We road test the sensational new Hyundai Ioniq 6 – a boldly-styled EV marketed as a ‘streamliner’…
Hyundai is absolutely smashing it out of the park at the moment. Hot on the heels of the latest i10 city car, Tucson Hybrid SUV and crowd-pleasing Ioniq 5, comes the Ioniq 6.
Inspired by aerodynamic style icons of the 20th Century, this slippery four-door saloon may have divisive looks, but believe me, it is one of the best electric cars on the market.
I’m not alone either, because it was crowned overall World Car of the Year 2023, plus it won the World Electric Vehicle and World Car Design of the Year categories.
Slightly longer than the Tesla Model 3, its other rivals include the Polestar 2 and BMW i4.
Currently only available with a large 77.4kWh battery, the Ioniq 6 has a driving range of up to 338 miles (rear-wheel drive) or 322 miles (all-wheel drive).
The single motor RWD develops 226bhp and 258lb ft of torque and is capable of 0-62mph in 7.4 seconds, while the twin-motor AWD delivers 320bhp and 446lb ft, resulting in a faster 0-62mph time of 5.1 seconds.
Featuring an 800V charging system providing 350kW compatibility, it can be used at the fastest chargers currently available.
So, expect the Ioniq 6 to charge to 80% in around 20 minutes when connected to a 350kW ultra-rapid connection. And if you have a home wallbox, you’ll be able to charge overnight, while a boost to 80% via a 50kW public charger will take one hour 13 minutes.
Sharing its underpinnings with the award-winning (more angular) Hyundai Ioniq 5 crossover, the 6 has an ultra-low drag coefficient of 0.21, which boosts performance and optimises efficiency.
Priced from £47,040, there’s a choice of two generously-equipped trim levels (Premium and Ultimate).
The Ioniq 6 is futuristic inside too, with dual 12.3-inch screens – a driver’s digital instrument panel and a central infotainment display.
Thankfully it’s not totally minimalist either. For instance, there are small touch-sensitive buttons for the climate controls in a separate panel beneath the touchscreen. These are a tad fiddly, but much better than having to swipe through menus on a touchscreen.
Overall, the quality of the interior is a step up from the Ioniq 5, while the seats are comfortable and there are plenty of soft-touch surfaces.
There’s also ample space inside front and rear, though taller rear passengers (6ft and over) might struggle for headroom, thanks to that sweeping roofline. The 401-litre boot capacity is very useful too, and you can flip the back seats to transport longer objects.
A special mention for the Ioniq 6’s distinctive ‘Parametric Pixels’. There are 700 in all and you can find then in the headlights, rear lights, front sensors, air damper trim, centre console indicator and third brake light. In fact, the rear wing light signature when braking is something else.
I got behind the wheel of a Premium spec model with all-wheel drive. Naturally, the seating position is lower than a crossover, though personally I would prefer it lower still.
Right from the off, the whole cabin experience is smooth and refined. Not only does the Ioniq 6 float over most potholes – it’s whisper quiet too.
It was lashing down with rain for much of my test time, but the car never felt anything other than planted, with abundant grip and effortless power.
It’s surprisingly agile when you push it on more challenging roads with well controlled body lean, while the steering is nicely weighted.
At its best cruising along, there are three drive modes – Eco, Normal and Sport. As ever, Normal is the best compromise between performance and economy. And if you want extra regenerative braking, then flick one of the steering-wheel-mounted paddles.
Hard to tell without spending more time with the car, but the claimed range seemed realistic based on mixed driving.
As you’d expect with a modern EV, the Hyundai Ioniq 6 was awarded a maximum five stars when it was crash-tested by Euro NCAP.
It’s also fitted with Highway Driving Assist 2 (HDA 2), which is Level 2 autonomous driving. The system helps to maintain a set distance and speed from the vehicle ahead when driving on faster roads and motorways and helps to centre the vehicle in the lane while driving. It can even overtake the vehicle in front.
Verdict: If you want to stand out from the crowd with a retro-mod, low slung EV saloon, then the Hyundai Ioniq 6 is the car for you. Safe, spacious, sophisticated and serene, it delivers a long range and is quite simply, one of the most impressive electric vehicles on the road.