Electric Cars Reviewed

Hyundai Ioniq 6 review

The Hyundai Ioniq 6 takes the brand into new territory, so how does this ‘electric streamliner’ measure up against rivals from BMW, Polestar and Tesla?

Hyundai is rapidly transforming from a run-of-the-mill mainstream brand to the maker of some of the best and most innovative electric cars on the market. And in doing so, it’s finding itself up against some unfamiliar opposition.

In the case of the Ioniq 6 saloon, that means the likes of the Tesla Model 3, BMW i4 and Polestar 2. So how does this Korean contender stack up against its premium rivals?

Design, interior and technology

Hyundai calls the Ioniq 6’s design ‘emotional efficiency’, which is shorthand for ‘we want it to be interesting and low-drag’.

It’s certainly both of those. The arc-like ‘streamliner’ shape means this is the one of the most aerodynamic cars on the market. It is definitely interesting to look at, too, although I’m not sure it’s an aesthetic success. Especially in the dull grey of my test car, there’s something reminiscent of a stranded dolphin about the car thanks to the pronounced curve of the roof.

The Ioniq 6’s ‘streamliner’ design stands out

Some of the details, such as the pixel-style LED lighting and the neat ducktail spoiler are striking and work in isolation but the Ioniq 6 will be a car that divides opinion for decades to come and doesn’t have the straightforward appeal of an i4 or Polestar 2.

There’s no debate about its roominess, though, which leaves every rival far behind. With a wheelbase of almost 3 metres, the Ioniq 6’s interior is gargantuan. Even at 6’ 5”, I had more than enough space up front, with legroom for an equally freakish passenger behind me. We take decent front cabin space for but the Ioniq 6’s rear legroom is truly exceptional. There’s a pleasingly wide rear bench, too, so this car will easily carry five people. Headroom, however, isn’t quite so generous. The boot is a decent 401 litres, but the saloon shape and small bootlid make it slightly awkward to access.

While it gets a A+ for space, the look of the interior is less impressive. There’s no faulting the quality, with a reassuringly solid fit and finish and decent (largely sustainable) materials throughout. It’s more a lack of flair. The cabin is dominated by grey and black plastic and aside from the wildly bewinged dashboard and speed-sensitive ambient lighting it’s all a little featureless.

The Ioniq 6’s interior is huge but lacks character

The dashboard is dominated by two 12.3-inch screens that will be familiar to any who has driven a recent Hyundai or Kia vehicle. Everything is bright and clear and while the infotainment interface isn’t the prettiest, it’s reasonably responsive and well laid out.

Away from the connected entertainment and navigation systems, the Ioniq 6 offers vehicle-to-load charging, matrix adaptive LED headlights, a head-up display and parking assist that will drive a car into and out of a space remotely. Similarly, the Ioniq 6 features level 2 driving assistance with lane changing assist if you’re too lazy to turn the wheel yourself. Ultimate grade cars also get digital mirrors instead of traditional wing mirrors, whose screens fit into the ‘wings’ of the dashboard. I confess, I’m not a fan of such systems.

Battery, motor and performance

The Ioniq 6 is based on the same e-GMP platform as Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 and the Kia EV6 and EV9, which as an overall package is one of the best in the business.

You can have your Ioniq 6 with a single rear-mounted motor offering 225bhp and a 338-mile range from the 77.4kWh battery. Or, like my test car, you can have an additional motor bringing all-wheel-drive and an increase to 321bhp but a 5% decrease in range to 322 miles.

I tested it during a particularly cold week and didn’t treat it sympathetically, with no preconditioning and short, cold runs. In those conditions, it was predicting a range of around 250 miles, rather than 322 and struggled to get above 3m/kWh. That’s still not bad for a car of this size in those conditions and, given my past experience of this platform, I’d expect it to improve markedly as the temperature rises. There’s the added bonus of the car’s 350kW charging capability, which can take it from 10-80% in just over 30 minutes.

Charging is ultra-rapid with the Ioniq 6’s 350kW capability

On the road, the Ioniq 6 shares the same smooth, easy driving experience of the Ioniq 5. The twin-motor setup provides decent shove – 0-62mph takes just 5.1 seconds – but there isn’t the sportiness of something like a Polestar 2 dual motor or BMW i4. Rather, the steering is light but predictable and feels set up for easy cruising, with decent low-speed manoeuvrability.

At lower speeds, the ride can be a little on the firm side but out of town it seems to settle down and long distances can be covered in comfort, with very little in the way of noise intrusion – once again aided by that slippery shape.

Price and specification

The Ioniq 6 starts at £47,040 for a single-motor Premium spec car, with the extra motor of my test car costing £3,500. Every version comes with a generous specification including 20-inch alloys, front and rear heated seats, adaptive headlights, adaptive cruise control, a powered tailgate and keyless entry/start.

Another £3,500 will get you to Ultimate spec which brings those weird door cameras, automatic pop-out door handles, and a head-up display. There’s also a Bose sound system, plus a panoramic sunroof, cooled front seats, and remote parking. The First Edition spec is £55,290 and is largely about aesthetic upgrades including a unique wheel design and full leather upholstery with tartan fabric inserts.


Hyundai’s press materials harp on about the ‘emotional ties between humans and automobiles’. Truthfully, I can’t see many people getting emotionally attached to the Ioniq 6, it’s not that kind of vehicle. But what it is is a massively impressive high-tech car that drives nicely, charges remarkably quickly and proves you don’t need a stupid SUV shape to offer oodles of passenger space.

The Hyundai Ioniq 6’s design will split opinions

Hyundai Ioniq 6 Premium AWD

  • Price: £50,540
  • Powertrain: dual-motor, all-wheel-drive
  • Battery: 77.4kWh
  • Power: 321bhp
  • Torque: 446lb ft
  • Top speed: 115mph
  • 0-62mph: 5.1 seconds
  • Range: 322 miles
  • Consumption: 3.67m/kWh
  • Charging: up to 350kW

Matt Allan

Matt is Editor of EV Powered. He has worked in journalism for more than 20 years and been an automotive journalist for the last decade, covering every aspect of the industry, from new model reveals and reviews to consumer and driving advice. The former motoring editor of inews.co.uk, The Scotsman and National World, Matt has watched the EV landscape transform beyond recognition over the last 10 years and developed a passion for electric vehicles and what they mean for the future of transport - from the smallest city cars to the biggest battery-powered trucks. When he’s not driving or writing about electric cars, he’s figuring out how to convert his classic VW camper to electric power.

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