Driving the Ioniq 6 is, for a brief moment, surprising. Considering its coupe looks, you sit no lower in this than you do in the SUV-styled Ioniq 5. It’s a bit odd, to begin with. The driving position immediately reminded me of that in the Abarth 595. The feeling is that you’re sat on top of the car, looking over where the bonnet should be, only it droops down so sharply you can’t actually see it. It doesn’t immediately provide much of the engaged feel, but rather a sense of comfort and distance from the road akin to that of a small crossover.
With that in mind, the Ioniq 6 is clearly a car designed to be enjoyed at a leisurely speed, rather than one to roll up your sleeves and hurl into your favourite B-road. And enjoy it you can, because it’s absolutely fantastic. Being an electric car, acceleration is instantaneous, it doesn’t snap your neck with ludicrous amounts of torque – does produce 605Nm (446lb ft) – but it’s a more laid-back delivery of 325PS (239kW) that allows you to make progress without being anti-social about it. A sprint from 0-62mph takes 5.1 seconds in dual-motor AWD form, and that’s plenty quick enough.
You do have the option of three drive modes: Eco, Normal and Sport. Eco sets everything to pillow mode. Throttle response softens right up, as does the ride and the steering, it’s a serene experience that majors on comfort and relaxation, and the Ioniq 6 is almost perfectly suited to that style of driving. Switching up to Sport mode activates all manner of digitised adjustments to the feel of the car. You get weightier steering, sharper throttle response and a firmer ride, although the overall result is still some way off what you might consider to be ‘dynamic’. Sport mode feels like the wrong word for this form of the Ioniq 6. You can press on, and it will keep up if you demand a more direct turn-in, the overriding feeling is that this car is far better suited to floating through twists and turns rather than attacking them. You can cherry-pick your own settings for the steering, throttle and power delivery with the ‘My Drive’ selection.
Aside from the power, true enjoyment of the Ioniq 6 can be found in life’s more peaceful moments. The ride is one of this car’s more shining traits. On all of the roads we tested it was quiet, calm and deadly smooth, with no hint of a shudder from rougher surfaces or any such things as road or wind noise.
Braking is re-gen assisted, and you can adjust the strength of the regen using the paddles behind the steering wheel. Single-pedal driving is an option here, too, so you can follow the flow of traffic without using the brake pedal at all. Despite all the electrical assistance, the breaks still feel consistent, there’s no disconnect between your inputs and the car.