The Hyundai Ioniq 6 Is a New High Benchmark for Electric Sedans
The Ioniq 6 certainly has its appeal on paper. Hyundai’s new-for-2023 EV sports a driving range of up to 361 miles, a price point that competes directly with the Model 3 as Tesla continues to slash its cost, real-world pragmaticism from its midsize sedan status, ultra-quick charging capabilities, a long list of standard features, and an industry-leading warranty. Better still, a week behind the wheel of the midrange SE Long Range RWD model only grows the Hyundai Ioniq 6’s appeal.
The Hyundai Ioniq 6’s driving dynamics
Quiet and comfortable are straightforward but wholly accurate adjectives to describe the Hyundai Ioniq 6’s road manners. The Ioniq 6 stays composed and dampens out even the most egregious pavement imperfections with ease, but it simultaneously strikes a balance and isn’t roly-poly when thrown into a corner.
Hyundai has also done well to dampen outside noise. Sure, you can turn up the volume on some whooshing faux acceleration noises, but that only intrudes on what is otherwise a cabin that practically isolates you from outside sound.
The ride quality and sound-deadening of the Ioniq 6 make it feel far more upscale than its price would suggest.
Ioniq 6 electric performance and power
Three drivetrain flavors are available for the Hyundai Ioniq 6. The RWD Standard Range model can dish out 149 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, while the RWD Long Range model increases the power to 225 ponies with the same torque figure. AWD models up the ante to 320 horsepower and 446 lb-ft of torque.
While I can’t speak to the performance of the least or most powerful versions, my midrange RWD Long Range tester provided ample performance on back roads, highways, and even when I got angry after realizing I had been traveling in the wrong direction on a remote highway for miles and executed a four-wheel drift to turn around at a junction.
The RWD Long Range model’s 225 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque may not be earth-shattering figures in the electric era, but the Ioniq 6 feels faster than its specs suggest. Acceleration is near-instantaneous and ample. While some of its steam runs out after long bursts, it certainly didn’t feel underpowered in any way for a midsize sedan, electric or otherwise.
Range, efficiency, and charging for the Hyundai EV
The SE Long Range with RWD is the range-champion of the lineup with an impressive 361 miles on tap between charges, a number that bests the Model 3.
My tester showed a range of 305 miles upon delivery at about 94% charged. After 120 miles on the road, nearly half of which was on the highway where efficiency can suffer, the readout showed I had about 175 miles of range left with the battery at 61%. So, no range anxiety there, then. Of course, the range of my tester may have suffered because I wasn’t exactly easy on the throttle.
Charge times are equally impressive. At 350 kW, the Hyundai Ioniq 6 can recoup its charge to 80% in about 20 minutes. I certainly don’t live in a food desert in a populous metro Atlanta city, but my home area could be considered a fast-charger desert. However, even with a Level 2 120V home charger, 80% juice capacity can be achieved in under seven hours.
Technology and features
Using an electrified powertrain seems to inspire many car designers to try and make a model’s cabin as futuristic as possible — for better or worse. Thankfully, the Hyundai Ioniq 6’s tech is thoroughly modern without unnecessary chintz.
There are dual 12.3-inch displays but plenty of traditional switchgear. Sure, the climate controls are digital, but the layout is a traditional array of controls on the center stack.
It’s also easy to appreciate the sleek door panels, which are devoid of controls — well, other than the handle that allows you to exit the car. For instance, the window controls are located forward of the center console. While somewhat unconventional, the layout is still intuitive.
The Hyundai Ioniq 6’s value is exceptional
Much brouhaha has been made of Tesla’s price cuts, but the Model 3’s value is still questionable against the Hyundai Ioniq 6. The as-tested price for my SE Long Range model was under $47,000, with destination included. That price delivers a range of about 360 miles, a full suite of driver aids, ultra-quick charging, LED exterior lights, and creature comforts like heated front seats, navigation, smart cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control with rear vents, a power driver seats with lumbar support, and other amenities.
Sure, the seats were cloth, and plenty of hard plastic could be found in the cabin. Still, it’s hard to argue against the Ioniq 6’s overall value prospects, especially considering Hyundai’s warranties are unmatched.
There are some downsides to the Ioniq 6 EV
Though it’s easy to sing the praises of the Hyundai Ioniq 6, it’s not without fault.
Its sloping roofline cuts down significantly on rear headroom. Even at 5-foot-9, my head could touch the headliner in the rear if I sat bolt upright. Hyundai’s engineers have employed a bit of a workaround in fitting low rear seats and providing ample rear legroom, allowing passengers to take on a more reclined seating position to negate the limited headroom. Still, it’s not ideal if you’re hauling adults in the rear.
The trunk can accommodate 11.2 cubic feet of stuff, which was ample for a weekly grocery haul, but its rather shallow shape might struggle to accommodate a full family’s luggage. The frunk isn’t much help, either.
Of course, many might take issue with the Ioniq 6’s banana-like shape. Its long and sleek greenhouse, rounded rear fascia, and snub-nose front end, all aimed at improving its aerodynamic efficiency, don’t make it the sexiest EV on the road. It’s certainly attention-grabbing, but not all will appreciate its styling.
Yet, none of these factors fully detract from the overall competency of the Ioniq 6.
The Hyundai Ioniq 6 is the new benchmark
The Hyundai Ioniq 6 isn’t perfect, but that’s not to say it’s not a very good midsize EV sedan. From an overall perspective, it’s hard to argue against the Ioniq 6 being the pinnacle model in its class.
Hyundai’s EV sedan is a purchase that can be made both with the head and the heart. It’s a midsize electric sedan you actually want to drive. So, the Ioniq 6 may be the newcomer on the block, but it’s already the leader of the fray.