4 Things We Learned Driving the 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 EV
The Hyundai Ioniq 6 is one of the hottest new EV nameplates, grabbing headlines and attention from all directions. I recently had a chance to take it for a spin and came away with some conclusions. Here are four things we learned about the 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 from the driver’s seat.
1. Its striking design is even better in person
The new Ioniq 6 is a show-stopper when seen in person.
Press photos are helpful, but you can never quite be sure of your opinion on a vehicle’s looks until you see it in person. Hyundai’s Ioniq 6 photos portrayed a sleek, unique EV with its own look. Fortunately, seeing the Ioniq 6 in person only reinforced those assertions.
We witnessed the Ioniq 6 firsthand during the 2023 Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) Spring Rally at Road America. Its looks stole the show at an event that featured a Rolls Royce Ghost – no small feat. Elements of vintage Saab and Porsche on the back end mix with futuristic flourishes to make a car that truly stands on its own. Hyundai knocked it out of the park.
2. It has outstanding interior quality and ergonomics
The Hyundai Ioniq 6 boasts an interior that manages to be clean and functional without being boring.
From the shape of the steering wheel to the gentle curves of the dashboard and the unique bridge-like center console, it’s clear that the Hyundai design team put in the hours to make it a particular space.
Hyundai explained that most of the surfaces in the Ioniq 6 cabin come from reclaimed, recycled materials like fishing nets. The result is contact points that don’t feel like the typical car cabin. Yet the designers employed those materials with high build quality and ergonomic thoughtfulness.
And the seats are comfy as heck, too.
3. It’s impressive to drive in any mode
Each of the Hyundai Ioniq 6’s three drive modes produces distinctive performance advantages from the others.
Plenty of vehicles have selectable drive modes. But so often, toggling through these options produces only marginal performance differences. We’re happy to report that the drive modes in the Ioniq 6 change the vehicle’s driving dynamics in meaningful (and helpful) ways.
As the name suggests, Sport mode makes more power available immediately and sharpens throttle response. It’s the best way to get the instant torque punch for which EVs have become famous. The Ioniq 6’s planted, secure handling compliments Sport mode well.
Press the wheel-mode Drive Mode button, and the Ioniq 6 switches to Eco Mode. This mode is markedly less powerful, reigning in the EV’s torque delivery and seemingly blunting steering sharpness. We could imagine it working well in stop-and-go urban situations. However, Eco Mode feels sluggish and slow during highway usage.
Unsurprisingly, Normal Mode is the sweet spot for the Ioniq 6. It balances power, maneuverability, and efficiency to create a driving style ideal for most everyday scenarios.
4. We wish the 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 were a liftback
The biggest downside we learned of the 2023 Ioniq 6 in our first drive was its cargo space. Hyundai missed a significant opportunity to make the attractive EV into a practical liftback in the vein of a Toyota Prius. Instead, we got a small trunk with a meager 11 cubic feet of cargo space.
The Ioniq 6 sure looks like a liftback vehicle from the side profile. Perhaps Hyundai put the Ioniq 6 in the sedan bucket to keep it from competing against the Ioniq 5 crossover.
Is the Hyundai Ioniq 6 a good car?
We only had a few minutes to spend with the 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6. While that may not be enough to form a comprehensive opinion, it was plenty of time to develop a first impression. And the impression was outstanding. Its versatile performance, striking visual design, and refreshing cabin space make it one of the more impressive models of 2023.