ON first spotting a Hyundai IONIQ 6 in the wild, I thought it looked rather classy with that exaggerated curve stretching from one end to the other. Hyundai refers to it as “Streamliner typology” and it’s a word that fits well.

It was designed from the outset to be a distance cruiser – so hence the slippery shape. The IONIQ 6 contrasts almost every other family EV which is based around the “big box” SUV model – including its close cousin, the IONIQ 5.

To my mind, the IONIQ 6 has Porsche 911 styling cues both at the front and the rear. Well, maybe a hint of 911, nothing more. In profile, it’s more Mercedes CLS with that streamlined silhouette.

To most of my friends and colleagues, it was a “mish-mash” of styling that they didn’t find appealing and were quite vociferous in letting me know. Each to their own though and the fact that the Hyundai IONIQ 6 has won so many motoring awards (including Scottish Car of the Year) means I may have friends and colleagues who prefer more conventional looks when it comes to cars.

The rear-wheel-drive IONIQ 6 comes in just 2 trim levels – Premium (from £47,040 OTR) and Ultimate (from £50,540 OTR). Each comes with the Long Range 77kWh battery giving up to 338 miles of range.

All models are capable of using 50kW quick chargers which means a 10-80% top-up will take about 1 hour and 13 minutes. Charging from a standard 7kW home charger will take 11 hours and 45 minutes to go from 10% to 100% charge. If you’re lucky enough to have access to a Unicorn-like super-fast charger, then your 10-80% charge will take less than 20 minutes, thanks to the IONIQ 6’s 800-volt charging capability.

If you fancy extra performance then you can opt for All-Wheel-Drive which gives you an extra motor to drive the front wheels and increases power from 228 PS to 325 PS. Range suffers slightly though, coming down to 322 miles.

I’ve been driving the RWD Premium model and I can’t say it lacked anything in performance or comfort.

It comes well-equipped with 20-inch alloy wheels, a heat pump that’ll have you defrosted in no time at all on icy mornings, Smart Cruise Control which also takes the pressure off in traffic jams with Stop & Go ability, Matrix LED Headlights that constantly change output depending on what’s ahead, a rear-view monitor, heated front and rear seats and steering wheel, configurable ambient lighting, rear privacy glass and a wireless charging pad.

Front seats are also electrically adjustable and both get lumbar support. There are paddle shifters, Blind Spot Collision Avoidance, Lane Keep Assist, Forward Collision Avoidance Assist, a powered bootlid . . . and more.

It makes you wonder what the more expensive Ultimate could include. Well, since you asked, here goes: Leather upholstery, a driver’s seat memory function, a Tilt and Slide Sunroof, BOSE sound system, head-up display and ventilated front seats.

My rear-wheel drive IONIQ 6 manages the 0-62 mph dash in just 7.4 seconds while the all-wheel-drive version gets that down to a neck-jerking 5.1 seconds.

If the outside of the IONIQ 6 is divisive, then the inside is quite the opposite. Everyone agrees it’s an impressive design. It’s certainly not a case of “form over function” either as the IONIQ 6 provides plenty of space for both front and rear passengers, despite that swooping profile.

There are a couple of quirks – like the driver’s seat not capable of being lowered as much as the passenger’s, or the strange, upward-pointing “wings” at either end of the dash – but generally speaking, the interior is a triumph.

The twin, 12-inch screens dominate the dash and contain all the information and data you could ever want to see regarding your journey; all displayed in pin-sharp, colourful detail that is configurable enough not to overwhelm.

The flat-bottomed, multi-function steering wheel is 2-spoked and cool looking, while the Mercedes-like gear-selector stalk sits behind the wheel and although not always easy to find, I think it would become quickly intuitive.

The cloth seats are comfortable and supportive, the quality of fit and finish is very good and all the ergonomic essentials are catered for – i.e. the climate controls are easy to operate on the move as they have their dedicated bank of controls just below the centre vents.

Rear passengers get excellent leg room, thanks to the IONIQ 6’s limo-like proportions, and while headroom is a little compromised by the swooping roof line, you can still get a couple of 6-footers in there with an inch or two to spare. The flat floor means a third passenger won’t be sat hunched in their seat.

Boot space is okay. The opening is a little narrower than a hatchback, of course, but it’s still well designed and shouldn’t cause any problems with buggies or larger items.

The IONIQ 6 does have a “frunk” but is only suitable for storing the charging cables. At least that means you don’t have them flopping around in the rear, taking up space.

On the road, the IONIQ 6 Premium feels quick enough, with that lovely, calming EV air of ease that makes you wonder why anyone would want to drive anything else. Until all the “bings” and “bongs” start, that is.

1 mph above the speed limit? “Bing, bing bing!”; Not quite sure about your road-positioning on this mud-covered B-Road? “Bong, Bong!” and for good measure pull the steering wheel over to the right a tad.

There are also warnings if you haven’t already fastened your seatbelt before starting up and if the car thinks you’re due a coffee break.

I get it, I really do. To comply with the latest rules, manufacturers need to have these safety systems in place and I’m sure they make a difference to accident figures – but they are becoming somewhat of a distraction in themselves. Especially, when you’re not quite sure what that particular Bing or Bong was for.

But this isn’t just an EV issue and once I’d figured out which systems I could switch off (albeit temporarily) things were once again a little calmer.

The IONIQ 6’s regenerative braking system is probably the best I have encountered. The brake feel is natural – unlike in some other EVs where the first inch or so of travel appears to do very little.

Also, when you lift off the throttle the regen is very smoothly applied, making driving the IONIQ 6 a real pleasure.

Regen can be adjusted via the flappy paddles and also depending on which drive mode you choose – Eco, Normal or Sport.

Steering is very precise with a surprising amount of feedback and while the long IONIQ 6 never feels overly sporty, it can be entertaining on twistier A-Roads. Drive it as it’s meant to be driven, and you’ll find the IONIQ 6 is a class-leading cruiser.

Those 20-inch wheels can cause some thudding through the chassis on the worst surfaces, but generally, the Hyundai IONIQ 6 is extremely quiet, even at motorway speeds. There is some tyre noise discernible, but that’s about it.

Along with the excellent sound-system and those comfortable seats, you’ll find the miles slip away easily. Stuck in a traffic jam? No worries just let the Hyundai handle that. You won’t even need to push a pedal . . .

While I did most of my driving around in Normal mode, I found Sport mode surprisingly entertaining on two accounts: 1. It does sharpen up the throttle response (which is pretty much instantaneous, anyway) and 2. The car sounds eerily like something from a 1950s Flash Gordon episode. Yes, it’s piped in through the sound system but it’s a nice touch which can be switched off if you’re not a (Flash Gordon) fan.

Overall, I found the Hyundai IONIQ 6 to be a very well-thought-out EV. Hyundai should be applauded for designing something markedly different from most EVs on the market today, but which still delivers in space and practicality. It looks more elegant too and has an air of sophistication about it that boxier EVs lack. It’s easy to see why it caught the attention of so many judges and went on to win so many awards.


Hyundai IONIQ 6 Premium 77.4 kWh RWD

OTR Price (from): £47,040  

Engine: Electric Motor  

Power: 228 PS  

Transmission: Single-Speed Reduction Gear

0-62mph: 7.4 secs   

Maximum Torque: 350 Nm  

Range: Up to 338 miles

By Steve Berry

Freelance motoring writer and member of the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers with a love of cars, motorbikes and running. I lied about the love of motorbikes. They scare me to death - although I would like to own a Ducati 996 in red which I would just look at but never ride. No, not ever.

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