Hyundai’s rugged new IONIQ 5 XRT caught testing for the first time – A Rivian R3X rival?

A new rugged IONIQ 5 model is set to hit the market soon. Ahead of its debut, Hyundai’s new IONIQ 5 XRT was caught out in the wild testing for the first time as a new video gives us our closest look yet. Will it compete with Rivian’s recently revealed R3X?

IONIQ 5 gets an upgrade with a new variant launching

After introducing the new IONIQ 5 update and a sporty N model earlier this month, Hyundai is preparing to launch another variant of its best-selling electric SUV.

Hyundai’s new IONIQ 5 features a bigger battery (84 kWh), boosting the electric SUV’s range to 485 km (301 mi) in Korea. You can see slight design changes from the previous model with a slightly larger rear spoiler and more “pixel” details. It also includes a new rear window wiper.

Although Hyundai’s IONIQ 5 was already one of the fastest-charging EVs, the new model features even quicker charging rates (10% to 80%) in as little as 18 minutes.

The new IONIQ 5 starts at $39,400 (52,400,000 KRW) in Korea, but Hyundai has yet to reveal US prices. Hyundai’s electric SUV also earned an N performance upgrade. Its first performance EV, the IONIQ 5 N, will start at $66,100 in the US.

2025 Hyundai IONIQ 5 N (Source: Hyundai)

Meanwhile, Hyundai has another trick up its sleeve. We reported earlier this month that Hyundai was planning to launch an off-road-ready IONIQ 5 XRT in the US.

First look at Hyundai’s rugged IONIQ 5 XRT in new video

According to TheKoreanCarBlog, a prototype was spotted near Hyundai and Kia’s Technical Center earlier this month. You could see noticeable differences despite the camouflage, including redesigned front and rear bumpers and new parking sensors up front.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 XRT spotted in new video (Source: HealerTV)

Hyundai’s IONIQ 5 XRT was caught testing as a new video from HealerTV gives us our best look yet at the off-road-focused EV.

As you can see, the interior is completely covered, suggesting a redesign is in the works. With lighter camo, you can see the model is rocking a new rear and front bumper design.

The new Hyundai IONIQ 5 XRT is expected to include minor powertrain upgrades, similar to the new refresh. A bigger battery and more efficient motor will likely boost range. Meanwhile, the inside is expected to feature Hyundai’s latest-gen infotainment and safety features.

The new Hyundai IONIQ 5 facelift (Source: Hyundai)

According to TheKoreanCarBlog, Hyundai is expected to introduce its new rugged EV in the US and Europe by the end of the year.

Hyundai’s XRT model will compete against Rivian’s recently revealed R3X. After unveiling its smaller, more affordable R2, Rivian shocked the internet with an even more compact and cheaper R3 and R3X, a high-performance model.

Rivian R3X (Source: Rivian)

Rivian’s R3X almost resembles the IONIQ 5, taking design influence from iconic rally cars like the Audi Quattro coupe and Delta Integrale.

The R3X will follow the R2 into production. Rivian plans to begin building the R2 in the first half of 2026.

What do you guys think? Which rugged EV would you choose? Hyundai’s new IONIQ 5 XRT or the Rivian R3X? Let us know in the comments.

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