2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 Review: This is a Sleek Electric Thrill

The Hyundai Ioniq 6 offers unique design elements, silky acceleration and customizable tech. It's enough to make you consider avoiding the gas pump altogether.

I Really Enjoyed The Ride In The Hyundai Ioniq 6.
I really enjoyed the ride in the Hyundai Ioniq 6. Photo: Annika Carter

Gas-Powered Cars, Move Over. 

Every time I sit behind the wheel of an electric car, I forget just how quiet and comfortable the ride is, and the 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6, which starts at $42,250, is no different. The cabin is almost eerily quiet at low speeds, interrupted only by the whining of the electric motor (under 25 mph). At higher speeds, the motor is silent, and the only noise in the cabin is the wind and the occasional road noise as the tires hit a bump. Returning to a gas car suddenly seems loud.

The ride in the Hyundai Ioniq 6 is also very smooth. The suspension easily glides over small bumps in the road, better than some luxury SUVs I have driven in the past. Overall, the electric driving experience is nothing short of exquisite, even with the standard cloth seats in the Ioniq 6 SE. When driving in traffic, the instant torque from the electric motor comes in handy, making merging a breeze. While the torque hits almost instantly, the acceleration feels smooth and safe, with the car never breaking traction, even when accelerating out of a turn.

Related: Hyundai Ioniq 6: The Sporty Sedan with All the Electric Car Loveliness 

The Ioniq 6 Is Sleek On The Road Or On The Charger. Photo: Annika Carter

The Ioniq 6 is sleek on the road or on the charger. Photo: Annika Carter

Ioniq 6’s Range Goes the Distance 

The Ioniq 6 I test drove was an SE with the standard single-motor drivetrain powering only the two rear wheels, but a dual-motor, all-wheel drive drivetrain is available. The very base model Ioniq 6 comes equipped with a smaller, 6.0-kWh battery, but the SE Long Range, as tested, has a larger, 77.3-kWh battery that is estimated to get 360 miles on a full charge. From my test, this range seems fairly accurate in city driving, especially with the maximum regenerative braking turned on. On the highway, though, the range drops much quicker, so do not expect to drive the full 360 miles on a long road trip driving 75 mph. Only the larger, 77.3-kWh battery is available on the AWD version, but the range is shorter – rated at 270 miles.

Hyundai prides the Ioniq 6 as having a quick charging battery, as well. I found that, at a DC fast charger, I was able to charge from 26% to 80% in 19 minutes, nwhich is what the company advertises.

Related: Electrify Expo is the Electric Car Shopping Festival You Need

There'S A Great Suite Of Safety Features In The Ioniq 6. Photo Annika Carter

There’s a great suite of safety features in the Ioniq 6. Photo: Annika Carter

Safety System Sensors Can Be Customized

In modern Hyundai fashion, the Ioniq 6 is equipped with many standard safety features, including front collision avoidance, blind-spot monitors, lane keep assist and active cruise control. The sensitivity of the front collision mitigation system was tunable, allowing each driver to set the sensitivity to their preferred level.

I would have loved to have a similar setting for the parking sensors – I found the front and rear parking sensors (especially the front sensors) to be quite sensitive. A few times, the front parking sensors beeped momentarily while I was just sitting at a red light, although this could have just been a technical malfunction in the particular vehicle I was driving.

Lane keep assist was also a nice feature, although, without steering assist on, I found lane keep assist to be a little sensitive, as well. I did enjoy the lane keep feature when the steering assist was also turned on. Keep in mind, your hands do need to remain on the wheel at all times and the Hyundai Ioniq 6 has no full self-driving capabilities.

Related: 2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N First Drive: Irresistible Fun 

The Hyundai Ioniq 6. Photo Annika Carter

The Hyundai Ioniq 6. Photo: Annika Carter

Wondrous One-Pedal Driving

The regenerative braking is also adjustable in the Ioniq 6, which would likely be a welcome feature for someone just learning how to drive with the one-pedal operation of an electric car. One-pedal driving, called iPedal in the Ioniq 6, is a setting that essentially allows you to increase or decrease your speed just with the accelerator, and you can even come to a full stop without using the brake. You can adjust the amount of regenerative braking using the paddles behind the steering wheel.

It is adjustable from Level 1, with almost no regenerative braking when the gas is released that will not illuminate the brake lights, to Level 3, with significant regenerative braking that will illuminate the brake lights. From level 3, another tap of the left-hand paddle while driving will put the car into iPedal mode, my personal favorite, that allows for true one-pedal driving. In this mode, when the gas pedal is released, the brakes are applied. For someone coming from a gas-powered car, this setting may take some getting used to.

Related: How to Decide if an Electric Car is Right for You

Driver Information In The Hyundai Ioniq 6. Photo Annika Carter

Driver information in the Hyundai Ioniq 6. Photo: Annika Carter

Trying All the Modes in the Hyundai Ioniq 6

Adding to the easy personalization of the Ioniq 6, the vehicle has three selectable drive modes that all give a pronounced difference in driving. To aid in my range test, I primarily drove the vehicle in Eco mode, which has the least response from the gas pedal. Sport mode gives the vehicle a sportier feel with a much more responsive pedal and noticeably greater acceleration. Between the two is Normal driving mode.

The drive modes are selectable with a single button on the steering wheel. This button allows the driver to cycle through the drive modes, although I would have loved some sort of dial selector so I could switch from Eco to Sport without having to cycle through Normal first.

The Rear Seats In The Hyundai Ioniq 6. Photo: Annika Carter

The rear seats in the Hyundai Ioniq 6. Photo: Annika Carter

A Few Small Suggestions

The interior of the Ioniq6 is comfortable, even with the standard cloth seats (that are still heated, don’t worry!). The power driver’s seat has additional lumbar support. As tested, the Ioniq 6 SE has a manually adjustable passenger seat. The side and rearview mirrors are not auto-dimming or tinted, so can be a little bright at night. For a $45,000+ car, I would have loved to see at least some tint on the mirrors to help in nighttime driving. A simple flip of the rearview mirror feels like it doesn’t quite belong in a car at this price point or with this many other features.

The climate is controlled with dual automatic climate zones and rear seats keep the rear passengers comfortable, as well. The rear seats provided ample leg space, but the sloping, coupe-like roofline cuts off much of the headspace, making it a little tight for taller adults. I am 5’10”, and my head rested solidly on the ceiling.

In The Drivers Seat Of The Hyundai Ioniq 6. Photo Annika Carter

In the driver’s seat of the Hyundai Ioniq 6. Photo: Annika Carter

Let’s Hear It for the Buttons

The large interior screen carries from the 12.3-inch digital gauge display into the 12.3-inch multimedia screen without a break in the plastic, giving a higher-end seamless look. When the screens are on, there is a couple-inch gap between the screens, but this gap falls behind the steering wheel and windshield wiper stalk, so the space would be difficult to see as a driver anyway. The multimedia touchscreen contained navigation as well as wired Android Auto and Apple Car Play. Buttons beneath the screen allowed for easy navigation between certain screens (Map, Navigation, Media).

I may be an old soul, but I love the tactile feel of true buttons, so I was very glad to have buttons to control the climate and touchscreen rather than haptic buttons or all controls being located within a menu on the multimedia system.

The sound system of the Ioniq 6 SE is good. At high volumes, the audio did have a tendency to get a little crackly – if you are an audiophile, it might be worth choosing the model with the Limited trim package, with a Bose Premium Audio System that comes standard.

The Rear End Of The Hyundai Ioniq 6. Photo Annika Carter

The rear end of the Hyundai Ioniq 6. Photo: Annika Carter

Let’s Talk About that Rear End

The exterior styling of Hyundai’s new vehicles can be a little polarizing – it seems people either love or hate it. No matter how you feel about the overall look, I love to see a manufacturer experiementing with futuristic, unique design elements that we aren’t seeing from other manufacturers.

The LED headlights and taillights feature a unique pixel design. The flush door handles are a fun feature and will unlock when you walk up to the car, thanks to the proximity key. They also make it easy to tell if your vehicle is locked or not – if it’s unlocked, the handles stick out from every door like teeny wings!

You Can Fit A Lot Of Things In The Trunk. Photo Annika Carter

You can fit a lot of things in this trunk. Photo: Annika Carter

Plenty of Room in the Trunk

The proximity key also aids in operating the power liftgate. A quick setting change and the power liftgate will open when you walk up to the back of the car with the key, a feature that could come in handy if your hands are full of grocery bags (although be careful walking behind the car if you don’t want the liftgate to open!).

Speaking of groceries, the large trunk has ample space, although not as much as other hatchbacks. To help with storage, the rear seats fold flat to expand storage space.

Overall, the Hyundai Ioniq 6, which took home 3 World Car Awards for 2023 – World Car of the year, World Electric Car and and World Car Design of the Year – is an enjoyable drive. The long-range and quick charging make an electric vehicle more practical for those who may not have as many chargers near their home, and the smooth ride and comfortable interior make driving a pleasure.

The Hyundai Ioniq 6 Monroney. Photo Annika Carter

The Hyundai Ioniq 6 Monroney. Photo: Annika Carter

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Annika Carter has over four years of performance driving experience, both with and without professional instruction. She has driven... More about Annika Carter