HYUNDAI'S multi-award-winning Ioniq 5 not only looks like the future, right now it IS the future.
Which is probably why, among many accolades, the acclaimed all-electric crossover was named overall World Car of the Year, World Electric Vehicle of the Year and World Car Design of the Year in 2022.
It certainly stands out from the rest of the EV pack.
Launched in February 2021, the Ioniq 5 was the first model based on Hyundai Motor Group's first dedicated BEV platform, Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP).
However, what strikes you first is its size - like a VW Golf on steroids.
It might be a ‘crossover' but this is a big family car. In fact, it's longer and wider than the Tucson, Hyundai's rather good, mid-size SUV.
The 2023 model range has been enhanced with a new 77.4kWh battery, that offers increased range - an official 315 miles - and a little extra power over the 73kWh unit it replaced.
There is also an all-wheel drive version creating 321bhp, but with slightly less range.
The new model year also brought a new, range-topping Namsan Edition which, among a whole host of extraordinary equipment, boasts video-based digital interior and exterior mirrors.
Mounted in the rear spoiler, the Digital Centre Mirror optimises visibility by providing an unobstructed, panoramic rear-facing view of the car.
Digital Side Mirrors replace traditional door mirrors with externally mounted cameras that projects their image onto screens inside the car. I wouldn't want to break one though - that could be very costly.
Hyundai argues that these provide the driver with an enhanced rear view, even in bad weather, and I can't disagree. The system works well.
The Namsan Edition also comes with a full-length panoramic roof, leather upholstery and super comfortable, electrically-adjustable ‘relaxation seats'.
For the 2023 model range, a new battery heater and conditioning feature is standard across the range, which also includes Premium and Ultimate trims. This enables the car to adapt its battery temperature while on the move and helps to improve real-world charging performance.
In the king-sized cabin, the driver is faced with a pair of side-by-side 12.3-inch digital screens - one covering the infotainment and sat nav systems, while the other displays information for the driver.
The infotainment touchscreen is clear and simple to use though I found it needed a little repetitive forefinger stabbing at times.
As you would expect from Hyundai, the top-of-the-range Namsan Edition is also equipped with a mass of goodies including LED headlights, wireless smartphone charging pad, adaptive cruise control, blind view monitor and surround view monito, 20-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass, a BOSE premium sound system, heated rear seats, head up display and a Tech Pack that features Remote Smart Park Assist, Parking Collision Avoidance and a Vehicle to Load (V2L) system which allows you to charge portable devices, camping kit or even another electric vehicle.
There's also heat pump system, which helps to enhance battery efficiency during inclement weather by heating the cabin as opposed to using the high voltage battery to power the heating system.
Then, quite simply, you have to take in, the 5's staggering cabin space, which takes full advantage of the car's 3,000mm wheelbase. There's even a centre console which slides back for over a foot to allows passengers more freedom of movement.
The electrically-adjusted rear seats can also slide forwards and backward by more than a foot to help maximise legroom or boot space. The rear boot itself can hold 527 litres of luggage though this grows to a huge 1,587 litres with the rear seats folded.
There's also 57 litres available under the bonnet's ‘frunk'.
At nearly two tonnes, the Ioniq 5 is heavy, mainly due to those electric batteries, but as they are beneath the floor, they not only benefit passenger space but, because of the low centre of gravity, mean you can drive it with some ‘spirit'.
It's handling and ride comfort have been improved due to the introduction of smart frequency dampers, which also aids the response of the front and rear suspension.
With electric power, the 5's performance off the line is rapid but, in all honesty, this is a car which is all about comfort, and it is truly a comfortable car. It just soaks up the miles whether on the motorway or easing around town.
That said, if you do want to throw it around on a B-road, there's very little body roll and Sport mode is a hoot! Just don't expect the leccy to last too long.
Crash tested by Euro NCAP, who were particularly impressed by the fact it has an airbag that stops occupants' heads striking each other in a side-on impact, it achieved the top, five-star rating. Not a surprise as there's oodles of active safety assistance systems on board.