2024 Hyundai Ioniq 6 challenges Tesla

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 6. Photo courtesy of the manufacturer

The Hyundai Ioniq debuted in 2016 as a newcomer sedan with an odd name. The all-electric variant, the Ioniq 6, arrived last year. It joined an impressive lineup answering to the fusion of the words ion and unique. It’s also given the floundering sedan segment further hope.

Offered in SE Standard Range, SE, SEL and Limited trims, the 2024 Ioniq 6 throughout its lineup is the same as the vehicles’ debut models.

The SE Standard Range is the value leader, with a 53-kWh battery pack and a single motor (149 horsepower, 258 lb-ft of torque) driving the rear wheels. The reviewed top-line Limited edition is the strongest challenger for the Tesla Model 3.

It has more impressive qualities and fewer gimmicks at a better price. The SE trim offers the best option for EVs whose primary focus is range. With rear-wheel-drive, it’s EPA-estimated with a 361-mile range and 316 miles equipped with all-wheel drive.

The range further drops to 305 miles in rear-wheel drive and 270 miles in all-wheel drive in the SEL and Limited trims. Both have larger wheels and are heavier. Still, the tradeoff in better appointments from lower trims is hard not to consider for consumers not sold on the range as the only buying consideration.

Hyundai, Kia and now the nearly-decade-only offshoot Genesis are all industry-best in value. Consider what’s offered in the Ioniq Limited. The convenience, comfort and technology upgrades are plentiful.

Remote parking assistance allows the vehicle to move forward or backward remotely. The surround-view camera system provides a top-down view of the vehicle and its surroundings for tight parking situations.

A blind-spot camera view displays an image of the vehicle’s blind spot in the instrument panel when a turn signal is activated. The automatic low-speed braking when parking function applies the brakes automatically to avoid an imminent collision with an object around the vehicle.

A sunroof, power-folding mirrors, a power-adjustable front passenger seat ventilated front seats and heated steering wheel driver’s seat memory functions provide improved comfort. Also featured is an eight-speaker Bose premium audio system.

The standard equipment list of all trims is extensive, including remote vehicle monitoring and control to safe exit alert. The latter can prevent a passenger from opening a door into traffic approaching from behind.

The starting price range is about $10,000, beginning with $42,715 for the base model SE with rear-wheel drive. It’s several thousand dollars less than the average price of a new car in the United States. But it’s not the best option considering it has only 149 horsepower and a 240-mile range. The top-line limited trim starts at $52,600.

Unlike some EV designers who seem to emphasize extremes, the Ioniq is no doubt modern. But its exterior isn’t boastful with overbuilt extremities. Instead, it’s sleek and has the curves of vehicles from 90 years ago. The sloping roof design and spoiler are reminiscent of Porsche models, so what’s not to like?

Hyundai touts the Ioniq 6 will go from 10 to 80 percent charged in 18 minutes on a 350 kW DC public fast charger. It should recharge in seven hours on a Level 2 home or public charger. The Ioniq’s numbers match Tesla and the Lucid Air and the carmaker offers new buyers two years of free 30-minute Electrify America charging.

Driving or riding in the Ioniq 6 provides another reason the South Korean manufacturer is far past its once lackluster reputation. The four-door, five-seat sedan is quiet, comfortable and appealing in its simplicity. Overall vision is superior. Acceleration, depending upon the model, is five seconds or faster in the 0-to-60 miles-per-hour standard test.

The steering wheel is oddly shaped but not offensive. The cabin is dominated by a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and a 12.3-inch infotainment screen. Apple CarPlay or Android Auto connectivity is via BlueLink, Hyundai’s app-based connectivity service.

Tesla sold nearly 221,000 model 3s in 2023; Sales of the Hyundai Ioniq 6 were just under 13,000. Here’s to the underdog.

James Raia, a syndicated auto reviewer in Sacramento, is the founder and senior editor of theweeklydriver.com. It includes signups for free newsletter and podcast. E-mail: james@jamesraia.com.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.