Saturday, December 2, 2023
Should-you-buy Should You Buy a 2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6?

Should You Buy a 2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6?

  • The 2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6 starts at $42,715 in the United States and at $56,924 in Canada, freight and delivery charges included.

  • Attention-grabbing design, spacious cabin, very efficient powertrains.

  • Small trunk, some questionable cockpit materials, limited inventory in Canada and limited EV tax credits in the U.S.

The 2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6 is the Korean brand’s all-new fully electric sedan, and didn’t waste any time filling up its trophy case. After being named the overall World Car of the Year, it took AJAC’s Green Car of the Year award, in addition to receiving awards and recognitions from various automotive publications around the globe.

Chalk up the IONIQ 6’s success to its polarizing exterior and interior design, its great driving range and its good driving characteristics. It competes with the Tesla Model 3, the latter being the only other mass-market electric sedan on our market at the moment, as manufacturers emphasized the development of crossovers, and understandably so. In the second quarter of 2023, IONIQ 6 sales amounted to roughly half of those of the Hyundai IONIQ 5 crossover. We could also consider the Polestar 2 as a competitor, although it’s a subcompact hatchback and not a sedan with a separate trunk.

Compared to the Model 3, though, the 2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6 represents just a fraction of its main rival’s performance on the sales charts, for various reasons. A big one is dealership inventory or the time it takes to order a unit and get it delivered. Another one is incentives, as the Tesla is eligible for an EV purchase tax credit of up to $7,500 while the IONIQ 6 is not because it isn’t built in North America. However, it may be possible to obtain that credit by leasing the Hyundai. In Canada, federal and select provincial rebates are available for both the Model 3 and IONIQ 6.

In the U.S., the IONIQ 6 is offered in SE Standard Range, SE, SEL and Limited trim levels. The rear-wheel-drive base trim is equipped with a single electric motor that develops 149 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, while its 53 kWh battery pack provides a driving range rated at 240 miles on a full charge. The SE, SEL and Limited get a 225-horsepower motor and a 77.4 kWh battery pack, raising the EPA driving range rating to 361 miles. The SE, SEL and Limited can also be upgraded to a dual-motor AWD setup producing 320 horsepower and 446 pound-feet, while range on a full charge drops to 316 miles.

In Canada, the 2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6 is available in Preferred Long Range and Preferred AWD Long Range variants, skipping the U.S. market’s base offering. This means the Canadian-spec IONIQ 6 boasts 168 or 320 horsepower, and is equipped with the 77.4 kWh battery only. Range is pegged at 581 kilometres with RWD and up to 509 km with AWD. The IONIQ 6 AWD can also be optioned up with the Ultimate Package.

The max charging rate on a DC fast charger is 350 kW for Hyundai’s new electric sedan, if we can find a compatible station that can handle such a load. From an energy consumption standpoint, here’s how the 2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6 stacks up to the Tesla Model 3:

ModelBattery Size (kWh)Driving Range (miles/km)City/Highway/Combined (kWh/100 miles)City/Highway/Combined (kWh/100 km)
Hyundai IONIQ 6 Standard Range RWD (USA only)53.0240/38622.0/28.0/24.913.7/17.4/15.5
Hyundai IONIQ 6 RWD77.4361/58122.0/26.1/24.013.7/16.2/14.9
Hyundai IONIQ 6 AWD77.4316/50926.1/29.9/28.016.2/18.6/17.4
Tesla Model 3 RWD75.0 to 80.0 (est.)272/43824.5/26.7/25.415.2/16.6/15.8
Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD (Imported from China – Canada only)66.0 (est.)332/53425.7/27.8/26.716.0/17.3/16.6
Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD75.0 to 80.0 (est.)358/57625.1/26.7/25.715.6/16.6/16.0
Tesla Model 3 Performance AWD75.0 to 80.0 (est.)315/50728.6/31.5/29.917.8/19.6/18.6


In the U.S., the 2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6 starts at $42,715 including freight and delivery charges, and tops out at $58,215 in loaded Limited trim with AWD and matte paint. In Canada, the IONIQ 6 starts at $56,924 including freight and delivery charges, and reaches $67,424 with the Ultimate Package and matte paint. These prices do not include EV rebates or tax credits.

Why You Should Buy a 2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6

  • From a design perspective, this sedan truly stands out in the current automotive landscape. Hyundai’s stylists were seemingly allowed to let their imagination run wild, even though we’ve seen this shape before on sedans such as the 1993-1997 Infiniti J30 and the 2005-2010 Mercedes-Benz CLS.
  • The IONIQ 6’s interior is just as clean and refreshing as the bodywork, with a resolutely modern, yet sophisticated look.
  • The 2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6 is one of the most energy-efficient EVs out there right now, thanks in part to its drag coefficient of just 0.21. It’s one of the most aerodynamic production cars ever. But also to its frugal powertrains. During our test, we managed a decent average of 29.1 kWh/100 miles or 18.1 kWh/100 km.
  • In AWD configuration, the IONIQ 6 is powerful and quick, with good handling characteristics and a well-isolated cockpit.

Why You Shouldn’t Buy a 2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6

  • Design is one thing, but the choice of materials is another. There is some cheap-looking plastic trim inside the IONIQ 6, with the three steering stalks getting silver-painted switches. The silver-painted keyfob, which will get scratched in no time, has no weight to it and feels like a toy transmitter.
  • While the IONIQ 6 can be considered a midsize sedan, and is bigger in size than the compact Model 3, trunk space is only 11.2 cubic feet or 316 litres. The front trunk is also quite small and oddly shaped, so not much can be stored in there.
  • It’s not the car’s fault as such, but as mentioned above, availability in Canada is extremely tight, especially in areas such as Quebec and British Columbia where the EV incentives are higher. Interested buyers will need to order the vehicle and wait quite a while for it to be built and shipped from Korea. There’s more inventory in the U.S., but the Tesla has a small price advantage at the moment.

Final Word

The 2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6 is a very interesting electric sedan for many reasons. It could be seen as the first true serious rival to the Model 3, matching it for range and energy efficiency, in a bigger overall package for a similar—or slightly higher—price. We have few complaints about this vehicle, and the automotive media around the world seems to share the same view, given the IONIQ 6’s already impressive list of awards and accolades. The challenge for the Korean automaker now is to build enough of them for the Canadian market, and to figure out a way to steal sales away from Tesla in the United States.

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