Car Reviews

2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 First Drive Review: 6 isn’t better than 5 (it’s just different)

SEOUL – The Ioniq 5 was a sea change EV. It presents extra room inside than it ought to be able to, extra tech than its price ticket suggests and involves play with glorious effectivity and maybe the very best adjustable-on-the-fly regenerative brake ranges out there. Now there’s the 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6, and regardless of the identify (or quantity), it isn’t merely an enlargement of the options that make the 5 the 5. It’s one other expression of what’s potential with an electrical powertrain and Hyundai’s E-GMP platform (additionally shared with the Kia EV6 and Genesis GV60), proving you can take these constructing blocks and make a quirky-yet-practical crossover, or a glossy, attractive fastback sedan.

The expectations have been excessive given my affection for the Ioniq 5, and actually, the 6 didn’t fairly impress in the identical means. That isn’t to say the Ioniq 6 gained’t have its followers. In truth, Hyundai representatives right here in South Korea stated that the 6 is each meant to be the aspirational mannequin within the Ioniq lineup and that will probably be priced beneath the 5 in the USA. For the document, the Ioniq 5 begins at $41,245 with a $1,295 vacation spot cost, which brings up an attention-grabbing query: will a sub-$40,000 electrical streamliner appeal to new patrons to both the Hyundai model or electrical automobiles typically?

Hyundai is definitely making an attempt modern methods to search out prospects with the Ioniq 6. The corporate’s new advertising and marketing course consists of issues like digital configurators and driving video games, together with methods to digitally work together with the Ioniq 6 in some nook of the Metaverse. The road between the precise, real-world Ioniq 6 and the digital model is blurred and getting blurrier in the case of paid promotions.

We want to reply our automotive questions IRL, however all the Ioniq 6’s secrets and techniques couldn’t be instantly pried open on South Korea’s public roads. Fixed pace lure cameras have been only one issue that saved our drive to cheap speeds. At no level throughout our day of driving did we see any stretches of highway with a pace restrict above 100 kph (62 mph), for instance, and we’re not eager on breaking driving legal guidelines in overseas nations. The excellent news (particularly for EV drivers) is {that a} pace restrict isn’t the identical as an acceleration restrict, so it’s not like we have been evaluating a static mannequin.

The Ioniq 6 is a enjoyable automotive. Acceleration, as with all EV value its salt, is superb and harking back to the Ioniq 5 (although clearly will depend on the motor/battery combo you get, extra on that beneath). In Sport mode, the system saved noticeably torquing the steering wheel to maintain the entrance wheels balanced and pointed straight forward. Within the extra relaxed Eco mode, the steering really feel lightened, however you at all times felt the heavy battery mounted underneath the seats. It’s an EV, in any case.

Due to their shared platform and an identical energy output on some trims, the truth that the Ioniq 5 and 6 supply related driving traits shouldn’t have been a shock. However one way or the other it was. The Ioniq 6 seems quicker and it’s not just like the 6 is lazy in the case of acceleration (it could actually nonetheless hit 60 mph in about 5 seconds with the dual-motor powertrain). Nonetheless, you discover the shortage of grab-hold-of-something acceleration extra in a automotive that has a efficiency vibe just like the Ioniq 6 than you do in an SUV-ish factor just like the 5.

The Ioniq 6 definitely has the potential to seize the creativeness of recent drivers due to its throwback fastback type, like a zero-emission Mercedes-Benz CLA for the plenty. The wheelbase is a bit shorter than the 5 (116.1 inches in comparison with 118.1), however that’s nonetheless awfully lengthy, and there may be loads of rear legroom. Naturally, given the physique type, there may be not as a lot rear headroom within the 6, nor as a lot cargo house.

For the reason that Ioniq 6 gained’t begin manufacturing till December and gained’t go on sale in the USA till someday subsequent yr, we have been handled to prototype Korean-spec fashions for our drive. Our check automotive was a Lengthy Vary AWD mannequin and had digital facet cameras as an alternative of the normal mirrors that we’ll get in the USA. Amazingly, it didn’t take too many miles to get used to the digital “mirrors,” and hopefully, this know-how can be authorised right here quickly. Lively air flaps within the grille, a rear spoiler positioned excessive up the EV’s bottom and aero wheels are simply a number of the methods the designers made the Ioniq 6 as slippery as potential, ending up with a drag coefficient of simply 0.21. That’s not fairly Mercedes EQS or Tesla Mannequin S territory, but it surely’s shut.

The Ioniq 6’s aerodynamic effectivity helped us common 3.85 miles per kWh over our 136-mile drive, alternating by means of Eco, Regular and Sport modes and adjusting regenerative brake ranges relying on the scenario. As acknowledged, these miles have been your common, regular, commonplace, common miles, the type most individuals will drive on daily basis. Which means our common power utilization ought to be what you may anticipate in the true world. However we must always not slip too shortly previous that effectivity quantity. Getting 3.85 miles per kWh implies that the power value to go 100 miles is just below 26 kWh. Solely three different manufacturing EVs on the market in the USA can declare that form of effectivity, in line with the EPA: the Tesla Mannequin 3, the Lucid Air and the unique Hyundai Ioniq Electrical. With higher effectivity than the Ioniq 5, however with the identical batteries because the Ioniq 5, it stands to purpose that the 6 will obtain an extended vary than the Ioniq 5. Simply how a lot continues to be to be decided and introduced.

The selection of powertrain and battery choices is shared with the Ioniq 5, with one exception. That will be the Commonplace trim, which has the identical 53-kWh battery because the comparable 5, however decrease system voltage ends in a 148-horsepower motor slightly than 168. All the things with the 77.4-kWh Lengthy Vary battery pack is copy and paste. The one motor model sends 225 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels. A second motor added to the entrance axle creates the optionally available all-wheel-drive mannequin, and ups efficiency to 320 hp and 446 lb-ft.

There are different variations with the Ioniq 5 they usually symbolize enhancements. The 6’s multi-charge know-how permits the automotive to reap the benefits of the most recent DC quick chargers — as much as 350 kW — at both 400 or 800 volts to refill the battery from 10 to 80 p.c full in simply 18 minutes. A brand new battery conditioning system will make this type of expertise extra dependable. In the event you’ve plugged a DC quick charger into the nav system, the automotive will use a number of the battery’s power to ensure the pack is on the appropriate temperature to make sure it could actually reap the benefits of that a lot direct present, even when it’s extraordinarily scorching or chilly exterior. Some Ioniq 5 fashions will get this battery preconditioning know-how for 2023. The 6 will even supply a vehicle-to-load (V2L) bi-directional charging energy outlet, just like the 5.

There’s a minimalist ethos to the entire cabin expertise. Ahead visibility can’t be overwhelmed, provided that the front-end slopes down so sharply that you simply would possibly as nicely be driving a automotive with no hood. Rear visibility is superb. The clear and spacious cabin would possibly really feel simplified, however there’s so much occurring behind the screens, together with the flexibility to customise the two-tone cabin lighting to match just about any temper.

Security options within the Ioniq 6 present sturdy nannying capabilities if that’s your factor. Our Korean-spec tester used a nav system that knew the place each pace bump within the nation was positioned, and it advised us all about them. Lane-keeping help may really feel overwhelming at instances, however you may flip it off with a protracted press of a button on the steering wheel. Enhancements to the security and comfort options embrace higher lane-centering steering help for the Freeway Driving Help 2 adaptive cruise management system and an up to date Distant Good Parking Help 2 system that may park the automotive in parking heaps with painted traces which are perpendicular, parallel or diagonal.

Hyundai has potential right here, if it retains the value cheap. The Ioniq 6 is enjoyable, however not an excessive amount of enjoyable. In the long run, the Ioniq 6 is a good Hyundai EV, but it surely’s not the game-changer that the Ioniq 5 was. Regardless of all of the great touches Hyundai put into the Ioniq 6, I’d personally stick to the 5. At the least till a wished-for Ioniq 6 N blows my socks off sometime.

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