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First drive review: 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6

Sue Mead

Sue Mead

hyundai ioniq 6

We drove the 2023 Ioniq 6 EV recently in the Scottsdale, Arizona environs over various roadways– through busy city traffic, as well as on quiet backcountry two-lanes. What did we think? This all-new EV is eye-catching, with streamlined aerodynamic styling that aids in fuel economy. It brings a calm ride in a minimalist and peaceful interior with appealing technology and has a low center of gravity with a muti-link rear suspension that provides good driving dynamics. There’s also an impressive collection of top safety features, and this 4-door, 5-seater has a zero to 60 time of 5.1 seconds! Also of note: a wide variety of Eco and “bio” materials have been used with fabric, carpeting, eco-processed leather, and paint. 

The Ioniq 6 is the latest addition to Hyundai’s mobility strategy for the North American market. It joins an award-winning lineup of models that includes plug-in hybrids, fuel cells, and EVs as a part of this Korean automaker’s electrification journey. The list of awards For Hyundai vehicles is lengthy and includes recognition as Best Buys, Top Safety Picks, and World Car of the Year, among others. Also impressive–Hyundai is now the third largest motor company by volume in the world, and sales of electric models are growing. In 2018, 3.5 percent of Hyundai’s sales were electrified, whereas now, 18 percent are electric vehicles. Obabisi Boyle, VP of Hyundai’s Product Planning and Mobility Strategy, says that increased adoption by consumers is the result of awareness, greater access to EVs, and an ever-growing charging network.

On sale now, the newest Hyundai sits on a platform that was 20-30 years in the making. It slots between the smaller Ioniq 5 and the upcoming three-row Ioniq 7. Available both in two-wheel drive (rear drive) and all-wheel drive models, the ‘6’ is offered with either a standard or long-range battery and comes in SE trim with up to a 361-mile range, SEL with a 305-mile range, and top-of-the-line Limited, which also delivers up to 305 miles. Hyundai predicts this new electric will appeal to a broad audience but, in particular, to urban millennial professionals. It starts at $45,500, its primary competitors are the Tesla 3 and the Polestar 2. 

2023 hyundai Ioniq 6

The 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 is notable for its sleek silhouette and what Hyundai designers refer to as a “mindful cocoon” inside. It can be ordered in seven exterior colors and has 4,000 color combinations for interior lighting. From the front, you’ll notice a wide front bumper with active grille shutters. Of note, 700 pixels add a jeweled element to the face of the vehicle that sports a low-slung hood. A full LED lighting system with parametric pixels front and rear punctuates the exterior, and in the back is a spoiler and winglet. Attractive wheel options include 18 or 20-inch alloys. 

The car has been designed with extra attention to the “living space” within the slightly-stretched cockpit that has a cab-forward design, it’s driver-centric up front and has been crafted to have more roominess in the rear, with improved legroom. The winglet-themed dashboard was borrowed from aviation design and incorporates a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and 12.3-inch infotainment screen cluster, depending on the trim. At the same time, the center console provides a useful workspace. Notable are the dual-color ambient lighting system and the wide sunroof that add an airy feel to the interior. The new model uses the same software as other Hyundai models, with BlueLink for connectivity functions and links to smartphones using either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. 

2023 hyundai Ioniq 6

The crossover shares its platform and powertrain with the Ioniq 5. The base model makes 225 horsepower and is set up with a single electric 77.4-kWh lithium-ion pack and a motor that powers the rear wheels. Dual-motor versions get 320 hp and bring AWD functionality with front and rear electric motors but deliver a shorter range than their rear-drive counterparts.

Adding to the appealing motoring experience are modes that include Eco, Normal, Sport, Snow, and Custom My Mode, that lets you select a personalized driving style. Notable is that EV regen comes with paddle shifters that allow four levels of regen, with the ability to come to a complete stop using the accelerator pedal, although ECO mode disconnects with regen. We were also impressed by the comprehensive array of safety features bundled under Hyundai’s Smart Sense Safety suite.

2023 hyundai Ioniq 6

Among the surprise and delightful features of the 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6:

  • The ‘H’ (for Hyundai!) light imprint on the steering wheel is written in Morse code 
  • Power to the people: There is a 110 outlet and AC power out function that allows the opportunity to run equipment for emergency purposes or other needs.  This is easily done with a specialized exterior charge port connector that syncs within the exterior electric charge port. 
  • First, owners get free Bluelink for the life of their ownership of the vehicle. 
  • In-car connectivity includes EV route planning along with the location of charging stations.
  • Other goodies include over-the-air updates, a Digital Key 2 Touch that lets you use your cell phone as a key, and an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot.
  • Hyundai Home: Hyundai Home is a new concept that provides one-stop shopping for consumers looking for electrified products, such as solar panels, batteries, chargers, and learning more about incentives. It’s a place for personalized and customized service bringing eco-friendly light into consumers’ homes in a partnership with Electrify America. Another new Hyundai program allows consumers to lease an electric vehicle for a short term at 50 percent less than retail.

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