Electric race: Kia EV6 vs Hyundai Ioniq 5

One family, one platform, two cars

Coming from the same stable and built on the same foundation, the difference between the Kia EV6 and the Hyundai Ioniq 5 comes down to looks, performance and price. Together, the pair bust open the market for EVs, charging into the mid-range sector with features that stand up well to marquee names. If you’ve been on the fence about going electric, one of these purpose-built EVs could prompt you to action. 

Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 and Kia’s EV6 share a significant amount of DNA under the hood, including the new electric-global modular platform (E-GMP), which pushes the wheels to the edge of the skateboard-style base, maximising passenger space and giving designers a free hand. So, what distinguishes the Korean crossover cousins from each other? As always, the devil is in the details.

April 10, 2020
Starting from €484

Kia EV6 Standard 2WD

  • Seats: 5
  • WLTP Range: 400km
  • Acceleration: 8.5sec
  • Top Speed: 185km/h
  • Boot space: 490L (1300L max)
  • Frunk: 52L
  • Smooth and Silent Drive
  • Fast-Charge Time (Average): kW/18m
Starting from €530

Hyundai Ioniq 5 Standard 2WD

  • Seats: 5
  • WLTP Range: 400km
  • Acceleration: 8.5sec
  • Top Speed: 185km/h
  • Boot space: 531L (1531 max)
  • Frunk: 24L
  • Smooth and Silent Drive
  • Fast-Charge Time (Average): kW/18m

 

Battery and performance: Hyundai Ioniq 5 or Kia EV6?

The latest K-pop CUVs are twins at 2WD entry level, with the 58kWh battery delivering 170PS and 350Nm of power, both going from 0 to 100 in 8.5 seconds. The bigger battery on the AWD doubles those numbers to 306PS on the Hyundai and 325PS on the Kia, with torque at 605Nm for both. 0-100km acceleration drops to 5.4 seconds on EV6, while the Ioniq 5 shaves off another 0.2 seconds. 

WLTP range is close, too: at 400km on the lower battery variants, with the long-range editions topping out at 485km for the Ioniq 5 and 510km for the EV6. Kia has an edge at the top end, too, with a game-changing 430kW of power and 740Nm of Torque on the EV6 GT, due in 2022. Hyundai has no corresponding answer, although its limited-edition Project 45 compensates.

The E-GMP base gives the relatives an operating voltage of 800 volts, a level so far reserved for luxury models such as the Porsche Taycan. Ultra-fast charging gets you to 80 per cent in 18 minutes on both cars, just enough to stretch your legs. Both cars also support two-way charging, cranking out 3.6kW to power a decent coffee machine or a 55-inch TV in the bivouac. Here, the Ioniq 5 has a slight edge: a solar panel on the roof replenishes the battery.

 

Design and tech

Kia reframes perceptions across the new EV6’s four variants, starting with a brand-new racy logo. At rest, the performance saloon crouches lithely atop 19-inch alloy wheels, its tiger face refreshed by a compact front and dynamic sequential lights. Character lines swoosh up the sides to fuse into a wing-type spoiler. Inside, passengers will appreciate the roominess of a 2.9m wheelbase, recycled PET seats and plentiful USB ports. 

On the other hand, the award-winning design of Hyundai Ioniq 5 beams retro Pony styling straight into the future. If its sharp angular lines don’t turn heads, the animated game-culture headlights will. At 3.0m, it’s only marginally longer than the Kia EV6, but the minimalist insides offer maximum space with a moveable centre console and eight-way adjustable front seats that recline nearly flat. Plus, there’s wireless charging. The EV6 and the Ioniq 5 share tech features: two infotainment displays (side by side with the Hyundai but curved with the Kia) and an augmented-reality HUD. 

Pricing and availability

The Kia EV6 edges to market just ahead of the Hyundai Ioniq 5, although both will hit Europe and the US in 2021. A slight performance edge allows the EV6 to command a higher price, but you want a distinctive car that leaves you with a bit of extra change, wait for the Ioniq 5.