- The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 EV debuted this week with striking looks and an airy cabin.
- There’s even a space between the front seats for a purse or bag.
- Many cars today lack that feature, so it’s great to see an automaker implement it.
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News of the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 all-electric SUV on Tuesday was exciting for many reasons, but chief among those reasons was that it has a place to put your freaking purse!
As I scrolled through photos of the airy-looking interior, I came across this one and stopped. Owing to the Ioniq 5’s batteries-along-the-floor design, its passengers can enjoy a far more spacious interior cabin – especially in the footwell.
See that space between the front seats? Behind the upholders? That’s primo purse real estate right there.
I can’t tell you what a drag it’s been all these years, getting into cars and having nowhere to put my purse. Usually what happens is the bag goes in the back seat for longer trips (bad, out of reach) or dumped in my boyfriend’s lap (also bad, because it’s rude).
It’s all been suboptimal, is what I’m saying.
There have been a few attempts to correct this in the past, including in my mom’s old 2000 Lexus RX 300. The car was already great, but what made it a true triumph in automotive design was the little dedicated space between the front seats for bags. There was even a plastic tray to set your things down on.
Subsequent generations of the Lexus RX models did away with that space, and it was a move for the worse.
And then there have been more blatant attempts at marketing cars toward people who carry purses – ones that make a big deal about who certain features are for, all for the sake of advertising.
There have been “cars for women,” which are “soft,” “gentle,” and can have “children in the back.” There was once, back in the not-so-faraway land of 2016, even a car “for women” with eyeliner-shaped headlights, jeweled wheels, and an atmosphere designed for “impromptu karaoke performances, last-minute wardrobe changes, dramatic gossip sessions and emergency lunch-hour kips.”
All of this slides into the neighborhood of being patronizing, stereotypical, dumb, and bad. It’s a rough neighborhood and you don’t want to be seen there.
But here, in all-new, space-age electric Hyundai, you get all of the usability and none of the patronization. You can drop your purse right in between the front seats, which will keep your bag upright so it won’t spill over. The bag itself remains close by, never out of reach. Your phone, wallet, sunglasses, and lip balm are all conveniently right there.
Hyundai hints at that utility rather than screaming it by featuring a photo of a person literally in the act of putting their purse in that little cubby.
Hyundai’s own press release explains it plainly: “The ‘Living Space’ theme runs throughout the interior, most notably embodied by the Universal Island, a moveable center console that can slide back as much as 140 mm. Universal Island, along with the flat floor where the batteries are stored, allows more freedom of movement inside the vehicle.”
This, my friends, is how you market to purse-carrying people. If you want to put thoughtful features in your car that you think women or purse-carrying people will enjoy, then just do it. Present the information in an informative manner, give us some photos of people using it. Move on without any gendered stereotypes.
If you have a genuinely good feature – such as a place for purses – congratulations! You thought outside of the box. Let everyone know it’s there.
After that, we can figure the rest out.