EV Review: 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6

The 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 is a sedan on a dedicated EV platform, so it’s a proper driver’s car!

With the world going electric and crossover crazy at the same time, it’s refreshing to find a new sedan that rides on a dedicated EV platform. This is where the Hyundai Ioniq 6 will find favour. Simply, it’s not a crossover, which makes it a great driver’s car.

Outwardly, the style is bold and, frankly, right on the mark. What struck me was the number of people who looked at it and immediately said “Porsche.” The list of admirers included a couple who were charging their original Ioniq EV. Secretly, I was commiserating with the fact they were limited to less than 150-km of range on a sunny 12-degree-Celsius day.

You see, I was putting the finishing touches to a charge that had pumped 447 kilometres into the two motor all-wheel-drive (AWD) Preferred Platinum and the 77.4 kilowatt-hour battery. That’s slightly better than the official 435 km for the unit wearing 20-inch wheels. Now, if range is more important than AWD and the posh cabin found the Platinum tested here, the Ioniq 6 Preferred single motor, rear-drive, long-range model is an interesting proposition — it delivers a substantial range of 581 km.

The charge times are good for the most part. It takes six hours and 55 minutes using a Level 2 charger to completely fill the battery. A 350-kW DC fast charger takes the battery from 10 to 80 per cent in a speedy 18 minutes. Sadly, the more common 50-kW DC fast charger needs a much longer 73-minutes. The oddity is Hyundai set the 110-volt on-board charger cable at 6 amps as the default charging rate. This makes the charging time agonizingly slow. You can bump it up to 12 amps — I set it at 10 amps, which has made a big difference.

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The big plus with going with the AWD model — starting at $54,999, though this tester rang in at $64,249 — is not just the fact it’s very good at sending the power to the motor with the best traction, it has to do with the work ethic it brings to the party. In this case, the output jumps from the rear-driver’s 225 horsepower and 256 pound-feet of torque to a much more rewarding 320 hp and, more importantly, 446 lb-ft of instant-on torque for the AWD unit. That extra 190 lb-ft of torque brings so much more authority to the drive. This shows up in the race to 100 kilometres an hour — the rear-driver ambles there in 7.4 seconds; the AWD model rockets there in 5.1 seconds. Frankly, the range sacrifice is a non-issue given the huge performance upside!

The other plus with going AWD is the manner in which the Ioniq 6 claws its way through a corner. The behaviour is dialled in and then some. You know the 6 is heavy, as in 2,094-kg, however, the steering feel and suspension tuning does a very good job of masking it. The steering turns-in crisply with the suspension keeping body roll to a minimum. Get out on the highway and the ride is cushioned and quiet. The balance is such I preferred, pun intended, the feel and intimacy of the Ioniq 6 sedan over the Ioniq 5 crossover, and it’s no slouch in its own right!

Now the crisp handling and hot performance is accompanied by an artificial “engine” sound. The noise it makes is, in a word, awful. At slow speeds, it sounds like a growling wheel bearing and this is in “small change” or lowest volume setting. Thankfully, there is an “off” position. It gives new meaning to “silence is golden!” Yes, you still hear some electronic whimpering in the background, but otherwise it’s a relaxing drive.

What helps the 6’s driving demeanour are the drive modes and regenerative braking strategy. Eco mode is too tame, Normal is for everyday use and Sport of the fun times. The regen can be tailored through the paddle shifters. There’s Auto and Level 0 to Level 3, which is the default; i-Pedal is the best, as it delivers a one-pedal drive. Heading into a corner, lift slightly and the car slows nicely. Hit the apex, roll into the accelerator and the AWD system bites as the 6 rockets forward. If only i-Pedal could be saved as the default mode; sadly, it has to be engaged every drive.

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The Preferred Platinum’s cabin has a clean and classy feel, in spite of the minimalist theme. The materials are all they should be and the fit and finish is excellent. It also boasts one of the most user-friendly instrumentation and multimedia combinations around. Two 12.3-inch screens sit under a single pane of glass, so there’s a real cohesiveness to the look. The format also displays the all of information in a clear and concise manner. The best part is the manner in which the driving range and distance to the nearest charge point are displayed — it excels. Frankly, it does not get any better nor does the estimate to “empty” get any more accurate. There’s something confident and reassuring about knowing exactly where you stand range-wise. Ironically, this approach stands in stark contrast to those manufacturers that prefer to waffle and show a minimum range, a “should” get there middle number and a maximum driving range. Why not use a single number the driver can learn to rely on?

On the downside, the Ioniq’s minimalist approach has been taken a little too far. First, the door lock and power window switches sit on the centre console. In a Jeep Wrangler you understand the placement because the doors can be taken off. The confusion arises when jumping out of the Hyundai Ioniq 6 and into the second family car, say an Ioniq 5, where it has the switches in the correct position.

2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 Preferred Ultimate
2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 Preferred UltimatePhoto by Graeme Fletcher

The same is true of putting the power mirror switch cluster down by the driver’s left knee. This location places beyond arm’s length for many, me included. The placement makes it more of a chore than necessary to get the mirrors adjusted properly.

Finally, rather than buttons for the seat heaters and heated steering wheel, there’s a small touch point on the climate control panel below the infotainment screen. Yes, one touch does give immediate access to the needed on/off menu and a second touch takes you directly back to original function, but the touch point itself is too small. These are minor nits, but with the rest of the Ioniq 6 being so well executed, they seemed to stand out.

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Move rearward and there’s plenty of space in the heated outboard seating positions for a pair of adults. Beyond that there’s a so-so 316-litre trunk to go along with a the 14.5L frunk.

The 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 Preferred Platinum is a sweet drive that balances driving range with performance very well. It prowls the city in a quiet and relaxed manner, but it’s always primed to pounce should the need arise. Get out of town and it’s nimble, fast and a whole lot of fun.

Check out the latest Hyundai Ioniq 6 model.


✔ Excellent driving range depiction and prediction — relying on the displayed number becomes second nature
✔ Hot performance and a realistic driving range speaks to the balance
✔ Sporty yet comfortable driving characteristics


Awful artificial “engine” noise; long live the off switch!
Centrally-mounted power window/lock switches
So-so cargo capacity

Graeme Fletcher picture

Graeme Fletcher

A mechanic by trade, I have been acting crash test dummy (aka Road Tester) for 37-years, 21 of those with Post Media. In the beginning cars ranged from dreadful to very good. Today, the spectrum, with very few exceptions, ranges from good to excellent. Hopefully, by the time full autonomy has infiltrated the morning commute my driving gloves will be well and truly hung up!

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