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5 Ways Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 EV Could Be Improved For Winter Climates

We do a deep dive into how one of our favorite new battery-electric vehicles could be more winter-friendly. You may be surprised by the things we point out. Here’s a hint; AWD and range are not the problems.


If you saw our headline and figured we would be doing an overly-technical evaluation of EV charging times or range reduction due to winter weather, you are mistaken. All EVs have the same challenges in winter in this regard. Did you assume we would be doing some waist-high snow driving to highlight the Ioniq 5’s HTRAC all-wheel drive system? Nope. This vehicle is not designed for that duty. We’re sure its AWD system is as good for on-road winter driving as any other battery-electric vehicle is. In this story, we are going to break down the $56K Ioniq 5’s winter convenience features.

Click HERE for the accompanying TikTok video!

Image of Hyundai Ioniq 5 tires by John GorehamWinter-Weather Driving and Tires
We drove the Ioniq 5 during snow and on roads treated and plowed. It was great. Normal. Just like most all-wheel drive cars or crossovers with AWD are. Tires make the biggest difference in winter on snow and on ice. The tire Hyundai chose is an all-season touring tire. Not a bad choice, but not the best choice either. Although Hyundai selected high-quality Michelin brand tires, it opted for a tire that isn’t snow-rated. Tire Rack rates these tires 8.4 for light snow, 7.7 for deep snow traction, and 7.3 for ice traction.

Michelin’s CrossClimate2 tire with its three-peak mountain snowflake rating for severe snow duty would have been a better choice in our opinion. This vehicle and its tires will be fine for most winter commutes, but if you are going to own this car and take it skiing or to your winter cabin getaway, or let’s say you are an essential worker in a field that goes to work in all weather conditions, you are going to need to swap rubber twice a year. The CrossClimate2 earns a rating from Tire Rack of 9.4 for light snow, 9.0 for deep snow, and 8.7 for ice traction. And based on our testing, has no downsides.

Image of Hyundai Ioniq 5 cargo area by John Goreham

If the low-profile tires should suffer damage, there is no spare in the Ioniq 5. Yes, we know that many other models from many other brands also commit this sin of deletion. But you can get a spare in the Audi e-tron, and all Toyota RAV4 Primes have one. Heck, there are Wrangler 4xe models with standard matching full-size spares. Good luck with your AAA tow and then finding a tire in stock during these unusual times. Remember, that tire mobility slime in your trunk will be as hard as diamond when temps hit the single digits.

Image of Hyundai Ioniq 5 wiper blades by John GorehamWiper Blades
Here in New England, vehicle owners who arrive at work in the morning during a snow, sleet, or ice storm will usually “pull up the wipers.” The idea is to pull the wipers up so they stand proud of the windshield and then don’t get frozen to the window under three inches of solid ice. The Ioniq 5’s wiper blade design won’t allow you to do that.

Image of Hyundai Ioniq 5 windshield by John GorehamHeated Windshield
One feature all three of the vehicles I personally own (Forester, Highlander, CX-5) have is heating wires in the front windshield glass. They do two things; First, they keep your wipers from getting frozen when you drive in a sleet storm. Second, they help you get going after ice and snow have built up after a storm. The Ioniq 5 Limited doesn’t appear to have this common feature. Sure, you can bust out the scraper and then look through scratched glass forevermore, but New Englanders generally don’t scrape. We pull up the wipers and turn on the windshield de-icer.

Image of Hyundai Ioniq 5 screen by John GorehamHeated Seats and Steering Wheel
The Ioniq 5 we tested had a price before dealer markups and EV incentives of $56,145. We would expect any vehicle in this price range to come with heated seats and a heated steering wheel, and the Ioniq 5 does. They are very effective, and there are some smart modes you can employ so they work when you want them to. However, there is no mechanical knob or switch to turn them on and off.

Instead, you use the touch-screen. By our count, it takes five touches tapping through three menus to turn them on or off. Watch our TikTok video posted above to see all of the steps. We understand that buttons may seem old-school to many EV shoppers. But to those who actually use heated seats, you know that they tend to be a feature you control manually since your body and the seats heat up and cool down at rates that may not jive.

Image of Hyundai rear glass by John GorehamNo Rear Wiper
“Where is the rear wiper?” That is a question common to all Ioniq 5 fan clubs on social media. We have no good answer for this. Based on our testing, snow and ice and raindrops do form on the Ioniq 5’s rear glass. The backup camera can also be obscured by snow and ice after driving.

ionic 5 snow covered backup camera image by John Goreham

Please be aware that we think the Ioniq 5 is a fantastic new vehicle from the brand we feel has done the most to provide affordable BEVs. This third BEV model from Hyundai is a leap ahead of anything else in its price class on sale now except the Kia EV6, which is a similar vehicle. We like the Mustang Mach-E, and the ID.4 has its merits, but the Ioniq 5 is the hot model for Q1 2022. We in New England have learned to take winter very seriously. Tell us in the comments below what you think of our real-world analysis of the Ioniq 5’s usability in winter weather.

For more of our observations on the outstanding new Hyundai Ioniq 5, please check our full review.

John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. John's interest in EVs goes back to 1990 when he designed the thermal control system for an EV battery as part of an academic team. After earning his mechanical engineering degree, John completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers, in the semiconductor industry, and in biotech. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American news outlets and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on TikTok @ToknCars, on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin

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All images by John Goreham


Adam (not verified)    February 13, 2022 - 11:29PM

Thanks for the review! I’m thinking of getting one in Vermont pretty soon. Some cool features uou missed though…
You can turn on heated seats and steering wheel with a voice command, just have to learn the precise language which is still giving people fits apparently.
Planning on putting studded snows on mine, but I’ll look into the tires you suggested.
My crosstrek doesn’t even have heated windshield but haven’t had an issue just using the defroster, but also park in my garage. Only issue I see is the lack of rear wiper which is admittedly the only legit flaw. But the back windshield is heated I believe so shouldn’t be an issue with ice. The aerodynamics should take care of most everything else but mud. And I think they are working on a digital mirror (camera) for future models.

Gary Gildemeister (not verified)    March 3, 2022 - 5:45PM

In reply to by Adam (not verified)

I live in Vermont too and am interested in this car. I have checked the Hyundai dealers in Burlington and Montpelier and neither will be selling or servicing the Ioniq 5 in the near future. Will you purchase yours out-of-state?

Robert Joly (not verified)    February 14, 2022 - 9:58AM

This is way overpriced for what you get .Most people would not buy it without the goverment rebate on taxes. Even the poor people contribute to an unfair commercial practice, And dont forget that if you live around 45 degree, latitude
you will get abut 40% less miles driving per full battery charge for 4 to 6 months. Frozen door handle will be a real pain. You still have a twelve volt battery that can go dead and might have to be replaced for $320. And if you happen to live in Europe a full charge will cost about 50$US at charging station.
Electric cars are not a very good buy if you take out the smoke screen.

Bejje (not verified)    February 15, 2022 - 6:44AM

In reply to by Robert Joly (not verified)

Living in Sweden and yeah I know we have the most expensive petrol price in the world. So using a electric car cuts the milage cost /4 and wake upp every morning with full charge getting me through 99.9% of all my need, so nice to almost never need to stop at a gas station, and if I need to use a public charger (about 5 times a year) and it takes some time but still are much cheaper, its fine with me.
Driving it is much better with instant power and so quiet, instant heating, no need to wait for engine to heat up.
No other way to go but electric it's really so much better. Yeah range isn't as good as a ice car but enough for almost all your needs especially when you have full charge every morning.

John Goreham    February 14, 2022 - 12:29PM

In reply to by Reality Bites (not verified)

Thanks, RB, that is a great suggestion! I have been trying that, but it is a bit of an annoyance. The infotainment system takes about 6 to 10 seconds before it will accept that command (or any command). And they then shut back off if one shuts the vehicle off. I'm not much of a talker. I don't want to be telling my car to turn on the heated seats all winter every day for the next 15 years. It does work great to shut them off, though. Thanks for the tip! ps - It works through Android Auto which is cool.

Stein Garnes (not verified)    February 15, 2022 - 5:58AM

If you push down the wiper handle within 10 sec or so after turning off the car, the wipers will go to service position and can be lifted to "stand proud". Do this all the time here in Norway during winter.

John Goreham    February 16, 2022 - 9:42AM

In reply to by Stein Garnes (not verified)

Thank you Stein! I did just try that. I turned on the vehicle and waited a while. Then I shut it off by hitting the stop/start button. When I move the wiper stalk down either one or more notches down it didn't move the wipers. I also tried up (the one wipe position) and that also did not help move them. I did another test as well. On some cars, one can hault the wipers in place by shutting the car off while they are in motion. However, in this one, the car always sets them back to the down position if you try that.

Trevor (not verified)    March 14, 2022 - 4:35PM

In reply to by Stein Garnes (not verified)

The manual states this for Wiper replacement (p. 9-14):

"Within 20 seconds of turning off the vehicle, lift up (or push down) and hold the wiper lever to the MIST (or 1x) position for about 2 seconds until the wipers move to the top wipe position. At this time you can lift the wipers off the windshield."

What I do is simply turn off the car, hold the wiper stoke up for a few seconds until the wipers move to the up position. They don’t do the full up and down cycle, only the up half-cycle. Then you can lift them proud of the windshield. I do that all the time up here in Canada since we got freezing rain very often this winter.

What is good about that feature is that even when you start the car (manually or remotely), the wipers won’t get back to the rest position until you move the wiper stoke. So there is no risk that the wipers hit the hood while they are still proud.

I too was frustrated about not being able to lift the wipers. Then, I wanted to change the wiper blades for winter blades. That’s when I found the instructions above.

Michael E. (not verified)    February 18, 2022 - 1:47PM

Would have been nice to discuss charging times and battery life in cold weather. I'm sure it's not the same if this vehicle were in Florida.

Dan Reilly (not verified)    February 20, 2022 - 11:14AM

To turn the steering wheel heat and seat heaters on, touch "warmer" on the dash. It will bring up the climate screen where you can turn on both or either. You don't need 5 pushes.

J (not verified)    February 20, 2022 - 2:47PM

I think the big thing not mentioned is it needs a heat pump on all models, something lacking in this release