Hyundai’s Ioniq 6 Dual Motor AWD
Getting In Touch With Your Inner Edison
One run past your area Ford dealer will probably tell you all you need to know about today’s market for the EV: Where six months ago you’d have been hard-pressed to find more than one or two Mustang Mach-Es on the lot, today you might find a dozen. And the backup of battery electric inventories isn’t unique to Ford; almost every OEM with an oversized commitment to the EV – which includes the subject of this review, Hyundai – has seen its inventories grow while demand slackens.
There is, however, some good news. For those of you seeking the enlightenment (on four wheels) larger inventories make for better deals, and a maturing EV market offers better designs, occasionally combined with better value. And that, if you’re still with me, brings us to Hyundai’s Ioniq 6, which both numerically and conceptually follows Hyundai’s Ioniq 5.
As noted in our very occasional look at sedans, there just aren’t many of them, and virtually none from our domestic carmakers. (Cadillac, I’m guessing, is the last holdout.) The 4-door format is kept energized by the Asians, and at the forefront are Hyundai and Korea. With the Ioniq 5 representing the hatchback segment, the Ioniq 6 is most certainly a sedan, albeit one with an aero shape that makes it look like almost nothing else on the highway. In fact, if I was to pick a car – any car! – it reminds us of, I’d probably pick Saab’s 92 Concept (which dates forgawdsake from the ‘50s) with its penetrating hood, aggressively angled windscreen and tapered rear. (Back in the day I’d have termed it a ‘tight little ass’, but that’s back in the day…). Hyundai’s design can seem – to me – color sensitive, but in the test vehicle’s Digital Green it was sensational.
The Ioniq 6 footprint is not insubstantial. In fact, with an overall length of 191 inches (on a wheelbase of 116 inches) this newest Hyundai EV is just two inches shorter than Jeep’s new Grand Cherokee, and with a width of 74 inches, is but 2.5 inches tighter. And as you’d hope, within that wheelbase is real space for real people; while the platform reminds me of BMW’s 5 Series that I sold in the early and mid-80’s, the comfort level is more 7 Series, which says a lot for a vehicle with a base price of under $40K.
Behind the wheel you’re greeted by an instrument panel and infotainment screen spanning some 2/3rds of the dash, accompanied (thankfully) by real knobs for audio and ventilation. As I’ve noted before when driving Hyundai products, this is about as intuitive as a control panel gets in 2023, and I’m thankful. Also good is the Drive, Park and Reverse stalk, which remains just that simple: Rotate ‘up’ for Drive, ‘down’ for Reverse and push ‘In’ for Park. You could almost do any of the above in your sleep…but don’t.
Hyundai gives you three powertrain choices, ranging from a single motor delivering 149 hp in base form, to dual motors giving you a combined 320 hp and all-wheel drive. The sweet spot may be the single motor RWD variant, with 225 hp, 258 lb-ft of torque and 361 miles of estimated range. With that, a family could go from Dallas to San Antonio, and return to Austin before recharging.
Obviously, in recharging you’re adding juice to the battery pack. In the RWD Ioniq 6 with standard range, the EV is fitted with 53 kWh of battery, while the RWD extended range and AWD models receive a 77.4 kWh battery. Recharging times, of course, vary – but fast charging on 350kw gives you an 80% charge in 18 minutes for both. I’m most impressed by the 361 miles claimed for the RWD SE with its 18-inch rims.
If several hours on I-35 sound less than ideal, know that the Ioniq 6 is one roadworthy fuselage. The seats are comfortable, the inside room is generous, and with little noise penetrating the cabin the drive is positively serene. If there’s a nit, it’s in the use of hard plastics on both door panels and the otherwise nicely designed console. In a car that, from the outside, looks like a million buck$, the interior’s touch points are a bit disappointing.
While freeway opps in our week with the Ioniq 6 weren’t as frequent as I had hoped, limited access byways gave me a chance to go from the posted limit of 55 to something north of 75 in no time at all, understandable when knowing its published 0-60 is just over 4 seconds for the dual motors, and just over 6 seconds when equipped with the 225 horsepower single motor and rear-wheel drive.
As some prospects are turned off by the escalating price tags of most new vehicles, and those waiting for improved tech continue to wait, Hyundai is currently offering a $299/month lease (36 months) – with about $5K up front – for the base Ioniq 6. Even those of us in freelance journalism can find $299, and at the end of three years you can buy it if you love it, or swap it for whatever Hyundai puts out next. This EVangelism – I think – is gonna’ be fun.