In-depth reviews

Hyundai Ioniq 6 prototype review

The Hyundai Ioniq 6 uses the same impressive tech as the Ioniq 5 in a sleeker, more efficient shape

Pros

  • Very impressive range figures
  • High-tech interior
  • Tidy handling

Cons

  • Small boot opening
  • Eco mode blunts response
  • Slightly firm ride

Car type

Range

Wallbox charge time

Rapid charge time

Electric

Up to 379 miles

TBC

18mins (10-80%, 220kW)

The Hyundai Ioniq 6 represents the Korean brand in its most futuristic state, but the design team looked almost 100 years into the past for inspiration. Its swoopy shape is partly inspired by the aerodynamic ‘streamliners’ of the 1930s. We can also see similarities between the Ioniq 6 and high-end cars like the Mercedes CLS and even the Porsche 911.

Its pixel-like tail-lights are similar to the Ioniq 5; a hint that the two cars are very closely related. That’s a very good start, too, considering the Ioniq 5 was a two-time winner in the 2022 DrivingElectric Awards.

While the 5 goes up against SUVs like the Skoda Enyaq iV and the Ford Mustang Mach-E, the 6 is a rival to electric executive cars like the Tesla Model 3, BMW i4 and Polestar 2.

Like the Ioniq 5, you get a choice of 53 and 77.4kWh batteries. The 6 is one of the most aerodynamic cars on sale and, if you pick the bigger battery, that translates to a maximum 379-mile range. That’s slightly more than the Model 3, and ensures the Hyundai of a place on our list of the longest-range EVs.

The smaller battery is likely to manage around 250 miles between charges, while rear and all-wheel-drive versions will be available. The most powerful all-wheel-drive variant gets 316bhp and a 0-62mph time of around five seconds. An Ioniq 6 N with a sub-four-second acceleration time is thought to be in development.

Because the Ioniq 6 sits on the same E-GMP platform as the Ioniq 5, plus the Kia EV6 and Genesis GV60, it offers the same rapid recharging. A 220kW charge takes you from 10-80% in 18 minutes, thanks to 800-volt technology.

Rather unsurprisingly, it drives much like an Ioniq 5. Our car (the 77.4kWh version with the highest range figure) may have been a prototype, complete with camouflage wrapping, but it stayed just as flat as the 5 through corners and offered similarly direct steering. The Ioniq 6 is no sports car (yet – wait for the Ioniq 6 N) but is still enjoyable to drive on a twisty road.

Stay out of the Eco driving mode and you’ll find the range-topper very quick off the line. It’s certainly powerful enough to surprise petrol hot hatch drivers, with rapid yet smooth acceleration facilitated by its instant torque and no gears. Eco mode may increase the miles you can manage out of a charge, but it seriously blunts the accelerator response. There’ll be times where you might expect the power to come in much sooner than it does.

We found the ride in our test car a little on the firm side, but that may be partly attributed to the large 20-inch wheels. We expect a plusher ride from the 18-inch wheels available on lower-spec versions. That’s not to say the 6 is uncomfortable – you’ll just find it a little more communicative of some bumps and potholes than some rivals.

Of course, the interior will feel familiar to those who’ve spent time in an Ioniq 5, but it still feels state-of-the-art and stacked with technology. It gets the same twin screens, each with lots of information and features to explore. The window switches have moved to the centre console to keep the door panels slim.

One of the options available on the Ioniq 6 is digital cameras in place of wing mirrors, and these are integrated into the dashboard with neat, wraparound curves. They work really well, with perfectly clear views of what’s behind you, and as such are easy to get used to. If you stick with normal mirrors, the curved panels are still there but just blank, which looks strange.

Rearward visibility is good given the car’s shape, and so is the space in the back seats. Even with the swooping roofline, there’s enough headroom, and the long platform that underpins the Ioniq 6 means legroom is plentiful too. The boot is a good size, but its saloon-style opening doesn’t provide great access. The Ioniq 5 offers a much more versatile loadbay if you’re planning to carry bulky or boxy items.

If that’s not a concern, you’ll be pleased to know that the Ioniq 6’s swoopy looks won’t come with a huge premium over the chunky Ioniq 5. The price should undercut the Tesla Model 3 and BMW i4, as well.

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