The Right Spec: 2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

The design studios at Hyundai are firing on all cylinders these days, ironic since some of the eye-popping vehicles they’re churning out don’t have any cylinders at all. The upcoming IONIQ 6 is one of ‘em, set to be offered in a number of trims and powertrain options.

Your author will ignore federal EV rebates in this post, partly because they can vary wildly depending on the circumstance but also because they cause his head to spin even worse than after his morning grog ration of Angel’s Envy whiskey. Sticking to MSRP, the least expensive trim is the SE Standard Range rear-wheel drive, equipped with a single 149 horsepower electric motor and a 53-kWh battery good for about 240 miles of driving on a full charge. This’ll ding yer bank account for $41,600.

Keeping in character for Hyundai, this model is bursting at the seams with content – even at its entry-level. Likely thanks to the economies of scale, the base trim still gets the dandy 800V architecture which can hoover up to 350kW of electricity from an appropriately robust Level 3 fast charger. This has the practical benefit of spending less time at public chargers during occasions when owners decide to dip off the highway for a jolt of electrons (and coffee while they wait). 

Smart cruise control with stop-and-go capabilities, automatic headlight control, and enough LEDs to illuminate most of Las Vegas are all on this trim, along with heated side mirrors and flush door handles. These features have the ability to make the SE SR RWD look very much like its more expensive brethren. Colors can be a hot topic with EVs; get traditional white if you must but we feel expressive paint options are always a good bet.

Inside, look for comforts like power seats for the driver, heated chairs for both up-front occupants, and rear air vents for backseat ankle biters. Upholstery is cloth at this price, though the steering wheel does adjust for reach and rake whilst displaying a quartet of interactive pixel lights instead of a Hyundai logo. Fun fact: four dots indicate the letter H in Morse code. Dual automatic temperature controls keep warring factions at bay and there should be enough USB ports for everyone in the car – four USB-C and a USB-A.

Screen displays are top-tier, as they are in more expensive trims. Two 12.3-inch screens are part of the dashboard, one serving up critical vehicle information while the other handles navigation and infotainment. There are six speakers for the latter, plus wired smartphone integration and the expected Bluetooth gear. Over-the-air updates can be pushed to the car for whatever upgrades the mother ship feels are necessary. We can have that discussion another day.

Take the base trim, then? Not so much. It’s only a $3,900 walk to the next level trim (confusingly also called SE but dropping the ‘Standard Range’ suffix) but it brings more power and more range. Total output climbs to 225 horses, a 50 percent jump, and range vaults to an estimated 361 miles thanks to a 77.4-kWh battery pack. Note this is still a rear-wheel drive car (all-wheel drive costs a further $3,500).

Another big bonus with this trim is the inclusion of a heat pump, a type of technology that uses less electricity to warm the cabin than a relatively old-school resistive heater. For a sum of $45,500, this trim is our pick.

[Image: Hyundai]

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Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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  • 3SpeedAutomatic Once e-mail was adopted by my former employer, we were coached about malice software as early as the 90's. We called it "worms" back then.They were separating the computers that ran the power plants from the rest of the system in the early 00's. One plant supervisor loaded vacation pictures from a thumb drive on his work PC. His PC was immediately isolated and the supervisor in question was made an example of via a disciplinary notice. Word spread quickly!!Last I heard, they still had their own data center!! Cloud Computing, what's that?!?! 🚗🚗🚗
  • 3SpeedAutomatic At this time, GM had a "Me Too" attitude towards engine development:[list][*]the Euro luxury brands have diesels, so can we via an Olds V8[/*][*]variable value timing, welcome to the brave new world of Cadillac V8-6-4[/*][*]an aluminum block V8 engine via the HT4100, the go-go 80's[/*][*]double overhead cams, 4 valves per cylinder, no sweat, just like the Asian brands via NorthStar. [/*][/list]When you mindset is iron block and cast iron heads, life if easy. However, each time, GM failed to understand the nuances; intricate differences; and technical difficulty in each new engine program. Each time, GM came away with egg on its face and its reputation in ruin.If you look today, the engines in most Cadillacs are the same as in many Chevrolets. 🚗🚗🚗
  • 3-On-The-Tree I don’t think Toyotas going down.
  • ToolGuy Random thoughts (bulleted list because it should work on this page):• Carlos Tavares is a very smart individual.• I get the sense that the western hemisphere portion of Stellantis was even more messed up than he originally believed (I have no data), which is why the plan (old plan, original plan) has taken longer than expected (longer than I expected).• All the OEMs who have taken a serious look at what is happening with EVs in China have had to take a step back and reassess (oversimplification: they were thinking mostly business-as-usual with some tweaks here and there, and now realize they have bigger issues, much bigger, really big).• You (dear TTAC reader) aren't ready to hear this yet, but the EV thing is a tsunami (the thing has already done the thing, just hasn't reached you yet). I hesitate to even tell you, but it is the truth.
  • ToolGuy ¶ I have kicked around doing an engine rebuild at some point (I never have on an automobile); right now my interest level in that is pretty low, say 2/5.¶ It could be interesting to do an engine swap at some point (also haven't done that), call that 2/5 as well.¶ Building a kit car would be interesting but a big commitment, let's say 1/5 realistically.¶ Frame-up restoration, very little interest, 1/5.¶ I have repainted a vehicle (down to bare metal) and that was interesting/engaging (didn't have the right facilities, but made it work, sort of lol).¶ Taking a vehicle which I like where the ICE has given out and converting it to EV sounds engaging and appealing. Would not do it anytime soon, maybe 3 to 5 years out. Current interest level 4/5.¶ Building my own car (from scratch) would have some significant hurdles. Unless I started my own car company, which might involve other hurdles. 😉