.) 

There’s a reason the Model Y has become so ubiquitous in every city. It’s very good at what it does and it’s still a blast to drive. I recommend prioritizing range over the Performance model, but the Long Range Model Y is no slouch either. If you don’t mind driving the same car as almost everyone else these days, the Model Y will make a fantastic first EV—or second, or seventh. 

—Patrick George, Editor-in-Chief

With the recent price reductions, the Tesla Model Y is an incredibly compelling option. Starting in the low $40,000-range and qualifying for the $7,500 tax credit, the Model Y undercuts most of its competitors. Even as standard, the Y has a killer sound system, a HEPA air filtration unit, Supercharging access, and Autopilot technology. Plus, with regular over-the-air updates, the Model Y gets noticeably better over time. A recent one builds a 3D depiction of the parking area you've pulled into; it's really neat. On the tech level, the Model Y is nearly unparalleled.

While the Model Y is an impressive electric crossover, it isn't perfect. With an expansive glass roof and large windows, the cabin is more on the noisy side. Pair this with stiff suspension, and the Model Y's ride just isn't as serene as others. Another gripe is the lack of ultrasonic sensors—a decision that has an impact on automated driving capabilities. While Tesla amended some issues with OTA updates, the cameras are simply less accurate than the sensors. And despite Tesla's technological prowess, the Model Y doesn't have a 360-degree surround view camera, a feature even the little Bolt 2LT has.

—Andrew Lambrecht, Contributing Writer

  • Hyundai Ioniq 5

Pound for pound, the Ioniq 5 is one of the very best cars in the world right now. It’s one of the few EVs at any price point that can match or beat the specs offered by a Tesla—range, charging speed, performance, equipment like a heat pump, and so on. It’s also one of the best-looking crossovers on the market, though design is certainly always in the eye of the beholder. 

While other automakers have struggled to keep up with Tesla in the EV race, Hyundai has more than held its own, and that’s readily apparent whenever you drive an Ioniq 5. The Tesla still beats Hyundai’s offering on the Supercharger front, but otherwise, this is a close race that may come down to personal preference. But if you want an example of the best out there right now, look no further than this retro-future electric crossover. 

—Patrick George, Editor-in-Chief

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is certainly interesting to look at, but underneath that crazy exterior lies a surprisingly easy-to-use electric crossover. In an era where computerized, iPhone-like interior interfaces reign supreme, the Ioniq 5’s interior remains somewhat conventional. That’s an asset to the driver that might be turned off by the interface in a Tesla.

– Kevin Williams, Staff Writer

Tesla Model Y

Tesla Model Y

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5

Tesla Model Y vs. Hyundai Ioniq 5: Conclusion

The Tesla Model Y is more expensive than the Hyundai Ioniq 5 when comparing these two cars’ base trim levels. That said, the Model Y offers more range for the money, a simpler cabin that might appeal to those looking for a minimalist design, and access to Tesla’s vast DC fast charging station.

But the Ioniq 5 can hold its own against its Tesla-branded rival with a more premium-feeling interior, higher charging speeds, and a futuristic exterior design. Plus, Hyundai’s deal with Tesla that allows Ioniq 5 and other model owners to access the Supercharger network in the United States and Canada from 2024 might make the Model Y’s ease-of-charging advantage less relevant than it once was.

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