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Hyundai Ioniq 5 Se vs. Sel


1. Overview

The exterior of the SE and SEL are similar, and there are only a few differences between the two vehicle designs. The SE comes with 19-inch wheels with a 5-spoke wheel cover. The SEL comes with different 19-inch wheels, and the difference is that the SEL wheels are alloy. The SE comes with manual folding side mirrors, but the SEL comes with automatic folding. The SEL also comes with solar control glass for the front door to help keep the vehicle cooler. Overall, the exterior of the SE and SEL are alike. The differences listed do not affect the performance or the aesthetic appeal of the vehicle.

This report represents a comparison of a new Hyundai Ioniq 5 SE and SEL electric vehicle designs. The aim of the comparison is to highlight the standard features of the vehicle and the options available for the consumer. This comparison will help the consumer in making an informed decision when purchasing an Ioniq 5. In this comparison, only the standard features of the SE will be highlighted. The optional features of the SEL will be compared to the standard features of the SE. This will show the difference in price and features between the two vehicle designs.

1.1. Exterior Design

The Ioniq 5 SE and SEL are both characterized by an exterior that translates the design sensibility of Hyundai's 45 concept into a production car without compromise. Blending retro-futuristic overtones with a clean, minimalistic design language, the Ioniq 5 is starkly different from any previous product to come out of Hyundai's design studio. Noteworthy exterior equipment for the SE includes 19-inch wheels, a configurable LED headlight system, standard roof rails, and an automatic liftgate. The SEL equips features 20-inch wheels, a special two-tone paint scheme with a contrasting color roof, and a solar panel roof that's designed to help replenish the drive battery. Both models receive a 72.1-inch width and a 118.1-inch wheelbase. This allows for a more spacious interior to be available to the consumer. Both SEL and SE models will come equipped with a 'Plain Sight' feature that consists of high-tech hidden lighting features. This, in essence, consists of Parametric Pixels, which are standard equipment on the Ioniq 5. These are orange-colored light garnishes on the front and rear of the car, which light up to greet the driver when they approach the car. This feature also comes into play when the new 'Vehicle 2 Load' function is in operation.

1.2. Interior Features

If you often misplace your valuable items in the car, the standard SE vehicle may be frustrating as there is no mention of a centre console tray. However, if you were to upgrade to the SEL vehicle, you will find a center console with tray, which provides a useful compartment for storing change and small items underneath the wireless phone charging mat. This upgrade also applies to the overhead console as it lacks a sunglasses holder in the standard SE vehicle.

Both trim levels have no additional interior colour options aside from the actual Ioniq 5 dye, but seat materials do differ. The standard SE vehicle offers fabric seating with artificial leather accents. But if you upgrade to the SEL vehicle, the driver and front passenger will have the privilege of sitting in leather seating with ash blue accents. With the seats in question and the increased price for leather, the decision will ultimately determine if the buyer has children or the age of potential passengers.

There are a large number of features that are available in both SE and SEL. However, to keep this simple for reading, the comparison in price will determine if the features will be found as standard. Dual Motor/Two Wheel Drive variants are not an issue here as there are only single motor options available in the UK currently.

1.3. Performance and Range

The driving performance in Hyundai Ioniq 5 SE and SEL is great. Both of them carry a single electric motor which delivers 125kW (168 hp) and 350Nm of torque to the rear wheels. This set up is enough to make Ioniq 5 accelerate from 0-100 km/h in approximately 8.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 185 km/h. To give assurance to the drivers, both of the variants come with new multi-link rear suspension which provides excellent driving dynamics and more control to the driver. It will absorb road shocks and vibrations to provide a smoother and more comfortable ride on various road surfaces. From the fuel economy side, Ioniq 5 with 58kWh battery size is capable of achieving 16.5 km/kWh. While the bigger 72.6 kWh battery can achieve 17.5 km/kWh. With 77.4 kWh of battery size, Ioniq 5 SEL is the only variant using 72.6 kWh battery providing an industry-leading driving range on a single charge of 500 km. This means only with a single charge, owners can go from Kuala Lumpur to Alor Setar (approximately 500 km) without any range anxiety. This is far better compared to other EVs in Malaysia which most of them can achieve 250-300 km only.

2. Safety and Technology

The Ioniq 5 most likely scored as well as it did because it comes with advanced driver assistance systems such as lane departure warnings, lane keeping assistance, lane centering assist, smart cruise control with stop/go, highway driving assist, forward collision avoidance, blind-spot assist, rear cross-traffic alert with collision avoidance, as well as auto hold and drive mode select (auto hold is not a driver assistance system, but is still liked by many). The SE comes with all of these standard, while the SEL adds on the remote smart parking assist feature. On the Hyundai Australia website, they state that the Ioniq 5 will come with an extensive list of driver assistance systems such as safe exit assist and highway driving assist, with a few features such as blind-spot avoidance assist not even shown on the USA spec page. Since the features displayed are only what's available in the configuration menus on the infotainment, we can only assume that they are automotive features that activate without any driver input and will be exclusive to the higher trim levels. Depending on the price between markets, this may make more basic trim levels better value purchases for some people. This may be found out when the car is launched and exact specifications for each market are revealed. Step on the Ioniq 5 SE and the user is greeted with an 8-speaker sound system with 2 front door, 2 rear door, 2 front tweeter, and 2 rear surround speakers, however no company is quoted for the audio brand. This is compared to the 8-speaker sound system in the SEL comprising of 2 front door, 2 rear door, 2 front center, and 2 rear surround speakers by premium audio brand, Bose. The audio option may influence the audio system chosen as if you pick the SEL with that said premium audio brand, you will also gain two charging points for the rear seats. It may be that the rear seat occupants may warrant an extra pair of speakers with that option. An additional note: the Australian specification pages on the Hyundai website show 10 speakers with the SEL, before deleting that specification and replacing it with 8 for an unknown reason. There are minor conveniences such as a wireless phone charging system in the center console for the SEL compared to needing to plug a phone in and an additional front USB port for the rear seat occupants, however the first noticeable difference would be in the infotainment system. The SE comes with a 12" LCD display, Apple Carplay, Android Auto, and a rearview monitor. However, the SEL has that monitor swapped out for a full 360 degrees of surround view monitors, with 3D functionality to aid parking. The SEL also comes with two BlueLink connected services which allow remote profile management and remote start with climate control, services that are not available with the basic plan. MyHyundai app service duration may be bundled when using these services for a further bonus. Overall, these won't affect driving or safety, but the infotainment system differences alone may influence some buyers to go for a higher trim.

2.1. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems

It is also important, however, to note what standard features are on all Ioniq 5 models, as the SE with convenience package still offers some valuable driver assistance features. First and foremost, all models help to protect occupants and other road users from frontal crashes and impacts, with Hyundai's forward collision avoidance and avoidance assist with junction turning. Other standard features include lane keeping assist, high beam assist, driver attention warning, and safe exit assist (this is not a driving system but operates rear occupant alerts when opening and closing rear doors to prevent them from exiting into the path of approaching vehicles). Both Ioniq 5 models achieve a five-star ANCAP safety rating. Overall, however, the SEL with the addition of the advanced driver assistance systems is the superior model in this comparison.

The more distinctive of the two models, when it comes to advanced driver assistance systems, would be the SEL model. This is because the SEL gets the Highway Drive Assist, a system that combines the Lane Following Assist and Smart Cruise Control with other radars and sensors to assist the car center the lane and control its speed, matched to the speed limit on the map data accessed through the navigation system. This is an improvement on the basic Lane Following Assist system available across all Ioniq 5 models but missing on the SE, which purely reacts to the car in front and visible lines on highways and less controlled speeds. The SEL also gets a parking collision avoidance assist system, a nifty tool that works through ultrasonic sensors to recognize structural impact to the vehicle from objects in its surrounding area.

2.2. Infotainment and Connectivity

The infotainment system of IONIQ 5 features a 12-inch touch screen at the SEL level of trim. However, the SE level has a 10.25-inch touch screen. The Hyundai Digital Key and the premium Bose audio system with 8 speakers enhance the premium luxury at the SEL level. These features are not found in the SE level. It is safe to say that the SEL level of trim is the better option in terms of the infotainment system compared to the SE level. At a slight increase in weight, it seems that the features gained are certainly worth the extra 45 kg. However, the most significant difference between the two IONIQ 5s is the ability to upgrade to the Vehicle 2 Load bidirectional charging system at the expense of the car's roof feature in the SEL level trim. The infotainment system and connectivity of the IONIQ 5 between the two trims do have a significant difference but in terms of pricing, the better option would be going for the SE level and upgrading the essentials package. This would only save a slight increase in price compared to the SEL level but the advantages of the essentials package are certainly worth it.

2.3. Safety Features

The Convenience Package takes all those said features of the SE, and also includes a few additional features such as Highway Drive Assist, Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist, and Remote Smart Parking Assist which might be a good reason to consider the added expense going from the SE to the SEL if some of those weren't reasons enough. The SEL also may be the best to suit a family, as many of these features can help protect those that may not be as experienced on the road.

The Ioniq 5 SE comes standard with many features that are an additional expense on most new vehicles. Some of these features include Blind Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist, Driver Attention Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, High Beam Assist, and Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go which is a nice feature to have especially on those stressful mornings. Many of these safety features are great to have, and can help prevent accidents from occurring and reduce the severity of an accident. It would be nice to have all of these standard on a base model and be able to customize with added features, but Hyundai wants to give you all these added features on the SEL model and make it more cost-effective to get them all with the optional Convenience Package.

There are many key features that make both models of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 series desirable for purchase, one of them being the standard safety and technology features. These features set the bar for the industry when a vehicle is just being released. Unfortunately, as I write this article, some of these features are only available after the vehicle has already been released, such as the Highway Driving Assist, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist which includes Junction Turning and Cyclist Detection, and the Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist. These features will only be available on the SE with the optional Smart Mobility Package, and the SEL as standard features. This is standard on the Ioniq 5 series, as many of the cool tech and safety features are an extra expense.

3. Pricing and Options

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 SE starts at a base price of $38,000. This model comes with a long list of items. Some of the standard features include LED headlights and taillights, solar glass roof panel, body-colored heated power side mirrors with turn signal indicators, acoustic laminated front side glass, light and gray interior colors, 4-way manual adjustable passenger seat, 6-way manual adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, 40/20/40 split folding second-row seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, push-button start, ambient lighting, dual automatic climate control, front and rear, and a 10.25" LCD display cluster. This provides one the ultimate eco-friendly vehicle that is packed with features that are sure to please all. As for the interior and seating features for both models, the SE and SEL have the same CarbonaTex seating material, which is derived from natural ingredients such as sugar cane and corn. This feature allows for a more comfortable seating for everyone and takes its toll on the environment unlike leather or other non-eco-friendly products. The driver's seat comes with power adjustable lumbar support, this set fits everyone's personal comfort needs, catering to everyone in the driver's seat.

3.1. Base Price and Standard Features

To start off, the SE model is priced at $39,700 while the SEL model is priced at $44,650. The Hyundai IONIQ 5 is an all-electric vehicle which means that there will be potential savings since there are no fuel costs. The electric model also qualifies for the up to $7,500 Federal Tax Credit as well as the potential local and state level incentives for owning an electric vehicle. Moving on to the standard features of each model, it is obvious that the SEL model offers much more when compared to the SE model. The SE model features 20-inch wheels with all-season tires, a roof rack side rails, solar front glass, LED DRL headlights, LED tail lights, aluminum side sill plates, a power tilt and slide cargo deck, a proximity key with push-button start, 6-way manual adjustable driver and passenger seats, a 60/40 split fold-down and recline rear seat, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. On the other hand, the SEL model has all of those features as well as much more. The list of the standard features of the SEL model is too exhaustive, so only the most notable will be listed. The SEL model offers a power adjustable driver's seat with memory and power adjustable lumbar support, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a garage door opener, a digital key, a motor-driven power steering column, and a remote smart park assist.

3.2. Available Upgrades and Packages

Available upgrades and packages for the Hyundai Ioniq 5 are not official yet, and while the SE will not receive the same full upgrade package as the SEL, it may still receive its own variation of upgrades to improve on its standard form. The SEL variant provides the full upgrade package for the best value. Available in two variations, the optional Feature Package includes most notably the AR enhanced navigation and Bose Premium Audio. Varying slightly by market, the AR Navigation adds a 12-inch gauge cluster to the existing 12-inch central infotainment screen, a head-up display, and AR driving assistance in which the navigation system overlays virtual directions on the road ahead. The Bose Premium Audio upgrade provides 8 speakers to the car with a subwoofer, external amplifier, and the option of BassMatch, adjusting the audio system to different 'drive modes'. This package will also incorporate a solar roof and Hyundai Digital Key, replacing the existing standard smart key, but may not be available in all markets. The standard solar panel roof on SE models will allow for a small battery power increase of around 2-3%, which may result in extended levels of driving efficiency. This feature will not be necessary to upgrade for SEL customers due to the already included fully functioning glass PV (photovoltaic) roof but will be available for purchase as an addition to some base models.

3.3. Additional Options

Se and SEL with the Convenience Package both offer a Tech Package for $2,750 that adds a panoramic sunroof, a 10.25-inch touchscreen with navigation and SiriusXM Data services, a 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster, a highway driving assist system, a driver's seat memory system, ventilated front seats, a Bose audio system, and front parking sensors. There is also a $1,900 Ultimate Package for the SEL with the Tech Package that further adds a parking distance warning system, a remote smart parking assist system, a 12-speaker Bose audio system with a subwoofer, and ambient interior lighting. The SEL Tech Package and SEL with the Ultimate Package allows for the $2,500 2-tone paint option that combines Phantom Black, Fluid Metal, or Electric Shadow with Cyber Gray. It also adds eco suede seats. Finally, Hyper White is now the only no-cost option for exterior paint with Phantom Black, Digital Teal, Lucid Blue, and Shooting-Star Gray all adding $400 to the cost of the vehicle. The SEL with an additional package is also eligible for any of the following individual options: the paint options, carpeted floor mats, a cargo cover, and wheel locks.

4. Conclusion

In conclusion, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 SE and SEL are almost identical vehicles. Both models have the same electric motor and battery, with only minor variations between the two models. The main difference between the two vehicles is that the SEL is a luxurious version of the SE, with additional features and slight variations in some areas. We have found that the SEL is a step up from the SE, but in certain areas consumers should question whether the difference is really worth the extra money. For example, the rear seat recline and retractable window blinds in the SEL are nice features, but how much value would you put to these over the SE's front seat heating and cooling? This is a question of personal preference, and everyone may value the available features differently. The starting price on the SE is $39,700 and the SEL is $41,150, so in theory the two models are priced very closely. When we compare the Ioniq 5 to other vehicles, we find that it offers lots of features at an affordable price. Considering the tax incentive rebates in the USA, the Ioniq 5 SEL is definitely the better deal in comparison to a Tesla Model 3. After the rebates, there would only be about a $3000 difference between the two vehicles, and the Ioniq 5 SEL matches everything the Model 3 has to offer. The rear wheel drive Mach-E Select is cheaper than the Ioniq 5 SE, but it lacks features and the Mustang lookalike is not for everyone. The Mach-E California Route 1 is more closely compared to an Ioniq 5 SEL, but that's $48,000 before the rebates and it is pretty pricy in comparison for a vehicle that doesn't offer too much more. In end, Hyundai's Ioniq 5 is a great value electric vehicle with minimal difference between the two models, it's up to the consumer to reflect what they value in a vehicle. Both models offer similar fuel savings and expected maintenance costs to reduce total cost of vehicle ownership over time. This is a win for Hyundai and electric vehicle consumers.

Learn More About Hyundai Ioniq 5 Models

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