Nearly every automaker has announced plans to transition their lineups to fully electric by the end of the decade, but to date the number of new EV intros is still far behind new internal combustion models. While several luxury automakers have made big strides with their EV lineups, mainstream automakers have been a bit slower. For example, Honda doesn’t even offer an EV in the U.S. and Toyota only offers one, the bZ4X. Fortunately there is one mainstream automaker that is really making an impact – Hyundai.
Hyundai has been in the EV game for a while, with models like the original Ioniq EV and the Kona Electric. Those models were just the beginning, since now Hyundai has a new EV platform E-GMP, which is far superior than many EVs on the road. The first of these models was the Ioniq 5, which has been well received and is easily one of the best moderately priced EVs. Now Hyundai is building on that with the introduction of the Ioniq 6 electric sedan. It’s based on the same platform as the Ioniq 5, but gets a sleeker profile and a more driver oriented driving experience.
The Ioniq 6 stands out. It’s styling is modern and futuristic, while its aerodynamic shape not only draws your attention, but it also helps the Ioniq 6 get a longer driving range than than the Ioniq 5. In fact, the Ioniq 6 is the most aerodynamic car that Hyundai has ever built with a drag coefficient of 0.22 or 0.21 in markets that get the camera based side mirrors. This all helps the Ioniq 6 have up to 361 miles of range. That’s slightly more than the Tesla Model 3 with its 358 mile range.
On the outside the Ioniq 6 is almost nine inches longer than the Ioniq 5, but it has a 2 inch shorter wheelbase. The Ioniq 6 also sits about four inches lower than the Ioniq 5, which gives it a sportier feel.
There are two battery packs and either single or dual-motor powertrains to choose from. The base SE Standard Range model is powered by a single rear electric motor with 225 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque and a 53-kWh battery pack. It has a 240 mile range and starts at $42,715. The dual motor version has 320 hp and 446 lb-ft. The SE dual motor version with 18-inch wheels has a 316 mile range. The base model will arrive later this summer.
The other option is the larger 77.4-kwh battery pack, which can be mated to either the single- or dual-motor versions. The SE Long Range with 18-inch wheels has 361 miles of range, but rear-wheel drive SEL and Limited models have larger wheels, which brings the range down to 305 miles. The SEL AWD and Limited AWD models have 270 miles of range. No matter which version you choose, thanks to its 800-volt architecture it only takes 18 minutes to charge it from 10-80 percent using a DC fast charger. Bi-directional charging is available that allows for vehicle-to-load charging for appliances or power tools.
There are several drive modes, including Eco, Normal, Sport, and Snow. In Eco mode, the rear electric motor does most of the work, while snow mode splits the torque evenly between the two motors. There are also four regenerative braking modes, including a one-pedal driving mode.
Hyundai gave us some time behind the wheel of the Ioniq 6, but it did not have a base SE available. Our time was spent driving the Limited AWD model with 20-inch wheels, which is priced at $57,215. With 320 horsepower on tap, the Ioniq 6 can zoom around town with ease, although it’s not as fast off the line as some other EVs. Since it has a lower center of gravity there’s no surprise that the Ioniq 6 feels sportier behind the wheel than the Ioniq 5, although there was a bit of body roll. Overall the Ioniq 6 offers a serene driving experience with a bit of fun thrown in. Hyundai has already announced a sportier Ioniq 5 N, so hopefully a Ioniq 6 N is in the works too.
Inside the Ioniq 6’s cabin has a similar minimalistic look and feel as the Ioniq 5. The big difference is rear headroom, which has been cut do to the more aerodynamic shape. The good news is that there’s up to 39.2-inches of rear legroom, which lets you fully stretch out. Cargo space is also not noteworthy with only 11.2 cubic feet of space in the trunk. There is a frunk, but it’s so tiny that you will never really use it. Hyundai made a lot of effort to make the interior quiet and it shows, with barely any noise entering the cabin. The Ioniq 6 comes standard with dual 12.3-inch screens, a power driver seat, and heated front seats. You still have to use the cord for Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
On the safety front, the Ioniq 6 comes standard with blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, lane following assist, adaptive cruise control and parking sensors.
At the end of the day, the Ioniq 6 is a great rival to the Tesla Model 3. It offers a compelling combination of efficiency, comfort and value that’s hard to beat.