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Subaru Solterra vs. Hyundai Ioniq 5

1. Introduction

Hyundai has been proud of their electric Ioniq line up which consists of hybrid plug in and full electric alternatives. They have just announced their most recent electric vehicle, the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5, a compact crossover SUV. The Ioniq 5 is built on Hyundai Motor Group's E-GMP (Electric-Global Modular Platform) which was designed exclusively for next-generation battery electric vehicles. The construction of the E-GMP will allow for faster charging for longer driving range. It is rear-wheel driven, but electrical AWD can be achieved. Designed for performance and safety, a supping plate motor is installed at the rear of the vehicle. When AWD is needed, an additional motor can be mounted on the front wheels. E-GMP is prepared for housing 44" to 72" wheel-based vehicles to cover the spectrum of vehicle types.

Subaru is set to debut an all-electric crossover called Solterra that will go on sale in the United States in 2022. Subaru and Toyota announced the electric car last month, revealing that it'll share a platform with the recently unveiled Toyota bZ4X, and now we have information about the powertrain and some cool new images. The two crossovers will ride on the e-Subaru Global Platform which was developed together by Subaru and Toyota and will prioritize AWD. The platform will combine a front motor with AWD Integrated Electric Motor in a lightweight and compact package that was designed specifically for the AWD system requirements. With one of the motors at the front and another at the rear, the platform will deliver a "Subaru-like driving experience that is smooth, comfortable, and which the driver can enjoy with a peace of mind." With its experience and AWD shared with most Subaru's, the Solterra should feel familiar to Subaru owners.

1.1. Background information

Subaru and Hyundai are two beloved and iconic Japanese and South Korean vehicle brands. They have brought us several popular vehicles competing in the automotive market. In 2021, both these brands plan on bringing vehicles prepared for the electric future, specifically crossover SUVs. These vehicles are the 2023 Subaru Solterra and the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5. It is difficult to make an informative decision and prediction on which vehicle may be the better choice. However, we can use the data we are provided as well as the specs of both vehicles to take an educated guess. This essay will be comparing the two vehicles in categories such as price, power, battery life and charging, interior, and other specific features. The purpose of this comparison is to summarize and organize the data of these two vehicles in a way where potential buyers of either vehicle can make a decision to consider choosing between two compact electric crossover SUVs in the near future. In this case, we are taking a look at those that may be interested in a Subaru who is now considering an electric vehicle from Hyundai and vice versa. This comparison will make predictions on which vehicle may be the more logical choice as a start towards the electric future in a crossover SUV, keeping the affordable aspect in mind.

1.2. Purpose of the comparison

The main reason for this comparison is for the information and current technology of the vehicle. This is extremely important in today's technological world, as a product that is not reliable and is prone to errors is considered to be a bad product. Although many may prefer different types of technology in the vehicle, information about how it works and the current rate of technology is important to know before purchasing the product. This comparison can also appeal to the customer base of the manufacturer, looking at what technology is most used by the consumer and most popular. This also can determine future projections of technology in certain vehicles. This is good for anyone considering the purchase of a new car in the near future. This completion forecast is accurate. Information about current technology in the vehicle is provided through dealer and manufacturer websites. This is a very quick way to know all the information about a vehicle without having to read its enormous handbook, and a direct way to get this information suggested by the completion forecast is to compare site between the Solterra and Ioniq 5.

In simple terms, the purpose of this comparison is to vividly present every possible information about these two cars and conclude which one is better. Both of the given vehicles are stunning and are considered to be very good. However, as a customer, one may be better than the other. Thus, they must be compared to finalize a decision. This shows the purpose of any comparison: to decide between two things. In this scenario, the Subaru Solerra and Low Impedance Vehicle cannot be compared on sales. This is due to the fact that these vehicles are still new from the manufacturer, and therefore the sales of these vehicles will not be accurate for the type of vehicle it is, but if it's recommended. Thus, eliminating the judgment of which vehicle is better by the sales. This completion forecast is accurate.

2. Exterior Design

The Subaru Solterra's exterior design is inspired by the phrase "beauty in function." It's a design decision dedicated to honing and harmonizing all elements of form and function. Solterra's body design is aimed for beautiful simplicity and rich SUV flavor incorporating Subaru's dynamic and powerful stance on an electrified vehicle. As for color variation, eight body colors are available including Storm Ocean Silica, an exclusive color for the Rugged Package. Ioniq 5 represents a new era of electric mobility. It sits at the beginning of Hyundai's journey rediscovering the cars of the past. The 1980's Pony, the company's first leaps into car development, and a renowned design from Giugiaro has provided the inspiration, with a modern twist. Ioniq 5 has a well-balanced and, of course, aerodynamic exterior representing minimalist living, a look that has become the lifestyle norm for a new generation that values individual expression and challenges design ideas of the past.

2.1. Overview of the Subaru Solterra's exterior design

Instead of emulating the sleek and modern design of an electric or hybrid car, Subaru has opted for an updated, more rugged version of its predecessors that look more like petrol-fueled cars. It's important here to note that the Subaru Solterra is only available in an automatic, avoiding the manual option that would diminish the car's off-road potential. The color selection offered for the Solterra seems to focus on Subaru's off-road heritage with black and white being the only non-metallic options and, therefore, the only ones without an additional charge. Fast-forwarding included. Other features include a rear window wiper with a de-icer and privacy glass. The entry-level car is said to come with 17-inch alloy wheels, although there is no mention of the tire size while the extra specification model gets 18-inch wheels and LED fog lamps.

2.2. Overview of the Hyundai Ioniq 5's exterior design

The Ioniq 5, on the other hand, features a relatively clean and unfussy design. Its monocoque body structure is built upon Hyundai's Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) and exhibits a cab-forward profile, substantial panoramic glass roof, and a large graphics homogenizing the front grille area and rear lights. These characteristics help the Ioniq 5 achieve an ultra-low drag figure of Cd0.24. Further aiding aerodynamics are wheel sizes ranging from 19" to 20". Noteworthy design features include a clamshell bonnet, flush-fitting door handles, and innovative "kinetic" side and rear lighting. The body is relatively conventional, not over-styled, and with straighter lines relative to most recent Hyundai vehicles, giving the Ioniq 5 a unique, almost European appearance. In terms of dimensions, the Ioniq 5 measures 4635mm in length, 1890mm in width, and 1605mm in height and offers a choice of 14 different exterior colors. Wheelbase is an impressive 3000mm. The Ioniq 5's ride is of MacPherson strut front suspension and multi-link rear suspension, and there is up to 185mm of ground clearance, although figures differ slightly depending on the region and options, and the Ioniq 5 is currently only available in either FWD or AWD depending on the market.

2.3. Comparison of exterior features

Although these two vehicles share a similar goal of appealing to the environmentally friendly consumer, their approach on exterior design differs quite a bit. The highest selling hybrid car, the Toyota Prius, utilizes a very unique design that is easily recognizable. Conversely, the Chevy Volt shares a design that is rather similar to other cars that currently exist. The Ioniq 5 takes a similar approach to the Volt, as it doesn't necessarily possess a unique look at first glance. The Ioniq 5 does have a very high tech, futuristic aesthetic, with its angular LED lighting on both ends and unique array of paint schemes. The "parametric dynamics" design theme is apparent in the side panels, and the vehicle is adorned with a copper trim that acts as an identifier for Hyundai's electric vehicle line. In contrast, the Solterra makes no secret that it is a Subaru vehicle, utilizing the same basic shape as most of Subaru's current lineup and simply going off road with it. Whether it was Subaru's intent or not, the Solterra looks like a more rugged Crosstrek. The straight lines and round edges of the Solterra are much more simplistic than the Ioniq 5, but the authenticity of the design being offspring of a current Subaru model may be more appealing to long time Subaru fans. Since the vehicle is advertised as an off road capable EV, the appearance shouldn't turn away potential customers looking for a compact SUV that can handle more than just city driving. Both the Ioniq 5 and the Solterra should fulfill their manufacturer's sales goals for different reasons, but in terms of appealing to their target audiences in the eco friendly car market, the simplicity of the Solterra being comparable to its ICE sisters may make a bigger impact.

3. Interior Features

The Solterra has a slightly rugged-yet-sleek SUV look that separates it from other EVs in the market as it comes with anything you’d expect from a Subaru, such as available two-tone colour options, rubberized floor and water-resistant seats. Beyond that, the Solterra’s interior is fairly conventional. There is a 12.3-inch digital dash cluster along with a 12.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system and traditional switches for climate control. An interesting feature is the availability of a driver’s key and smartphone that are paired to specific vehicle settings and can automatically adjust seat and mirror positions, air conditioner settings, and other personal presets. EyeSightX, which is a driver assistance system exclusive to the Solterra that uses next-generation advanced driver-assist technology, uses a driver monitoring system and a semi-autonomous hands-off driving feature that can be used on motorways and general roads. The standard model features fabric seats and an 8-way adjustable driver’s seat. The touring model features a 10-way adjustable driver’s seat and would likely feature leather and/or heated seats but those details haven’t yet been released. The top-end limited model mostly has comfort upgrades such as a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, and a power-adjustable front passenger seat. In terms of space, Subaru boasts generous passenger space in the rear and a large cargo area, using a relocated auxiliary battery that allows a completely flat rear floor and 60/40 folding rear seats for cargo space, though we don’t have a figure on that yet. The Solterra’s interior color options are still to be confirmed so we’ll have to wait until more details are released.

3.1. Overview of the Subaru Solterra's interior features

Interior Features Overview of the Subaru Solterra's interior features The Solterra has the interior space and quality for which Subaru's reputation has been built. The interior design is modern and clean. All in the Solterra's interior is anchored by a large touchscreen infotainment display positioned high on the dashboard. The climate controls are integrated in a simple interface below the touchscreen. There's a digital display that replaces the conventional instrument cluster. Materials are environmentally friendly, such as the seats that are made of 20 percent recycled polyester and polyethylene terephthalate, with leather alternatives available. High-grade beige and navy color options use plant-based dyes to minimize environmental impact. All in all, there are 9 color and trim options for Solterra. The electric parking brake, which has an automatic hold function, frees up space in the center console. This area also includes a tray that can be used for a smartphone. There's also a shift by wire gear selector that combines a simple modern design with easy-to-use operation. During the development of these components, the smallest details were scrutinized to realize functional beauty. Their simple design puts priority on usability and is seamlessly integrated into the overall cabin space. By eliminating unnecessary elements, convenient space is secured to store personal items and rest an arm. Enjoying spacious roominess and functionality in the area of substance, the basic human need for storage is satisfied in an effortless and stress-free manner. Throughout the cabin, adequate interior space is secured for a relaxing feel while comfortably accommodating passengers of any build.

3.2. Overview of the Hyundai Ioniq 5's interior features

The Ioniq's interior builds on eco-friendliness with an optional cabin covered in fabric made of recycled plastic bottles, but also offers some surprisingly high-end options. For example, there is an available heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel. The uplevel Limited trim comes with leather seats, an eight-way power driver's seat, a power-adjustable front passenger seat, a premium audio system, and Hyundai's excellent Highway Drive Assist (see Safety and Driver Assistance). As in most EVs, the Ioniq 5's gear selector is a button-based affair rather than a traditional lever. All Ioniq 5 models come standard with a 12.0-inch digital gauge display and a 12.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, and even the base trim is available with a long list of desirable features. These include a panoramic sunroof, a power liftgate, and a solar-panel roof that can help to replenish the battery and even power accessories when the vehicle is turned off. A comprehensive suite of driver-assistance features is also included as standard.

3.3. Comparison of interior amenities

As mentioned before, the major difference seen here lies in the contrast between luxury and technology-driven comfort in the Ioniq 5 to the functionality and versatility seen in the Solterra.

Hyundai may have a long-standing impression for creating onboard storage throughout their vehicles, and it is no different in the Ioniq 5. They have created a dual cockpit modular center console, which can slide back and forth between the front and rear passengers. This will provide different configurations and extra convenience, while also providing a laid-back feel between the driver and the co-pilot. This console, combined with the Ioniq's center control shift, gives the front passengers the sense of having their own separate rooms. Subaru's approach for the Solterra is the use of a set of water-repellent seats, providing a perfect interior for those coming off a surf session or a hike through the bush. Both the rear seat and cargo area can be utilized for additional cargo space by folding the seats, and it also comes with a standard utility box in the cargo area for extra security and storage of smaller items.

Although other interior features are comparable, the major difference between the interior of the Solterra and the Ioniq 5 lies in their seating logistics. The Solterra seating allows for a more spacious feel with the majority of the leg room for passengers – the roles are reversed in the Hyundai. The rear seats in the Solterra also recline, providing extra comfort. The Ioniq 5 features innovative driver and passenger seats known as Zero Gravity, which combine the relaxation of a recliner and the action of a weightless space orbit while reducing fatigue. This is accomplished through a raised leg rest and cushion extension.

3.4. Comparison of cargo space

The Solterra features 37.2 cubic feet of cargo space with the back seats in place, an area that expands to 86.5 cubic feet with the rear seats folded flat. The floor panel can be positioned in places which give a flat floor when the seats are folded, or moved out of the way to form a storage space beneath. The cargo space will accommodate a mountain bike, and there are sliding tie-down points and cargo hooks to make securing items easier. The Ioniq 5 offers 18.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second-row seats, and 56.2 cubic feet with the seats folded down. This is larger than most small SUVs and practically matches midsize models, an area includes an underfloor storage compartment that can house the charging cord and roadside assistance kit, and there is also a rear 12v power socket and 220v inverter to run electrical items outside of the vehicle. With both it is a great deal of space for their size and segment, and the extra storage and inverter make the Ioniq 5 a little more versatile.

4. Performance and Efficiency

The AWD system that comes with Solterra is electric-driven with torque vectoring features. It uses dual motors to control the front and rear, providing precise torque distribution to all wheels. The most important aspect is that with AWD features, this vehicle is capable of mild off-road tracks. Meanwhile, Ioniq 5 offers flexibility for the driving mode, including the gearbox type of transmission and driving wheels. This is based on a platform dedicated to BEV cars that feature an 800-volt electrical architecture, allowing for RWD and AWD transmission if future upgrades are possible. However, it is a little disappointing that Ioniq 5 comes with RWD as standard, resulting in lower performance compared to the AWD of Solterra.

Subaru Solterra and Hyundai Ioniq 5 are different in terms of performance. One has AWD, which is Solterra, and Ioniq 5, which comes with RWD as standard. However, a few versions of Ioniq 5 are available with AWD. Ioniq 5, which comes with the standard range, only offers a Standard Range battery. On the other hand, Ioniq 5 offers two types of batteries: Standard Range 58 kWh and Long Range 77.4 kWh. This means that the biggest difference in performance is that Solterra offers AWD, while Ioniq 5 comes standard with RWD.

4.1. Comparison of powertrain options

Ioniq 5 is available with both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive powertrains while offering different power outputs for each. The single motor rear-wheel drive configuration offers a 2,800 kg towing capacity, supports AC and DC charging, and is matched to 125 kW power and 258 ft-lbs of torque. With a focus on efficiency, there will be a choice between a standard range model with a 58 kW battery and a long-range model that includes an extra battery with a total capacity of 72.6 kW. The standard range model is expected to offer up to 470 km of driving range, and the long-range model with 460V to 800V charging capability from the E-GMP will push the boundaries to a maximum of 480 km. Step up to the 320 kW Ioniq 5 AWD, and you'll get that maximum performance of 225 hp from a 75 kWh battery to go along with up to 1500 lbs of towing capability.

Each Solterra model offers one of three specified performance and powertrain levels. Premium and Limited models equip the standard 220-hp, 190-lb-ft permanent magnet synchronous motor AWD system, which is designed for excellent balance, traction, and quick response. The top-of-the-line Limited model will offer a 2-motor version of the AWD system, which will up the performance ante. It will include a 2nd rear motor that can automatically apportion power between the rear wheels for even more precise control, and a total of 215 horsepower from both motors. No matter which Solterra model works best for your lifestyle, you'll be toting up to 1500 lbs of towing capability, which is more than double the capacity of the average small EV in its class.

4.2. Acceleration and top speed comparison

The Solterra will be launching all of the powertrain options at once. We will be getting 2WD and 4WD versions of the vehicle, but both are the exact same versions. It will feature a 10-120kW motor at the front and a 150kW motor at the back. According to Subaru, the 2WD Solterra can accelerate from 0-100km/h in approximately 7.5 seconds and has a top speed of 180km/h. Meanwhile, the 4WD version takes it up a notch with approximately 5.0 seconds to reach 100km/h and having a top speed of 200km/h. This is a decent step up in the AWD version and it would probably feel quite quick, but the main concern is the range and battery capacity of the vehicle taking a hit with those specs. Speaking of range, the 4WD Solterra achieves a 3% increase in efficiency compared to the 2WD version, though that is only 4.5km more per litre, and the total number of motor combinations and their stats is making it hard to compare how efficient any of them will be. On that note, the total motor combinations actually amount to 14 different combinations, obviously with various implications on power, efficiency, torque, etc. However, this presents a greater issue in terms of how long one will have to wait until they can get an exact powertrain to their preference.

4.3. Range and charging capabilities

Subaru is yet to confirm the charging capabilities of the Solterra, but we know it will be capable of charging through a regular household electrical supply. This will be a positive for potential customers. One of the biggest downsides of the push towards EVs is the requirement of expensive high-powered wallbox installation, and some customers may not have access to consistent off-street parking to facilitate a regular charge. The Ioniq 5 has both 800V and 400V charging capabilities. This means that it can use the very fastest charging stations currently available. Although this is no guarantee of future capabilities, Hyundai is marketing this as an EV that will help to transition the automotive industry to higher voltage systems. This can potentially lock customers out of certain charging stations for some time, and it remains to be seen how common 800V charging will be. The Ioniq 5 can also function as a 110/230V power supply when stationary. This may be useful if using the car as a backup power supply for a home.

The range and charging capabilities of an EV are a massive concern for prospective customers. The Solterra is yet to be independently rated, but Subaru is targeting an over 500km range on the current WLTP test cycle. The Ioniq 5 has 2 different battery options: the larger 72.6kWh battery can deliver up to 480km of range, and the smaller 58kWh battery can deliver up to 400km. Based on these figures, the Solterra has a greater range on paper, but the Ioniq also has a greater potential range without the need of a larger AWD vehicle, which would consume more power. This may or may not be important. A lot of customers will be using their EV as a city car, and a 400km range may be quite sufficient. A greater concern for a lot more customers would be the availability of charging infrastructure.

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