The 2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6 is yet but another overachieving product from the Hyundai group. The moment I laid eyes on the first concepts of the thing, I knew I needed one in my life. There was just something so next-generation about its design. It spoke to my inner child, the one that would go to bed with a Lamborghini Countach poster on his bedroom wall. And because I absolutely adored the IONIQ 5 for its efficiency, I expected nothing less from the 6. Curious to see how it faired versus its own twin sister and, perhaps more importantly, other electric sedans currently on sale, I took an IONIQ 6 press unit out for a week’s drive.
2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6 Review: It Looks This Way Because It Needs To
Whether you like the way the 2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6 looks or not is irrelevant. This is a classic case of form follows function design. The IONIQ 6 doesn’t look this was because it wants to, but because it has to, all in the name of aerodynamics. Because yes, while gasoline-fed cars are extremely sensitive to the way the wind hits their body, it’s even more of an issue for electric vehicles. The slipperier they are, the further they can go on a single charge.And I mean, Hyundai didn’t mess around here. The original IONIQ 6 concept was called the Electrified Streamliner, referencing directly to the beginnings of automotive aerodynamics. It’s also a nod to art deco design, which feels amazing in a world where the automobile has been stagnating with dead, uninspiring styling lately. Whatever your take is on this car’s looks, you have to give credit where credit is due. The IONIQ 6 looks like nothing else on the road.Check out that rear end! The last time I saw so much duckbill on a car, it was on the ass of a Porsche 911 or a Saab 900 Turbo. I also get Infiniti J30 vibes in this design, and I’m totally ok with that. The IONIQ 6 is just a stance away from being the raddest sedan on the road. Also, pixels! That’s just one of the many design details I find so cool about this car. The pixel theme was first implemented on the IONIQ 5 and for the 6, Hyundai basically went all out on the stuff. It almost feels as if Hyundai’s design team was now run by kids. It’s super cool.Like an IONIQ 5 or the entire E-GMP cluster of Hyundai electric vehicles (read Kia EV6, Kia EV9 and Genesis GV60), the IONIQ 6 is offered in different drivetrain configurations. But unlike the 5, only one battery powers this one. In this case, it’s a liquid-cooled, lithium-ion 77.4-kWh usable unit. Rear-wheel drive cars make do with one electric motor installed on the rear axle that’s good for 168 kW or the equivalent of 225 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel-drive versions, like the one you see here, get two motors, one installed on each axle. Total combined output is rated at 239 kW or 320 horsepower and 446 lb-ft of torque.Range is where things get really interesting as all versions of the IONIQ 6 offer a lot of it. For instance, the rear-wheel drive car boasts an impressive 581 km, while the AWD model will still cover 435 km. Fun cheat code: fit your AWD IONIQ 6 with the smaller 18 inch wheels instead of the 20-inch sets pictured here, and range will pop back up to a class-competitive 509 km. That’s a lot, especially in the $55,000 to $67,000 price bracket this thing lives in.Charging power, like the IONIQ 5, is rated at 239 kilowatts on a compatible charger (10-80% charge in under 18 minutes on a 350 kW charger), while home charging on the standard level 2 charger peaks at 10.9 kW.
Future Is Now Interior, Weird Seating Position, Shitty Cargo Space
I tell you, the moment I sat in the 2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6, I felt like I was sitting inside a product from two generations ahead. It was even more alarming that while I had this car in my possession, my photographer, Guillaume, was driving a Mercedes-Benz GLC (review coming soon). The Mercedes felt like an oxcart next to this Hyundai.Ok, so the seating position is really off in this car. Like its corporate cousins, you somehow always sit really high in the cabin, which is annoying if you’re tall. And I still don’t get why Hyundai has positioned the window controls on the center console like in a Jeep Wrangler. I mean, you can’t remove the doors on an IONIQ 6, so why?My girlfriend loved the fact that she could lower all windows in the car whenever she wanted. For me though, it was annoying as fuck. And don’t get me started on that column-mounted shifter that looks and feels like a wiper control arm.But apart from these minor caveats, it’s honestly very hard to find this car faults. It’s built the way German cars used to be built, there’s a ton of neat storage solutions scattered across the cabin and the entire experience inside feels very Zen, modern and futuristic. Hyundai regroups all of the car’s displays inside a massive center tablet. Essentially two screens in one, it’s always quick to react, fun to look at and never overwhelming.Rear seat comfort is also impressive due to the size of this car’s wheelbase. That seems to be the defining trait of EVs due to the massive battery that’s sitting between both axles. Tall people won’t have issues fitting back there, and leg clearance is huge. But the slopping roofline could bother some tall passengers.It’s also not the most practical car. The IONIQ 6 only has one tiny trunk. There’s isn’t a frunk like on a Tesla. Well, there is, but the storage compartment in there could very well be a shoe box. It’s essentially useless. Total cargo space is therefore only set at 316 liters, or about 100 liters less than a Honda Civic sedan.
Quick And Fun To Drive
From an enthusiast standpoint, the 2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6 is at least fun to drive. Yes, EVs are fun, but in a completely different manner than gasoline cars. Fine, there’s no manual gearbox option, nor is there a cool burbling exhaust back there, but there’s a lot to like about the instant surge of an immediate electric motor. It’s even more engaging when two motors are kicking in all at once.The IONIQ 6 is quick off the line alright, making it some sort of sport compact car. Things get even more energetic when punching the Sport button on the steering wheel. Essentially a different kind of programming that gives you the illusion that the car has more power, everything simply activates quicker and with more urgency in this mode.Entering a corner quickly never quite seems to unsettle the car, but pushing a bit too much will reveal some understeer caused by the near 4,000-pound curb weight. Punch the accelerator pedal upon corner exit, however, and the IONIQ 6 rotates beautifully like a rear-bias machine. There’s actual chassis and drivetrain tuning in this thing which makes it absolutely refreshing to drive fast.About the range, all that aero stuff seems to work out there in the real world. During my time with the car, I averaged 18.1 kWh/100 km of energy consumption. That translates to 428 km of real-world range, only about 7 km off of the carmaker’s claims.It’s not often that I wrap up my reviews loving a car so much, but while it’s far from a perfect machine, the IONIQ 6 simply hits the nail on the head just right. There’s a sense of playfulness about this car that I absolutely adore. Because underneath the funky design and the quirky pixels lies a very good electric car, possibly to first ever real competitor to the almighty Tesla Model 3.
Review of the 2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6 by William Clavey
Midsize Electric Sedans
- Stunning design.
- Quick and fun to drive.
- Great real-world range.
- High seating position.
- Limited cargo space.
- Can get expensive fast.
9.5 / 10
Clavey’s Corner is located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Prices and trim levels discussed in this article reflect the Canadian car market.
Special thanks: Hyundai Canada
Photography: Guillaume Fournier
Contact the author: [email protected]