Home » The Base Hyundai Ioniq 6 Probably Isn’t The One You Want

The Base Hyundai Ioniq 6 Probably Isn’t The One You Want

Ioniq 6 Price Topshot

With Tesla-beating headline range figures and distinctive streamlined styling, the electric Hyundai Ioniq 6 is causing a bit of a stir before we even knew exactly how much it cost. Well, pricing is now out and while it’s quite good, the entry-level trim likely isn’t what you want.

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 6 Electric Car 8

Let’s start with the base Ioniq 6 model, the SE RWD Standard Range. While offering 240 miles of range—not great these days, but not bad either—from a 53 kWh battery pack should equate to roughly 4.53 mi/kWh, this won’t be a particularly quick trim level. Power output is a rather disappointing 149 horsepower, which means this $42,715 (including a freight charge of $1,115) EV won’t be challenging Tesla Model 3s to drag races anytime soon.

No zero to 60 mph times are available yet on the SE RWD Standard Range, but given that output and the typical EV weight penalty, it probably won’t be amazing.

However, even that 53 kWh base model comes with a vast array of kit. Heated seats, navigation, driver’s lumbar support, rear seat air vents, a hands-free trunk release, heated mirrors, and a litany of advanced driver assistance systems round out a rather thoughtful package. Expect this one to be a big hit with cab operators who want something cheap with an 800-volt high-voltage architecture for seriously rapid charging.

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Spend an extra $3,900 and you get the Ioniq 6 you really want, the range champion SE RWD Long Range. Battery pack capacity sees a bump to 77.4 kWh, horsepower jumps to 225, and range is a gargantuan 361 miles. With a little bit of math, we end up with theoretical efficiency of 4.66 mi/kWh, outstanding stuff for a $46,615 electric car. What’s more, SE Long Range models add a heat pump, great for keeping the cabin warm on cool autumn days without taxing range too much.

Next up the rung is the $50,115 SE AWD Long Range which trades 45 miles of range for a robust 95 horsepower bump and the four-season traction of dual electric motors. In other words, this is the quick one. Not only is 316 miles of range still acceptable for a mid-priced EV, 320 horsepower means that this thing should move out in a hurry.

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As we move further up the range to the Ioniq 6 SEL RWD, a caveat starts to show. Those lovely 20-inch wheels you see in all the press photos chop range down to 305 miles on rear-wheel-drive long-range models. Yes, that’s a 56-mile reduction in range just due to a change in rolling stock. Granted, the SEL RWD should feature more amenities than the SE Long Range RWD at a reasonable $2,200 price bump, but an option for the smaller 18-inch wheel and tire package on this model would be nice.

Still, at least its $48,815 price tag clocks in at under $50,000, and this trim does add some nice kit. In addition to those large wheels, SEL models get faux-leather seating, a wireless phone charger, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, speed-sensitive ambient lighting, and digital key functionality.

If you want an all-wheel-drive SEL, the range takes another hit to 270 miles. Granted, 320 horsepower is pretty great, but given the sorry state of public charging infrastructure, 300 miles of range shouldn’t be an unreasonable demand from a $52,315 electric car that isn’t explicitly focused on performance.

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Range figures for the $53,715 Limited RWD and $57,215 Limited AWD models are identical to those for the SEL RWD and SEL AWD models respectively, but I can see certain consumers being able to more easily justify the drop in range if they get all the features. These trims get a big step up in toy count including a glass roof, an in-cabin vehicle-to-load power socket, remote parking, a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, and a Bose stereo.

Upon first glance, the pick of the Ioniq 6 range appears to be the SE RWD Long Range. At $46,615, it’s only $2,235 more expensive than a rear-wheel-drive Tesla Model 3, offers 89 extra miles of range, and still offers loads of useful features. However, the Tesla will qualify for a tax credit of up to $7,500 under the new rules in the U.S.; the South Korean-built Ioniq 6 will not. Govern yourselves accordingly.

The Hyundai Ioniq 6 will hit dealerships this spring, so expect to see these streamlined sedans in the wild in a few months.

(Photo credits: Hyundai)

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55 Responses

  1. Counterargument: the base model is exactly the one I want.

    I want exactly as much power as I need, which the base model has. I want as much range as I need, which the base model has. I want standard heated seats to minimize winter HVAC heat consumption burdens, which the base model has. I want the improved suspension longevity that comes from a lighter, smaller battery pack riding in a chassis designed for heavier packs, which the base model has.

    My only disappointment with the base model is the lack of hest pump, but that’s what a RockAuto retrofit in 10 years is for.

    Also a note about efficiency: the base model almost certainly gets more miles per kWh consumed. Thomas calculates efficiency by dividing tested range by nameplate battery capacity, but no battery ever has its full capacity available for use. I’m guessing the base battery just leaves a larger percentage of its capacity unused.

    1. I agree and if this qualified for incentives to bring it well into the 30’s, I would be really temped to pull the trigger. If I buy an EV, it’s going to be the commuter car in our family, I have no intention or desire to turn an EV into a road trip vehicle. This is where EVs can shine, the second car in a household. I don’t want to pay an extra 5-10k for larger battery packs when I have no intention to really use that capacity anyway.

    2. While I love the idea of purchasing only what you need, I don’t think there’s any case for the base model when you can get a Model 3 for $5k less.
      At about $30k this would be a viable option, as long as you’re OK with the Hyundai dealership and warranty experience.

      1. Not that I’m going to defend the typical Hyundai dealer experience, I’m not going to exactly assume the Tesla experience is superior. Based on admittedly anecdotal evidence from both, not sure one really has a leg up on the other.

        Also, I really like this design, and it seems a little larger/more usable than the 3.

      2. Considering Tesla’s legendary “build-quality,” if I was looking to get an EV tomorrow, I’d more likely be comparing and contrasting the Ionic 6 against the Mustang Mach-E. The Model 3 wouldn’t even enter the conversation.

        I totally respect everything Tesla has accomplished to get EVs back into the mainstream, but there’s no way I’d actually buy one.

  2. There’s barely any level 3 chargers around me, 800v super chargers yeah that will prolly take almost 5 years to get those everywhere. Best hope of level 3+ charging is if Tesla opens it’s network. Manufacturers need to stop promoting these 10-20 min charging times when that won’t be available to most for a very long time…. at least in the US it won’t.

    1. I just took a look at Electrify America’s map, and if it is to be believed, it appears that most places that have their chargers have about half of them marked as Hyper-Fast, which is a 350kW setup that is supposed to support 800V charging. Unfortunately, I don’t think most of the charging companies have caught up on this, so Electrify America is probably the best.

      1. Also unfortunate: they do not include a filter for searching Hyper-Fast, so you have to check each location as to whether it is Hyper-Fast or Ultra-Fast (also, the terminology sucks and seems designed to ensure people feel good about any level 3 charger).

    2. Most of the high power chargers, like Electrify America 150kw, 350kw, etc – are capable of 1000 volts maximum. This is common. Notably Tesla Superchargers max at ~500 volts. All the Hyundai/Kia 800 volt cars have a super elegant “voltage boost” function which uses the rear motor inverter to boost from 400v up to 800v. The kicker is this function can do maximum of ~100kw (I can’t find a source to confirm this, but it’s somewhere between 100kw and 150kw). So the Hyundai specs say 10-80% will take 25 minutes at 400 volts vs 18 minutes on an 800v capable charger.

        1. All EV numbers require everything to be perfect. Charging speed, range, power, etc. What’s advertised are pie in the sky numbers to grab headlines. No one is actually going to eek out 361 miles or charge the thing 10-80 in 18 minutes. Based on what I’ve read about real world testing you can probably knock 10-15% (or more if it’s cold) off the advertised range instantly and the charging speed is dependent on location. People are having a lot of trouble with Electrify America/Canada charging stations so far, but it’s still early in the process.

          1. And yet, everyone can’t wait to assure me that EVs are perfect as-is, and why would anyone need more than 300 miles of “range”, and bring on the mandates!

            1. Thankfully this is the USA and we can for now at least do as we please.
              I know EV’s don’t work for everyone and all situations. but keep in mind the speed of the progress here.
              this Hyundia has the 3rd longest EPA the two cars ahead cost two or three times more.
              In a few more years who knows what we’ll have.
              Also just as an example of of how fast things change. the best selling car in ALL of Europe for the last 4 months is a car that was not even on sale the year before. And that is before Tesla discounted it the ‘Y’.
              fun times for sure.

              1. “The speed of progress”

                I’m sorry, but the speed of progress doesn’t seem very quick to me. A 2012 Tesla had 270 miles of range, and more than a decade later….that’s what about most EVs still have. Energy density and basic chemistry haven’t changed. Where are the promised breakthroughs? “The next big thing in batteries” has been 3 years away for a long time now. Not getting a lot of optimism that will change by 2035.

          2. I’ve seen charging times close to that with my EV6 (basically the same car with a different body) the charging only peaks at around 235-240kW.
            Even with a 150kW instead of 350kW the charger times are only around 22-25 minutes, instead of under 20 minutes, which is prefect for grabbing a bite to eat and using the bathroom etc.
            However the EPA range is a tough sell. I get around 2.8 – 3-2 mi/kW at freeway speeds depending on elevation changes and windspeed / direction / temperature. So the 310 miles of EPA range is more like 190 – 220miles using 90% of the charge when I leave home with a full charge, then then around 150 – 170miles using 70% of the battery as I left the charger at 80%.
            of course this is all irrelevant as charging locations are not spaced out like that, so you don’t travel as far, but you do spend less time charging.

  3. I want the small wheels and maximum range, but also the ventilated seats. I don’t need it to park itself, don’t want the glass roof, and don’t really need a vehicle-to-load socket in the car.
    Since I don’t want the faux leather without ventilation, I guess the SE Long Range is the one to get. I can add a dimming mirror pretty easily, which is really the only thing from the SEL I want.

    That said, I don’t think I’ll be getting one. If it qualified for the tax credit, I’d be very tempted.

    1. Vehicle to load is a must have for me. I want my car to be a second bank of batteries for my house in the event of a power outage.

      If you have solar panels on your home already, you know how expensive batteries are. 10kwh is around $7500 ($750/kwh), or I can get 53kwh with wheels, ventilated seats, air conditioning, and it can take me to the grocery store?

      1. Maybe I’m wrong, but the top trim says in-cabin vehicle-to-load, so I thought that other trims have V2L capability, and this was an additional socket. If only the top trim has the V2L, that is a decent value add, then.

        1. It’s cool. I was wrong too. The F150 Lightning is the only vehicle that can do V2H transfer. The Nissan Leaf can technically do it, but normies can’t get the equipment to make it happen.

          Imo, people come up with tons of stupid reasons why they “can’t” consider an EV, but for me, I won’t consider one until it can serve as an auxiliary battery to my home solar production. It’s an insane value proposition – like buying an additional rack (or 5) of batteries and getting a brand new car for a few grand.

  4. If this thing qualified for the tax credit, and you could get the 361 mile version for ~$40k…I’d probably go for it.

    As-is, it’s still a pretty compelling package! That range + the charging speed is really great.

  5. $42,000 for 149 horsepower is horrendous. Even with the tax credit it’s horrendous…$34,500 gets you an N, GTI, V6 Camry, etc. Hell the new Prius wipes the floor with that and is also environmentally friendly. Maybe this is the enthusiast in me talking but I think that little power in something that probably weighs 3,500-4,000 pounds borders on dangerous in this day and age. I can’t imagine taking on a short highway on ramp with that.

    Seems like the classic manufacturer approach of forcing customers into more than they need…like Honda/Acura forcing you into a CVT until you load an Integra and unlock the manual, stuff like that. I like the design of this car and Hyundai EVs in general but EVs have got to come down in price. Realistically what most people need here is going to come in around $50,000. Even with the tax credit it’s a lot of money.

    1. I agree that it’s pricey, and that’s not limited to any one brand, but at the same time curious what you think for this is “more than people need” for the price, or what they’d drop. None of the equipment seems frivolous compared to your average small or midsize car, just the price. The hands-free trunk maybe, but that seems like it’s cheap tech now. Heated seats are basically a given in EVs to reduce heater use (helping range), nav makes sense for traffic data (avoid sitting in traffic burning through range) and if there’s some integration with charging stations (question if people use it thought). Power seat maybe, but could argue that buyers will say “40 grand and it doesn’t have a power seat?”

      I do think it’s funny that Hyundai still doesn’t throw in floor mats on the top trim though.

    2. I’m currently dragging two power trains with 139 horsepower. About 3400 pounds of less aerodynamic car than this. And that still gives me a better 0-60 than a few cars I’ve owned.

      1. …am I on a car enthusiast blog or did I get lost along the way? I never thought I’d be widely corrected (not just by you amigo, all over this comment section) for saying that 149 horsepower in a likely to be 2 ton car is inadequate haha. These are some interesting times we live in.

        Oh well. I’ll save up for the N version and everyone can have what they want in the end ????

        1. Enthusiam for cars comes in many shapes and sizes. Sometimes I want to go fast. Sometimes I lust after 90’s Saturn wagons.

          The 150 hp for an electric sedan? Sure that sort of sucks if you want it to be fun to drive. Would you choose it? Clearly not. But this is a great-looking (in my opinion) EV, with a form factor I think I’d enjoy for a price I could actually stomach (with incentives). If I get an EV, it’s to be the commuter second car. I won’t jump to EVs, or frankly any new car, if it’s going to cost me more than 35k. Even that price makes me feel a little ill. So I welcome anyone willing to bring options to the market that may actually hit that price, even if the range is a little down and the power is a little meh.

          I would be coming from an Elantra Touring, so I’m sure this thing couldn’t possibly feel slower.

        2. Don’t get me wrong, I like more horsepower. My next car will have more. But I don’t think it’s dangerous to have 149 hp. I should have been clearer that I was responding to that assertion, not your value proposition, which I am sort of split on.

          I would honestly like to see more vehicles offering lower hp options, because I don’t think everyone needs or wants that much power. But I don’t think people are going to pick this one often, since the tradeoffs don’t offer much savings. I also wouldn’t buy the 149 hp version, both because the bump to the next level is relatively cheap and because I would like to be back in something more fun to drive.

          I also wonder if it’s possible to get the “slow car fast” experience in an electric. I expect it isn’t, because the whole experience changes in EVs. Definitely hard to get that experience when the same EV can be much higher hp.

        3. Also, you are on the car enthusiast blog founded by a a guy whose vehicles are often only able to muster 0 hp, along with a guy with a Yugo and a Changli. This might be the best car blog for slow cars.

          1. Honestly, don’t most car blogs idolize slow cars?

            If there’s an article out there published by literally anyone saying a Hellcat or even a Corvette is a better car overall than a Miata (to name but a single example) I haven’t read it.

            “Slow car fast” is as unquestioned an enthusiast dogma as exists, right up there with “Diesel wagon good, CUV bad”, “Save the manuals” , “Trucks are better small and without features”, and “EVs are both good and necessary”

  6. A heat pump and 120 miles of range for $4k? That’s a complete no brainer. The base Ioniq 6 is going to be like the Wrangler without AC – you have to special order it and almost no one will because it’s dumb.

      1. A good green would be nice, but if it is the dark grey/green I have seen in some videos, I will be sad about that. The blue might be nice to see here, if we get that color.

  7. 240 miles would be more than enough to meet my needs for an electric car, but only $3900 to get a Nissan Leaf’s range tacked on does seem like the way to go. Still, too rich for my blood. My only other issue with this is the looks. I actually enjoy the zoomy-fish front view, but the rear view makes it look like a lot-gopher at the local Hyundai vehicular exchange plaza accidently backed over someone’s large roller-ham and it’s now sitting out on the back lot, awaiting its turn in the paint shop.

  8. EV horsepower is not the same as ICE horsepower. The entry level model with the modest horsepower will be much quicker than anything ICE with the same ratings.

    1. 149 E horsepower in a car that’ll probably approach two tons is still horribly underpowered regardless of how it’s ultimately delivered. Don’t get me wrong…I’m not one of those guys who’s like ALL EVS SHOULD HIT 60 IN TWO SECONDS OR LESS but this is a clear case of a car being very underpowered. Ultimately I think the 225-320 models will be good for pretty much everyone.

      1. 149hp in two tons is adequate for normal people’s needs in normal traffic, plenty of Detroit V8s in cars that weight put out much less than that in the past, and those cars still moved away from stoplights fine and cruised all day on the Interstates. Because of good low end torque, mainly, which is one of the things EVs are good at

      2. That’s not really true at all. I have a Honda Clarity that uses a 181 HP electric motor when in electric mode. The gas motor can add to that for a total of 212 HP. It’s 4,059 lbs. Almost 2 tons exactly.

        Unless I’m out of battery or really stomping the shit out of it, the gas motor in the Clarity simply doesn’t come on, and the car is no slacker. The car gets up and goes with authority all the time. It feels faster than my V6 Solara, which has 210 HP. Some of the feel is because there’s so little power lost to the transmission to consider, and zero time is lost to shifting.

        Most four cylinder 2000 Accords had 150 HP when new. The base model had only 135 HP. These were more than just fine to drive, even with a geared transmission. Further, the way an electric motor delivers power is extremely different. 149 HP is more than plenty if the car is geared properly and not expected to compete with a sports car, partly due to power delivery, and partly due to transmission differences.

        Another major thing to consider is that to get maximum power from a gas engine, you always feel like you’re winding it out and trading future longevity for power now. So you don’t go there as often as you’d like. With electric cars, you don’t feel like you’re borderline abusing your car by using all the available power, so you don’t mind giving it the right pedal.

        After driving electric, I feel like there’s a huge “waste factor” to factor in when comparing to gas motors. I feel that in real world driving, 180 HP electric is equivalent to at least 230 HP gas.

        The base model Ioniq 6 is definitely what I would have chosen several years ago.

        My current choice would depend on whether I still have another sportier car to play with or not. If I have something quick to toy with, I’d still get the base model, but if I didn’t, I’d spring for a step up or two. But I also recognize that I’m very fortunate to have the luxury of looking at things that way right now.

  9. 240 miles of range and chargeable to 80% in ~10 minutes seems pretty good to me. It takes about as much time to fill up my Focus ST with an E80 blend and that’s about as far as it will go on a tank.

    That being said, the long range does seem like a no-brainer.

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