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Polestar 2 vs Hyundai IONIQ 5

We compare the Polestar 2 vs the Hyundai IONIQ 5, to see which is better

How does the Polestar 2 compare to one of the latest EVs to arrive in Australia, the Hyundai IONIQ 5?

Hyundai IONIQ 5 vs Polestar 2: Looks

Polestar 2 front view

The Polestar 2 is a bit of a looker. It features clean, crisp lines and angles and clearly sports Scandinavian inspiration in its design. There are some subtle nods to its parent company, Volvo, like the front grille and rear light cluster.

Polestar 2: View of the rear

At the rear, the Polestar 2 is super minimal. It's nice to see a design with so little visual clutter.

2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5 front view

Hyundai's IONIQ 5 has an incredibly sleek aesthetic. It reminds us more of a concept car than a production electric vehicle. Quite rightly, it's won a heap of awards too. It's got some highly unique details, like the wheel arch "liquid metallic" cladding that seems to be inspired by camera shutter blades. The aluminium "clamshell" bonnet's leading edge has a sort of retro, yet futuristic, shaping that reminds us of an eighties hatch – in a good way.

2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5 rear view

At the rear, the IONIQ 5 is very distinctive. You can really see the interesting parametric angular body lines and neat design elements like the taillights. The door handles are flush, adding to the clean look this electric vehicle has.

Winner: Polestar 2

While the Hyundai IONIQ 5 has a far more interesting and daring exterior design, we think that the Polestar 2 is a better-looking vehicle overall. However, we acknowledge that looks are subjective and some buyers might be attracted to the retro-modern styling that the Hyundai has going on.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 vs Polestar 2: Pricing and range

In NSW, postcode 2000, the Polestar 2 Standard Range starts from a drive-away cost of $64,607.46. That model will travel a WLTP-claimed 440km range, making it $146.83 per kilometre of range. The $69,857.46 long-range single-motor Polestar 2 travels 540km on a single charge, equivalent to $129.36 per kilometre of range. The dual-range model is the most pricey, costing from a drive-away cost of $75,107.45, with a range of 480km. That works out to $156.47 per kilometre.

The Hyundai IONIQ 5 starts from a drive-away cost of $77,193.46, for a claimed 451km of range. That equates to $171.16 per kilometre of range. The AWD IONIQ 5's drive-away cost starts from $81,393.46 with a claimed range of 430km, or $189.28 per kilometre of range.

At the moment, the Hyundai IONIQ 5 is listed as sold out. However, Hyundai Motors Australia states it is placing an order for more stock.

Winner: Polestar 2

The Polestar 2 is less costly to buy and cheaper per kilometre of range than the Hyundai IONIQ 5.

Polestar 2 vs Hyundai IONIQ 5: Passenger cabin

How do the two electric vehicles compare on the inside?

Polestar 2

Polestar 2 interior

Tasteful Scandinavian design abounds throughout the Polestar 2's interior.

Polestar 2 passenger compartment

Base trim specs:

  • First-ever car to have a Google-based infotainment system, featuring Google Assistant (with 3 years of unlimited data)
  • 12.3-inch driver instrument cluster
  • 11.15-inch infotainment display
  • 250W high-performance sound system with 8 speakers
  • Textile upholstery with 3D embossing
  • Heated, semi-electric driver's and passenger seat with 4-way power lumbar support
  • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
  • Polestar Connect – a button connects you to assistance if you need it
  • 4 USB-C ports
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Keyless entry and foot-operated tailgate

Car reviewers thought the Polestar 2 had a functional and well-thought-out interior. Journalists related that the Polestar 2 was very user-friendly, especially the implementation of the touchscreen.

Hyundai IONIQ 5

Probably the biggest stand out feature of the Hyundai IONIQ 5 is those dual 12.3-inch displays that project out of the dash. An interesting detail, Hyundai says engineers were able to move some of the HVAC components out of the interior. The result is a noticeably slimline dashboard. Uniquely, the glovebox opens like a drawer. The floor in the cabin is flat, thanks to the IONIQ 5's platform. The centre armrest can move up to 5.5 inches (140mm) forwards or backwards to give rear occupants more room. If that's not enough, the rear second row can slide backwards by a similar amount (135mm) for increased legroom.

Standard equipment:

  • 12.3-inch HD touch screen (with a blue-light filter)
  • 12.3-inch driver's instrument cluster
  • Satellite navigation with live traffic info
  • Dual smart key fobs
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • DAB radio
  • USB media port
  • Bose 8-speaker sound system with external amplifier
  • Quiet mode (lowers volume in the front and mutes it in the back)
  • Leather-appointed seats and steering wheel
  • Power-adjustable 12-way driver's seat (with 2-way lumbar and calf support)
  • Driver and front passenger seat "zero gravity" position (effectively business class-style seat reclining with calf support)
  • 3-stage heated and ventilated front seats
  • Wireless charging pad with cooling
  • Heated rear outboard seats (2 stages)
  • Power-opening and closing hands-free tailgate
  • Solar control glass
  • Fixed glass roof panel
  • Power-retractable door handles
  • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
  • Charger flap opens with a key (or with voice recognition from inside)
  • Dual-zone air conditioning
  • B-pillar heating and cooling ducts
  • Interior ambient LED lighting

Winner: Hyundai IONIQ 5

While car reviewers stated that the Polestar 2's interior is magnificent, for us, the IONIQ 5 looks more interesting. The reclining "relaxion" front seats seem like a great inclusion and the specification is premium. There are heaps of little touches that just make sense, like a cooled wireless charging pad and the ability to open the charger flap using voice commands.

Interior room

The Polestar 2 has 1,073mm of "effective" legroom for the front passenger and 1,048mm of headroom in the front. For the rear passengers, the Polestar 2 has 862mm of legroom effectively and 940mm of rear headroom. Sitting in the front, passengers have 1,386mm of shoulder room. That's 79mm less than the IONIQ 5. Second-row occupants have 1,336mm of shoulder room, so 129mm less than the Hyundai EV.

The Hyundai IONIQ 5 has 1,138mm of legroom in the front. Headroom for front passengers measures 1,034mm, so it has more legroom than the Polestar 2, but less headroom. Rear headroom measures 953mm, so it has 13mm more than the Polestar 2. Rear occupants have 1,002mm of legroom, a staggering 140mm more than the Polestar 2.

The IONIQ 5 has 1,465mm of front shoulder room and the same in the rear. Hip room measures 1,368mm up front and 1,362mm in the back.

Which is bigger inside, the Polestar 2 or Hyundai IONIQ 5?

Hyundai IONIQ 5Polestar 2
  • Front legroom, 12mm more
  • 13mm more rear headroom
  • 140mm more rear legroom
  • 79mm more front shoulder room
  • 129mm more rear shoulder room
  • Front headroom, 14mm more


Polestar 2 dimensions

The Polestar 2 has a wheelbase of 2,273mm. It is 4,606mm long and 1,859mm wide (1,985mm with wing mirrors). The Polestar 2 is 1,479mm high (or 1,473 with the Performance package).

The boot volume measures 405 litres. The front luggage compartment has a volume of 35 litres, totalling 440 litres of storage space.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 exterior dimensions

The Hyundai IONIQ 5 is 4,635mm long. The wheelbase measures 3,000mm. It's 1,890mm wide and 1,647mm tall (including the IONIQ 5's antenna).

That means the IONIQ 5 is just over an inch longer than the Polestar 2, or 29mm. It's wider too, by 31mm. It also has a longer wheelbase and is a taller vehicle.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 storage is 593 litres of cargo volume for the 2WD or 560L for the AWD.

Winner: Hyundai IONIQ 5

The Hyundai IONIQ 5 is a larger vehicle, with more interior space and a higher capacity for carrying luggage. Obviously, it depends on the kind of car you want though, so if you want something smaller – go for the Polestar 2.

Insurance costs

We sought 3 quotes for a 40-year-old rating 1 driver living in NSW postcode 2153. The average of 3 comprehensive car insurance quotes for the Polestar 2 totalled: $1,081.44.

The Hyundai IONIQ 5 averaged out to $1,090.71.

Winner: Polestar 2 (narrowly)

The Polestar 2 on average was $9.27 cheaper than the IONIQ 5 to insure.

Polestar 2Hyundai IONIQ 5
Price. Polestar has Hyundai beat here, hands down. The most expensive Polestar 2 is cheaper than the least pricey IONIQ 5.
Range. The long-range, single-motor Polestar 2 will travel further than any of the IONIQ 5 line-up by a solid 89km.
Charging infrastructure. This is a tie. Both vehicles will work at the same public chargers.
Charging times. Polestar's Charging Assistant estimates that the long-range, dual-motor model would need an hour to restore up to 432km (or 90% charge) on a 150kW rapid charger and 7 hours and 10 minutes from 0-90% (using an 11kW home charger). Using a 50kW charger, times are around 65 minutes.

Hyundai gives the IONIQ 5's charging time as 56 minutes and 30 seconds to 80% on a 50kW charger for a 2WD (the AWD model takes 61 minutes and 42 seconds). Using a 10.5kW wall charger, the charge time is predicted to be 6 hours and 6 minutes. Crunching the numbers ourselves, the IONIQ 5 would go from 10-90% charge on a 150kW outlet in around 25 minutes, much quicker than the Polestar 2 can recharge.

Looks. Styling comes down to personal taste, but though we do appreciate the technical look of the IONIQ 5, in our eyes, the Polestar 2 still looks better.
Interior styling. If you like a more conventional interior, then the Polestar 2 is the one to go for. But the design of the Hyundai cabin space is intriguing and super modern. We like it a lot.
Interior space. Hyundai has the Polestar beaten here in almost every area, apart from headroom for the front passengers. The IONIQ 5 even makes a portion of the dash panel magnetic, allowing you to attach a to-do list or a photo of your loved ones.
Interior storage. The Polestar 2 has a 405-litre boot space and a front cargo compartment that measures 35 litres (totalling 440 litres). The Hyundai IONIQ 5 has a 527-litre boot and a 57-litre frunk (front boot - though this will only hold 24 litres on the AWD model), making a total of 584 litres.
Instrument cluster. The Polestar 2's digital driver instrument gauges will appeal to some, as they look a little more conventional. However, we love the idea of the IONIQ 5's twin tablet-like dash.
Android-based infotainment system. Volvo has used Android Automotive for the Polestar 2. It's running on the same codebase as the Android operating system. Volvo and Audi were involved in its development. Reviewers said it was excellent. They stated you don't have to tap the screen needlessly, and that the Google Assistant is advanced and is able to handle car-specific commands as well as normal digital assistant tasks. Hyundai's infotainment system is apparently intuitive and one tester mentioned they didn't even feel like they had to connect their smartphone. The Polestar's infotainment system though sounds like it's more innovative.
Towing. A Polestar 2 can handle 1,500kg (with a factory-supplied semi-electric towbar), while the Hyundai IONIQ 5 can tow up to 1,600kg braked. On the IONIQ 5, the tow bar kit has an RRP of $1,490, including fitting.
Driver assists. Like other Hyundai models, the IONIQ 5 has Hyundai SmartSense. That includes assists like blind-spot collision avoidance (BCA), blind-spot view monitor (BVM), driver attention warning, forward collision avoidance (FCA), high beam assist, lane keeping assist, parking collision-avoidance assist, rear cross-traffic alert, smart cruise control and surround view monitoring.

On the Polestar 2, things you get as standard on the IONIQ 5, like lane following assist, surround view monitor, rear cross-traffic alert and adaptive cruise control are all part of the $5,000 Pilot Lite Pack. However, it has to be said the Polestar 2 is able to sneak under many state and territory thresholds for EV subsidies, which the IONIQ 5 does not. We'll call this one a tie.


The IONIQ 5 doesn't appear to have any major packs and instead comes with individual optional accessories. You can get things like a tow bar kit (for $1,490 RRP, fitted), charging cables, wall chargers and boot liners. There is a Gloss Black exterior trim pack for $679.

With a Polestar 2, you can buy a Performance Pack costing $8,000 extra. This includes things like adjustable (which can be done manually with a tool and some basic mechanical knowledge) Öhlins dampers and upgraded brakes by Brembo. The Performance pack brings with it things like 20-inch alloy wheels (the IONIQ 5 also has 20-inch according to the press release).

Polestar also offers another pack, the $5,000 Pilot Lite Pack (which features pilot assist, a 360-degree camera and adaptive cruise control). Buyers who opt for the Plus Pack enjoy a 13-speaker audio system from Harman Kardon, Polestar's WeaveTech vegan upholstery, fully-electric front seats and a heated steering wheel as well as a panoramic glass roof).

We picked the Polestar 2 as the winner here since if you don't purchase the packs, you can fly under EV incentive thresholds.

AWD. Both the Polestar 2 and the IONIQ 5 are available as 2WD or AWD models. On the Polestar 2, the 2WD models are front-wheel drive, while the IONIQ 5 is rear-wheel drive. It's not going to matter to most drivers, but having the option of a rear-wheel drive is super cool and might make the difference for some motoring purists.
Marketing materials. Hyundai has Polestar beaten here hands down. You can download a specification sheet, which clearly shows the differences between the 2WD and AWD models, whereas Polestar is more web-based and it's a little frustrating. That's because the information is spread across several pages, rather than one concise document.
Apple CarPlay. The Polestar 2 doesn't have Apple CarPlay yet. Polestar Australia says it has been delayed, for a variety of reasons, till spring 2022. When it comes, it'll arrive via an over-the-air update. Until then, many pro-Apple car reviewers felt that the Android-based infotainment system was so good, that you don't need to use CarPlay urgently. The IONIQ 5 has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.
Availability. Both companies have messages on their Australia websites stating that due to large demand, you cannot place an order for a new model of each car. However, with Polestar, you can search through their current stock of cars available for delivery by the end of May at the earliest (as of April 2022). If you want an IONIQ 5, you'll need to register your interest to purchase one. The timescale given is "the near future" for the next allocation for Australia. As of now, we'll give the win here to Polestar.
Transmission tunnel. As the Polestar 2 is built atop Volvo's CMA platform, there's a transmission tunnel that juts up from the floor. It's a bit of a pain for the middle seat passenger, as they'll have to clamber over and then sit with their legs on either side of it. The IONIQ 5 is built upon Hyundai's E-GMP architecture and has a completely flat floor internally.
Quality. It seems like Polestar manages to beat Hyundai here at a lower price point. Car reviewers indicated that the Polestar 2's quality was stellar, matching cars that are double its price. The Hyundai is reportedly as good as any other Hyundai model available, but reading between the lines, it appears that Polestar is the winner here.
Warranty. The Polestar 2 has a 5-year, unlimited-kilometre vehicle warranty, while the battery is guaranteed for 8 years and 160,000km (and 70% of the capacity). Hyundai covers the IONIQ 5 EV with a 5-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty and the battery is covered for 8 years and 160,00km – equalling the Polestar 2.
Handling. It sounds like the Polestar 2 has a less-relenting ride than the IONIQ 5. The IONIQ 5, from the findings of reviewers, seems to be a little more forgiving. Interestingly though, at least one motoring expert preferred the IONIQ 5's platform-mate, the Kia EV6. They figured that car worked better on Aussie roads. The same tester added they believed that the Polestar 2 equalled the EV6, which is an indirect way of saying the Polestar 2 wins when it comes to handling. Apparently, the steering response is especially engaging.
Dimensions. The Polestar 2 is shorter, narrower and lower than the IONIQ 5. If you need to travel around tight city streets or park in multi-storey car parks, that could be a big plus. However, it does mean internally it's a bit smaller. Still, we'll give the win to the Polestar 2. Further helping the Polestar 2 tackle metropolitan areas is a smaller turning circle of 11.9m, compared to the Hyundai's 11.98. When doing a U-turn, you'll be glad for the 80mm difference.
Acceleration. The Polestar 2's range-opener travels from 0-100km/h in 7.4 seconds. That figure is matched by the IONIQ 5 2WD. The AWD IONIQ 5 can hit 100km/h in 5.2 seconds. The Polestar 2 long-range, dual-motor beats its rival by 0.5 seconds, with a 4.7 0-100km/h time.
Climate transparency.

Hyundai publishes an annual sustainability report, which highlights the efforts the company is making to reduce its climate impact.

Polestar also has a transparency policy, releasing Life Cycle Assessment reports. Polestar additionally traces rare-earth materials with blockchain.


Who builds the Polestar 2?

Polestar is a subsidiary of Volvo, which is owned by Chinese automotive giant Geely. Famously, Polestar started life as a Swedish Touring Car racing team. The team won several championships and later it was bought out by Volvo. Through the years, Polestar has grown from a racing team to Volvo's performance wing, and now, it serves as the company's dedicated electric vehicle builder.

Who makes the Hyundai IONIQ 5?

Korean carmaker Hyundai makes the IONIQ 5. The brand was Australia's third best-selling marque in 2021. The IONIQ 5 isn't Hyundai's first EV. It already sells models like the IONIQ and the KONA EV SUV.

Which should I buy? The Polestar 2 or Hyundai IONIQ 5?

You need to take into account multiple factors. Your budget for a start since the IONIQ 5 is significantly pricier than the Polestar 2. Plus, the IONIQ 5 won't qualify for the same subsidies as its Swedish rival.

The Polestar 2 has a better range in general and some will prefer its looks over the IONIQ 5.

The IONIQ 5 is bigger, which will attract buyers and it has an innovative cabin.

You might also want to consider the Tesla Model 3 or the Kia EV6.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 vs Polestar 2: Which is better?

Both finished with 14 points apiece in our comparison.

The Polestar 2 has the following:

  • A lower price
  • Better range
  • A more conventional cabin
  • Subdued looks
  • An Android Automotive-based infotainment system
  • Limited availability within a few weeks
  • The ability to qualify for some federal and state incentives

The Hyundai IONIQ 5 has the following:

  • More passenger space
  • Apple CarPlay right now
  • Polarising looks
  • More storage
  • No transmission tunnel
  • A thorough complement of safety assists as standard
  • The might of Australia's third best-selling brand for servicing locations

You really need to test drive both. The IONIQ 5 sounds like a great deal, but it is more expensive and a little harder to purchase right now (though more are incoming soon, apparently).

Pictures: Supplied

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Ben Gribbin is an experienced automotive writer and life-long car enthusiast with a passion for restoring classic vehicles. He brings many years of experience working with and writing about cars to Finder. See full bio

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