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First Drive Review: 2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6



2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6

The 2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6 is Hyundai’s latest addition to its growing portfolio of electric vehicles. Although the IONIQ 6 is based on the same E-GMP architecture as the IONIQ 5 hatchback, you’d be hard-pressed to notice as the IONIQ 6 sedan sports a district design and style that really stands out from today’s cookie-cutter sedans. Thanks to a proven drivetrain, attention to aerodynamic performance, and a well-appointed cabin, the Hyundai IONIQ 6 is a compelling electric vehicle that you’d be happy to charge up in your garage.

We were recently invited to New York to drive the all-new IONIQ 6, and during our time there we spent most of our time with the IONIQ 6 SEL AWD. This is the sweet spot for customers seeking out a fun but luxurious EV experience. Although you sacrifice the more affordable SE model, the inclusion of larger wheels and tires leads to a more planted and fun driving experience. The flexibility of the IONIQ 6 platform means there’s a perfect trim out there to fit your exact use case.

2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6

IONIQ 6 Model Lineup

The 2023 IONIQ 6 comes in four distinct trim levels that include the base SE Standard range, SE Long Range, SEL, and top-of-the-line Limited. Besides the base SE Standard Range, all IONIQ 6s can be optioned as either a rear-drive single motor or an all-wheel-drive dual motor. The base model SE Standard Range starts at $41,600 and offers 240 miles of range. The most expensive IONIQ 6 is the Limited AWD, which starts at $56,100.

The IONIQ 6 SE with the rear motor only and long-range battery pack will deliver 361 miles of range sets the standard for the IONIQ 6. If you move up to the SEL or Limited trim, the range drops to only 305 miles due to the inclusion of the larger 20-inch wheels.

The dual-motor IONIQ 6s offers more performance, however, this comes at the cost of range. IONIQ 6 SEs with the dual motor option offer 316 miles of range (a loss of 45 miles of range). Meanwhile, SEL and Limited models with dual motors can only muster up 270 miles of range, this again due to the larger wheel and tire package on the higher-trim cars.

2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6

IONIQ 6 Drivetrain

Single-motor IONIQ 6s produce 225 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. Although these are not huge numbers, thanks to the immediacy of torque delivery, this proves to be more than adequate for normal driving. For those looking for more performance, Hyundai has got you covered with the dual motor option delivering a combined output of 320 horsepower and 446 lb-ft of torque. The addition of the second motor reduces the 0-60mph time from 7.4 seconds to just 5.1 seconds.

The addition of all-wheel drive adds only $3,500 to the final cost of an IONIQ 6. So if you can afford it and don’t mind the slight loss of range, we strongly recommend it. With the added thrust of the second front motor, the IONIQ 6 becomes a far more engaging vehicle to drive. It also allows the IONIQ 6 to deliver to neck-snapping acceleration EVs have become known for.

For all-wheel drive IONIQ 6s, the front motor can physically disconnect while the car is in ECO mode, which means you can have the power when you need it but enjoy improved range if you plan ahead. This is a clever solution that uses a dog clutch to give you the ultimate flexibility.

2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6 interior

Enough Range For Most Use Cases

Single-motor IONIQ 6’s offer the best possible range, with the SE Long Range rear-wheel drive leading the pack with 361 miles of range. The base IONIQ 6 SE Standard Range only offers 240 miles of range due to its smaller 53 kWh battery pack. Move up to the SEL or Limited and you can expect an impressive 305 miles of range which only falls short of the SE due to the wheel and tire package. The SE uses 18-inch wheels with 225-section tires while the SEL and Limited use 20-inch wheels with 245 sections tires.

For all-wheel drive dual motor IONIQ 6s, the added power comes at a slight cost to the range. IONIQ 6 SEs with AWD deliver 316 miles of range, while the SEL and Limited can only muster 270 total miles on a single charge.

2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6 infotainment screen

Charging Built To Keep You On The Road

Hyundai has spent a great deal of time improving upon its EV tech for this new generation of vehicles. The engineers at Hyundai found a new more efficient way to cool the battery cells which resulted in 50% fewer parts compared to their last-generation EVs, while also allowing for a 7% increase in cell energy density. The IONIQ 6 uses an 800-volt battery architecture which translates into more rapid charging times when using a fast charger.

At a 350KW fast charger, the IONIQ 6 can charge from 10% to 80% in only eighteen minutes beating out the Tesla Model 3 by twelve minutes. At a 250KW fast charger, the IONIQ 6 will charge from 10% battery to 80% in an impressive twenty-five minutes. For homes that use AC Level 2 charging your IONIQ 6 will charge from 10% to 100% in seven hours and ten minutes which means you’ll always have a full charge after a good night’s sleep.

2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6 headlights

Driving Experience

The IONIQ 6 does a great job of masking its 4,400lb curb weight thanks to the lower center of gravity offered by this EV’s skateboard-style E-GMP architecture. We wouldn’t call it a sports sedan, but on twisty roads, the IONIQ 6 remains composed and engaging when you seek out a little driving fun. The rigid chassis allows the suspension to do its job soaking up bumps and managing the weight of a 77. 4 kWh battery pack.

Thanks to the immediate delivery of torque, the IONIQ 6 is a fun car to drive on twisty roads since you’re able to quickly apply power without delay. This rapid power transfer means the IONIQ 6 is an engaging sedan to drive. Sure, we miss the sounds of an internal combustion engine, but the clean delivery of power is a fair trade-off.

The dual motor Hyundai IONIQ 6 SEL that we drove easily rocketed offer the line under hard acceleration. Although a 0-60mph time of only 5.0 seconds sounds a little underwhelming, the initial launch of the IONIQ 6 AWD makes it feel much quicker. In the case of the IONIQ 6, it’s a better-driving vehicle due to its EV drive train. It may not be billed as a performance car, but it will run rings around most normal sedans on the road outside of legitimate sports sedans.

Thanks to the various driving modes (ECO, Normal, Sport), you can experience a wide range of driving dynamics in the IONIQ 6. Although the suspension setup is fixed, it does a great job soaking up bumps but remains firm enough to handle the EV’s weight during cornering.

2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6 taillights

Exciting Exterior Design

Hyundai took a gamble with the styling of the IONIQ 6, using inspiration from streamliner-shaped cars from the art deco period of design. This choice was also made as it help Hyundai optimize the aerodynamic performance with a drag coefficient of only 0.22. This is the most aerodynamically efficient Hyundai ever. The attention to detail on the aero performance of the IONIQ 6 shows the passion of the engineering team behind this product.

At the front bumper, there are two air ducts on either side that channel air to the front wheel wheels to create an air curtain around the sides of the IONIQ 6. The rear of the IONIQ 6 features a double-decker spoiler system that wouldn’t look out of place on a Porsche 911. In fact, the entire exterior design is very simple and Porsche-esque and excels in ways the original Porsche Panamera sedan fell short.

The IONIQ 6’s side profile is stunning, and you won’t see it’s like in any other modern vehicle at this time. Sure, distinctive styling is not for everyone, but when it’s executed in a restrained manner like this it’s much easier to accept.

2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6 wheels

Sustainable Interior Designed With Environmental Passion

The breathtaking exterior design of the IONIQ 6 continues in the airy interior space. During our testing, we had a chance to get to know the IONIQ 6 SEL trim level which offers a nice balance of unique interior materials and technology. The interior space of the IONIQ 6 offers all of the techs you’d expect from a modern electric vehicle coupled with impressive attention to detail. You’ll never question the IONIQ 6’s price tag once you’ve spent time sitting inside this impressive sedan.

The IONIQ 6 uses a host of sustainably sourced materials in its interior. Many of the surfaces either use recycled materials or touches of unique renewable eco-friendly resources. For example, the carpeting is created using recycled fish nets and the seat material is created with recycled PET plastic bottles and dyed using flaxseed extract. Sugar cane is used in the creation of the dashboard and headliner of the IONIQ 6 and the door cards are dyed with Canola flower extracts. All of these unique materials were used to reduce the impact of IONIQ 6 production on the environment. In addition to helping the environment, these unique materials give the IONIQ 6 interior space a great deal of character as you interact with these unique textures.

2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6 - Front Traction Motor

The interior of the IONIQ 6 is spacious enough to haul four adults comfortably with plenty of leg room and hip room to remain comfortable. The streamlined shape does reduce the rear headroom but those under 6 feet should have no problem in the back seat. Trunk space is where you see a massive difference in practicality compared to the IONIQ 5 hatchback. Under the Porsche-style whale tale, you will find an adequate trunk for weekly shopping trips but don’t expect to move your favorite Ikea dresser. If you’re concerned about trunk space the IONIQ 5 is a great alternative to remove your storage anxiety.

To complement its high-quality interior, Hyundai includes a host of useful tech touches. The center touch screen is completely separate from the EV’s HVAC controls which is the perfect way to set up a useful interior. You have all of the important knobs and switches you want, while still enjoying the flexibility of a touch screen.

The digital gauge cluster is clear and precise. It changes significantly based on drive mode further leaning into its dynamic nature. The information displayed by the gauge cluster is configurable to meet your specific needs.

2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6 - Battery System

The Verdict

The 2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6 is a great addition to Hyundai’s growing fleet of EVs. Thanks to its unique exterior design, comfortable interior, and mature driving dynamics, the IONIQ 6 would make a great addition to anyone’s garage, assuming you have a Level 2 charger at home and don’t mind stopping at the occasional charging station on longer road trips.

No doubt about it, the IONIQ 6 is easily the best sedan ever built by the Korean manufacturer. And for customers who cannot live with the IONIQ 6’s limited cargo space, don’t worry, the IONIQ 5 hatch is the perfect alternative.

What do you think of the 2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6?

2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6

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