Hyundai made a strong statement with the launch of its Ioniq 6 electric vehicle. This new EV boasts many advantages on paper, including being a sedan rather than yet another SUV. Most notably, its efficiency, or energy consumption, stands out. In theory, it outperforms Tesla, a leader in the field. Furthermore, the Hyundai Ioniq 6 claims a much shorter charging time than its American competitor.
We had the opportunity to drive approximately 250 km through southeastern France, from Avignon to Aix-en-Provence. Our journey included city driving, regional and national roads, and highways, as well as a stop at an Ionity charging station to test the ultra-fast charging feature, which did not disappoint!
Before diving into the details, here’s an overview of the Hyundai Ioniq 6’s technical specifications. We tested the rear-wheel-drive version with the large 77 kWh battery and the Executive trim. However, we did not have the 20-inch wheels, but the 18-inch aerodynamic wheels, which increase range by reducing consumption and lower the total cost by $500.
Hyundai Ioniq 6Fiche technique
|Modèle||Hyundai Ioniq 6|
|Dimensions||4,85 m x 1,88 m x 1,495 m|
|Puissance (chevaux)||229 chevaux|
|0 à 100km/h||7,4 s|
|Niveau d’autonomie||Autonomie partielle|
|Vitesse max||185 km/h|
|Taille de l’écran principal||12 pouces|
|Prise côté voiture||Type 2 Combo (CCS)|
|Prix entrée de gamme||52200 USD|
|Prix||52 200 €|
Hyundai Ioniq 6 Design: A Fresh New Electric Sedan
Long electric sedans are relatively rare among electric vehicles, which mostly include large SUVs or compact sedans. However, the Tesla Model 3’s segment D does not offer many options, so Hyundai’s choice with the Ioniq 6 is a welcome one. The designers went beyond merely creating a sedan.
The design is striking, drawing inspiration from the 1930s streamline artistic movement. The sedan has both a sporty and elegant appearance. The front is rather conventional for a sedan but features more aggressive elements, such as the Pixel LED headlights and a distinctive bumper.
The rear exudes a completely different vibe, reminiscent of a Porsche at first glance. The black diffuser contrasts with lighter colors, and the large LED strip adds a modern touch. The rear spoiler places the Hyundai Ioniq 6 in the sporty vehicle category, at least on paper.
However, the engineers and designers’ primary goal was not to create a sports car, but rather one of the most efficient vehicles on the market. The Ioniq 6 claims a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.20 with camera mirrors (which we did not have) or 0.21 with traditional mirrors. For comparison, the Tesla Model 3 has a Cd of 0.23, while the excellent Mercedes EQS is at 0.20.
To recap, the lower the drag coefficient, the more aerodynamic a car is. In other words, the higher the number, the more energy the car consumes at high speeds. This is the theory, but it does not take into account the car’s total frontal area (sCx), which manufacturers rarely disclose.
Our test model was finished in a stunning Gravity Gold Matte paint. The Nocturne Gray Matte color should be even more suitable to avoid making the rear diffuser stand out too much. However, be cautious with matte finishes, as touch-ups can be much more delicate in case of scratches.
Hyundai Ioniq 6 Interior: An Almost XXL Sedan
The Hyundai Ioniq 6, being a sedan, offers reasonable space. The platform’s extra-large wheelbase (2.95 m) provides a real sense of spaciousness. In practice, there is plenty of room, both in the front and rear.
Legroom between the rear seats and front seats is generous, providing ample space even for long-legged passengers. However, two minor drawbacks exist: my 1.84m height meant my head nearly touched the roof due to the slightly sloping bodywork, and the front seats are almost flush with the floor, preventing feet from sliding underneath. This may be a disadvantage for taller individuals, who may find the front seats more comfortable than the rear ones.
There are some storage compartments, including a floating center console for larger items, but not much in the door pockets. There is a wireless charging spot for a smartphone and room for two small water bottles in the middle.
Unfortunately, there is limited space in the doors for a standard-sized water bottle or water flask. The driving position is very comfortable, as are the seats. The seating position is more upright than reclined, as this is not a sports sedan.
The review of the interior would have been positive if it weren’t for the trunk. With a 401-liter capacity, it is one of the smallest in its segment. For comparison, its smaller sibling, the Ioniq 5, boasts 527 liters, while the Kia EV6 has 490 liters, and the Tesla Model 3, a competitor, offers 542 liters.
Thankfully, the Ioniq 6 features a 45-liter frunk in our rear-wheel-drive model and a 14.5-liter frunk in the HTRAC all-wheel-drive version. The 45-liter frunk can accommodate a few belongings and the unsightly charging cables.
Another small detail that was unconvincing: the front window controls are located on the center console, like in an old 1970s Citroën CX. This is somewhat impractical, as we are now accustomed to finding them on the door panel under the window. However, the sunroof is a nice touch, especially in summer.
Lastly, we cannot end this section without mentioning the multi-comfort front seats: they can fully recline for an impromptu nap or for working in complete relaxation while taking advantage of the 220-volt (16-amp) interior socket, which draws electricity directly from the traction battery using V2L (vehicle-to-load) technology. The car’s external socket can also power electrical devices up to 3.6 kW.
Hyundai Ioniq 6 Infotainment: Much Room for Improvement
If you’re a tech enthusiast, you’ll be disappointed with the infotainment system. The basics are there, such as GPS, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay compatibility, but the entertainment system is poorly designed. There are too many menus with submenus, accessible from different locations. The logic is hard to understand, even after spending several hours behind the wheel.
Users will quickly want to set up the settings once and for all, and then not have to deal with the infotainment system, opting to use Android Auto or Apple CarPlay daily instead.
In detail, there are two different screens: the instrument cluster and the touchscreen infotainment display. Both have a 12-inch diagonal with excellent visibility.
Fortunately, Hyundai does not limit itself to these two screens for controlling the infotainment system. There are manual controls under the central screen for adjusting the volume and, more importantly, the climate control, without using the screen. However, these are touch controls, so they are difficult to operate without looking.
Physical buttons provide direct access to navigation and GPS, while two others assist with parking: one displays 360-degree cameras, and the other activates automatic maneuvers.
Finally, we end with excellent news: the Ioniq 6 is Hyundai’s first car to accept OTA updates for both the infotainment and driving systems. In other words, the Korean manufacturer could offer future updates as comprehensive as Tesla, such as modifications to engine power or new driving aids. The Ioniq 5, on the other hand, is limited to infotainment updates.
Hyundai Ioniq 6Driving Aids: Level 2 Semi-Autonomous Driving
With our Executive test version, there were numerous driving aids (ADAS). Of course, we had the adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist combo, offering Level 2 autonomous driving. Its effectiveness was good, whether on highways or main roads. It never failed us.
To complete the tour, the car allows the driver to overtake by themselves on highways with active lane change assistance. Simply activate the turn signal and keep your hands on the steering wheel. The car will proceed with the overtaking once it has determined that the safety conditions are met. And it works quite well.
We could not try the camera-based rearview mirrors, which are optional for $1,200, on the road. However, we were able to sit in a stationary Ioniq 6 equipped with these technological gems. The position of the control screens is good, even if your eyes don’t naturally gravitate toward them. It’s probably just a habit to develop. The advantage of these camera mirrors is to reduce consumption (about 10-15 km of additional range) and minimize blind spots.
Our Executive version featured parking assistance with braking function, allowing the car to manage maneuvers entirely without intervention. Remote control via a smartphone enables you to “tele-guide” the car from an Android or iOS app to park it forward, backward, parallel, battle, or nose-in. This makes parking in very tight spaces possible without being in the car.
Of course, the car includes a variety of accident avoidance features, in terms of emergency braking and automatic steering. We could not test the Matrix LED headlights, but the eight different modules allow you to remain in high beams without dazzling oncoming or preceding motorists.
The Ioniq 6 incorporates a practical function on paper but is infuriating in practice: speed limit sign recognition. It can automatically adjust the cruise control based on the speed limit of the road being traveled. The problem is that this feature is connected to a speed limit exceedance warning. So, on a road limited to 90 km/h (56 mph), driving at 91 km/h (56.5 mph) on the speedometer (which is slightly lower in reality), a small beep alarm will be triggered.
And it is impossible to adjust the system’s sensitivity, asking it to trigger after exceeding x km/h. The good news is that this alarm can be disabled. The bad news is that you then have to completely disable the sign recognition feature. As a result, the speed limit icon will no longer appear on the instrument cluster, and the cruise control will not automatically adjust the speed when the limit changes.
Ultimately, Hyundai may have found a solution to reduce speeding. However, we hope this feature will be modified with an over-the-air (OTA) update. Nothing is less certain.
We also appreciate the head-up display (HUD), which is very convenient for displaying certain information on the windshield, such as current speed, speed limits, and GPS instructions.
Hyundai Ioniq 6 Route Planner: Yes, but no
When Hyundai announced that the Ioniq 6 was equipped with a route planner, we were happy and excited to try it. Indeed, it is the first car from the manufacturer to have this feature, unknown to the general public, but essential for electric cars that need to cover long distances.
We tested the planner to connect Avignon to Lille. The proposed route seems relevant, with 908 km (mainly on the highway) and three stops for recharging: at Ionity and TotalEnergies. So far, so good. But, there are several problems.
The first is that once the route is launched, we know what time we will arrive at the next charging station, but we have no idea what the remaining range will be. It is also not possible to ask the car to arrive with, for example, 10 or 20% battery at the charging stops or at the destination. You then have to have blind trust in the car.
The other problem is that it is impossible to know the charging power of the stations proposed by the planner. And if you want to skip a step, or stop earlier, it is impossible, unless you do it manually, via the GPS.
The standard GPS has the same problems, with the inability to know the range at arrival at the destination. Hyundai does offer a map with a radius equal to the distance the driver can cover based on the battery’s state of charge. It is similar to what Mercedes does, but much less advanced and less useful, as it is not very accurate.
Fortunately, there is hope: the route planner should evolve in the coming months. We hope these issues will be addressed.
Hyundai Ioniq 6 Driving: A comfortable and lively minivan
The Hyundai Ioniq 6 weighs nearly 2 tons for our test model, but the drive is lively and comfortable. The power, on our rear-wheel-drive model, of 229 hp with a torque of 350 Nm is more than enough for daily use. Proof of this is the 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) sprint completed in just 7.4 seconds. Those who enjoy more spirited overtaking on the highway will opt for the HTRAC version with its 325 hp and 605 Nm of torque, placing it in a slightly sportier category.
The most striking thing when starting with the Ioniq 6 is the silence. Rolling noises are almost non-existent at low speeds, surely helped by the acoustic film applied to the front and rear windows in the Executive trim. At high speeds, the sound insulation is also very good, although there is a bit of wind noise, but nothing too serious.
In the city, the Ioniq 6 performs well, with smooth absorption of bumps and wide viewing angles. However, the rear visibility is reduced due to the car’s slightly cut shape. Thankfully, the excellent rearview camera assists greatly during maneuvers. The 11.82 m turning radius is not exceptional, and it’s not an all-purpose vehicle, similar to the Tesla Model 3.
Our test version had 18-inch summer tires, and we imagine that the version with 20-inch wheels would be a bit stiffer on rough roads. On the small roads of the Provence countryside, the Ioniq 6 was a delight to drive. The only possible improvement would be an option for air suspension to provide even greater comfort, but that would have increased the price.
If you enjoy DIY and need a trailer, the Hyundai Ioniq 6 has a towing capacity of 1.5 tons and can carry up to 80 kg on the roof. However, aerodynamics will be compromised in both cases, as with any car.
Finally, the regenerative braking system impressed us. It can be set to four different positions (plus an intelligent automatic mode). The most powerful mode, called i-Pedal, enables one-pedal driving, eliminating the need to use the brake and maximizing energy recovery.
Hyundai Ioniq 6 Range, Consumption and Charging
The new Ioniq 6 promises great range. With a theoretical 614 km range measured according to the official WLTP cycle, it slightly underperforms compared to the Tesla Model 3 Long Range with 18-inch wheels, rated for 626 km. However, the Korean car’s consumption is lower, at 14.3 kWh/100 km for our test model, compared to 16 kWh/100 km.
Several factors explain this difference. Firstly, the Ioniq 6 has a smaller battery than the Model 3, with 77 kWh and 82 kWh, respectively. Secondly, Hyundai’s onboard electronics seem to create fewer losses when charging with alternating current, such as home charging. This results in a slightly lower cost per km for the Ioniq 6.
In practice, we measured consumption of around 22 kWh/100 km on the highway in cold (10°C) and windy conditions, before battery preconditioning and the strong wind kicked in. Consumption then climbed to 26 kWh/100 km, which is normal for our short highway route and considering that battery preconditioning consumes a lot to warm up the battery before rapid charging.
On a mixed route, we recorded an average of 15.7 kWh/100 km over 159 km, with a mix of city, country roads, and highways.
One of the Ioniq 6’s secrets is its ultra-fast charging. The Korean manufacturer promises a recharge from 10 to 80% in 18 minutes, with a maximum power of 277 kW. We experienced this when charging at an Ionity station, where the maximum power exceeded 232 kW, thanks to its 800-volt architecture, and started charging with 27% remaining battery.
We quickly reached this speed thanks to battery preconditioning, a new feature for Hyundai. It is available on most Ioniq 5 models, but only after workshop intervention. Here, it comes standard, warming up the battery to reach the ideal temperature when arriving at a charging point.
We didn’t try charging on a 400-volt station (TotalEnergies, FastNed, etc.), but the Ioniq 6 should react like its smaller sibling. The 800-volt to 400-volt conversion is performed directly by the motor and inverter, without a dedicated converter, resulting in minimal losses. Our colleague from Challenges measured 173 kW on a 400-volt 175 kW station.
In practice, the Ioniq 6 is an excellent electric vehicle (EV) for long journeys. It has low energy consumption, similar to a Tesla Model 3, but charges much faster on compatible charging stations.
For alternating current (AC) charging, such as at home or on secondary network stations, the car is limited to an 11 kW power output, and a 22 kW option is not available, unlike most recent EVs. Therefore, it takes about 7 hours to charge from 10 to 100% battery. On a 50 kW fast charger, the charging time is 1 hour and 13 minutes to go from 10 to 80%.
While our test model has the best range and consumption in the lineup, it’s important to remember that the motor and wheel size impact the range. The all-wheel-drive HTRAC version has a range of 519 km with 20-inch wheels or 583 km with 18-inch wheels. The rear-wheel-drive version goes from 614 to 545 km of range when switching from 18 to 20-inch wheels.
However, it is worth noting that EVs based on the E-GMP platform, like the Ioniq 6, are not compatible with Tesla Superchargers. More precisely, the charging power is limited to 45 kW, which means a 10 to 80% recharge takes about 1 hour.
Hyundai Ioniq 6 Price, Competition and Availability
The Hyundai Ioniq 6 is priced between $52,200 for the rear-wheel-drive Intuitive version and $65,200 (without options) for the HTRAC Executive version. In comparison, the Tesla Model 3 Long Range starts at $52,990, offering similar range but slower charging. The American EV boasts a more advanced infotainment system, an eventual Level 3 autonomous driving capability, ongoing updates throughout its lifespan, and a huge trunk.
Another major competitor for the Ioniq 6 is the Kia EV6. Both EVs share the same technical foundation, including ultra-fast charging. The Kia has slightly higher consumption and better interior space, but Hyundai’s driving assistance features are more convincing. Moreover, the Kia EV6 lacks a route planner.
The BMW i4, in its new eDrive 35 version, is also worth mentioning, starting at $53,550. However, its range is somewhat disappointing at this price point (483 km), even though it offers better performance and a completely different interior, including a genuine route planner.
Ultimately, the Ioniq 6’s main rival is likely the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range, available from $44,990, with a range of over 500 km, better performance, access to Superchargers, and a guarantee of receiving interesting updates throughout its life.
It’s unfortunate that Hyundai does not plan to offer the smaller 53 kWh battery in France. This option would have likely competed with the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range in terms of price, offering a decent range (429 km) and equally fast charging. Remember, a 400 km range is sufficient for daily use and long trips, especially with rapid charging capabilities like those seen on a Paris-Marseille journey.
If you’re considering the Tesla Model 3, our comparison guide between the American EV and its main competitors should help you make a more informed decision.