2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 Limited Long Range AWD
Hey look guys, a space ship!
The Hyundai Ioniq 6 might be a spaceship. Or maybe it’s a glimpse of the future of automotive design..? Either way, it’s an impressive vehicle.
By J-F Wright
Tue, Aug 22, 2023 11:21 PM PST
Images by the author J-F Wright, edited by Brock Malcom.
At first glance I wasn’t so sure… The exterior styling of the Ioniq 6 was a bit too much for me. Both the front and back of it makes it look like it comes out of the production line connected to the vehicle in front and the one behind - and separated by a giant sphincter-like machine that pinches them off one by one.
My wife has never been known to be an “early adopter” but when it came to the exterior design of the Ioniq 6 she was the first to like it - immediately. As the week-long review continued, the design grew on me. Maybe I’m what marketing folks call a “late adopter”..? Or maybe I’m just a bit less exiting when it comes to automotive design - I often find myself having a hard time adopting exterior designs are a leap forward, rather than a comfortable step.
As you might have guessed, based on my previous rant above, I wasn’t sold on the exterior. At least not at first glance. Or the first couple of days. However, by the time the Hyundai Ioniq 6 was picked up from my driveway, it had won me over. Would I nominate it for a design award? No, but I know plenty of people who might. I think what happened was this: I grew accustomed to the looks of the car, and in doing so I also started to see some very cool details.
First off, yes, the silhouette of the car - as seen from the side - is very round. But, look at the details of the rear and you’ll see two spoilers and an intricate mesh of small light diodes across the entire rear end. The front headlight also sport similar light diodes, and the headlight fixture flows not only up and backwards, but also a little bit to the sides of the car, connecting the front with the sides in a nice way. The more I look at it, the more I see that every part of the exterior design has been thought about and deliberately designed in a certain way. The fact that the design, in my mind, pushes the spaceship-like boundaries a bit too far is irrelevant - I really respect a car manufacturer’s ability to let the design team push the limits a little. How else would we progress in our ever-evolving world?
Furthermore, I’m assuming that most of the design choices have probably been made together with the engineering team, who will make sure that the design nicely plays a part in the aerodynamics of the vehicle.
As for the giant-looking wheels - they’re “only” 20-in. The incredibly intricate design of the rims go really well with the car’s overall appearance. Somehow they look even bigger than they really are, and add a certain level of “pop” to the vehicle’s aesthetics.
The spaceship look continues into the cockpit. Two very large screens surround the driver - awesome - and are a part of an encapsulating wrap-around element that stretches around the entire front of the cockpit, from door to door. In a way it seems that the two screens are placed on a sort of shelf, which in turn has been cleaned by a Scandinavian architect. It’s clean.
The interior lights are also fun. Not visible until they turn on (when it gets dark) there are small strips of LED lights thought the cockpit. One detail I liked especially is that just below the AC fans, during engine start, there is a beam of light that travels back and forth. It reminded me a bit about Kitt (Night Rider’s car), albeit Kitt’s car has her horizontal “thinking lights” on the exterior.
There is a ton of storage throughout the car, including between the two front seats along the floor. The walls to that compartment are high - which is great, and a prerequisite, so that things don’t escape and roll out under the pedals.
The space is not only for storing stuff though. Up to five occupants will sit comfortably in the Hyundai Ioniq 6, and the rear seat looks more like a sofa with all the legroom that is enjoyed back there.
When driving an EV it’s really hard to image going back to anything else. The Hyundai Ioniq 6 is no exception. It’s fast - like ridiculously fast - and you have access to all its power immediately. I’d even go so far to say that the car starts accelerating before my foot even makes it down to the floor behind the accelerator. OK, that might be a bit of an exaggeration - my calf muscle is good at moving my foot pretty quickly.
Anyway, the Hyundai Ioniq 6 is really quick off the line. Actually, it’s really quick when accelerating from moderate highway speeds as well - like when passing or when joining another lane’s faster traffic flow. But, most of the car’s bragging rights are earned when accelerating from a stand-still - that’s where any passenger will be impressed and/or stunned. Probably both.
The Ioniq 6 is a relatively large vehicle. Large cars are a great thing when you’re inside of them - you’ll have plenty of space - but it can sometimes lessen the joys of driving. However, the Ioniq 6 does a good job at straddling the line between fun and large, without really sacrificing too much on either side. No, this is not a track car, nor is it meant to be, so you can’t expect it to handle as such. However, a combination of the all-wheel-drive system, a really good traction control system, and the impressive acceleration capabilities of the Ioniq 6 can make for a really fun drive. Whipping around corners - or u-turns - can definitely become a game of human pinball for your rear passengers - way before you start losing traction.
There’s plenty of content with impressions of, and information about “going electric”, so we won’t dig too deep into that. What I do want to mention is the fact that Hyundai (and sister Kia) offer on their EVs the ability to set how hard the regenerative braking is to work - called Regenerative Brake Level Control Paddles.
It takes a while to get used to one-pedal driving, but I love the fact that I can set the regenerative braking to such a high level that it will bring the car to a total stop. This means that as long as I’m looking ahead (which one obviously should always be doing when driving) I can go without hitting the brake - pretty much through any traffic situation I encounter daily…
Tech & Convenience
As with any new car with a high trim-level, the 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 Limited comes with all sorts of bells and whistles.
The surround-view monitor makes parking and maneuvering in tight spaces a breeze - always a great thing when it’s a large car - actually always a great thing, regardless of car size.
The Blind-Spot View Monitor is a great Hyundai feature that projects a live video stream of your blind spot onto your dashboard whenever the turn-signal is flicked on. It takes a couple of days to add that extra check before changing lanes, but in a Hyundai I check my mirrors, over my shoulder, and then the camera view.
The remote start feature is nothing new, it’s available in a bunch of other cars (especially anything by the American brands). The good news is that when I run the remote start of an electric car I don’t feel as bad about it - I’m at least not smogging up the area around the car. Also, thanks to the electric motor not having to warm up to work, the A/C or heater can get to work immediately on your interior.
The exterior of the 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 Limited Long Range AWD might catch you off-guard - but you’ll soon warm up to the futuristic design. The interior is roomy - really large actually - and four adults will sit very comfortably - maybe even five adults (three kids in the back is no problem). The Limited comes with all kinds of bells and whistles, and the fact that this is an EV with dual electric motors makes it a blast to drive.
About The Author
John-Fredrik Wright was born in Sweden, but raised on both sides of the Atlantic. His experience in the automotive industry starts with a summer-job as a host at Volkswagen’s premier showroom in Stockholm. Later, he worked as an instructor at Swedish Active Driving, teaching safe driving (among other things the renowned "elk-avoidance maneuver") and advanced driving techniques.