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The Toyota RAV4 is seated comfortably on the throne of SUVs. No brand does it better in terms of sales. The RAV4 beats other small SUVs for the best-selling SUV title year after year. Heavy is the head that wears the crown. The Toyota RAV4 may be the king now, but the industry is changing. A new Hyundai electric vehicle could turn about to be the RAV4’s worst nightmare.

The rise of Hyundai’s electric vehicles

Look out, Toyota, there’s a new kid on the block. Hyundai Motor Company is making some of the best SUVs in the game. Its small electric SUV won World Car of the Year in 2022. The Ioniq 5 may be a long way away from competing with hybrid or gas-powered SUVs, but it has a bright future.

Picture this: one day, electric vehicle charging stations could be nearly as common as gas stations. Automakers are pouring billions of dollars into the production of new electric vehicle nameplates. Some are losing millions of dollars in the process. Why would automakers risk so much money on electrification?

The short answer is that electric vehicles are the future. What that future looks like differs depending on who you ask, but ultimately, EVs will account for a larger percentage of the total automobile market share than internal combustion engine vehicles one day. Maybe it’s two decades from now, maybe it’s three. The reality is that in many of our lifetimes, the same EVs that are new and exciting today will become ubiquitous.

Companies like Tesla have bet billions of dollars on the future of battery electric vehicles across the globe. Investors like Cathie Wood have bet millions of dollars on companies like Tesla. So, there’s a lot riding on the success of EVs. The question is, which electric vehicles will rise to the top?

Toyota RAV4 vs. Hyundai Ioniq 5?

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

Pitting the popular RAV4 against the new Ioniq 5 may seem like an odd matchup, but consider the future of automobiles. Toyota introduced the RAV4 Prime because it sees that the company can’t place all of its eggs in one basket (for now). Like Hyundai, Toyota produces internal combustion engine, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery-electric vehicles.

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 competes in the small electric SUV segment against models like the Toyota bZ4X, but once charging infrastructure improves and range anxiety wanes, it could compete on a different scale entirely. Hyundai hopes that the Ioniq 5 will one day become the most popular small SUV, not just the best small electric SUV option.

Don’t underestimate the Hyundai Ioniq 5

The 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5 | Hyundai

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 may be a champ in its segment, but it’s still an underdog in its vehicle class. Most consumers never think to compare EVs to gas-powered vehicles because they seem expensive, overly complex, and impractical in comparison. The Ioniq 5 may be a niche product for the moment, but it could be the most popular SUV in the world one day. The 2023 model year won an Editor’s Choice award from Car and Driver.

Brands like Hyundai Motor Company are carefully laying the foundation for the future. Automakers like Ford are making moves to ensure that the wave of electrification doesn’t wash away profits. EVs are the future, and Hyundai’s small electric SUV has made the best first impression that a vehicle could make. It won World Car of the Year, but is the Ioniq 5 potentially the World Car of the Decade? We’ll just have to wait and see.


Is the Hyundai Ioniq 5 the Most Reliable Small Electric SUV on the Market?