The Hyundai Ioniq 6 from South Korea is the latest challenger to the top-selling Tesla Model 3 electric sedan. Is the base model the pick of the range?
- Excellent energy efficiency with 450km highway range
- Comfortable ride, brisk performance
- High-tech and user-friendly interior
- Price can’t compete with Tesla Model 3
- Cramped rear-seat headroom and foot-room, shallow boot
- Constant beeping from speed-sign recognition system
2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 Dynamiq
Hyundai is the latest automaker to take on Australia’s all-time best-selling electric vehicle, the Tesla Model 3.
The Hyundai Ioniq 6 is the second model in the South Korean car giant’s new-generation range of ‘Ioniq’ electric-only vehicles, on a new electric-car ‘skateboard’ platform shared by Hyundai, Kia and the Genesis luxury division.
With its ‘streamliner’ looks – with a teardrop profile and hints of Porsche in the rear end – the Ioniq 6 looks nothing like the retro-inspired Ioniq 5 super-sized hatchback that came before it, and the chunky Ioniq 7 seven-seat family SUV due to follow next year.
The trade-off for the divisive looks is a slipperier body than all but one new car on sale in Australia today – and the longest driving range of any electric car under $100,000. Is it the long-range electric car to buy?
How much does the Hyundai Ioniq 6 cost in Australia?
There are three models in the Hyundai Ioniq 6 range: the rear-wheel-drive Dynamiq, mid-grade all-wheel-drive Techniq, and top-of-the-range all-wheel-drive Epiq.
The vehicle we have on test is the Dynamiq priced from $74,000 plus on-road costs – or about $76,500 drive-away, according to Hyundai Australia’s online price calculator based on a Sydney postcode.
The closest rival to the Ioniq 6 is the Tesla Model 3 sedan, which was listed at $57,400 plus on-road costs in base rear-wheel-drive (RWD) form as this review was published, or $70,400 plus on-road costs for the next model up, the all-wheel-drive Long Range, after a recent price cut.
The Ioniq 6 Dynamiq costs $16,600 more before on-roads than the base Tesla Model 3 – and is slower to accelerate from 0–100km/h (7.4sec for the Hyundai vs 6.1sec for the Tesla according to manufacturer claims).
But the Ioniq 6 Dynamiq’s claimed 614km driving range is closer to the Model 3 Long Range (602km) than the Model 3 RWD (491km).
The Ioniq 6 Dynamiq is too expensive to qualify for electric-car government rebates in many Australian states and territories, including $3000 in New South Wales and South Australia, $3500 in Western Australia and $6000 in Queensland.
Standard features in the Ioniq 6 Dynamiq include 18-inch alloy wheels with a tyre repair kit, adaptive LED headlights, dual 12.3-inch interior displays, wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, embedded satellite navigation, an eight-speaker Bose stereo, keyless entry and start, dual-zone air-conditioning, power boot lid, head-up display, leather-appointed trim, heated power-adjustable front seats, and a full suite of advanced safety technology.
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|Key details||2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 Dynamiq|
|Price||$74,000 plus on-road costs|
|Colour of test car||Biophyllic Ink|
|Drive-away price||$76,558 (NSW)|
|Rivals||Tesla Model 3 | Polestar 2 | BYD Seal|
How much space does the Hyundai Ioniq 6 have inside?
The interior of the Hyundai Ioniq 6 makes full use of its dedicated electric-car platform – for better, and for worse.
There’s no need to package a transmission – and the gear selector is column-mounted, as a stalk on the steering wheel – so there’s a large open storage area under the centre console, long door bins that can hold medium-sized bottles, plenty of oddment storage along the centre console, and a deep centre storage compartment.
The window controls and door lock switches are grouped on the centre console, freeing up the door panels to fit a large storage slot along the top, a longer armrest, and tasteful ambient lighting that gives off a pleasant glow at night.
While storage space is generally good, the electric-car platform – and ‘skateboard’ battery pack under the floor – bring compromises in passenger space.
The under-floor battery aids ingress – as the floor is further from the road – but it means there’s less space between the seat base and the floor, so taller drivers can feel their knees are perched in the air, and their thighs aren’t adequately supported by the seat base.
The front seats are comfortable on long drives, with “eco-processed” leather seat trim, heating and power adjustment with adjustable lumbar support. However, they don’t provide much lateral support in tight corners, and we’re not sure how well the white seat trim in our test car will resist stains from denim jeans over years of ownership.
The steering wheel is trimmed in a premium-feeling leather-look material, and has a thick rim that gives a reassuring feel, but this may not be to all drivers’ tastes.
Fun fact: the four dots on the steering wheel – in place of a traditional Hyundai badge – translate to the letter ‘H’ in Morse code.
Perceived quality is generally good, and there are soft materials on the door and centre-console armrests, but the tops of the front door panels are hard plastic.
Amenities up front include a wireless smartphone charging pad, two USB-C ports, one 12-volt outlet, keyless (proximity-key) entry and start, a glovebox drawer (which is on the small side), extendable sun visors, and two cupholders in the centre console – though they are a fraction too large to prevent a 600ml drink bottle from rattling around in them.
The electric-car architecture’s compromises in passenger space at the front are also applicable in the rear.
Legroom is plentiful behind my driving position at 186cm tall; however, the sloping roof line cuts into headroom for taller occupants – while the battery pack under the floor means the seat bases are low and don’t deliver much under-thigh support, and there is little space under the front seats to slide your toes into.
It is easier to carry three rear passengers abreast as the floor is flat, and the cabin is relatively wide, but taller occupants may still struggle on a long journey, particularly in the perched middle seat.
There is a fold-down centre armrest with cupholders, rear air vents, two USB-C charging ports, map pockets on both front seats, door pockets large enough for small water bottles, three top-tether and two ISOFIX child-seat anchor points, and auto up/down functionality on the rear windows as well as the fronts.
Hyundai quotes 401L of boot capacity behind the rear seats. Despite its sleek silhouette the Ioniq 6 is a sedan, not a hatchback, which makes packing taller items trickier through a boot opening that is on the narrow side.
The seats can be lowered in a 60:40 split to load longer items, while there’s a few extra litres under the boot floor, and 45L of storage space under the bonnet. As with most electric cars, there is no spare wheel, only a puncture repair kit.
The Ioniq 6 offers support for vehicle-to-load (V2L), which allows the car’s battery to power small electrical devices from a power outlet under the rear seats, or using an adapter that connects to the external charging port.
|2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 Dynamiq|
|Boot volume||401L seats up
45L front storage area
Does the Hyundai Ioniq 6 have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?
Standard in the Hyundai Ioniq 6 is a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen with wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, in-built satellite navigation, AM/FM/DAB+ digital radio, two-connection Bluetooth, and over-the-air software updates.
The infotainment system is generally quick to respond to inputs – though not lightning fast, and there is some loading time between menus – and is relatively straightforward to use once you have learnt how to navigate its wealth of menus and applications.
Although the Ioniq 6 is a new release, this infotainment system has been used in Hyundai and Kia cars for a few years now, and has just been superseded by new ‘ccNC’ software in the new Hyundai Kona small SUV – which may be added to this vehicle with an update or facelift later in its life cycle.
Apple CarPlay worked flawlessly in our testing, with quick responses and a full-screen experience that makes use of the entire display.
Hyundai and Kia models with this infotainment system – and in-built satellite navigation – such as the Ioniq 6 do not offer wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto connectivity.
Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are expected to come to future models with the ‘ccNC’ infotainment system and in-built navigation, but here’s hoping the wired versions are retained as back-ups, as Drive has found wireless CarPlay and Android Auto in current Hyundai models that offer them to be unreliable with regular drop-outs.
There is a bank of touch-sensitive buttons to control key air-conditioning functions below the touchscreen, which are easier to use on the road than buttons on a touchscreen, but more distracting than physical switches and dials.
However, functions such as the heated seat controls are hidden in a screen menu, and require you to tap the ‘Climate’ touch button on the air-con panel to access.
The instrument cluster is bright and easy to read, with futuristic bar graphics for the speed and power gauge, but it can’t display a full-screen map like top-of-the-range Volkswagen cars.
All examples of the Ioniq 6 in Australia come standard with an eight-speaker Bose premium sound system. Audio quality with a range of music genres was above average, though it can’t match the in-house-designed system in an equivalently priced Tesla.
Also included is a five-year subscription to Hyundai’s Bluelink connected-car features, with a smartphone app allowing owners to remotely lock or unlock the car, locate it in a car park, call emergency services, heat the cabin remotely, enter a valet mode, and a range of other functions.
Is the Hyundai Ioniq 6 a safe car?
The Hyundai Ioniq 6 earned a five-star ANCAP safety rating under the recently superseded 2020–2022 protocols based on testing conducted by ANCAP’s European counterpart Euro NCAP last year.
It earned category scores of 97 per cent for adult occupant protection, 88 per cent for child occupant protection, 66 per cent for vulnerable road user protection, and 90 for safety assist technology.
What safety technology does the Hyundai Ioniq 6 have?
Standard advanced safety features across the Ioniq 6 range include autonomous emergency braking with car/pedestrian/cyclist detection and support for intersections, lane-keep assist, lane-centring assist, blind-spot monitoring (with detection and braking for obstacles), rear cross-traffic alert (detection and braking), adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, automatic high beams, traffic sign recognition, a driver attention monitor, tyre pressure monitoring, and door exit warning.
Also standard are front, side and rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera with moving guidelines, a 360-degree camera (with top-down and 3D views), hands-free parking, blind-spot cameras, and Remote Smart Parking Assist, which allows the vehicle to be moved forwards or backwards out of a parking space from the key when standing beside the car.
These advanced safety systems are in addition to seven airbags – including one between the front seats to prevent occupants’ heads clashing in a severe side-impact crash – plus three rear top-tether points, two ISOFIX mounting points, and front and rear seatbelt reminders.
We did not find the lane-keep assist system to be intrusive, and the adaptive cruise control works effectively (though it could be more eager to accelerate when the car ahead moves off from a standstill), though we did experience a false activation of the autonomous emergency braking system.
The lane-centring assist system is one of the best, and takes much of the effort out of long-distance driving. This is not a fully autonomous car – and the driver must pay attention to the road at all times, with their hands on the steering wheel – but the wheel only needs a subtle wiggle every 15 seconds to remind the car you’re still there and alert.
However, the traffic-sign recognition system was a constant source of frustration during our time with the car – and was more distracting than helpful.
In addition to reading speed signs and displaying a visual warning when you cross the speed limit, the system in the Ioniq 6 will beep when you exceed the signposted speed the car has detected.
There may be value in the feature if you’re over the limit when approaching a speed camera, but it will beep every time the car creeps 1km/h over the speed limit – no matter whether it read the correct limit or not.
That includes detecting the lower speed on a motorway off-ramp, recognising a 40km/h school zone at midday on a Sunday (when school zones aren’t in effect), holding onto a 10km/h speed limit in a car park when you pull onto a public road, and misreading variable speed limit signs.
These mistakes are common to most traffic-sign recognition systems, not just the one in the Hyundai Ioniq 6, which is also used in other new Hyundai and Kia cars, including the new Hyundai Kona and Kia Seltos SUVs. However, other systems stop at a visual warning when you exceed the speed limit rather than beep at you.
The system can be turned off, but it requires four taps through menus in the touchscreen to do so, switching the audio warning off also deactivates the visual alert, and the feature re-enables automatically the next time you start the car.
How much does the Hyundai Ioniq 6 cost to maintain?
The Hyundai Ioniq 6 is covered by a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, with a battery warranty that is valid for eight years or 160,000km, whichever comes first.
Routine maintenance is required every two years (24 months) or 30,000km – double the industry standard for petrol-powered cars, which is typically 12 months/15,000km.
Each of the first four services – until eight years or 120,000km – costs $560, before the price increases to $865 for the 10-year/150,000km service.
For now the Ioniq 6 can only be serviced at about half of the Hyundai Australia dealer network – 83 ‘Bluedrive’ dealerships of 163 nationally – which are certified to maintain electric vehicles, but this is planned to expand to all locations in due course.
A year of comprehensive insurance coverage costs approximately $1580 from one leading insurer based on a comparative quote for a 35-year-old male driver living in Chatswood, NSW. Insurance estimates may vary based on your location, driving history, and personal circumstances.
|At a glance||2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 Dynamiq|
|Warranty||Five years, unlimited km
Eight years, 160,000km (high-voltage battery)
|Service intervals||24 months or 30,000km|
|Servicing costs||$560 (2 years)
$1120 (4 years)
$1680 (6 years)
Is the Hyundai Ioniq 6 energy-efficient?
Hyundai claims the Ioniq 6 will use 14.3kWh of electricity per 100 kilometres in mixed driving (urban and highway) in lab-test conditions, for a claimed 614km of driving range.
Over 700km and a week of testing – biased 60:40 to freeway driving – we observed energy consumption of 15.0kWh/100km, which would translate to about 515km of real-world driving range.
In slow-speed city commuting, the trip computer listed consumption closer to 13kWh/100km – equating to about 600km of driving range if you can maintain that consumption across a longer distance, based on the 77.4kWh battery capacity claimed by Hyundai.
A 250km highway driving-range test loop at 110km/h – on the Hume Highway south of Sydney – returned energy consumption of 16.5kWh/100km.
This translates to a highway driving range of about 460km from a full battery – or 320km from 10 to 80 per cent charge, which is reflective of typical use on a long-distance road trip: turning off the highway to recharge when the battery is running low, and unplugging at 80 per cent when the charging speed drops as the battery nears full capacity.
The Ioniq 6’s electrical system runs at 800 volts, and Hyundai claims it is capable of accepting energy at up to 350kW on a DC fast charger, for a 10 to 80 per cent recharge in “approximately” 18 minutes.
However, as testing of other cars on Hyundai’s new electric-car platform by media outlets in Australia and overseas has found, the maximum charging speed is closer to 230kW.
In our testing, we beat Hyundai’s claimed charging time, achieving a 10 to 80 per cent recharge in about 17 minutes and 30 seconds – but the maximum charging speed we observed on a 350kW Evie socket in Sydney’s west was 237kW, well short of the 350kW claim.
For the tech heads and electric-car fans, we took notes on how the car was charging at five per cent intervals while plugged in. We’ve collated the data into the graph above.
Wondering why car manufacturers usually only quote fast-charging times to 80 per cent? Think of the battery like a glass of water – you slow down how quickly you pour as the water nears the top. As the battery approaches full capacity it doesn’t charge as quickly, and often the final 20 per cent can take as long as the first 80 per cent.
We observed a charging speed of 121kW at 80 per cent, before dropping to 80kW at 85 per cent, 50kW at 90 per cent, and just 32kW at 95 per cent. In our testing it took nearly 13 minutes to charge from 80 to 95 per cent – the same time it took to boost from 30 to 80 per cent.
|Energy Efficiency||Energy Stats|
|Energy cons. (claimed)||14.3kWh/100km|
|Energy cons. (on test)||15.0kWh/100km|
|Driving range claim (WLTP)||460km|
|Charge time (11kW)||11h 45min (10–100%)|
|Charge time (50kW)||1h 13min (10–80%)|
|Charge time (350kW max rate)||17min 30sec (as-tested 10–80%, 350kW claimed, 237kW tested)|
What is the Hyundai Ioniq 6 like to drive?
The 168kW/350Nm outputs of the Hyundai Ioniq 6 Dynamiq’s single rear electric motor may seem modest for a big sedan with two tonnes of mass to shift, but performance is brisk and you’re not left wanting for more in most scenarios.
The power is delivered smoothly – rather than slamming you back into the seat – and there’s more than enough punch for zipping into gaps in traffic or completing overtakes. Sport mode sharpens the accelerator-pedal response and adds weight to the steering.
We recorded a 7.2sec zero to 100km/h acceleration time, beating Hyundai’s claim by two-tenths of a second (7.4sec) – though it’s still about a second slower than a base rear-wheel-drive Tesla Model 3.
As with other Hyundai and Kia electric cars there are four regenerative braking modes – from coasting with little to no deceleration, to a one-pedal mode that can bring the car to a full stop – controlled using paddles on the back of the steering wheel (rather than menus in the touchscreen).
We spent most of our time in one-pedal mode, and found it easy to get along with once you learn how to modulate your accelerator pedal inputs so the car stops on the traffic-light line. One-pedal mode means the brake pedal is touched only in quick stops.
Should you need to slam the brakes in an emergency – and call on the disc (‘friction’) brakes – the Ioniq 6 pulls up respectably, recording a 100km/h to zero stopping distance of 37m, which is good for a car of this weight, size and type.
The brake pedal feels confident and easy to modulate in a panic stop, though at speeds under 10km/h – and out of one-pedal driving mode – they can feel grabby and over-sensitive as regenerative braking is mixed with the ‘friction’ brakes.
Ride comfort over bumps is good, absorbing big hits and potholes well and settling quickly. It edges towards the firmer side of comfortable, and can feel a touch busy over repeated stretches of ripples in the road, but by no means is it stiff or uncomfortable – and it’s more compliant over dimpled city streets than a base Tesla Model 3.
Wind noise and tyre roar are well suppressed at freeway speeds, and the suspension is the loudest thing you’ll hear on a 110km/h cruise, though some additional noise can come into the cabin on coarse-chip surfaces.
The low centre of gravity – thanks to the under-floor battery – and ample power mean enthusiast drivers can still find fun in how this base-model Ioniq 6 drives.
This isn’t meant to be a sports car, but enthusiast drivers can find fun in how the base Ioniq 6 drives, as the rear-wheel-drive layout pushes rather than pulls the car around bends.
The Hankook tyres deliver decent grip, if not performance-car levels of traction, and it feels surprisingly agile for such a large car, with body roll modest and well controlled.
In Normal mode the steering is pleasantly light for parking in the city – aided by an array of front, side, rear and top-down cameras, including a 3D view – with Sport mode adding weight for a more reassuring feel during faster driving.
The headlights are projector LED units and offer great illumination under low and high beams.
|Key details||2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 Dynamiq|
|Engine||Single electric motor|
|Drive type||Rear-wheel drive|
|Spare tyre type||Tyre repair kit|
|Tow rating||1500kg braked
Should I buy a Hyundai Ioniq 6?
Sedans may not be in vogue amid the buyer shift to SUVs, but the Hyundai Ioniq 6 is an excellent electric car – and a formidable rival for the top-selling Tesla Model 3.
Its styling may not be to all tastes, but the sleek body delivers excellent real-world driving range and frugal energy efficiency, backed up by ultra-fast charging, user-friendly technology, a comfortable ride, and enjoyable handling and performance.
We are yet to get more expensive Ioniq 6 variants through the Drive garage, but the performance and features on offer in the Dynamiq don’t make you feel you’re missing out by sticking with the ‘base model’.
However, the price doesn’t feel befitting of a base model. The circa-$17,000 difference between this and a rear-wheel-drive Tesla Model 3 is hard to ignore, and although the Tesla can’t travel as far between recharges, the price gap buys you a lot of fast charging – and plenty of snacks at roadside service stations while the car is plugged in.
The Ioniq 6’s interior also isn’t as roomy as it should be – and the infuriating speed-sign recognition system may be a deal-breaker for some buyers.
But if you’re looking for a comfortable and well-equipped electric car that looks different from the rest, and feel it is worth the asking price, the Hyundai Ioniq 6 Dynamiq is worth adding to your shopping list.
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