First drive: The 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 is a swoopy EV sedan that stands out in an SUV crowd

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In a world the place almost each automaker is pushing larger, heavier, battery-electric SUVs and crossovers that each one look the identical, Hyundai is bucking the pattern with its model new, swoopy, tech-forward 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 sedan.

The stakes are excessive for the Hyundai Ioniq 6. Hyundai has forged the sedan as a worthy rival to the Tesla Model 3, an EV that has dominated the market. The Ioniq 6 can be a key product within the automaker’s plan to sell 1.87 million EVs annually by the tip of the last decade and acquire a 7% market share within the world battery-electric automobile market. (Hyundai plans to invest more than $10 billion towards accelerating electrification and autonomous automobile know-how within the U.S. by 2025 to assist it attain that objective.)

The 2023 Ioniq 6, which might be out there this spring, hits most marks. It’s quiet, fast and environment friendly and manages a roomy inside regardless of its sporty exterior. However will it appeal to patrons? Right here’s our first impressions after just a few hours driving the compact sedan in Orange County, California, close to Hyundai’s North American headquarters, as a part of the World Automotive Awards testing.

Nuts and bolts

Hyundai is providing prospects a variety of options for the Ioniq 6 sedan, together with 53 kWh and 77.4 kWh battery pack sizes and two motor layouts.

Whatever the trim stage, the Ioniq 6 sedan sits on the identical E-GMP platform that underpins the Ioniq 5. The entire variants include the identical 800-volt structure because the Ioniq 5, with just a few small tweaks that make the sedan extra environment friendly and provides it greater than 50 extra miles of vary over the award-winning crossover.

On the prime of the heap — at the very least when it comes to vary — is the Ioniq SE lengthy vary rear-wheel drive model, which is outfitted with 18-inch wheels and a 77.4 kilowatt-hour battery pack that gives an estimated EPA vary of 361 miles. The Ioniq 6 SE lengthy vary is priced at $45,500 (or $46,615 together with supply).

Essentially the most reasonably priced model is the Ioniq 6 SE commonplace vary, which has a base value of $41,600 ($42,715 together with supply), that’s outfitted with a 53 kWh pack and a rear electrical motor that gives an EPA-estimated vary of 240 miles.

The AWD long-range mannequin has an EPA-estimated vary of 316 miles and a base value of $49,000 ($50,115 together with supply). A number of different trims that embody the bigger 20-inch wheels have ranges between 270 and 305 miles.

The bottom mannequin of the Ioniq 6, in rear-wheel drive format, provides 225 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, whereas the dual-motor, all-wheel drive model that I drove has 320 horsepower and 446 lb-ft of torque.

Tesla has three versions of the Model 3, solely two of that are at present out there. The Mannequin 3 rear-wheel-drive sedan can journey 272 miles on a single cost and has a base value of $42,990. The Mannequin 3 dual-motor efficiency model has an EPA-estimated vary of 315 miles and a base value of $53,990. The long-range Mannequin 3, which has 358 miles of vary, is at present not out there.

Clients who solely care about an EV with probably the most vary for the bottom value may discover the cheaper Ioniq SE long-range rear-wheel drive model (361 miles for $45,500) extra interesting than the higher-priced Mannequin 3.

The Ioniq 6 additionally will get an EPA-estimated 140 MPGe mixed, which occurs to match the 2 Lucid Air fashions on the prime of the EPA’s Top Ten list.

The spectacular vary is due partly to the Hyundai Ioniq 6’s very low drag coefficient of simply 0.22. Hyundai mentioned it was in a position to obtain that by way of a mix exterior and purposeful design options, together with the swoopy roofline, ducktail spoiler, lively air flaps, wheel hole reducers, boattail form, full underbody cowl, deflectors and lowered wheel-arch gaps.

In typical Hyundai method, the Ioniq 6 comes commonplace with adaptive cruise management and lane-keeping help, in addition to different security options. The adaptive cruise management is comfy in stop-and-go site visitors, neither leaving an excessive amount of of a spot nor accelerating too quick, solely to slam on the brakes. It drives like a well-behaved, non-texting human being, which is a welcome characteristic in LA’s stop-and-go site visitors.

On the street

2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6 Limited EV

Picture credit score: Hyundai

On the street, the design of the Ioniq 6 stands out. It seems a bit of bit like a VW Beetle and a Hyundai Sonata bought collectively and had a handsome child, with loads of tech-forward options, together with greater than 700 Parametric Pixels in, on and across the automobile.

The tip result’s a sedan that feels extra sci-fi than the opposite “meh” choices on the street right this moment.

The loop I drove took us out on the crowded 405 freeway in Southern California and up into the world round Tustin and Lake Forest, California. The drive occurred totally on fast-moving toll roads with sweeping turns. As a result of I used to be in a prototype, I had Hyundai handlers within the automobile with us the whole day, which prevented us from deviating from the prescribed path. Despite these constraints, the restricted time I spent behind the wheel of the brand new Ioniq 6 did show that it was a succesful, comfy, quiet and fast machine on the street.

The Ioniq 6 has 4 modes: eco, consolation, sport and snow. As a result of I used to be driving in Southern California and never heading to altitude, I didn’t get an opportunity to check out snow, however did expertise eco, consolation and sport modes.

In eco mode, the compact automotive doesn’t lag or really feel as if it’s being restricted. It’s a bit much less punchy in eco mode, particularly whenever you first step on the accelerator. In consolation mode, the efficiency ticks up a notch, nevertheless it nonetheless isn’t the throw-you-back-in-your-seat expertise that prospects have come to count on in an EV. (The less-is-more strategy is smart since Hyundai expects that most individuals who buy the little EV could have little to no expertise with EV torque and acceleration.)

In sport mode, nevertheless, the Ioniq 6 is far more spirited, providing that true EV expertise of sharp acceleration. Hyundai says that the automobile can journey from 0 to 60 miles per hour in lower than 5 seconds within the twin motor, all-wheel drive configuration.

One of many considerably niggly issues in regards to the Ioniq 6, which homeowners will get used to shortly, is the situation of the gear selector. Just like the Ioniq 5, the 6’s selector is positioned on the steering wheel column and is a bit hidden behind the wheel itself. When you find it, you rotate the tip of the knob on the stalk to place the automotive into drive and press the tip of the stalk to place it into park.

2023 Hyundai ioniq 6 EV

Picture credit score: Hyundai

Inside and in-vehicle tech

Contained in the Ioniq 6, prospects will uncover a minimalist and spacious inside.

Whereas the wheelbase of the Ioniq 6 is 116.1-inches, it’s shorter than the Ioniq 5 by two inches. Surprisingly that doesn’t translate to a cramped inside, due to Hyundai’s considerate format and inside design contained in the cabin. For instance, designers minimized the scale of the door armrests to supply extra hip width contained in the automobile. There’s loads of room within the again seats for a six-foot individual to experience comfortably for a very good lengthy whereas, too.

A pair of screens stretch from in entrance of the motive force to the passenger beneath one piece of glass. The motive force’s info display and infotainment display every are 12.3-inch shows, with the infotainment display getting contact capabilities.

2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6 Limited EV

Picture credit score: Hyundai

The automobile throughout my check was a prototype, forcing me to make use of Android Auto for navigation. I didn’t get the possibility to check out a few of the options that Hyundai contains with the Ioniq 6, together with Bluelink, telephone as a key and the on-board navigation system. Bluelink is Hyundai’s app that permits homeowners to see particulars like battery utilization, find chargers and even handle charging time to assist reduce down on electrical energy prices.

The Hyundai Ioniq 6 additionally comes with a digital key 2.0 system that permits homeowners to make use of their iPhone, Apple Watch or a Samsung Galaxy smartphone to lock and unlock the automobile and begin it. The characteristic additionally permits for key sharing with members of the family. As soon as you set a linked iPhone or Samsung Galaxy on the wi-fi charger, or maintain an iWatch close to it, and push the beginning button, the Ioniq 6 will begin up.

The voice recognition system, which permits customers to manage the temperature, radio station and different controls utilizing easy language prompts, was intuitive if a bit of bit sluggish. This could possibly be as a result of I used to be driving a prototype. We’ll have to attend and see what the Ioniq 6 is like in a longer-term check as soon as the automobile lands on U.S. shores.

Battery tech and charging

Hyundai says that the Ioniq 6 can go from 10% to 80% charged in simply 18 minutes on a 350 kW charger (DC Quick). Nonetheless, I didn’t have the chance to check out the automobile’s fast-charging capabilities throughout this primary impressions drive (I’ll as soon as I’ve the automobile longer than a day).

The corporate additionally included a charging characteristic that permits the Ioniq 6 to just accept 400-volt charging with out an adapter by utilizing an inverter and a motor to spice up 400 volts to 800 volts.

The sedan additionally contains battery conditioning in order that when a charging vacation spot is put into the onboard navigation system, the automobile will mechanically pre-condition the battery to organize it to take most cost.

Just like the Ioniq 5 earlier than it, Hyundai has additionally included V2L (vehicle-to-load) capabilities within the sedan. That signifies that prospects can cost electrical bicycles, scooters, tenting gear and even cost a stranded EV (1.9 kW peak energy utilizing an ordinary 120-volt outlet) by plugging into the Ioniq 6’s accent adapter and outdoors charger positioned close to the charging port.

Hyundai has managed to discover a stability between standout design, know-how, vary, efficiency and value. Hyundai might have produced a automobile that may make the transition from gasoline to EV far more comfy for the typical purchaser.

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