Hyundai Ioniq 6 review
Hyundai’s electric streamliner impresses us with its class-leading range, rapid charging speeds and interior, though you’ll sacrifice some practicality for the striking, coupe-esque looks
- Class-leading range
- Ultra-rapid charging
- Styling and cabin
- Rear headroom
- Boot space
- UK pricing still TBC
|Model||Range||Wallbox charge time||Rapid charge time|
|53kWh RWD||267 miles||8hrs 45mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)||17mins (10-80%, 175kW)|
|77.4kWh RWD||382 miles||11hrs 45mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)||16mins (10-80%, 233kW)|
|77.4kWh AWD||322 miles||11hrs 45mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)||16mins (10-80%, 233kW)|
The Hyundai Ioniq 5 was the one of the standout electric cars launched in 2021, combining sci-fi styling, a comfortable cabin and boatloads of technology to create an impressive, practical family car. It should therefore come as no surprise that we have high expectations for its follow-up, Hyundai's answer to the BMW i4 and Tesla Model 3: the Ioniq 6.
Where the Ioniq 5 took inspiration from the boxy hatchbacks of the 70s and 80s, the Hyundai Ioniq 6 looks to 1930s streamliner cars. The result is an extremely aerodynamic, coupe-esque silhouette that achieves a drag coefficient of just 0.21. For context, the Mercedes EQS’ record-breaking figure is 0.20Cd. Other unique cues include a ducktail spoiler and very short overhangs at the front and rear, both of which featured on Hyundai’s Prophecy concept car that paved the way for the Ioniq 6.
Underneath the svelte bodywork are the E-GMP underpinnings we’re now familiar with from our time in the Ioniq 5, Kia EV6 and Genesis GV60. It’s also the platform that’ll be used for the seven-seater Ioniq 7 and Kia EV9 coming soon, but all in good time.
The platform’s 800V electrics means the Ioniq 6 can charge at speeds of up to 233kW and allows for a 10-80% top-up in under 18 minutes across the range. Entry-level models feature a single 168bhp electric motor for the rear wheels, powered by a 53kWh battery that Hyundai says is good for 267 miles of range and 0-62mph in eight seconds.
We expect the most popular option will be the long-range model, which can cover up to 382 miles on a single charge, according to Hyundai – besting both the equivalent Tesla Model 3 and BMW i4. You can thank the 77.4kWh battery and slipstream body for that, though 0-62mph takes a comparatively lengthy seven seconds because of the small power increase to 225bhp.
However, the version we drove was the range-topping all-wheel drive model. It uses the same 77.4kWh battery, but adds another electric motor on the front axle for a combined 316bhp and 605Nm of torque; enough to go from 0-62mph in just 5.1 seconds. It’s the most potent version available, until a hot Ioniq 6 N inevitably arrives down the line.
Pull the flush fitting door handles and you’re greeted by a similar interior to the Ioniq 5, with the dashboard dominated by two 12-inch screens – one central infotainment screen, and another for the driver. Though, Hyundai has made some subtle changes to what was already an excellent interior. For instance, the bezels surrounding each screen are now black rather than white, and the digital door mirrors are now housed in wings that sweep up from the dashboard – compared to the Ioniq 5 which uses two screens that look like an afterthought tacked onto the doors.
Fit and finish is mostly superb, and Hyundai’s intuitive infotainment system is one of the best on the market - albeit with the occasional fiddly sub-menu. It’s quick to respond, and features clever touches like the blind-spot displays in the instruments and speed-sensitive ambient lighting.
One drawback of the Ioniq 6’s sloping roofline is rear passengers over six feet tall might find themselves brushing against the headliner. Legroom on the whole is very generous at least, thanks to the electric saloon’s 2.95-metre wheelbase, which is roughly the same as a BMW 5 Series’. The same can’t be said for boot space however. Hyundai is yet to provide an official luggage capacity figure, but the space on offer didn’t look particularly cavernous to us. There is at least a small ‘frunk’ under the bonnet so the charging cables don’t clog up the boot, but the Model 3 offers far more space in its nose.
Our first drive of the Ioniq 6 took place in South Korea, so our test car was tailored for the domestic market, but we still found a lot to like. The measured throttle response in Normal mode allowed for smooth progress at low speed, while the firm but well-damped ride made the Ioniq 6 feel serene and relaxing to drive most of the time. Only sudden bumps or potholes really upset the car, particularly if you strike one mid-corner.
Switch into Sport mode and mash the accelerator, and suddenly the serenity is disrupted by a violent hit of power. Our dual-motor model’s 5.1-second 0-62mph time feels very conservative to us; acceleration feels effortless thanks to the enormous amount of torque on tap. Progress isn’t as urgent once you’re at motorway speeds, but there’s still plenty of poke for overtaking.
Speaking of which, the Ioniq 6 we drove felt particularly geared towards high-speed stability rather than being an engaging driver’s machine. The long wheelbase makes it especially stable when cruising, while the steering was devoid of much feeling but well-weighted and accurate, allowing you to track precisely between the white lines and taking some of the stress out of longer drives.
Make no mistake, the Ioniq 6 can still handle a B-road if faced with one. It not be the most exciting EV to drive – the BMW i4 might be the better choice if that’s what you’re after – and the Hyundai’s considerable heft can put a strain on the tyres when attacking some corners, but overall the Ioniq 6 feels planted with the majority of its mass well contained.
The more than two-tonne saloon’s weight can also be felt when slowing from high speeds. The brakes themselves are powerful enough, though the pedal feel isn’t particularly confidence inspiring. You can of course side-step this weakpoint by utilising Hyundai's i-Pedal one-pedal driving mode, which is great as always.
The Hyundai Ioniq 6 isn’t perfect, but the class-leading range, ultra-rapid charging capabilities, elegant styling and fabulous interior are more than enough to give the BMW i4 and Tesla Model 3 a run for their money. UK pricing is still under wraps, but we expect the Ioniq 6 to start from around £45,000, significantly undercutting its rivals, too. If you’re after something more practical, however, this might not be the EV you’re looking for, in which case the Ioniq 5 may be a better fit.