Hyundai Ioniq 6 Drive Review: Gangnam Style

By benchia, 07 July 2023

Hyundai Ioniq 6 Drive Review: Gangnam Style

Seoul, South Korea – Twenty years ago, if someone told you that South Korea would be a global leader in pop culture, and produce a futuristic electric car that looks like nothing else on the road, you’ll probably be laughed out of the room and asked to have your head checked.

But here we are today, living in a world where K-pop stars like BTS and Blackpink are an inescapable part of modern life, and where Hyundai is churning out stylish and desirable cars that are attractive in their own right, leaving its bargain basement roots far behind.

Within the space of a few years, Hyundai has also gone from EV upstart to serious leading contenders to watch, and probably no other car encapsulates that spirit more than the new Ioniq 6.

The Ioniq 6, to put it bluntly, is Hyundai’s attempt to take on the likes of the Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2.

Those are pretty ambitious targets, not least given the success of Elon’s baby sedan, but initial impressions at least seem to be favourable to the Ioniq 6 in quite a few aspects.

It’s quite a head-turner, for one, with its bendy styling evoking images of those Art Deco cars from over a century ago.

Of course, there’s a reason for the car’s curves, and the shape is designed for optimised aerodynamic efficiency.

Nevertheless, the effect does come out quite well, and the rear end especially, with its small boot spoiler and sporty detailing, giving out a hint of a Porsche 911 vibe.

The design also helps to mask the car’s size – especially in pictures – as the Ioniq 6 is a pretty sizeable vehicle, measuring in at 4,855mm long and 1,880mm wide, making it larger than a BMW 3 Series.

Hyundai has also sought to maximise the size and the packaging advantages of an EV, by pushing the wheels out to the corners, and giving the Ioniq 6 a pretty impressive 2,950mm wheelbase, resulting in an interior that offers plenty of room for occupants to stretch out.

Most of the interior is equally futuristic as the exterior, and the most obvious feature that you notice immediately is the digital camera wing mirrors that’s similar to the system found on the Audi e-tron (although it is said that the feature has not yet been approved for Singapore-bound Ioniq 6s).

The other cabin oddity is the placement of the window switches on the centre console, which is a throwback to European cars of old, and is something that requires a while to get used to.

The rest of the cabin is typical modern EV, with the now-ubiquitous twin screen setup that’s seen on nearly every new car today, and comprises two 12.3-inch displays for the central information system and the driver instrument display.

Interestingly though, there are a row of physical buttons for quick access to the navigation and audio functions, which is pretty handy and intuitive especially in today’s world where large touchscreens dominate.

All the better for you to focus on the drive then, and the Ioniq 6 delivers plenty to impress on that front.

Our driving impressions were formed on a short drive on South Korean highways, and so may be slightly limited for now.

However, what we can tell you is that the Ioniq 6 is exceptionally quiet even at high speed, and offers a ride that’s pretty well-damped, with excellent body control.

There’s also an impressive sense of stability, thanks to its low centre of gravity, and we experienced this first hand on a taxi ride round Hyundai’s high speed test track at their R&D centre outside of Seoul where the car hit an indicated 190km/h without a fuss.

We’ll reserve our judgement on handling until we can get a full test drive, but so far things appear to be quite promising.

The car we drove in Korea was the dual motor AWD variant with 320hp and 605Nm of torque, all delivered very smoothly and effectively.

There’s just a hint of sportiness, but it doesn’t quite deliver the wild drama of a Tesla Model 3.

However, this is also a plus point for drivers who want something that’s less wacky and more down-to-earth. Nevertheless, 0-100km/h in 5.1secs is a pretty creditable effort, as is the claimed 519km range from the 77.4kWh battery.

The Ioniq 6 is a real demonstration of how far Hyundai has come in such a short span of time, and far be it for it to be merely a pretender to the crown, the fact that the Ioniq 6 has legitimate claims to challenge the industry’s best is an indication of how seriously one needs to take Hyundai as a brand right now.

If this is what they can come up with today, imagine the progress they will make a further twenty years from now.

Are you PSY'ched yet?

PHOTOS Hyundai

2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 AWD

Battery 77.4kWh
Electric Motor 320hp / 605Nm
Electric Range 519km
0-100km/h 5.1 seconds
Top Speed 185km/h
Efficiency 16.9kWh/100km

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