Whether you like it or not, odds are your future vehicle may be electrified in some way.
In the first quarter of 2023, electrified vehicles, including gas-electric hybrids, plug-in hybrids and battery-electric vehicles accounted for 15.6% of vehicle sales, 1.6% of which burn no fuel. That’s up from 0.9% five years ago. That growth is likely to continue, as more battery electric vehicles, or BEVs, come to market.
Helping drive that growth is Hyundai, that boasts sales of all sorts of electrified vehicles this past quarter, including hybrids, of 17.9%, or nearly one in five. That’s up from 3.5% five years ago. Part of that is due to its all-electric Ioniq line of BEVs, which includes the Hyundai Ioniq 5, a retro-style hatchback with a “Back to the Future” elan. For its follow up, the Ioniq 6, Hyundai endowed it with a unique appearance one that lends it a distinctive vibe. And coming soon is the Ioniq 7, a three-row electric SUV built using the E-GMP platform used on Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6.
The 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 sedan is offered in base SE, mid-range SEL and premium Limited trims, with a choice of rear-wheel or all-wheel drive powertrains. Depending on model, the Ioniq 6 offers anywhere from 240 to 361 miles of range, with rear-drive models offering greater range compared to their all-wheel-drive siblings.
It’s about the size of a Hyundai Sonata, albeit 1.9 inches shorter. But it has far more style and will never use a drop of gasoline.
While many automakers give their cars a family look, a similar look that varies only by size, it leads to cookie cutter cars, ones that have no distinction from one model to the next. That’s not so at Hyundai. “We don’t do that,” said Hak Soo Ha, vice president of Hyundai Design Center America at the model’s introduction in Scottsdale, Arizona. “We did our best to not come up with a refrigerator or washing machine.”
The Ioniq 6 looks nothing like the Ioniq 5 or forthcoming Ioniq 7. Designers gave the new model a low hood, cab-forward design with a stretched cabin and streamlined silhouette. This endows the Ioniq 6 with a spacious interior, something the company dubs a “mindful cocoon.”
But that doesn’t fully explain its look. In fact, designers looked back to the 1930s for inspiration, especially the Stout Scarab and Phantom Corsair, two cars most car buyers have never seen.
But the Ioniq 6’s design execution is no retro-mobile, but a thoroughly modern electrified streamliner. It can be seen in the pixels used in the LED lighting’s design, which are then repeated inside the car. But even as its sloping rear recalls the Stout Scarab, its dual spoilers bring to mind Porsche. But the totality of the vision is uniquely Hyundai’s.
But this isn’t just a case of stylists gone wild. The functionalism is there, such as the body, which is fully under-covered for efficient aerodynamics. “We looking for a clean entry into the air and clean exit,” said Ha.
Inside, the Ioniq is a visual wonderland, a feast of texture, with interesting design throughout the cabin. Consider the steering wheel; there’s no Hyundai logo on its center. Instead, you’ll find four LED dots that light in various colors to alert you. But beyond its functionality and look, four dots signify H in Morse Code. It’s that extra level of thought that permeates the cabin. Or look at the center console; its flat surface allows you to set your phone or laptop there, while the space beneath it adds to the sense of spaciousness.
The door panels are molded with horizontal ribs that lend a playful texture when accented with ambient lighting, which changes color with speed. Better yet, they lack buttons or switches, improving their appearance.
Everywhere, there are different textures are engrossed in visual conversation to bring an advanced modernity to the space. Like the instrument panel, which features winglets on each end, lending it a mid-century vibe. Dual 12.3-inch screens reside beneath a large horizontal sheet of glass.
But even rear-seat passengers can feel special. The company designed the rear seat to resembled a comfy couch, while providing a generous 39.2 inches of rear legroom. Nevertheless, headroom might be tight for those with longer torsos. Thoughtfully, the rear seat has USB plugs beneath it, not unlike an airplane,
The 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 comes with either a 53-kWh battery and rear-wheel drive or a 77-kWh battery that provides for all-wheel drive or extends the range of rear-wheel -drive models. The difference among the models can be dramatic. While base SE models need 9 seconds to reach 62 mph (!00 kph), Limited models require a mere 5.1 seconds.
The Ioniq 6 provides four levels of regenerative braking, which captures energy generated during deceleration to help recharge the battery. How much it proves comes from paddle shifters, with the highest setting, four, providing for one-foot driving. There are also Eco, Normal, Sport and Snow driving modes.
When it comes time to recharge, you’ll find that most chargers are 400 volts, but the Ioniq 6 is designed to handle up to 800 volts, allowing for a 10-80% in 18 minutes, or 65 miles of range in 5 minutes. Using a 240-volt outlet at home, charging will take slightly more than 7 hours to fully recharge.
Safety and Technology
Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash tested the 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6.
Driver Assistance Safety Systems includes Blind-Spot Collision Warning, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist, Parking Distance Warning, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Following Assist, Speed Limit Assist, Driver Attention Warning, Highway Driving Assist, Automatic High Beam, Rear Occupant Alert, and Safe Exit Warning. But the Ioniq6 is fitted with 2.5-mph bumpers, the bare minimum safety standard for bumper protection.
SEL and Limited trims also get Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Assist, while Limited models add a Surround View Monitor, Blind-Spot View Monitor, Parking Collision Avoidance Assist, and Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist.
Driving the Ioniq 6 is not surprising for those who have driven other new BEVs. It’s not unexpected to discover it has very light steering that only becomes slightly tighter when switched to the Sport driving mode. And like other BEVs, the Ioniq 6’s instant torque and abundant power give it good performance, while its cornering prowess is perfectly satisfactory. The ride is very firm, as are the seats, which boast well-bolstered seatbacks. And as you might expect, it’s extraordinarily quiet.
But it’s not a vehicle whose performance grabs your heart, and that’s because it’s not a revelation as an EV, as many of the qualities it possesses as an electric vehicle are present in other Hyundai BEVs. But its design will make you fall in love. Its a modern take on classic 1930s streamliners that few if any EVs come close to matching it.
2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 Limited AWD Specifications
|Dimension||L: 191.1 inches/W: 74 inches/H: 58.9 inches/Wheelbase: 116.1 inches|
|Powertrain||Dual permanent-magnet synchronous motors, 1-speed transmission and all-wheel drive|
|Fuel Economy||111 mpg-e city/94 mpg-e highway/270 miles range|
|Performance Specs||320 horsepower and 446 pound-feet of torque|
|Price||Base price: $56,100; As tested: $57,425 including $1,115 destination charge.|
|On-Sale Date||Available now|
Kudos to Hyundai for delivering a maximum dose of style in a sedan, a vehicle type that too many automakers have left for dead in the mainstream midsize BEV segment. It’s exquisite attention to detail, quick acceleration and recharging, and spacious dimensions make this another home run for Hyundai.
And best of all? It looks like nothing else on the road today.
As an example of how yesterday’s designs can fuel tomorrow’s design, there are few better examples than the exemplarily 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6.
2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 — Frequently Asked Questions
How much will Ionic 6 cost?
Prices start at $41,600.
How long is a 2023 Ioniq 6?
It is 191.1 inches
Does Ioniq 6 have self-driving?
Kind of. Its Highway Driving Assist offers Level 2 autonomous driving, which controls speed and distance and assists when changing lanes.