ArticleJournal2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6: Homerun!

2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6: Homerun!

When Hyundai first showcased the Prophecy concept car in 2020, it instantly captivated my attention. I remember looking at it, thinking I had never seen a car like that before. It was a massive surprise when Hyundai announced its intent to transform this concept into a production model. Typically, production models diverge significantly from their concept counterparts, but Hyundai broke this trend. In 2022, the company introduced the IONIQ 6, closely mirroring the original concept in design. It shares its platform with the IONIQ 5, the Genesis GV60, and the Kia EV6. My experience with the latter had already set high standards, and the IONIQ 6 did not disappoint.

Starting with the elephant in the room: the design. This thing truly looks like nothing else on the road and depending on which Facebook group you’re in, it can be a good thing as much as it can be a bad one. Yes, it’s rather controversial, which, funny enough, is also the case with all the other vehicles I’ve listed earlier that share the same platform. People either love them or hate them, no in-between. Personally, I love them all, especially the IONIQ 5 & 6. The rear design, with the full-width wrap-around tail light and the spoiler, gives it somewhat of a Porsche look, and the front end is very distinctive as well, partially because of the orange running lights. With the IONIQ 6, pixels are everywhere. The headlights, taillights, mirror-mounted turn signals, rear spoiler, rear reflectors, and the button to open the trunk all have pixels in them. I’m not sure why, but it’s a cool quirk. During the Canadian Grand Prix weekend, I had the opportunity to drive the IONIQ 6 through downtown Montreal pretty much every day. Amidst a sea of supercars, it still garnered significant attention, highlighting its distinctive design and relative rarity. The IONIQ 6 I had the chance to spend time with was equipped with the optional Ultimate Package which includes the 20-inch alloy wheels you see in the pictures, and just for style alone, they make the whole package worth it.

Unfortunately for some cars with a cool exterior, the interior leaves much to be desired–not the case with the IONIQ 6. Simply opening the door, it’s obvious that the people at Hyundai made sure that the interior was as special and unique as the exterior. Starting with the door panels, which are unlike any I’ve seen before. The window switches were moved to the center console, so the only things on the door panels, except the handles, are a speaker, some storage, and a grab handle that’s as long as the door. The cabin is very quiet, once the door is closed, you really feel inside a cocoon, a truly luxurious experience. The steering wheel looks fairly normal until you notice there isn’t a Hyundai logo in the middle of it but rather four LED pixels. They’re interactive and change colours for a few reasons, including the driving modes which is rather amusing. In the center console, the pure, simplistic design continues. Since they’re in the middle, there is only a need for one set of window switches and lock and unlock buttons, on top of that there are 2 cup holders and a wireless charging pad, and that’s pretty much all. Looking at the center console from the side, it appears to be floating, which adds to the unique style inside of the IONIQ 6. Underneath it is a large storage area with translucent sides and a 12-volt power supply. Just like the Kia EV6, the space for the rear occupants in this car is massive. Even tall adults can pretty much lie down in the back of the IONIQ 6, the headspace is not the best because of the teardrop shape of the car, but the leg room is so impressive that it doesn’t matter. Another place where you will find a surprising amount of room is in the trunk! Considering the IONIQ 6 is not a big car and the rear seats are very spacious, I was shocked when I saw this much space in the cargo area, 316L to be exact. A small cargo area in front allows you to store small items or the charging cable. 

So far, I haven’t found many bad things about the IONIQ 6, and the trend continues with the tech. This car benefits from two 12.3-inch screens. The first one is the digital cluster, which, despite not being extremely configurable, still allows the driver to see quite a few things and displays them in a very futuristic way, matching the overall character of the vehicle. The second screen is the infotainment system, and just like everything else so far, it is really good. At 12.3 inches, it’s a great size, and Hyundai makes good use of it. On top of being able to split the screen into two panels, which is great, it is also very responsive and easy to use–just like a smartphone. As I previously mentioned, my press car was equipped with the Ultimate Package, which is a $6,000 option that includes some good stuff. I already pointed out the wheels, but it also includes leatherette upholstery, the sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, a heads-up display, Highway Driving Assist II, and some of the best ambient lighting I’ve ever seen. Speaking of Highway Driving Assist, it is truly great. Not only is it good at staying between the lanes, but it will also work in stop-and-go traffic and will change lanes automatically, which is an impressive feature for a vehicle of this category. 

Since I had a car that was fully optioned, it also had the most powerful drivetrain available at the moment. The Preferred AWD Long Range model I was driving benefits from dual motors, with a total output of 321 hp, but the only way to truly feel this power is by putting the car in the Sport driving mode. The way the car reacts to the different driving modes is very interesting, the difference in power between Eco and Sport made me feel like I was driving a different car. As much as the car is fairly quick and dynamic in Sport, it is very slow in Eco. Speaking of dynamic, the IONIQ 6 can be pretty fun, 321 hp is nothing crazy, but it’s nothing to laugh at either! Combined with the instant torque delivery of the electric motors, it can be pretty fun. Since most of the weight is very low in the car, the handling was fairly good, and thanks to the Ultimate Package and the 20-inch wheels it includes, the car I was testing was equipped with Pirelli P Zero tires, which definitely helped the car’s handling prowesses. When in Eco or Normal mode, though, the car is very smooth and comfortable, and combined with impressive range, it would make for a very good road trip vehicle. According to Hyundai’s website, the IONIQ 6 Preferred AWD Long Range has a range of up to 581 kilometres, but I once saw I had up to 599 in the cluster and so I’m sure you can get way more by being conservative. Since Hyundai freed up the center console, it also moved the gear selector to the steering column, it looks kind of odd but it’s easy to get used to it. 

Overall, the Hyundai IONIQ 6 is a great, impressive electric vehicle. It offers distinctive styling, competitive range, a spacious interior as well as the latest and greatest technology. Priced around $62,500 before incentives for this trim and equipment, it represents a significant investment, but one that I find justifiable. Hyundai initially faced delivery challenges, but these have improved, as evidenced by the increasing presence of these cars on the roads. My experience with the IONIQ 6 was overwhelmingly positive, and I highly recommend it to those considering an electric vehicle.

Vehicle provided by Hyundai Canada

Photography by Olivier Lessard