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Hyundai Ioniq 6 review: a Tesla Model 3 fighter with art deco style


The best trick Tesla ever pulled was convincing the world that electrical autos must be horny, quick and fascinating. Earlier than that, numerous EVs regarded like low-cost subcompacts at finest or golf carts at worst. We overlook this right this moment in our period of glowing spheres, hulking electrical SUVs that may in some way outrun supercars, cavernous front trunks, and questionably helpful options like diagonal “crab strolling.” 

However what occurs in the event you simply desire a regular automobile that occurs to be electrical?

That’s the place Hyundai has pulled a trick of its personal with the Hyundai Ioniq 6 sedan: it actually solely appears avant-garde. As a automobile, the driving expertise is remarkably regular. That’s not what you would possibly anticipate from a automobile that regarded prefer it escaped from a brand new Blade Runner sequel in its neon-drenched debut photos

However that’s not a mark in opposition to it. With a beginning worth within the low $40,000s, a spread of as much as 361 miles, and a few very spectacular fast-charging options, the Ioniq 6 is probably going one of the best and most direct competitor to the Tesla Mannequin 3 so far. And it makes a robust case that one of the best EVs must ship on substance, not wild gimmicks. 

Photograph by Patrick George for The Verge

The vary is the actual star

The Ioniq 6 already comes from a formidable household, one that gives measurement and neck-snapping speeds if you’d like such issues. It’s constructed on the identical Hyundai Motor Group Electrical-International Modular Platform (E-GMP) because the upcoming seven-seat Kia EV9; the crazy-quick 576-horsepower Kia EV6 GT; the opulent Genesis GV60; and, in fact, the much-lauded Hyundai Ioniq 5 crossover.

That’s the place Hyundai has pulled a trick of its personal with the Hyundai Ioniq 6 sedan: it actually solely appears avant-garde

All of them have comparable specs, however the Ioniq 6 is the primary sedan on that platform. It has a 77.4 kWh battery pack for many trim ranges and may be had with rear-wheel drive or dual-motor all-wheel drive. Being the bottom, lightest automobile within the E-GMP pack makes it the furthest-driving one, too. 

The rear-wheel-drive Ioniq 6 SE is the gap king, providing a Tesla-beating EPA-estimated 361 miles of vary, all whereas beginning at $45,500. Go for all-wheel drive and the SE nonetheless delivers a really respectable vary of 316 miles. 

Going for larger wheels and extra luxurious options with the center SEL and high Restricted trims — which begin at $47,770 and $52,600, respectively — drops the vary additional to 305 miles, or 270 if you’d like all-wheel drive. These vary figures stay above many electrical rivals, particularly the crossovers. 

Moreover, a $42,715 base mannequin SE RWD Commonplace Vary is coming this summer season with a smaller 53.0 kWh battery pack. However with simply 149 horsepower and 240 miles of vary, it feels more suited to fleet and taxi duty than anything else — to not point out the truth that Hyundai says it’ll be offered in “extraordinarily restricted portions.” Doesn’t that sound attractive?

However I believe it’s refreshing that the Ioniq 6 is a sedan in any respect. Automotive corporations are beginning their EV rollouts with crossovers and vehicles as a result of they want batteries to scale and since these are the sorts of internal-combustion automobiles People primarily purchased for years. 

Nonetheless, the Mannequin 3 stays a high world vendor, the Polestar 2 is doing incredibly well, and the brand new Volkswagen ID.7 appears extraordinarily fascinating, too. Loads of sedan drivers are eyeing the leap to EVs with out buying and selling for measurement or weight they don’t want. Moreover, smaller, decrease and lighter EVs simply publish higher vary and efficiency than their bigger counterparts. And now that smaller EVs just like the Chevrolet Bolt and Nissan Leaf are on the way in which out, these automobiles are the standard-bearers now. 

Cyberpunk streamliner

Hyundai’s banking on the Ioniq 6’s eye-catching appears to make it stand out. I’ll give main credit score to the design group on this one. The Korean automaker may’ve simply made this only a lowered, downsized model of the Giugiaro-inspired Ioniq 5, and no person would’ve complained; that angular, retro-’80s crossover virtually embodies the phrase “rad.” 

I believe it’s refreshing that the Ioniq 6 is a sedan in any respect

As an alternative, designers went in a completely different direction, making the Ioniq 6 sleeker, curvier and impressed by classic “streamliners” like the Art Deco Stout Scarab from the 1930s. It boasts a super-aerodynamic 0.22 drag coefficient for maximizing vary, and the entrance bumper has lively air flaps that shut to cut back air resistance after which open to maximise cooling. And dare I say that rear spoiler has whale-tail Porsche 911 vibes? This strange EV sedan is an aerodynamic marvel. 

There are some acquainted touches, just like the squared-off “pixels” constructed into the headlights, taillights, and all through the automobile’s inside. Hyundai informed me the Ioniq 6 has greater than 700 pixels; I used to be unable to independently confirm this as of publication time, however I could try this later if I’m not too busy. 

Nonetheless, the Ioniq 6 appears to be a love-it-or-hate-it factor. I’m within the former camp, however I’ve additionally heard viscerally sturdy reactions on the contrary. To be truthful, the entrance finish is a bit on the busy aspect, and arguably the weakest level is its trunk. That opening simply isn’t very large or very helpful. Whereas the rear seats do fold down, I can’t blame patrons for trying to the Ioniq 5 as an alternative once they see what they’re coping with. VW’s upcoming ID.7 already has the Ioniq 6 beat there. 

Photograph by Patrick George for The Verge

Photograph by Patrick George for The Verge

Photograph by Patrick George for The Verge

Photograph by Patrick George for The Verge

Inside, tech, and charging

The Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6 could look totally different on the skin, however the household resemblance may be very sturdy inside. On the plus aspect, it means an open, ethereal cabin, easy-to-read show screens in entrance of the driving force, and within the heart of the dashboard, Hyundai’s usually sturdy infotainment system and an array of precise bodily buttons. 

Hyundai’s banking on the Ioniq 6’s eye-catching appears to make it stand out

It additionally means they share lots of the similar drawbacks. These embody an oddly rectangular steering wheel that usually obscures the show proper above it. There’s additionally a row of digital touch-based controls beneath the bodily buttons that function the local weather controls and heated seats. These digital controls aren’t as irritating as some rivals on the market ( you, Polestar 2), and also you fortunately don’t should fish by way of a display menu to seek out them. However they’re extra cumbersome to function than precise buttons in these temporary moments when it’s good to take your eyes off the highway to function them. 

The one different gripe I’ve with these automobiles is a dumb one: I hate that the gear selector toggle must be knotted up to enter drive as an alternative of down, which is the other of the PRNDL setup we’ve all come to know so effectively. A dealbreaker? Actually not. Nevertheless it’s nonetheless improper, and if anybody from Hyundai asks, the reply is sure, I’m keen to die on this hill. 

Photograph by Patrick George for The Verge

As with most different Hyundai fashions, you want a twine to function Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. It’s an annoying disadvantage for such a high-tech, trendy EV (and considered one of its cousins, the Genesis GV60, has facial recognition however not wi-fi CarPlay. Come on!) 

The Hyundai EVs do have an excellent infotainment system working of their favor. Whereas it lacks the brutally efficient simplicity of CarPlay, the menus are laid out effectively, the graphics look nice, and the range- and trip-planning options are excellent. 

I hate that the gear selector toggle must be knotted up to enter drive as an alternative of down

The one different difficulty I’ve to flag is the again seat. Due to the coupe-like profile, you do sacrifice some rear headroom. I’m 5’11” and I match effective, however I wouldn’t wish to be any taller again there. 

Minor tradeoffs all, given this automobile’s outstanding charging talents. Hyundai says the Ioniq 6 will go from 10 % to 80 % charged in simply 18 minutes on a 350 kW DC public quick charger and may obtain a full cost in seven hours on a Degree 2 dwelling or public charger. It joins the opposite E-GMP automobiles in being a few of the fastest-charging EVs you should purchase proper now, proper up there with Tesla and the Lucid Air. 

It might not have Tesla’s Supercharger community — all of them, anyway — however with these speeds and two years of free 30-minute Electrify America charging, the Ioniq 6 is unlikely to go away you stranded. 

Photograph by Patrick George for The Verge

On the highway  

I spent the higher a part of the day driving round West Level, New York, in two Ioniq 6 variants: a battleship-gray (“Transmission Blue,” formally) Restricted with all-wheel drive and a black SE with rear-wheel drive. They respectively represented the highest and backside of the present Ioniq 6 lineup. 

My first go within the AWD Restricted automobile was nice. Quiet. Competent. It’s immediately extra taut and athletic than the larger Ioniq 5 crossover and extra enjoyable to drive. With a twin electrical motor setup, 320 horsepower, 446 lb-ft of torque, and a Hyundai-claimed 0–60 time of 5.1 seconds, it’s in no way sluggish. Functionally in on a regular basis driving, it’s lots fast and with sufficient of that fantastic electrical torque that gives quick passing energy.

Due to the coupe-like profile, you do sacrifice some rear headroom

Simply realize it’s not tear-your-face-off quick like a Mannequin 3 Efficiency and even the Polestar 2 with its Efficiency Pack. The Ioniq 6 lacks these automobiles’ bare, sport-sedan athleticism. Then once more, that isn’t what each purchaser needs, essentially; bear in mind how not each EV must commerce in extra? It’s nonetheless enjoyable to drive however in a fast, daily-driver sense greater than a sporting one. 

Like the remainder of the household, the Ioniq 6 has steering wheel paddles that allow the driving force modulate the extent of regenerative braking or quickly maximize it. It’s not fairly as sensational as a paddle-shift gearbox (to say nothing of a guide transmission), however it’s a novel manner of driving that’s distinctive to EVs and presents a pleasant diploma of automobile management not usually discovered elsewhere.

Past selecting rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive and the colours you need, all Ioniq 6 fashions provide few choices. These are all baked into the trim ranges themselves. The center SEL will get 20-inch wheels, artificial leather-based seats, extra energy seat choices, wi-fi machine charging, 64 colours’ price of ambient inside lighting and Hyundai’s semi-autonomous Freeway Driving Help II system, amongst different tech options and creature comforts. 

Going all the way in which as much as the Restricted mannequin provides ventilated entrance seats, a Bose stereo system, a heated steering wheel, the super-wide sunroof masking the cabin, distant parking help, and some extra security features. Within the higher trims, it’s a very good automobile with a ton of luxurious and quasi-luxury options. 

Photograph by Patrick George for The Verge

Photograph by Patrick George for The Verge

So think about my shock after I ended up liking the essential SE rear-wheel-drive mannequin finest, full with its material seats. That 361-mile vary is simply extremely robust to beat; it’s one of many highest-range EVs at the moment on sale. In my expertise, something above 300 miles usually makes a number of days’ of driving worry-free, even in the event you don’t have dwelling charging entry. With 361 miles, an Ioniq 6 driver could also be shocked at how sometimes they should cost up. 

The SE’s 225 hp and 258 lb.-ft of torque aren’t numbers that can dazzle anybody. However the hustle was nonetheless there, particularly in Sport Mode. (Like the opposite E-GMP automobiles, it additionally presents range-maximizing Eco and balanced Consolation modes.) And the Ioniq 6 is simply extra enjoyable to drive in rear-wheel-drive kind. 

It’s nonetheless enjoyable to drive however in a fast, daily-driver sense greater than a sporting one

Its suspension is designed for on a regular basis consolation, not nook carving, and the brakes are common at finest. That is how I received walked by a V6 Honda Accord Coupe on a twisty backroad close to Bear Mountain State Park. Nevertheless it’s nonetheless form of tail-happy in its personal manner, playful and pleasant in an on a regular basis sense. 

I nonetheless had essentially the most enjoyable within the SE and noticed essentially the most worth there. I appreciated the honesty of it — material seats and all. It’s primarily an electrical various to mainstream sedans like Hyundai’s personal Sonata however with no noise, higher tech, and far more torque. 

Is it price it to improve to the SEL or Restricted trims? I believe that dropping a complete 56 miles of vary (46 in the event you get all-wheel-drive) is an excessive amount of to ask simply to get 20-inch wheels. Moreover, the bottom 18-inch wheels look cool, too. 

On the similar time, a Hyundai spokesperson confirmed that SE solely comes with material seats, and so they’re nothing to write down dwelling about. In different phrases, if you’d like artificial leather-based, you sacrifice that astounding 361 miles of vary as a result of it solely comes on the SEL and Restricted fashions. I actually want the SE may very well be had with artificial leather-based; it appears higher, and it’s simpler to scrub, particularly in the event you personal and function a fluffy canine like I do. 

If anybody from Hyundai is studying this, I recommend you repair the scenario the place the max-range Ioniq 6 saddles you with airport rental automobile seats. And repair the rattling gear toggle when you’re at it.

Photograph by Patrick George for The Verge

Early verdict

By any metric, the Ioniq 6 is a formidable electrical sedan. It might not match all the Tesla Mannequin 3’s specs, however it’s one of many few that may really beat a few of them. That’s a landmark achievement, and it additional cements Hyundai as one of many very high gamers within the EV area proper now. 

Sadly, no Ioniq 6 qualifies for EV tax credit, and Hyundai wouldn’t inform me about any plans to provide this mannequin in North America. Till it does, shopping for one means doing with no low cost unless you lease one

Finally, which trim of Ioniq 6 you go together with simply will depend on what you need out of the expertise. If you wish to maximize the cyberpunk luxury car vibes and impress your passengers with pace, go together with the SEL or Restricted variations. In the event you simply wish to eke out essentially the most electrical vary and look cool when you’re doing it, the essential SE is unbelievable. 

Typically, we now have to decide on between type and substance after we purchase automobiles. With the Ioniq 6, you get a ton of each. 


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