After many years of pretending they’ve never heard of each other, South Korean brands Hyundai and Kia have more recently begun to acknowledge their shared manufacturing parentage, possibly because they’ve both overcome their modest roots and are building excellent vehicles and enjoying success in the U.S. market. The latest examples are the all-new 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 and 2022 Kia EV6 electric vehicles, which share a platform called the Electric-Global Modular Platform, or E-GMP. They share a lot both under the skin and in terms of functionality, but impressions of the differences seem to be superficial, so we’re laying out the true differences after our evaluations of both. They’re probably not what you expect.
One Battery Choice or Two
Despite what you might see on the EPA site (and some early Hyundai documents), the Ioniq 5 launches in the U.S. with just one battery: the 77.4-kilowatt-hour pack that provides an EPA-estimated 303 miles of range with rear-wheel drive or 256 miles with all-wheel drive. The EV6 ostensibly includes a base trim level, the Light, equipped with a 58-kWh battery pack and rear-drive only for an EPA-estimated 232 miles of range. The higher trims, Wind and GT-Line, come with the larger pack and are rated at 310 and 274 miles of range for RWD and AWD, respectively. The Kia’s longer range seems to come from higher overall efficiency, as reflected in its mpg-equivalent ratings.
In today’s market, MSRP means only so much, as the inventory shortage has raised market pricing and limited choices, but as mentioned above, the EV6 theoretically includes a rear-drive Light trim level with a smaller battery pack that would represent a full $2,780 lower entry price (including destination charges) than the Ioniq 5, but none of this trim appear in Cars.com inventory as of March 2022.
Sporty Vs. Not Sporty … Looking
The Hyundai is utilitarian and the Kia is sporty, right? Maybe if all you do is look at them. We had the same impression as well until we actually drove both. The EV6 has a wheelbase of 114.2 inches, which is about 4 inches shorter than the Ioniq 5’s, and is 2.2 inches lower at the roofline — but it’s actually almost 2 inches longer from bumper to bumper. We thought the Ioniq 5 and EV6 GT-Line, both equipped with 20-inch wheels, drove quite similarly and not very sportily unless your sole criterion for sport is quick acceleration, which both delivered. Both ride comfortably overall, and that’s a good thing in this class.