IONIQ 6 vs IONIQ 5 Overview: Sedan or SUV?

For EV buyers considering one of Hyundai‘s new IONIQ dedicated battery electric models, the choice largely boils down to body style preference. The IONIQ 5 crossover SUV offers more passenger and cargo room at an affordable price point, while the upcoming IONIQ 6 sedan promises flashier style, technology and driving dynamics aimed at singles and couples rather than families.

Pricing for the IONIQ 6 has yet to be confirmed, but is expected to be significantly higher. However under the skin, these two EVs share much of the same core electric architecture including batteries, motors and ultra-fast 800V charging. Let‘s take a more detailed look at how they compare:

Dimensional Differences: Footprint and Carrying Capacity

As expected given the body types, the IONIQ 5 has a larger footprint as an SUV:


Length184 inches194 inches
Width74 inches75 inches
Height63 inches56 inches
Wheelbase118 inches116 inches
Ground Clearance6.5 inches4.6 inches

This allows the boxier IONIQ 5 to offer vastly more cargo capacity. With the rear seats folded down, available cargo space balloons to a maximum of nearly 60 cubic feet. The IONIQ 6, while not officially measured, is likely to offer around half that volume at most.

For passengers, the IONIQ 5 again provides greater room and comfort particularly for those sitting in the back seats. The IONIQ 6‘s sleek "streamliner" roofline tapering towards the rear does cut into usable passenger space despite a similar wheelbase.

Verdict: Clear win for the IONIQ 5 for family duty or bulky items

Range and Battery Breakdown

Both IONIQ models deliver fully capable real-world driving range on par with or better than key rivals. Which edges out the other comes down to whose testing methodology you trust more:

EV ModelBattery SizeEPA Est. RangeWLTP Est. Range
IONIQ 5 RWD77.4 kWh303 miles373 miles
IONIQ 5 AWD77.4 kWh256 miles301 miles
IONIQ 677.4 kWhTBD379 miles

WLTP testing used in Europe generally delivers higher projected ranges than the stricter EPA cycle

For the IONIQ 6, Hyundai has only released WLTP estimates so far, claiming an impressive 379 miles from the same 77.4 kWh battery found in dual-motor all-wheel drive IONIQ 5s.

Using InsideEVs‘ ratio of 1.14:1 for WLTP to EPA conversions, we arrive at an expected 332 mile EPA-equivalent figure for the IONIQ 6. This means that while the aerodynamic sedan likely falls slightly behind the RWD IONIQ 5‘s 303 mile frugal range estimate, it could potentially outdo AWD configurations of the SUV by up to 25%.

Further muddying comparisons are factors like:

  • Heavier AWD model range penalties
  • Test variability and real-world conditions
  • Differences in aerodynamics/rolling resistance despite battery commonalities

What is clear is that both IONIQ EVs stand out from rivals like Mustang Mach-E AWD (270 miles EPA) and Kia EV6 AWD (252 miles EPA) when it comes to max range from a charge. Plus, they share the next-gen capability to fast charge from 10-80% in under 20 minutes.

Verdict: Essential capabilities are very evenly matched, with IONIQ 6 expected to have up to 10% range advantage

Performance: Quickness, Handling and Doubts

On paper, Hyundai‘s claimed performance specs for their upcoming sedan give it razor-thin edges over the SUV:

0-60 mph Time5.2 sec5.1 sec*
Top Speed115 mph115 mph*
Max Power320 hp320 hp*
Max Torque446 lb-ft446 lb-ft*

IONIQ 6 figures based on pre-release estimates for top AWD trims to match IONIQ 5 output

However, some independent testing has shown the IONIQ 5 capable of hitting 60 mph in under 5 seconds. And while their straight line quickness seems evenly matched, a lower center of gravity and aggressively sporty styling suggests the IONIQ 6 may prove notably agile given its sedan chassis.

The flip side is ride quality. Where the IONIQ 5 maintains composure even over uneven surfaces according to reviews, that firmer sport suspension tuning may translate into a rougher ride day-to-day for the IONIQ 6.

Verdict: Toss-up depending on preferences for sportscar feel versus everyday comfort

Charging Considerations: Politics, Patience and Powermanship

A key strength for both EVs versus earlier attempts at electrification is their underlying 800V electrical architecture. This allows for 350kW charging to juice pack the battery from 10-80% in under 20 minutes on high-speed DC fast chargers.

However, finding one of those 350kW chargers enables those blistering charging times. As of July 2022, there are around 140 locations with such powerful >300kW outlets in the USA. But expansion plans suggest sites could triple in number over just the next year.

The charging politics at play for Hyundai are:

  • Network influence: auto groups jockeying for more compatible stations

  • Battery strategy: legacy production vs emerging cell-to-pack tech

  • Infrastructure regulations: policies/funding speeding nationwide rollout

For you the buyer considering IONIQ EVs, practical implications are:

  • Expect charging stops to gradually quicken as more 350kW ports proliferate

  • Be ready to default to 50+kW fast charging or 220V overnight top-ups if needed

  • Budget extra time for longer distance trips initially

Admittedly some guesswork and patience around charging potential remains. Yet both EVs easily outpace the old 50-80% in 30 minutes metric many buyers still anchored to.

Verdict: Futureproof architecture slightly let down by young fast charging network

Based on our analysis, for family-oriented buyers or those needing to fit bulky items, the IONIQ 5 crossover SUV offers compelling range, rapid charging and an affordable starting price – at the expense of driver sportiness.

Meanwhile, the sleek upcoming IONIQ 6 sedan promises scintillating style wrapped around that same capable EV powertrain. And with its slippery aerodynamics likely pushing range even further, it‘s shaping up to be a driver‘s car for early adopters less worried about space considerations or budget.

As always, test drives will tell the tale. But on paper, Hyundai looks to have two segment-leading EV options tailored to very different audiences while pushing the practical boundaries of affordable battery-powered mobility.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

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