✓ Superb-polarising looks
✓ Equipment… plenty of it
✓ Drives well
✘ Superb-polarising looks
✘ Some ergonomic issues
South Korean automaker, Hyundai, probably draws different impressions from different generations of buyers. While their early cars were seen as basic-affordable transport, and almost the same could be said for those produced in the early 2000s: today, the auto brand is an outright industry giant, releasing to the public, anything from cheerful A-Segment Hatchbacks, to the G90 flagship sedan, the latter under its Genesis luxury brand. The G90 is telling of how far they have come, as it goes on to compete with the BMW 7-Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Lexus LS and Audi A8.
Hyundai’s previous generation Kona and Ioniq EVs, marked the brand’s foray into the then new mass-market EV whitespace. More recently, the first locally-assembled car in decades made the news, as Hyundai decided to choose Singapore as one of the locations they’d build the Ioniq 5. All of this is testament to the determination of the Koreans, to getting things right.
Today, the Ioniq name no longer represents a single car model exclusively. It has (at least) for now, loosely become Hyundai’s new all-electric sub-brand; and the Ioniq 6 seen here, is their second offering.
Hyundai’s new EV takes the form of a “sort-of” sedan with a kamm tail. While it has a front-end which looks the part of any new sedan or hatch you may see out there today, the rear-end is quite literally what happens when a SAAB 900 meets an air-cooled Porsche 911, and then “Rick and Mortied” from another dimension. And while the way the Ioniq 6’s rear quarters may be quite polarising, I actually think that it is one of those things which grows on you… much like the face of the BMW M3 (ok, I know I am pushing it to add one more link, but I really dig those nostrils. Pun intended).
But beyond its somewhat controversial looks, Hyundai’s D-Segment EV is truly an impressive offering. You do not have to dig deep to see that this is a serious effort by the automaker to set the bar very-very high. And we get to drive the best example, as Komoco Motors only offers the Ioniq 6 only in range-topping AWD 77.4kWh guise.
The front motor produces 100hp, while the one at the rear, which does the bulk of the work, puts out 225hp. Maximum torque at 605Nm, is enough almost twice over for a car of its size. The rear-biased drive setup is also a good thing, because this allows the rear wheels to bite down harder when accelerating.
On paper, the range-topping Ioniq 6 boasts an impressive 0-100km/h time of 5.1 seconds, which is quick by most standards. But what matters to me more, is in how effortlessly and rapidly you can cover ground, especially when easing the car onto a highway. But the good in the car does not stop at how quick it is. When brought to cruise, you can tell that Hyundai have invested their time in sorting out insulation. If I were to fuss, there is a tiny bit of wind noise, which is emitted from the conventional wing mirrors. I stress tiny… The Ioniq 6 has the option of door-mounted cameras intended for better aero elsewhere in the world, which in-turn reduce wind noise. But from my own experience (like in this Audi), which limits your rear view, you will not be missing much.
I must say that while the Ioniq 6 might have the straight line performance to match its sporty styling, going straight is the easy part. But stick it into a bend, and you’d realise that the chassis feels simply well-sorted, and decently communicative. But remember, it does have to accommodate a huge battery along with two motors, so it would be heavier than similar-sized ICE offerings (like this Volkswagen Arteon); and therefore it carries more inertia with it during directional changes. However, its handling is definitely good enough to put a smile on your face. Perhaps one gripe I have, is that the steering does feel somewhat artificial, though not totally devoid of feel.
There are four brake regeneration presets for the Ioniq 6, ranging from zero power clawback, to Level 4 regen. Adjusting them is as easy as pulling on the paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. While driving at Level 4 lets you drive almost with just one foot, I find that with maximum brake regeneration this is without a doubt, the most uncomfortable way to get around in any EV. As for myself, my driving style is one of maximising momentum. So I have a preference of gliding over distances, with the brake regeneration almost always turned off. With a mix of highway and a little more city driving, I managed 17.1kWh/100km, which is close to Hyundai’s official posted 16.9kWh/100km consumption figures – pretty good I feel.
Away from how the Ioniq 6 performs, Hyundai also has to be given props for the quality of its cabin. The frosted silver-trimmed dark interior is well put together, and nothing here creaks. The EV’s green theme is echoed through the use of a whole host of eco-friendly and recycled materials; which include fibres made from sugarcane waste, BIO-paint surfaces which are based on rapeseed flower and corn extract, and carpets from recycled fishing nets.
Most things are impressive the way they are in the cabin. However, I do feel that some of the switchgear is not in its best placement. The column style drive selector, located low on the right, does occasionally squash against your knee; therefore I would have preferred a conventional selector tab on the centre console, like in this Audi Q3… and then go on to move those window switches onto the door cards… where they’d normally be. If you find the odd-shaped fins at each end of the dashboard strange, they are actually the blanks where the displays for the door-mounted rear cameras would have been.
But I must say that aside from this drive selector positioning quirk, there is plenty going for the Ioniq 6. The dashboard gets a neat integrated display, housing both a 12.3-inch digital cluster for the driver, and a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen. The latter is easy to navigate, and I am glad that Hyundai has committed to keeping physical menu buttons alive.
If you live for a car with creature comforts, topped with heaps of equipment, the Ioniq 6 does not disappoint too. I begin with a wireless mobile device charger, located below the air-conditioning control touchscreen. The front “Relaxation Comfort” seats come ventilated, and recline, so that you can well… relax, at a touch of a button. Premium audio, for your enjoyment, is supplied by BOSE. There is also an AC power socket located at the base of the rear seats, which is part of the Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) feature – great if you choose to use the car as your mobile office, or have the need to power devices outside of the vehicle (where you can tap from the Type 2 socket).
The Ioniq 6’s 77.4kWh battery takes on a full charge from an 11kW AC slow charger in around 7 hours. However, if you need to get back onto the road quickly, the battery accepts 350kWh DC charging, which gets the battery to 80 percent, in 18 minutes.
For the driver, the Hyundai SmartSense suite adds a comprehensive list of driver aid and safety features, which include a 360-degree top-down Surround View Monitor (SVM), and their Blind-Spot View Monitor, which provides a view of the immediate side of your vehicle – when utilising the corresponding indicator light. More common features include Adaptive Cruise-Control, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA), and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA). Like in the updated Palisade, the Ioniq 6 also has the Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA) function, which allows you to remotely slot the car into a single lot, located in-between two pillars at maybe… Queensway Shopping Centre, after you exit the car.
Unfortunately, we are currently living in high COE season, so this means that Hyundai’s shiny, new Ioniq 6 currently costs an eye-watering $272,888*. You are getting a car which is better-equipped, and still less costly than the premium-badged Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor (this example is with the Performance Pack). Now we just need to see how it stacks up against the BYD Seal.
*Correct at time of publication
2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 AWD
Drivetrain: Full electric
Electric Motor / Layout: Dual motor / Front and rear
Motor Power / Torque: 320hp / 605Nm
Battery Type / Capacity: Lithium-ion, 77.4kWh
Standard Charge Time / Type: 7 hours 10 mins / 11kW AC
Fast Charge Time / Type: 18 minutes (10-80%) / 350kW DC
Electric Range: 519km
0-100km/h: 5.1 seconds
Top Speed: 185km/h
VES Band: A1 / -S$25,000
Agent: Komoco Motors
Price: S$272,888 including COE
Availability: July 2023
Verdict: An impressive drive, with an equally impressive list of equipment. Hyundai’s Ioniq 6 is telling of the Korean brand’s determination to set the bar really high.