2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 or 2022 Kia EV6: Which one to buy?

The choices for battery-electric vehicles are growing every year but two entries from Korea stand out above the rest: the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the 2022 Kia EV6. Built on Hyundai Motor Group’s BEV-specific E-GMP platform, both vehicles are new from the ground up and aim to establish their respective brands as electrification leaders.

That doesn’t mean they’re the same vehicle with different shells because both have distinct personalities. That being said, let’s find out which one should end up in your driveway!

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 or 2022 Kia EV6 exterior

The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 and 2022 Kia EV6 couldn’t be more different when it comes to exterior design. Hyundai doubled down on the retro-futuristic look by taking inspiration from the 1970s Pony Coupe designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro. The result is an eye-catching crossover hatchback filled with character and lots of pixel details for an extra whiff of nostalgia. Its upright greenhouse gives it a more familiar look while retaining the futuristic vibes mixed with old-school flair.

Kia, on the other hand, went all-in with the aerodynamic wedgelike shape, resulting in a car that looks like a spaceship at some angles. You get more soft lines and curves versus the Hyundai’s sharp angles and squared details. The low roofline adds to its sporting demeanor and places it on the car side of the crossover spectrum while hinting at its focus on driving fun. Kia also made the EV6 longer despite its 114-inch wheelbase being 4.1 inches shorter than the Ioniq 5’s. This gives the car better proportions and amplifies its futuristic appearance.

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 or 2022 Kia EV6 interior

Both vehicles have a simple interior layout yet manage to look modern. Excellent levels of sound insulation and fantastic build quality give the two vehicles a class-above aura. Everything you touch feels expensive and wouldn’t be out of place in a car wearing a luxury badge. Hyundai and Kia made extensive use of materials that aren’t animal-based save for the leather on the steering wheel, giving the two cars more eco-credentials without feeling chintzy.

The dash layout in both vehicles adds to their futuristic characters, especially with their two screens. Both use dual 12.3-inch displays but the Kia differs because it houses them under a single piece of curved glass. This adds to the EV6’s driver-focused nature because all of the controls are within your reach and turned toward you. The Ioniq 5, on the other hand, is more conventional and houses all its functions on the center stack or the main display. You can also get an augmented reality head-up display on the two cars that give you directions using active graphics in your line of sight.

Thanks to their long wheelbase and flat floors, the Ioniq 5 and EV6 handily accommodate five people. Additionally, they have clever storage solutions for small items and even a place for a small bag under the center console or between the driver and front passenger. Of the two, the Ioniq 5 is the more versatile because of features like a sliding center console and rear seats that recline and slide. The Kia, however, has a larger underfloor storage area in the back. For hauling bulky items, you’ll need to fold the rear seats because the rear window in both vehicles cuts into the cargo area, limiting vertical capacity with all seats up. The Ioniq 5 also doesn’t have a completely flat floor and with the rear seats slid all the way forward, there’s a gap between the seatbacks and the cargo floor.

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 or 2022 Kia EV6 tech features

User-friendliness is the hallmark of the Hyundai/Kia infotainment system and that stands in the Ioniq 5 and EV6. Despite certain functions now housed in the main touch screen, submenus are kept to a minimum. Both have responsive displays that are easy to navigate even on the move. The mix of physical and haptic feedback controls keeps things simple and won’t get overly distracting.

Kia kept some redundancy by placing shortcuts to frequently used functions like the heated and ventilated front seats on the center console, further reducing the learning curve. Audiophiles will prefer the Kia’s 14-speaker Meridian surround sound system for its clarity, ability to cover the cabin, and customizability. The eight-speaker Bose unit in the Ioniq 5 isn’t bad but it could do a better job enveloping the interior. Its volume increase is also not consistent, meaning it’s too low at lower levels and suddenly gets too loud just past halfway.

The latest version of Hyundai Motor Group’s driver assistance technology is available on the Ioniq 5 and EV6 under the names Smart Sense and DriveWise respectively. On both vehicles, the suite works exceptionally well thanks to its subtle corrections and accuracy. This allows the vehicles to follow traffic seamlessly and react to changes proactively, meaning it’ll slow down to avoid hitting a vehicle merging in front of you or a car that’s coming too fast as you’re trying to merge into another lane. It also includes automatic lane changing just like Genesis vehicles with this suite, allowing you to switch to the next lane by simply activating the turn signal.

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 or 2022 Kia EV6 driving impressions

You have two battery options on the Ioniq 5 and EV6. The base 58-kWh pack is only available in single-motor guise and gives you 168 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. On a single charge, the Ioniq 5 is good for 220 miles while the EV6 checks in at 232 miles. This configuration is offered only on the SE and Light grades for the Ioniq 5 and EV6 respectively.

The larger 77.4-kWh battery is available on all trims on the Ioniq 5 and the Wind, GT-Line, and GT variants of the EV6. In single-motor configuration, horsepower jumps to 225 in both vehicles while driving range increases to 303 miles for the Ioniq 5 and 310 miles for the EV6. Dual-motor examples make 320 hp and 446 lb-ft. In this layout, the Ioniq 5 and EV6 can travel 256 and 274 miles respectively. The outlier here is the EV6 GT, which makes 576 hp and 545 lb-ft. This performance model will be available in late 2022 but its range could be less than 250 miles per charge due to the increase in power.

Get behind the wheel of both vehicles and you’ll immediately notice the difference in the driving experience. The Ioniq 5 is calm and relaxed. You still get the quick acceleration, especially in dual-motor variants, but it’s given to you in a relaxed manner like a gentle wave. This is most apparent from a standstill where you don’t get pushed hard after mashing the throttle. Do the same thing on the move you’ll get pushed to your seat but not hard.

The EV6 is on the other side of the spectrum. Floor the accelerator, particularly in the dual-motor version, and you’ll get pinned hard regardless of whether you do it from a standstill or on the move. Kia gave the EV6 a sharper throttle response and it’s apparent because it’s more willing than the Ioniq 5. This amplifies its sporting character and gives the vehicle a better connection with the driver.

Regardless of which vehicle you get, you’ll be gaining speed at an alarming rate, especially in the AWD variants, which have more power.

In the handling department, the EV6 once again distinguishes itself as the driver’s car. Although it and the Ioniq 5 don’t have much body roll to start, Kia’s tighter suspension and more rigid body nearly eliminate it, resulting in flat cornering. You feel more motions in the Ioniq 5 but it remains confident and easy to drive. Both vehicles have great steering that’s communicative, well-weighted, and accurate. However, the EV6 is tighter and quicker to further separate it as a sportier vehicle.

Hyundai developed the Ioniq 5 as a family-oriented vehicle and this shows on the road thanks to its ride comfort. Over uneven pavement, the car remains plush and the suspension does a fantastic job absorbing harsh impacts. This results in a little more isolation, especially with tires that have generous sidewalls even when you get a Limited model with 20-inch wheels as standard. The EV6, on the other hand, is firmer, meaning you feel the road more. That doesn’t mean it’s uncomfortable because the Kia remains perfectly viable as a daily driver.

Both vehicles have four levels of regenerative braking including full one-pedal driving capability. This means you can drive the car without touching the brake pedal unless you need to make an emergency stop. They’ll also give you plenty of energy back, especially going downhill to preserve your state of charge. Best of all, the Ioniq 5 and EV6 have a good pedal feel, and transitions from regenerative to mechanical braking are imperceptible even during hard stops. To add to its sporting edge, the EV6’s pedal is a little firmer than the Ioniq 5’s, which results in a more reassuring sensation.

In the mainstream segment, Hyundai and Kia have the charging speed game on lockdown thanks to the E-GMP platform featuring an 800-volt architecture. That allows you to DC charge at peak rates of 235 kW, enabling the cars to go from 10 to 80% in as little as 18 minutes, which is quicker than many BEVs costing under $60,000.

Hyundai and Kia also distinguish themselves with the ability to use the Ioniq 5 and EV6 as mobile generators thanks to their bidirectional charging capability. This means you can run electronics, appliances, or even an entire home for a few days using your vehicle. Perfect for the times when power is down.

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 or 2022 Kia EV6 pricing

Of the two vehicles, the Ioniq 5 is slightly cheaper starting at $40,925 versus the EV6 at $42,155. At the top end, both vehicles remain similarly priced with the Hyundai once again coming in cheaper at around $56,000.

The Kia, on the other hand, tops out at just over $58,000 when equipped with cosmetic options like an extra-cost exterior color or the suede interior upholstery. The high-performance EV6 GT will likely break past the $60,000 thanks to its additional go-fast goodies.

Both are still eligible for the full $7,500 federal tax credits plus all available state and local incentives.

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 or 2022 Kia EV6 summary

Between the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the 2022 Kia EV6, you have two distinct vehicles that cater to different wants and needs.

The Ioniq 5 doubles down on versatility, comfort, and practicality to show off the possibilities afforded by electrification.

Kia, on the other hand, went the sporting route with the EV6, giving you a fun, dynamic, and engaging vehicle that’s also reasonably practical.

Get the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 if you want:

  • Maximum practicality
  • Comfortable ride
  • Retro-inspired design

Get the 2022 Kia EV6 if you want:

  • Engaging driving dynamics
  • Futuristic looks
  • Longer driving range
Written by Stefan Ogbac
Follow Author
Receive weekly updates on each of our electrifying articles.