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2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6: The sensible family sedan is held back only by EV tax credit guidelines

The Hyundai Ioniq 6 sedan has all the ingredients to justify its 'World Car of the Year' title. Now it faces an uphill battle after losing its main tax incentive.

Image credit: Hyundai

South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Company has grown from its roots as an economical alternative to a dominant force in the US. As a company of purely foreign brands, it’s second only to Toyota. The 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 sedan is the quintessential example of the brand’s ascendance to the top, taking home a trio of prestigious trophies – including World Car of the Year – at the 2023 New York Auto Show.

Though its vehicles aren’t currently eligible for federal tax credits (unless you’re the lessor), Hyundai’s electric lineup is nonetheless a compelling option. After years of recalls and even a class action lawsuit involving problematic engine fires, the EV arms race has breathed new life into the brand’s reputation.

The Ioniq 6, takes a bold design approach, flaunting futuristic styling and a tech-heavy interior. At a reasonable $45,500 for the base trim, the Hyundai Ioniq 6 checks just about every box on the list for the average car buyer. As is the case with other EV brands, the Ioniq 6 shares its guts with other members of the Hyundai Motors family, namely the Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, and Genesis GV60, which speaks to the flexibility of the platform.

We’re still in the car’s first year on sale, but there’s plenty we can infer about its future. Hyundai’s already promised a hotter N version of the Ioniq 5, so it’s likely we’ll see a performance variant of the Ioniq 6 as well. We might also get a lower-cost, entry-level model with a smaller battery and rear-drive-only. Buyers can configure the current car now, and it’s available for purchase in a limited number of zero-emissions vehicle states.

Hyundai Ioniq 6 price and specs

The 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 is available in three trims including both rear-wheel drive (RWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) configurations. Though it can be great for winter driving, AWD cuts range by enough to matter for most people. 

2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 SE

  • $45,500
  • Up to 361 miles of range
  • Up to 320 Horsepower

2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 SEL

  • $47,700
  • Up to 305 miles of range
  • Up to 320 Horsepower

2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 Limited

  • $52,600
  • Up to 305 miles of range
  • Up to 320 Horsepower

The Ioniq 6 slots into the Hyundai lineup above the Ioniq 5 crossover and the smaller, cheaper Kona EV. The Ioniq vehicles ride on Hyundai’s E-GMP platform, while the Kona EV shares a platform with the gas versions. Hyundai has teased an Ioniq 7, which will be a larger three-row SUV similar in size to the Kia EV9. 

We know that Hyundai’s working on a hotter N version of the Ioniq 5, so it’s reasonable to expect the sleek Ioniq 6 to receive the same treatment. That likely means performance gains similar to what we saw in the Kia EV6 GT, which brought fantastic increases in speed and acceleration with a noticeable drop in range to pay for it.

Hyundai has not been secretive about the fact that the Ioniq 6 targets the Tesla Model 3, and the car’s pricing, performance, and striking design all aim to knock the popular American EV off its throne. Its upscale interior outshines the Tesla’s with a mix of physical and virtual controls and popular features that the Model 3 doesn’t offer, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Hyundai EVs: Hyundai Ioniq 6 vs Hyundai Ioniq 5

The 2023 Ioniq 6 shares much of its underlying structure with the Ioniq 5, though you’d never know it by looking at the two side-by-side. A shared platform enables drivetrain and battery pack similarities, but the two Ioniqs have different wheelbases and completely different body styles.

Hyundai markets the Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6 to different target demographics, with the Ioniq 5 aimed at young families and the Ioniq 6 at professionals. That said, the front cabin area and driver controls are hardly distinguishable between the two. While the cupholders and center console in the Ioniq 6 are more prominent than the 5’s, the interiors are otherwise functionally identical.

Where you’ll notice the difference is in the cargo hold, where the Ioniq 5 demonstrates its crossover utility vehicle chops. The Ioniq 6’s trunk holds only 11.2 cubic feet of cargo, while the Ioniq 5 can swallow 27.2 cubic feet of gear. 

Both vehicles have advanced 800-volt electrical architectures, allowing them to charge at blazing-fast speeds. The Ioniq 5 was one of the first EVs to feature the technology, and the Ioniq 6 takes advantage of the same setup. That lets the Ioniq 6 charge from 10-80% in 18 minutes, and the car can recover 65 miles of range in just five minutes on a DC fast charger.

2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 news: Death and taxes

Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis have all struggled with recent changes to the federal EV tax credits under the Inflation Reduction Act. The Korean auto family builds several vehicles in the United States, including the electric Genesis Electrified GV70, but its batteries come from China, which precludes it from qualifying. The automakers are working to domesticate their production efforts to qualify for up to a $7,500 credit, but it takes time to build new factories and reconfigure supply chains.

That said, Hyundai is deeply invested in its US presence, so it’s at no risk of falling behind or failing to push ahead with its EV plans. The automaker sells tons of electric cars in the states without the tax incentive and will likely continue to do so, despite its current share prices suggesting otherwise.

Looking ahead, Hyundai will likely have its US EV production operation running by 2025, and we know it has plans for new electric models to release in the next few years. Beyond the Hyundai Ioniq 6, there’s the upcoming Ioniq 7 expected in 2024, along with an Ioniq 5 N and maybe even a production version of the incredible-looking N Vision 74 Concept unveiled last July.


Chris Teague
the authorChris Teague

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