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Tesla has long been the dominant player in the electric vehicle arena. Its vehicles set the standard for what’s possible in terms of range, performance, style, and charging infrastructure. But like all dominant players, they are eventually challenged by an upstart. In this case, Hyundai’s Ioniq 6 has emerged, offering performance and style. It also offers an estimated range and charging capability on par with the Model 3, including the ability to leverage DC fast chargers. 

So does the 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 have what it takes to dethrone the Tesla Model 3? It’s a question being asked more frequently.   

The Ioniq 6 Vs. Tesla Model 3 – Range and Specs

A silver Hyundai Ioniq 6.
Hyundai Ioniq 6 | Hyundai Motor Company

The Ioniq 6 lineup includes the RWD Standard Range model powered by a 149 hp electric motor and a 53.0-kWh battery pack, a RWD Long Range model with 225 hp and a 77.4-kWh battery, and a dual-motor AWD version with 320 hp and a 77.4-kWh battery. 0 to 60 mph performance is between 4.4 and 7.0 seconds, depending on the configuration. 

The Tesla Model 3 includes the Standard Range Plus RWD, which has 283 hp and uses a 54-kWh battery. It also includes a Long Range AWD model and a Performance AWD model, both with at least 450 hp and an 82-kWh battery. Its 0 to 60 mph times are between 3.1 seconds and 5.3 seconds.   

The Ioniq 6’s range has not been certified by the EPA but is estimated at between 250 and 350 miles depending on the model. By comparison, the Model 3 has a range of between 263 and 353 miles.  

When it comes down to the bottom line price, the Tesla Model 3 starts at $46,990 for the Standard Range Plus, with the Long Range model at $57,990 and the Performance model starting at $62,990. The 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 will start in the low $40,000 range and top out at around $58,000.  

The Ioniq 6 Vs. Tesla Model 3 – Driving

A white Tesla Model 3 in a press photo
Tesla Model 3 | Tesla

According to MotorTrend, The Tesla Model 3 is fun to drive with a buttoned-down suspension that makes it feel almost kart-like. But it lacks refinement, letting in too much road and tire noise.  MotorTrend also reported “a myriad of buzzes and rattles over broken pavement,” which it says is a “testament to Tesla’s poor build quality.”

Road tests of the Ioniq 6 have been limited but have shown it to be quick and competent with a comfortable ride. The pre-production models seem to be solid, with very little noise, vibration, or harshness. MotorTrend thought the Ioniq 6 drove with “quiet sophistication… feeling it was hewn from a solid billet of steel,” but it lacked the sharpness of the Model 3’s handling and performance. 

Which Of These Electric Cars Should You Choose?

By all accounts, the 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 matches up closely with the Tesla Model 3. We’ve yet to see these two cars evaluated head to head, but as GreenCarReports says, the Ioniq 6 is “going to give the Model 3 the toughest competition yet.”

According to Edmunds, the Ioniq 6 “is a fun mix of avante-garde styling and impressive technology, and the combo might be enough to sway people away from the Model 3. The right price and a confirmed stellar EPA range will make that situation much more probable.” 

Time will tell if the Ioniq 6 will dethrone the Model 3, but don’t count out the Tesla just yet. While the Ioniq 6 may be quieter and more refined than the Tesla Model 3 and be appealing because it’s the “latest thing,” the Model 3 has a lot going for it. Few cars offer the Model 3’s performance. Not just in terms of a straight line but handling, cornering, and braking as well. Also, few cars have Tesla’s charging network, which is seemingly everywhere and allows you to fill up your battery almost as fast as filling up a gas tank. 

When it comes down to it, Tesla is still the champ, especially when it comes to performance. But for everyone else looking for a stylish electric car or simply a replacement for a gas-powered vehicle, the Ioniq 6 may just become the car to beat. 


2024 Hyundai IONIQ 6: Everything We Know to Date