By: Jag Dhatt
Just when we thought crossovers and SUVs were what most manufacturers were building, Hyundai throws a wrench into the equation. Going against the grain, Hyundai decided to build an electric sedan; yes, a sedan! We all know that the sedan segment is declining; but that didn’t stop the Korean auto maker from setting its sight on its main competitor, the Tesla Model 3, and building the Ioniq 6. Yes, it’s a sedan, but boy, it’s one heck of a sedan. For Hyundai, the new motto of WAH is prevalent in the Ioniq 6, because this car is truly WAH-nderful.
We were invited to beautiful Vancouver to be one of the first in Canada to drive the new Ioniq 6. From the moment the cars were staged outside the Parq Hotel in Vancouver, passers-by couldn’t keep their eyes off these sedans.
While the Ioniq 6 shares a lot with its sibling, the Ioniq 5, what it doesn’t share is the look. This sedan is streamlined to the max; in fact, it holds the national title for “Best-in Class” for fuel efficiency, thanks to its design. The low nose and trunk, combined with dual spoilers give the Ioniq 6 a drag coefficient of just 0.22. From some angles, especially the rear, you’d think that it came from a Porsche design team; in fact, some onlookers asked if it was a Porsche. The look on their eyes when I told them it was the Ioniq 6 was priceless.
For me, the Ioniq 6 is quite appealing; everything from the wheels and front end to the swooping lines and “pixelated” back wing, it all just comes together to give a beautiful profile. Gaps in the wheel wells and in the front and back bumpers are kept to a minimum, all to enhance aerodynamics.
Step inside the Ioniq 6 and you’ll be greeted with an up-scale interior. Most of the materials are soft to the touch, giving a real premium feel. The seats are more than comfortable and the ones in our top-trim testers were both heated and vented up front and heated in the second row. And if you’ve got kids, then you’re going to love that even on the lower trims, you get stain resistant seats! I know some of my friends would love this feature.
One thing that is different in the Ioniq 6 as compared to the Ioniq 5 interior is the adjustable center console. For the Ioniq 6, the console is fixed; however, you do get some space under this floating console. Another unique feature is the window and lock controls; rather than having them on the armrest in the doors, the controls are in the middle, next to the cup holders. Personally, I like this placement.
At the center of the dash sit two 12.3” screens; one for the multimedia and controls while the other is the driver center. The multimedia screen is similar to what you’ll find in other Hyundai vehicles and the system is quite easy to use. BUT, and it’s a big but – both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are WIRED. Hyundai should have made this feature wireless.
Most people are more than surprised of the Ioniq 6’s interior; it is definitely premium in fit, finish and materials. What’s more is that everything just works and works very well.
Don’t let the streamlined shape of the Ioniq 6 sway your opinion of the interior space in this sedan. The front seats are comfortable but there is also an enormous amount of space for rear passengers. Plenty of legroom, shoulder and hip room and good headroom make for a very comfortable ride.
The only place the Ioniq 6 lacks compared to the Ioniq 5 is cargo space, and understandably so. The Ioniq 6 has a decent trunk with 317 liters of usable space and another 11 liters in the frunk (front trunk). And if comparing to the Tesla Model 3, it’s quite shy with the latter having 561 liters of space. Even the Polestar 2 has just over 400 liters.
Battery, Range and Performance:
Both the rear-wheel and AWD drive versions of the Ioniq 6 have a 77.4 kWh battery and with its high-speed charging architecture, Hyundai claims you can charge it from 10% to 80% in under 20 minutes. Since the 350-kW DC fast charger isn’t commonly available, let’s use some more reasonable options: with a “regular” DC fast charger, the Ioniq 6 can fully charge in about 70 minutes and if using a level 2 charger, it will take about 7 hours. Thus, if you’re getting this car, get a level 2 charger installed in your home; trust me, it’s worth it.
The question everyone is asking is how’s the range? To put it simply, it’s impressive. If you opt for the 225-horsepower single motor RWD, Hyundai claims a range of 581 km. With the 320-horsepower dual motor AWD, range is still 509 km with the 18” wheels. If you opt for the top-trim Preferred AWD with Ultimate Package, range is estimated to be 435 km because of the 20” wheels. So yes, low drag wheels make a big difference; so, do you want better looking wheels and options or more range?
Most EVs are quick; some, like the Tesla Model 3 Performance and BMW i4 M50, will knock your socks off. How does the Ioniq 6 compare? Again, surprisingly well, considering it’s almost $20K less than the ones mentioned here.
Push the accelerator and you’ll feel a rush of speed, and you’ll know that you got your money’s worth. Put the car in Sport mode and you’ll really feel the acceleration, which will be more than enough for 90% of the population. Yeah, it’s got performance. For those interested in the numbers, you can scoot from 0 to 100 km/h in under 5 seconds, which is plenty fast.
So, how does it drive? Actually, surprisingly well. Unlike the taller crossovers and SUVs, sedans usually have the edge for enthusiastic driving and the Ioniq 6 is no exception. Because of its low center of gravity, this car tackles winding, twisting roads with ease. It feels well balanced, with the steering being pretty responsive, especially in Sport mode. Paddle shifters allow the regenerative braking to move through 5 levels, with no regeneration to one-pedal driving. And once you get used to one-pedal driving, you almost forget the need for brakes.
The AWD versions will handle most weather conditions in Canada. More importantly, the Ioniq 6 is smooth and quiet even over bumpy roads; we drove over some rough roads on the way up a mountain road and the Ioniq 6 felt stable, planted, and smooth.
Just like its sibling, the Ioniq 5, Hyundai’s Ioniq 6 is a magnificent car. It has great looking, loads of technology and offers an engaging driving experience. Yes, due to its streamlined body, cargo space had to be compromised, but it’s easily overlooked when considering all the car offers. And since most consider range as an important factor when choosing an EV, the Hyundai Ioniq 6 is a winner. You get way more car for less money than the competition; that is truly WAH-nderful.