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First Reviews2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 First Drive Review: Tesla has some serious competition

2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 First Drive Review: Tesla has some serious competition

We put the new 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 to the test for the first time.

 

Good first impressions

 

  • Good range
  • Attractive styling
  • Best fuel economy in the segment

 

Bad first impressions

 

  • Rear passenger compartment is a bit tight
  • No wireless connection for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Driving position is a bit high

 

In a world overrun by sport utility vehicles, it’s good to see that some automakers are still keen to introduce sedans. Hyundai rises to the challenge with flying colors with the 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6. Not only is the styling unique, but the new Hyundai EV has everything it needs to put serious pressure on the Tesla Model 3.

 

2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 First Drive Review | Photo: Benoit Charette
2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 First Drive Review | Photo: Benoit Charette

 

Shared platform

 

Starting from a common platform (E-GMP), the Hyundai group is able to produce several models. The Hyundai Ioniq 6 2023 is built on the same base as the Ioniq 5, the Genesis GV60 and the Kia EV6. Its receding lines and curved rear end are unmatched on the road and the overall look is very good.

 

Its styling is inspired by Hyundai’s Prophecy concept, and the 2023 Ioniq 6 is as beautiful as it is futuristic. The interior is less spectacular than the exterior. It offers the sobriety of the Ioniq 5. With such a long wheelbase, the emphasis is on legroom, which is very generous in both the front and rear. The doors are hollowed out to increase the feeling of space. Like all-electric models, the flat floor adds to both space and layout possibilities. You feel comfortable. The only downside is the high driving position, which is a bit annoying.

 

2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 First Drive Review | Photo: Benoit Charette
2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 First Drive Review | Photo: Benoit Charette

 

A good level of technology

 

Among the interesting features, the Ioniq 6 offers semi-autonomous driving. Adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist combine to maintain a safe distance from a vehicle in front. You also have Blind Spot Monitoring, standard across the lineup, which complements the conventional blind spot assist feature by projecting a live camera of the vehicle’s rear side view when you indicate it. Matrix LED headlights are also standard across the lineup, with an adaptive high beam feature.

 

2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5 Long-Term Review: Perfect Blend of Versatility and Fun

 

The biggest irritants are the continuous beeping of the SmartSense functions that regularly pushes one to blasphemy. A chime sounds when a new speed limit is detected – including in school zones outside of school hours – and then the vehicle beeps three or four times when the indicated speed exceeds the posted speed limit. Big Brother is always watching you. These functions can be turned off, but you have to start the car again every time you start it, which is a real pain in the ass. You also have a built-in navigation system in addition to an intelligent voice assistant to control various vehicle functions and navigation.

 

2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 First Drive Review | Photo: Benoit Charette
2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 First Drive Review | Photo: Benoit Charette

 

You also get connectivity to the mobile app for vehicle status and EV management, maintenance notifications, as well as Find My Car and Remote Surround View. The Ioniq 6 also debuts OTA (over-the-air) software updates for Hyundai, which means you can update certain vehicle and infotainment software. There’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, but you need a wire to make it work. No wireless connectivity, which is a bit odd in this forward-thinking model. The touchscreen is quick and efficient, and the standard eight-speaker Bose audio system gets a passing grade, but nothing more.

 

2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 First Drive Review | Photo: Benoit Charette
2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 First Drive Review | Photo: Benoit Charette

 

Comfortable, fast and quiet

 

It’s easy to get comfortable in the Ioniq 6’s leather seats, which are supportive and pleasant to the touch. Generous legroom for both rows of passengers also enhances the impression of comfort. The sloping roofline reduces headroom.

 

You have directional air vents and USB-C charging ports, a fold-down center armrest with cup holders. Hyundai has gone to great lengths to ensure a quiet cabin, with several layers of sound-deadening materials sandwiched between the floor and the carpeting. Cargo space inside the trunk may not rival that of a hatchback or SUV, but the rear seats fold down to increase space. The Ioniq 6 conveys the dynamic feel well. The 4WD model comes with 20-inch Pirelli P Zero tires. The ride is firm, but precise.

 

2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 First Drive Review | Photo: Benoit Charette
2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 First Drive Review | Photo: Benoit Charette

You get fixed-rate adaptive damping that does a good job of isolating the cabin and its occupants from road imperfections. The cabin is very well soundproofed. If driving pleasure is on your priority list, the Ioniq 6 is a dynamic improvement over the smoother, more comfort-oriented Ioniq 5.

 

Two electric engine offerings

 

The rear-wheel drive model offers 225 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. The dual-motor model pushes the output to 320 horsepower and 446 lb-ft. There’s a nice difference in the driving experience and you’re able to do 0-100 km/h in just 5.1 seconds with the 4WD models. All models offer a 77.4-kWh battery.

 

2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 First Drive Review | Photo: Benoit Charette
2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 First Drive Review | Photo: Benoit Charette

 

The rear-wheel drive version also offers the best range at 581 km. The Preferred 4WD version with the same 18-inch wheels is at 509 km and the Ultimate 4WD version with 20-inch wheels is at 435 km.

 

Like the Ioniq 5 and EV6, the Ioniq 6’s battery uses an 800V electrical architecture that allows for ultra-fast DC charging up to 350 kW, which would charge the battery from 10 to 80 percent in just 18 minutes. Using a more common 50 kW DC fast charger would allow the battery to be charged from 10 to 80 percent in 73 minutes.

 

2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 First Drive Review | Photo: Benoit Charette
2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 First Drive Review | Photo: Benoit Charette

 

Natural Resources Canada has confirmed that the Ioniq 6 now holds the national title of “best in class” for fuel efficiency with a combined rating of 14.9 kWh/100 km for the RWD model. The RWD model offers a combined fuel consumption of 1.7 Le/100km while the Preferred 4WD model is at 1.9 Le/100km and the Ultimate version at 2.3 Le/100km.

 

2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 First Drive Review | Photo: Benoit Charette
2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 First Drive Review | Photo: Benoit Charette

And how much does it cost?

 

The rear-wheel drive Ioniq 6 Preferred has an MSRP of $54,999. The two-motor AWD versions start at $57,999 and the Ultimate version at $63,999. To this price, you must add the $1,925 Transport and Preparation. The good news is that these models are eligible for the $12,000 provincial and federal grants.

 

2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 First Drive Review | Photo: Benoit Charette
2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 First Drive Review | Photo: Benoit Charette

 

With its distinctive styling, full range of features, and refined, decisive driving dynamics, the Hyundai Ioniq 6 2023 is a well-balanced package that makes it a much better deal than a Tesla Model 3. It also boasts a truly eye-catching body that turns heads and a generous offering in addition to top-notch performance. If Hyundai can deliver enough, it will be a big hit.

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