The Hyundai Ioniq 5 broke the mould with its retro-futuristic styling that fused imposing boxy lines with charismatic angles and detail touches like matrix lighting. The family SUV was going to be a hard act to follow.

To go one-up in terms of number sequence, ie Ioniq 6 to the Ioniq 5, everyone would expect the newer 6 to be a big brother to the show-stopping 5. However, the Ioniq 5 has the longer wheelbase, and the only similarity they share in terms of presence and styling are the matrix lights and… oh yes, that show-stopping ability.

But whereas the Ioniq 5 dug back down into Hyundai’s history and took its inspiration from the company’s first hatchback, the Pony, the Ioniq 6 saloon car, while joining it is sibling in the future-scape, refused to look back at say the ancient Stellar saloon. Instead, perhaps as a result of poaching designers from Germany, it rather fancied imitating a well-known sportscar maker in Stuttgart and giving them a lesson in how to make a sporty four-door EV.

So, you have a swoopy smoothed-out bustle back, turned-down fenders and heck, why didn’t they just stick some 911-style lights on the front of this? Oh yes, because the headlights incorporate Matrix LEDs and the taillights are entirely made of pixelated light squares.
There’s a boot there, not a hatch, and it’s usefully spacious with a false floor where the charging cables reside. And space is another attribute it shares with Ioniq 5. Open the doors and there’s a darker, more sombre and conservative aura within, but while doesn’t feel as capacious as the 5, the saloon offers nearly as much room in reality. It’s just more reclined – talking of which, the front passenger seat offers seat controls on the side bolster, so whoever is sitting behind can free up yet more legroom.

While only feet-space might be a slight concern in the back, as is often the case with EVs due to their higher floor (batteries sandwiched within) this is not a problem in the front. A massive screen greets you, as does a bridged centre console which adds to the sense of space, giving you somewhere to put stuff and charge your phone, but no gear selector.

‘Where’s that?’ I wonder frantically, not wanting to embarrass myself by having to get out and ask someone. Fortunately, a quick tug on the wheel finds the selector stalk hiding behind a wheel spoke.

The car tested is the Ultima and comes with 325bhp, 605Nm of torque and all-wheel drive. It weighs 2000kg but still has a claimed range of 322 miles. It’ll sprint from rest to 60mph in an impressively quick 5.1 seconds and reach 115mph.

Sure enough it feels rapid with typically instant response, unfettered acceleration, accurate steering and suitably sporty intentions. Affixed tightly to the tarmac the AWD grip is reassuring and also exploits its performance prowess. The ride is a little firmer than you’d expect, but the stiff structure is not unusual for EVs. There’s regen braking, selectable from the paddles behind the steering wheel.

It’s a satisfying steer in a sexy seductive shape, you’d impress the neighbours with this in your drive, and despite its exec saloon status come the weekend, family days out are easily on the cards.

There’s very little negative to bring up in relation to the Ioniq 6. Except that its biggest threat however, comes from within its own stable. Yup, the Ioniq 5 is yet more practical still striking to look at (in fact more extraordinary to my eyes than the admittedly sweet 6), and boasts an interior that just edges it in terms of inviting appeal and classy finish. Look at both, but you’ll probably pick the 5.