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The Toyota RAV4 is the dominant vehicle in its segment. Toyota’s small SUV has taken over the world over the last few decades. It’s the most popular small SUV because it’s affordable enough for most drivers and practical for small families. The RAV4 has cemented itself as one of the best small SUV options ever. As the automotive industry evolves, new rivals are emerging. One future RAV4 rival is a small SUV you probably never saw coming.

This small electric SUV could rival the Toyota RAV4 in the future

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is currently one of the most popular electric vehicles. South Korean automaker Hyundai managed to produce an electric vehicle that’s almost perfectly balanced. It doesn’t break the bank and has enough range to satisfy many drivers. Best of all, it’s fun to drive. The small electric SUV offers even more value at upper trim level configurations.

The 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5 starts at $41,450. It comes in four configurations. The small electric SUV makes 168 horsepower. All-wheel drive long-range battery models can produce a whopping 320 horsepower and 446 lb-ft of torque. The Ioniq 5 is praised for its smooth ride and fast charging capabilities. It won an Editor’s Choice award from Car and Driver and is featured on the automotive publication’s 10 best vehicles for 2023 list.

So, what does the Ioniq 5 have to do with the gas-powered RAV4? Let’s break it down. The Toyota RAV4 is currently the most popular small SUV. The Ioniq 5 is rapidly becoming the most popular small electric SUV. Electric vehicle charging infrastructure has a long way to go in America but fast-forward a decade. When automakers create these new electric vehicle nameplates, they think about the decades to come, not necessarily just the years.

In the future, electric vehicles will, at one point, become more popular than gas-powered vehicles. As EVs become more popular and take up more of the overall market share, the Ioniq 5 will compete against popular small hybrid SUVs and, eventually, small SUVs in general. It seems like a lifetime away, but the electric future is coming sooner than you think as the government looks for clean energy solutions and companies like Tesla continue to innovate.

The race to create the best small electric SUV

Automakers like Tesla have been working for years to create the best small electric SUV. The Tesla Model Y is currently the most popular electric SUV in the world. Hyundai Motor Company is attempting to disrupt small electric SUV rankings with the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and models from its sub-divisions.

The race to produce the most popular small electric SUV is underway, and Tesla is in the lead. The stakes are only getting higher as charging infrastructure improves and more drivers consider making the switch to electric vehicle ownership.

The future of the Hyundai Ioniq 5

The front of a 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5.
The 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5 | Hyundai

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 won World Car of the Year for 2022. U.S. News & World Report praises its driving range and comfy seats. Its cousin, the Kia EV6, is a World Performance Car of the Year finalist for 2023. Hyundai Motor Company’s small electric SUVs have a bright future based on how consumers and experts have received them thus far.

The Ioniq 5 nameplate is evolving. Inflation will continue to drive its starting price up, but it should remain one of the best (and most affordable) small electric SUV options. Watch out, Toyota, a challenge may come from an unsuspecting competitor.


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