2024 Hyundai Ioniq 6 overshadows Model 3


With more range, better functionality, actual style thanks to a better design, and competitive price, the Hyundai Ioniq 6 just makes better sense than the Tesla Model 3.

But that style does come at a price for taller passengers; Tesla has upped its interior-material game; and the car that’s so forward-thinking still lacks some tech polish found in Tesla and other competitors. 

Here are the pros and cons of living with the 2024 Hyundai Ioniq 6 after shuttling the kids around town and running errands for a week.

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 6

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 6

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 6

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 6

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 6

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 6

Pro: Ioniq 6 design stands out

At best the Model 3 is clean and inoffensive, and at worst it’s boring and anonymous. The Hyundai Ioniq 6 just looks cool, and its design is functional to boot. It’s more aerodynamic than the Model 3, and it’s one of the most aerodynamic vehicles in production today. Its streamliner design features a front end that arguably has Porsche Panamera and GM EV1 vibes. The rear end harkens back to the Infiniti J30 and finishes it off with a ducktail spoiler. The signature Ioniq chiclet LED light signatures front and back are intricate, neat details that catch the eye.

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 6

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 6

Con: Aerodynamics cost some headroom

Taller occupants in front will be just fine, but the slippery design severely impacts rear headroom. It’s the fast roofline in the rear that causes the issue. At 5-foot-10 my head skims the headliner. Anybody 6-foot and over is going to have an issue with comfort, let alone bumps in the road.

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 6

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 6

Pro: Hyundai pairs function with form

The Ioniq 6 features a low dashboard and cowl for terrific visibility, a wall of glass with two 12.3-inch screens together comprising the digital gauge cluster and touchscreen infotainment system, and plenty of neat bitmap squares around the interior to match the exterior lighting elements. But unlike the Model 3 it also has buttons, knobs, and toggles for essential functions like climate and audio controls.

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 6

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 6

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 6

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 6

Con: Hyundai’s Ioniq 6 materials are a mixed bag

There’s zero scratch-prone shiny piano-black plastic in the Ioniq 6, which is great. And the center console in my test car had a matte-finish plastic trim surround that borderline felt like concrete. It was neat. But the Ioniq 6 Limited Long Range with 20-inch wheels, as tested, cost $55,010, and the dashboard, door uppers, and other trim bits didn’t go with the price tag and were mostly hard plastic. The Tesla Model 3 received a refresh that upgraded the car’s interior materials at least a half step above this.

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 6

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 6

Pro: Ioniq 6 range goes the distance for a competitive price

The Ioniq 6 has an EPA-rated range of up to 361 miles and costs $43,600 including an $1,150 destination charge. That’s far more than any Tesla Model 3. There’s a base model Ioniq 6 that costs $38,050, undercutting the Model 3, but it only has 240 miles of range. Tesla’s adjustment factor applied in calculating most of its official EPA range numbers means you’re simply more likely to see the Ioniq approach these numbers in real-world driving.  

The Long-Range dual-motor Ioniq 6 I had carried an EPA range rating of 270 miles. In good weather I’ve seen an average over 3.0 mi/kwh, while in cold weather with temps hovering in the mid to low 30s with this car I saw that drop to 2.6 or 2.7 mi/kwh in mixed suburban driving. Neither of those quite match its EPA number, but that’s competitive. 

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 6

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 6

Con: Hyundai EV app and infotainment

Somehow Hyundai’s car of the future doesn’t feature wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Both require a wired USB-A connection, which boggles the mind.

The Hyundai iOS app to control the car was fine, but certainly not in the same league as what Tesla’s developed, or even what Rivian and Lucid are running. Even Ford’s app for the Mustang Mach-E is more polished and quicker. The iOS app is slow, requires loading constantly, then confirmation for functions such as starting the heat ahead of time. It’s clunky and feels a full step behind competitors.

The Tesla Model 3, for now, might be easier to live with on the basis of the Supercharging network and a better app experience, but both of these merits are fleeting. The Ioniq 6 brings style, range, and efficiency in a swoopy package for a competitive price. It should be on the shopping list.

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2024 Hyundai Ioniq 6 Limited Long Range AWD

Base price: $43,600, including a $1,150 destination fee
Price as tested: $55,010
Drivetrain: 320 hp combined, dual-motor AWD
EPA range: 270 miles
The hits: Stylish design, efficient, real buttons, good range and price
The misses: Mediocre iOS app, wired CarPlay, some cheap plastics, rear headroom



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