Night Rider

by Petrol Mum
Hyundai IONIQ 6 Gravity Gold Matte

In 1982 David Hasselhoff aka Knight Rider battled the forces of evil with the help of an artificially intelligent supercar known as KITT that was capable of thinking, learning, communicating and interacting with humans. Forty years later this far-fetched TV show now looks like everyday driving, without the 1980s hairstyle, in vehicles such as this Hyundai IONIQ 6.

The IONIQ 6 is a funky looking battery electric sedan based of Hyundai’s E-GMP (Electric Global Modular Platform). This is the EPIQ spec that comes with Dual Motors (Permanent magnet synchronous motors front and rear) that produce 239kW of power and 605Nm of torque. Which is enough power to propel the two tonne plus electric vehicle from 0-100km/h in 5.1 seconds. The IONIQ 6 also has Bluelink connected car services and Over-The-Air software updates just like KITT.

There are three set drive modes available Eco, Normal, Sport and one Custom mode. Under My Mode you can customise the Power Output, Acceleration Sensitivity, Steering and Driveline, which has the option of AWD, Auto AWD, and 2WD (rear drive only). You can even select what your IONIQ 6 sounds like thanks to the Active Sound Design. The options available are Enhanced, Normal, Minimised and Off. My preference is to have the sound Off and I spent my time mostly driving in Normal mode with regen set to three using the wheel mounted selectors.

The energy for the IONIQ 6 comes from a 77.4kWh lithium-ion battery, with a claimed range of 519km. For my week driving the IONIQ 6 I used an average of 17.7kWh/100km so my maximum range would have been 436km.

The CCS Combo2 charging port is located at rear on of the vehicle on the driver’s side of the IONIQ 6 and one handy feature it has is automatic closing when you start driving and the cord is obviously not attached. When you connect the charge cord the IONIQ 6 talks to you and says “start charging” and the white lights next to the plug flash and the remaining charge time is indicated on the digital driver’s dash.

I used the standard 240V home charging plug, which is the slowest way to charge your EV, but you can also charge the IONIQ 6 on a DC charger up to 350kW. Hyundai claim it will take approximately 18 minutes to charge from 10 to 80% on this type of charger. Or using the slower 50kW charger it is claimed to take 73 minutes for a 10 to 80% battery charge.

The futuristic elements of the IONIQ 6 continue on the interior, where a number of sustainable materials have been used. IONIQ 6 seats are partially comprised of eco-processed leather, which uses flaxseed oil extract in the dying process to reduce wastewater, with residual oil biodegradable. Some fabrics used in IONIQ 6, such as carpets and floor mats, are partially made from recycled fishing net yarn (approximately 20%). And approximately 25.4% of yarn composition in the head lining contains bio-ingredients derived from sugar cane. While the door trims are coated with a special bio-paint made from rapeseed flowers and corn extracts.  

The electric car platform allows flexibility in the layout of the IONIQ’s interior giving the occupants many different storage options. For example, the glove box is a pull-out drawer and under the centre console bridge is a large storage ledge with one 12V socket. There are two cup holders in centre console with grippy sides and a rubber mat in them for easy cleaning and the gear selector is on the stalk next to steering wheel for a cleaner look on the console. There is a wireless charge pad and one USB-A port at the front of the centre console and two USB-C ports under arm rest. The drink bottle storage cubby in the front doors is a little compromised with storage at a 450 angle and only suitable for small narrow bottles.

Both front seats have power adjustment for recline, forward/back, seat height front and rear, 2-way lumbar and the driver’s seat has two memory positions. There is also a button that puts the seat into Relaxation mode for a fully reclined position and to completely relax you have heated and cooled front seats that you operate under infotainment menu. The IONIQ 6 even has a heated steering wheel for added luxury in winter.

Press the start/stop button and the twin digital screens come to life, sometimes a little slowly for the infotainment system. The digital driver’s dash changes theme depending on the drive mode you are in and can be customised to your personal preference, as can the head up display. You can search for EV charging locations on the sat nav with numerous brands shown and when you press on the location it tells you whether it is an AC or DC charger, the number there and whether or not they are available.

Just like in KITT you can use voice control to access some of the infotainment options by pressing the button on the steering wheel with the masculine silhouette on it. Unlike other Hyundai vehicles the voice control works without the need for Apple CarPlay/Android Auto being connected. I really liked when I communicated with the IONIQ 6 that the light on the dash moves up and down in true KITT car style. The voice control worked well for me for making a phone call, but didn’t work for changing the radio station and it only worked for setting a destination on the sat nav if the destination was already saved in the system.

Possibly my favourite feature of the IONIQ 6 is the dual colour ambient lighting with many colours combinations to choose from. This pink and blue combination was my favourite for driving around in my version of the Knight Rider.

The lack of a transmission tunnel means there was ample leg room in the rear seats, but head room was tight thanks to the sloping roofline. The IONIQ has two ISOFix/three rear tether child seat restraint points, but only really room for two car seats due to the overall seat width. The centre seat folds down as arm rest with two rigid cup holders in it and the drink bottle cubbies in rear doors are only suitable for small bottles and their shape makes it a bit awkward to take the bottle out.

Rear passengers get heated rear seats and two central air vents with individual on/off and direction controls. Below the vents there are two USB-C ports and a three prong plug for vehicle to load is located at front of rear seat in the centre, so you can plug in items like your hair dryer.

The IONIQ 6 EPIQ has a powered boot with operation from the button under boot lid, on the key fob and in the cabin. The boot is deep, but the opening is narrow so you have to bend over and really reach in to get to the back and there is no tie down points, hooks or 12V socket in the boot. If more space is required the rear seats have a 40:60 split fold mechanism with release in the boot area. The tyre repair kit is stored under the boot floor and there is space under bonnet large enough for charge cords, but is not a good shape.

The IONIQ 6 is the first car that I have driven with the digital side view mirrors and my thoughts on them are that I wanted them to look higher up for me and that the vison projected on the screen was not as wide as what you would see from a physical mirror. But one advantage of them is the blind spot view is displayed in them as well as in the driver’s dash.

All IONIQ 6 variants come standard with Hyundai SmartSense that includes Blind-Spot Collision-avoidance Assist, Forward Collision-avoidance Assist including Car / Pedestrian / Cyclist Detection, Junction Turning / Crossing functions, Lane Change Oncoming / Side functions, and Evasive Steering Assist function. It also has Lane Following Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Parking Collision-avoidance Assist – Forward/Side/Reverse, and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist. The rear-view camera combines a standard view camera with a 3600/3D camera with front and rear parking sensors. For convenience you also get adaptive cruise control, auto lights and auto wipers.

ANCAP tests of its autonomous emergency braking (AEB) (Car-to-Car) system showed GOOD performance, including AEB Junction Assist where the test vehicle can autonomously brake to avoid crashes when turning across the path of an oncoming vehicle. ANCAP tests of lane support system functionality showed overall GOOD performance, including in several of the more critical emergency lane keeping test scenarios. Overall, the ANCAP Safety Assist score for the IONIQ 6 is 90%.

Dual frontal, side chest-protecting and side head-protecting airbags are standard. A centre airbag, which provides added protection to front seat occupants in side impact crashes, is also standard. Giving the IONIQ 6 a 5-star ANCAP (2022) safety rating with an Adult Occupant Protection score of 97% (36.96 out of 38) and a Child Occupant Protection score of 88% (43.41 out of 49).

Hyundai iCare offers new car owners a 5 year Unlimited Km warranty (8 years on the EV battery), complimentary Roadside Assist for 24 months on new IONIQ 6 vehicles, and a dedicated Customer Care Centre. When servicing with Hyundai, customers will also receive a 10 Year Sat Nav Update Plan, a lifetime Roadside Support Plan if you continue to service your IONIQ 6 with Hyundai. Under the Lifetime Service Plan the first two IONIQ 6 services are $560 each and these are done every two years or 30,000km, whichever occurs first.

Hyundai IONIQ 6 side

Once only available in Hollywood, talking cars that are connected through over the air technology, are now common place in our everyday driving. But there is still room for some fun and personality and this is what the IONIQ 6 EPIQ offers. This Gravity Gold Matte IONIQ 6 EPIQ AWD is priced from $89,000 excluding on-road cost. You can Build and Price your IONIQ 6 online or visit your preferred Hyundai electric car dealer for more information.

Funky exterior designRear headroom is limited
Cool ambient lightingInfotainment was slow to start up on occasions
Use of sustainable materialsI’m not convinced that digital side mirrors are better

Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.

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