2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6 First Drive
Last year Hyundai delivered their award-winning IONIQ 5 to us for a week of testing on our home turf. This spring, Hyundai flew us out for a first drive of their award-winning IONIQ 6 in beautiful Savanah, Georgia. While a lot of components are shared between the two, this unique and futuristic design has some surprises up its sleeve and can get up to 360 miles of range on a single charge (when properly equipped).
In what I likened to speed dating but for cars, Holli and I were whisked away to Savanah to test out the latest electric vehicle from Hyundai. Much like its SUV predecessor, the IONIQ 6 has already won quite an impressive list of awards including World Car of the Year, World Electric Vehicle, and World Car Design of the Year. All of which the IONIQ 5 also won last year.
While the IONIQ 5 is a boxy SUV, the IONIQ 6 is a sumptuous and curvaceous "streamliner" design. Hyundai is careful to never refer to it as a sedan, though that is what most consumers will call it. Even though the 6 ditches the straight lines of the 5, the family resemblance runs deep between the two, most notably in their "Parametric Pixel" lighting elements all around. With over 600 pixelated LED lights, the IONIQ 6 and other electric Hyundai models give off a distinct retro/futuristic vibe wherever you see them, and from every angle.
I especially like the third brake light in the rear of the IONIQ 6, while not actually individually lit, the uppermost rear spoiler has the illusion of dozens of pixels floating in the air when the brake is depressed. It really is the closest attention to detail on this car, though there are many other thoughtful touches both inside and out.
This "streamliner" profile is the most striking feature that will cause the most double takes by passers-by on the road. The dramatic drop-off of both the rear window and even the rearmost side window on the IONIQ 6 makes a statement while adding to the vehicle's overall efficiency. In fact, this is the most aerodynamic vehicle Hyundai has ever produced, and one of the most aerodynamic vehicles on sale today. With its 0.22 drag coefficient, the increased energy density in the batteries, and increased attention to weight savings, the RWD long-range version of this IONIQ 6 can top out at an EPA-estimated 361 miles on a single charge. That, paired with Hyundai's 800v electrical architecture, means that you can easily travel long distances in your IONIQ 6 because charging at a DC fast charger can yield 10-80% charge in 18 minutes. Charging at home with a 240V system would yield 10-100% charge in 7 hours and 10 minutes, allowing you to commute for a while before having to recharge once overnight to be ready to go again in the morning.
The size of this vehicle was impressive as well. At around the same size as Hyundai's Sonata sedan, the IONIQ 6's longer wheelbase makes for a ton of space inside for occupants, especially those seated in the rear. In fact, the IONIQ 6 is larger and more spacious than both its main rivals: the Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2.
The increased wheelbase over traditional sedans like the Sonata and the added weight down underneath the cabin from the batteries make the ride of this IONIQ 6 very comfortable over many different driving conditions. In our time with it, we sampled highways, back roads, speed bumps, rough pavement, smooth pavement, and expansion joints on bridges and the Hyundai handled it like a champ.
Overall, we left this one-day drive event, or speed date, with a very positive impression. We very much would appreciate a second date with the latest EV from Hyundai because there is still so much we want to learn and experience with this car, from installing Tucker's child safety seat to exploring our favorite driving roads home in East Texas.
2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6 Specs:
77.4 kWh Battery
Dual Electric Motors
446 lb-ft of Torque
Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive
MacPherson Strut Front Suspension with Coil Springs and Gas Shock Absorbers
Multi-link Rear Suspension
Front and Rear Disc Brakes
Five Driver-selectable Drive Modes
Seating for 5
H-Tex™ Trimmed Seating Surfaces
Heated and Ventilated Front Seats
8-way Power Driver Seat with 2-person Memory
8-way Power Passenger Seat
Heated Steering Wheel
12.3-inch Digital Gauge Cluster
12.3-inch Infotainment with Wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
Bose Premium Audio
Dual-zone Automatic Climate Control
Customizable Interior Lighting
20-inch Alloy Wheels
245/40 R20 Pirelli P-Zero Tires
Proximity Key with Push Button Start
Up to 11.2 Cubic Feet of Storage in the Trunk
Up to 270 miles of EPA-estimated Electric Range on a Single Charge
DC Fast Charging 10-80% in 18 Minutes
240V 0-100% Charge Time of 7.9 Hours
EPA Fuel Economy 33 kWh/100mi
Starting Price: $45,500
Price As Tested: $57,875