SPEAKER 1: What we have here is the all-new Ioniq 5, which is the first fully dedicated electric vehicle from Hyundai. And it's currently our favorite in the luxury electric SUV class. Right next to it is the Kia EV6, which is also new and shares a lot in common with the Ioniq 5. Despite their similarities, there are some key differences between the two. But before we get into that, do us a favor and hit Like and Subscribe below, and head over to edmunds.com/sellmycar to get a cash offer on your vehicle.
The most obvious difference between the Ioniq 5 and EV6 is styling. The Hyundai goes with a delightfully funky aesthetic with a distinct 8-bit pixelated motif, while the EV6 adopts a sleek and curvaceous shape. As different as they may be, I'm personally a fan of both executions, but I wonder if the novelty of Hyundai's styling will stand the test of time. In terms of price these two EVs are almost in lockstep.
The Hyundai Ioniq 5 starts around $41,000 for the entry level SE Standard Range model. That should be arriving this spring. It has a single 168-horsepower electric motor that drives the rear wheels and an estimated range of 220 miles. The Kia EV6 Light Trim starts right around $42,000, has 167 horsepower, and an estimated range of 232 miles. There are some mid-grade rear drive models that increase output to 225 horsepower and range past 300 miles too.
What we have here, however, are the top trims in both lineups. These have bigger batteries and two motors to deliver all-wheel drive. This Ioniq 5 Limited has an as-tested price of almost $56,000, while the EV6 has a sticker of $58,000. Both have a power output of 320 horsepower, but the Kia EV6 gains a slight range advantage of 274 miles compared to the Ioniq's 256-mile range estimate.
In our Edmunds real-world range test, however, we managed to squeeze 270 miles out of the Ioniq 5. Now, all in all, these differences are fairly minor. So let's hit the road and get into the really big ones. Time to drive. Starting with the Hyundai Ioniq 5, acceleration is immediate, which is typical of pretty much any electric vehicle today. At the Edmunds test track, it accelerated from 0 to 60 miles an hour in only 4.7 seconds. Now, that's barely quicker than the Tesla Model Y Long Range and quite a bit quicker than a comparable Ford Mustang Mach-E, so there's no doubt that this is plenty quick for most drivers.
Here on the steering wheel are some paddles that control the amount of brake regeneration. Now, that's how much the car slows when you take your foot off of the accelerator and how much of that momentum can be used to recharge the batteries. In this lightest setting, it pretty much free wheels like a bicycle with very little deceleration. Now, I prefer the most aggressive i-pedal setting, which allows for one-pedal driving. Not only does it extend the cruising range, but it reduces some of the fatigue you might feel in heavy traffic since you don't have to dance between the accelerator and brake pedals as much.
The ride quality is pleasantly soft in the Ioniq, which means a lot of the bumps in the road are barely felt. Now, on a winding road like this, however, it does create a little bit more body roll. But it still takes the curves with more athleticism than most drivers will ever need. Now, some of these mid-corner bumps do cause some inelegant jostling, but that shouldn't be too much of a big deal for most drivers.
Now, here in the EV6, the firmer ride quality is noticeable when you compare it back to back. I intentionally used the word firm instead of stiff since the bumps in the road are still kept from being harsh, but you are certainly going to feel more of them. I personally like the suspension tuning in the EV6, but I tend to favor sportier handling, and that's where the EV6 shines. It's surprisingly fun to drive on a twisty road like this. And with all-wheel drive, those front wheels, they really do a great job of pulling you out of the backside of the turns.
And the rear wheel drive models, well, they're even more fun because you can kick the tail out a little more. Now, that requires a little more skill and care to do safely, but when done right, it is really quite fun. And by the way, this EV6 hit 60 miles an hour in the exact same 4.7 seconds that the Ioniq 5 took. That means if you're looking for a bit more fun and confident handling, the Kia EV6 is the clear choice. However, if you're looking for the softest, cushiest ride, the Ioniq 5 is your best bet.
Of course, driving is just part of the experience. So let's pull over and compare the interiors. Even though both of these electric SUVs are on the small side, they provide plenty of space on the inside. Up front, I have plenty of space, but I do wish the steering wheel would telescope just a little further out from the dash. As it is, I feel like I have to scoot the seat just a little bit further forward than I prefer. But that's also the same with the EV6.
In the Hyundai, the gear selector is right here at the 4 o'clock position, and you just kind of flick it forward or backwards for drive or reverse. It's intuitive from the get-go, and it frees up a lot of space on the center console too. This center console has a ton of space for storage. You have this shallow bin here and this huge tray underneath, but I'm not sold on some of the design decisions. Now, there is a wireless charging pad that's kind of deep in there, and this console slides backwards and forwards, though I'm not sure why that's helpful.
Now, the problem I have is the USB charger ports are right here, but the one for the data, to use things like Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, are here underneath the center stack. That means that your cable has to run from there across the gap into this cup holder or into the charging pad. Also, that floor in the gap is flat, so you've got to be careful with water bottles just in case one rolls underneath the pedals.
I like how there are these physical shortcut buttons that kind of help you get to some of the more commonly used functions. But I do wish that there were separate buttons just for seat heating and ventilation because you kind of have to dig through some of the menus to get to the seat controls here. And it takes a few extra seconds if you use the voice control, plus it kind of cuts out on whatever you're listening to.
Here in the EV6, the center console is fixed and holds the gear selector dial. Now, personally, I prefer the selector stalk in the Hyundai because this dial isn't quite as intuitive, and it eats up a little bit of real estate that can be better used for storage on the center console. Now, I do like the wireless charging pad here. It's big enough to accept an iPhone that's Max-sized with one of those thick bumper cases as well. On top of that, this lid here helps keep the phone in place.
Instead of Hyundai's physical buttons, Kia went with a rather novel dual-purpose capacitive touch panel here. You kind of touch this little button here, and it switches between audio and navigation to climate control. Now, you still need to take your eyes off the road to use it, but it's pretty good at cleaning up the surfaces here and reducing the amount of buttons that you have. You have another set of buttons right here just below for the seat ventilation and heating, but you do have to be careful because it's pretty easy to inadvertently hit them and activate some of the seat heaters.
Ask me how I know. Both the Ioniq 5 and EV6 have their own set of advantages and drawbacks, but fortunately, a lot of these drawbacks are just tiny little nitpicks that won't sour the overall experience. Both also offer plenty of space in the rear seats for adults. I'm 5 foot 10", and I fit fine behind myself in the driver's seat, and that's pretty great for such a small SUV.
The Ioniq 5 can accept up to 27.2 cubic feet of cargo, which is less than the Tesla Model Y or Ford Mustang Mach-E. But I think it's a decent amount of space for a small SUV. The EV6 is even smaller at 24.4 cubic feet, which actually makes it one of the smallest in the class. Now, neither of these have a decent front either. Really, it's a tray that's about as big enough to hold the charging cables but not much else.
Like most cars for sale today, the Ioniq 5 and EV6 are packed with tech features. You get all the typical advanced safety features, and they all work really well without any false alarms. I will say that the lane keep assist in the EV6 is a little heavy-handed, as it takes a little bit too much effort to break it free from the computer. I'm also not a fan of the blind spot camera systems that project an image off the side view going backwards. For me, I think it's more of a distraction, especially at night.
On top of that, the steering wheel blocks the most important parts you need to see. More importantly to shoppers is likely the charge times. Both are capable of DC fast charging at up to 350 kilowatts. That means you can charge from 10% to 80% in as little as 18 minutes. Now, that's pretty quick. But in our experience, those charges are pretty rare, and they're not always working at that capacity. Hyundai sweetens the deal by offering up to 30 minutes of charge time for the first two years of ownership.
Both the Hyundai and Kia offer an external power adapter, which allows you to plug in accessories or appliances or even come to the rescue of other EV drivers. Just be warned that the charge rate if you're charging another car is oppressively slow. Now, finally, when it comes to the infotainment systems, they are pretty much the same. They're easy to use, they're pretty quick to respond, and there really aren't any complaints. If you want more in-depth reviews of that, check out our videos below.
As similar as the specs, performance, and range are between the Hyundai Ioniq 5 in Kia EV6, deciding between the two comes down to personal preference. Now, I can see how the funky design of the Ioniq 5 will draw on shoppers, and I'm all for it. I personally think it's one of the cooler designs to ever come out of Hyundai. But the Kia EV6 has got my vote. Even though the Ioniq 5 may have an edge when it comes to cargo and price and maybe even interior materials, I think the EV6 is a sexy EV, and I'm duly impressed by the handling performance.
I mean, seriously, this is kind of like what I'd expect Mazda to do once they finally get around to making a really good EV. It handles great and makes you feel special in it. And damn, it's just a lot of fun to drive. The best part is, though, I have no problem recommending either of these. I think they're some of the best EVs on the market today. And, of course, we have a lot of rivals on the way from Nissan, Toyota, and Subaru. We'll have reviews of those in coming months, so keep checking back to see how they stack up against these two. Thanks for watching, and don't forget to hit Like and Subscribe below. And head over to edmunds.com for all the latest news and reviews.
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