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Hyundai’s answer to the Tesla Model 3? The Ioniq 6. | Articles

Hyundai’s answer to the Tesla Model 3? The Ioniq 6. | Articles

Build a Model 3, but without the emotional baggage or the squeaks and rattles.”

We’re not positive that was Hyundai’s exact instruction, but we’re positive that’s what they’ve built. Rather than call it an “Ioniq 6” or a “mid-sized electric sedan” or any other phrase, we’ll just call it how we see it: This is Hyundai’s answer to Tesla’s ubiquitous Model 3.

And on paper, it’s a compelling argument: 800v architecture means faster charging. Vehicle to load outlets means it’ll run your fridge. Highway Driving Assist 2 mostly drives for you. And up to 361 miles of range is 20 more than the Tesla. 

But what about in practice? We borrowed a Hyundai Ioniq 6 Limited, the model’s $50,000 all-wheel-drive flagship, then spent a week and 1000 miles driving around Los Angeles to find out.

No, this isn’t a track test: It’s a review of a daily driver, driven like a commuter would. We visited dirt trails, twisty mountain roads, city traffic, long highway stretches and more.

And before you ask: No, we don’t have any fantastic clickbait charging tales to relate: We plugged the car into our hotel each night, then it was full in the morning–our only interaction with level 3 public charging infrastructure was an uneventful quick splash of electrons on our way back to the airport at the conclusion of our trip. Rated range for this trim is 270 miles, and we’d call that fairly accurate in mixed driving based on our experience.

But back to the car, starting with the outside. We’ll call the styling “polarizing.” Our friends called it far worse.

It’s definitely not bland, but we prefer the Ioniq 5’s ‘80s-tastic design language instead of whatever this is.

Inside the car, though, is a spacious, bright, well-designed interior that’s a great place to spend 12-hour days bouncing around a city. Yes, there’s some fashionable EV minimalism, but not to the extremes of its competition and the result is a nice balance between form and function. 

So how’s it drive? This is no performance car, but it’s perfectly respectable: 320 horsepower and 4600 pounds mean we didn’t win any drag races, but instant torque and an incredibly low center of gravity were still fun and faster than any other sedan Hyundai builds without an N badge.

Props to Hyundai for ride quality, which is light-years better than the pre-refresh Model 3s we’ve been in. Hyundai’s driver…

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