Flash Drive: 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 EV
A Stand-Out Electric Sedan
Not all auto manufacturers are abandoning sedans for SUVs; some are even growing their stables of what for decades was the most popular car in America. The all-new, all-electric Hyundai Ioniq 6 is a five-passenger sedan that offers a stunning style, roomy interior, supple ride, a comprehensive safety suite and an impressive driving range.
Hyundai gets electricity. The Tucson, Santa Fe, Elantra and Sonata come as hybrid and/or plug-in hybrids, the Nexo is powered by electricity via a hydrogen fuel cell, and the Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6 are battery electric. The introduction this week of the 2023 Ioniq 6 begins a new chapter for Hyundai as they now have an electric sedan that will be compared with electric sedans costing twice as much.
Silent Propulsion and Extended Driving Range
The Ioniq 6 comes with either single motor rear-wheel drive (RWD) or twin motor all-wheel drive (AWD). Two motor options are available for RWD: Standard Range’s 111 kilowatt (kW)/149 horsepower (hp) and 259 foot-pounds (ft.-lb.) of torque or the Long Range’s 168 kW with 225 hp and 258 ft.-lb. of torque. The Standard Range has a driving range of 240 miles, while the RWD gets either 305 and 361 miles depending if shod with 20-inch or 18-inch tires.
The AWD has a 74 kW front motor and a 165 kW rear motor producing a total of 320 hp and 446 ft.-lb. of torque. The AWD driving range is 316 miles with the 18-inch tire and 270 miles with 20-inch tires.
These driving range differences are significant and may be the deciding factor for which Ioniq 6 best suits your needs. If AWD is necessary for your driving style and where you live, your tire choice will change your range. The 361-mile all-electric driving range is very appealing in the RWD model.
The shift-by-wire transmission has five driver-selectable drive modes—Eco, Normal, Sport, Snow and the customizable My Mode. The different modes affect the drive feel through accelerator and steering adjustments. The driving range is also affected by driving style and drive mode as well as the tire size.
Hitting the Road
Clean Fleet Report had the opportunity to drive an Ioniq 6 AWD for a few hours at a media launch program in Scottsdale, Arizona, where we averaged an impressive 3.8 miles per kilowatt hour (kWh) with a high of 4.5 miles/kWh when in stop-and-go traffic. Driving mostly in the Eco, Normal or Sport modes, we were experimenting with how each affects the efficiency and performance. Acceleration in Sport with the AWD returned 0-60 mph times of about 5.0 seconds, which is plenty fast for freeway merging and passing big rigs.
The Ioniq 6 AWD has a balanced ride, with the 4,616-pound weight (1,057 pounds from the under-floor battery) low and centered. The all-season tires mounted on 20-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels, provided ample grip and a comfortable freeway ride. The all-wheel drive system automatically senses grip level and undetectably sends power front-to-rear, and side-to-side. There was limited body roll and the ride was comfortable and confident.
Wind and road noise were reduced partly due to acoustic laminated glass and sound deadening insulation. The drag coefficient of 0.219 (with the 18-inch wheels) is among the best in the car industry, especially for a midsize sedan. This impressive aerodynamic Cd number is reached by the car’s “Electrified Streamliner” design that incorporates external air flaps and an air curtain on the front lower fascia, a wheel gap reducer on the front fenders, a cover running the full length of the underside and the rear spoiler with winglets. The Ioniq 6 is quiet and ready for a long road trip.
Charging and Regeneration
Like most EVs, the Ioniq 6 offers three charging speed options for the 53.0 kWh and 77.4 kWh lithium-ion polymer batteries that have 480- or 697-volt internal systems, depending on the battery pack. The slowest charging is using a standard 120V household plug that delivers a full charge in about two and a half days. Most owners will opt to install a 240V Level 2 charger at their home that will replenish up to an 80% charge between 5.2 and 7 hours depending on the battery size. Both of these alternating current charge options use the 10.9 kW onboard charger.
For faster charging, owners can take advantage of three years of complementary unlimited charging at Electrify America stations, where with a 350kW DC unit, the Ioniq 6 can get up to 80% in 18 minutes, adding about 65 miles in 5 minutes. With a 150 kW DC charger, which is a more commonly found unit, it will take about 25 minutes for 46 miles of driving range.
It is important to note cold weather can affect the charging time and driving range. The Ioniq 6 comes standard with a battery heating system to pre-condition the battery to a temperature that will take a faster and higher charge.
Charging is also through powerful motor regeneration that, when coasting or braking, converts kinetic energy into electric energy and returns it to the battery. Engaging i-Pedal, or one pedal driving, the highest level of regen (of the three levels, which can be set with steering wheel paddles), made it possible to do most driving without relying on the brakes.
The Ioniq 6 also has Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) capability where power (a maximum of 1.9 kW) can flow out of the battery and charge e-bikes, camping and outdoor equipment, or run your office while traveling. It can also be a home electricity source for up to two days during a power outage.
Character. Sharp looks. Bold and unique—are only a few of the thoughts that come to mind when describing the 2023 Ioniq 6. The Streamliner concept comes to life with a side profile that is like nothing else on the road. The smooth body surfaces, with power flush door handles and a side character line, are unencumbered with chrome, but have tasteful black strips around the side windows, the pillars and across the door sill. The rear features twin spoilers, with the upper incorporating the parametric pixel high brake light, and then adding more of the pixels across the trunk.
The interior is open, spacious and comfortable with the substantial center console allowing for underside storage. The padded dash—with winglets at each end—is divided into two horizontal spaces. The lower handles the dual-zone climate control, while the upper has the 12.3-inch high-definition horizontal color touchscreen and a 12.3-inch 3D digital instrument screen. The infotainment system includes AM/FM/SiriusXM/HD radio, with wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Bluetooth connection for up-to two devices, 12-volt outlets, USB power and data ports, wireless phone charging and a Wi-Fi hotspot complete the technology.
The interior comfort begins with either cloth or artificial leather heated and ventilated front seats, with memory and power adjustments, including side bolsters and massage.
The rear seats have ample leg room for three adults with occupants getting adjustable head rests, a center folding armrest with cup holders, door cup holders, charge ports and ventilation vents. Trunk cargo storage is good and increases with the 60/40 rear seat folded.
As to be expected on a premium car, the Ioniq 6 has power everything. The leather-wrapped and heated steering wheel has controls for audio, telephone and the adaptive cruise control with Stop-and-Go and Auto Hold. The radio can be controlled by the touchscreen, with volume and channel selection wheels on the center console. There was a very short learning curve for this outstanding entertainment system.
Other features are driver selectable 64-color ambient lighting, rain sensing windshield wipers, power tilt and telescopic steering wheel, heated and power side mirrors with turn signals, panoramic sunroof and wireless phone charging.
The Ioniq 6 comes with an extensive list of standard safety features beginning with front, side impact and side air curtain airbags. Hyundai’s SmartSense safety tech is robust with advance driver assistance systems (ADAS). Highway Driving Assist 2 allows for brief periods of hands-free driving.
ADAS systems include a surround view camera, lane keeping assist, blind spot detection, forward collision avoidance and rear cross-traffic avoidance assist. Click the above links to learn about Hyundai’s safety suite. Other features are hill start assist, auto hold, a surround and blind view monitor with parking sensors and a tire pressure monitoring system.
The 2023 Ioniq 6 comes in four trims, with these base prices that include the mandatory $1,115 destination fee.
- SE Standard Range $42,715 (240-mile range)
- SE $46,615 (361-mile range)
- SEL $48,815 (305-mile range)
- Limited $53,715 (305-mile range)
- SE $50,115 (316-mile range)
- SEL $52,315 (270-mile range)
- Limited $57,215 (270-mile range)
The Ioniq 6 launched last month at select Hyundai retailers in all states except Iowa, Mississippi, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming.
Observations: 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6
If a car company ever wanted to buck a trend, Hyundai has done it by introducing an all-new sedan in a SUV world. To make it even more noteworthy, the Ioniq 6 is an all-electric sedan that has the performance and driving range to match much more expensive sedan EVs. These are the prices (not including the delivery fee or any tax credits) and driving ranges for the base models of electric sedans the Ioniq 6 may be compared with:
- Hyundai Ioniq 6 $41,600 – 240-mile range
- Tesla 3 $42,990 – 272-mile range
- Polestar 2 $48,400 – 270-mile range
- Porsche Taycan $86,700 – 246-mile range
- Lucid Air Pure $87,400 – 410-mile range
From this comparison the Ioniq 6 makes a strong value proposition for being considered by consumers shopping for an electric sedan.
The Ioniq 6 is a pleasure to drive and even more-so to look at because of its head-turning design. If you haven’t experienced it yet, there is something very satisfying about driving an electric car. The lack of sound as it moves down the road is wonderful, and the instant torque from a stop, or even at highway speeds, is something to enjoy. Never stopping at a gasoline station is a plus, too.
If you want to stand out, the Ioniq 6 may be for you.
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Story by John Faulkner. Photos by John Faulkner and Hyundai.
A look at two other premium EV sedans:
Flash Drive: Tesla Model 3
Road Test: Polestar 2
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