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EV Comparison Review: Hyundai Ioniq 5 AWD, BMW iX xDrive40, Kia EV6 GT-Line AWD & Polestar 2 LR dual-motor AWD


Interest in electric cars in Australia has recently hit all-time highs thanks to record fuel prices in early 2022, and many manufacturers making the pledge to go electric-only sooner rather than later.

Until now, the electric future has seemed distant to many, but with these factors bringing many buyers next vehicle purchase into question, now seems as good a time as any to compare the latest and greatest fully electric offerings which have landed in Australia.

To that end we’ve convened these four electric vehicles (EVs) - the Polestar 2, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, and BMW iX - and we are putting them in an EV comparison to see if one of these newcomers might tick all the right boxes for those on the edge of considering an electric vehicle.

As you can probably tell just by looking at our options here, our four cars are different shapes, sizes, and price-points, which is why an outright winner is perhaps less important than what each of these cars brings to the party. What we’re here to find out is what each one might be like to live with, what they are like to charge, how far they will travel between charges in the real world, and where each of their strengths and weaknesses lie.

So, lets kick on with our 2022 EV car comparison.

Price and features

Our four vehicles here cover a breadth of prices and two at least are significantly affected by options. Let’s take a closer look at each one for an EV price comparison.

Our four vehicles hear cover a breadth of prices and two at least are significantly affected by options (Image: Glen Sullivan). Our four vehicles hear cover a breadth of prices and two at least are significantly affected by options (Image: Glen Sullivan).


Polestar 2

At the entry point to our test both in terms of size and starting price is the Polestar 2. For this test we have a top-spec Long Range Dual Motor version, which normally wears an MSRP of $69,900, offering a range of 480km.

As-tested though, the car we had was fitted with every option pack, including the Pilot Pack ($5000), Performance Pack ($8000), and Plus Pack ($6000) bringing the total cost for our smallest entrant to $88,900 before on-road costs.

Note: Since publishing this review, the Polestar 2 has had a range-wide price adjustment: See the new pricing here.

The Polestar 2 features an 11.15-inch portrait oriented multimedia touchscreen with an always-online Google-developed software suite, a 12.3-inch digital dash, LED headlights, 20-inch forged alloy wheels, vegan interior upholstery with gold highlights, Ohlins performance dampers, dual-zone climate control, and is the only vehicle here to have no ignition. Like a Tesla, you just hop in, put it in drive, and off you go.

Interestingly it is also the only vehicle here to not feature Apple CarPlay or Android Auto connectivity, with its Google operating system offering its own Play Store for apps, and Bluetooth connectivity for calls and audio streaming. If you value phone mirroring though, Polestar tells us such software should arrive in a future over-the-air update.

It is also notable that the Polestar is the only vehicle which requires an option box to be ticked to enable its full suite of safety features. More on that later in this review
 

Hyundai Ioniq 5

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is a fair bit larger than our entry-level Polestar, and arrives in Australia in a single trim level, available either with all-wheel drive or two-wheel drive. Our AWD version wears an MSRP of $75,900, making it the most affordable vehicle here when you consider the Polestar’s options. It offers 480km of range on a single charge.

Standard items on the Ioniq include massive 20-inch alloy wheels, ‘eco-processed’ interior trim which makes use of various recycled and organic materials, dual 12.3-inch screens, one for the multimedia, one for the dash, LED headlights, a panoramic sunroof, electrically adjustable and heated seats front and rear, dual zone climate control, ventilation for the front seats, wireless phone charging, as well as wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

Interestingly, the Ioniq 5 is the only car here not to offer USB-C connectivity.
 

Kia EV6

The Kia EV6 shares its underpinnings with the Ioniq 5 but is a different take both in its shape and style. It arrives in Australia in two trim levels, the base model rear-wheel drive Air, and the top-spec GT-Line. Ours was a bells-and-whistles GT-Line all-wheel drive, wearing an MSRP of $82,990 - there is a cheaper 2WD version if you prefer.

Standard gear in some ways mirrors that of the Ioniq 5, with similar dual 12.3-inch screens, dual-zone climate, powered seats with heating and cooling for the front, wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a wireless charger, and LED headlights.

Where the EV6 GT-Line differs is sporty suede interior trim, 20-inch alloys, a head-up display, USB-C connectivity and 14-speaker premium audio. It misses out on the Ioniq 5’s innovative sliding console design, however.

Both the Hyundai and Kia are the only cars on this test to feature an internal household-standard power outlet and V2L (vehicle to load) accessory allowing them to power external devices from the charging port.
 

BMW iX

The BMW iX is the brands current flagship electric offering and stepping into the cabin its place at the top of the price scale here feels justified. Ours is the base model xDrive40 costing from $135,900, with the additional Sport package upping the as-tested cost on our car to $141,900 MSRP.

This means standard stuff on our car included a truly plush leather interior with front message seats, enormous 22-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and start, crystal-look switchgear, a continuous curved panel consisting of a 14.9-inch multimedia display and 12.3-inch digital dash, full LED lighting, quad-zone climate control, Harman Kardon premium audio, wireless charging, and is the only car on this test to have wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. The sport pack adds more aggressive body highlights, premium paints, and the 22-inch wheels, up from the standard 21-inch ones.

For those wondering, while it is a similar size, it does not share its new electric underpinnings with combustion versions of the X5.

Can we extract a winner here? The options muddy the water a bit. Apart from the safety pack, the Polestar could potentially be a solid value offering, but right now that honour has to go to the Ioniq 5 which seems to offer the most gear at the lowest price. Check out the table below for more. The BMW is the most expensive here, but still remarkable value considering its range, features and premium market position. It could have easily sailed passed the $150,000 mark.
 

How do they compare?

Clearly, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 are at an advantage. They bring impressive standard gear, but more importantly, have more advanced architectures than the BMW or the Polestar, making them more future-proofed for buyers. Plus, you can’t go past having a full size power outlet and even being able to charge other EVs externally. The winner for this section is the Ioniq 5.

 

Polestar 2

Hyundai Ioniq 5

Kia EV6

BMW iX

MSRP (as-tested)

$88,900

$75,900

$82,990

$141,900

Phone mirroring

No

Wired

Wired

Wireless

Multimedia panel

11.15-inch

12.3-inch

12.3-inch

14.9-inch

Instrument cluster

12.3-inch

12.3-inch

12.3-inch

12.3-inch

Climate zones

2

2

2

4

Keyless entry/push-start

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

USB ports

    

Wireless charging

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Radio

AM/FM/DAB

AM/FM/DAB

AM/FM/DAB

AM/FM/DAB

Sound system speakers

    

Interior trim

Vegan upholstery

‘eco-processed’ leather

‘semi-vegan’ suede

Full leather

Front seats

Electric adjust, heated

Electric adjust, heated, ventilated

Electric adjust, heated, ventilated

Electric adjust, heated, ventilated, message

Rear seats

Heated

Electric adjust, heated

Electric adjust, heated

Heated

Wheel size

20-inch

20-inch

20-inch

22-inch

LED headlights

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

LED ambient lights

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Score

 

Polestar 2

Hyundai Ioniq 5

Kia EV6

BMW iX

 

8

8

8

8

Design

Each car here makes a major statement when it comes to design, with every manufacturer looking to new opportunities in the era of electrification with new platforms and layouts allowing designs which were once impossible.

The Polestar is perhaps the most traditional of our options here, cutting a sedan silhouette with a hatch tailgate (boot lid). Unusually, though, it rides nearly at the height of a crossover, complete with SUV-like claddings.

  • The Polestar is perhaps the most traditional of our options here (Image: Glen Sullivan). The Polestar is perhaps the most traditional of our options here (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The Polestar is perhaps the most traditional of our options here (Image: Glen Sullivan). The Polestar is perhaps the most traditional of our options here (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The Polestar is perhaps the most traditional of our options here (Image: Glen Sullivan). The Polestar is perhaps the most traditional of our options here (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The Polestar is perhaps the most traditional of our options here (Image: Glen Sullivan). The Polestar is perhaps the most traditional of our options here (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The Polestar is perhaps the most traditional of our options here (Image: Glen Sullivan). The Polestar is perhaps the most traditional of our options here (Image: Glen Sullivan).

In that sense it’s a little unusual, but its chiseled features and ‘Thor’s Hammer’ headlights give it a tough but minimalist Scandinavian flavour, linking it to its Volvo sister company.

Inside it’s refined and sporty, with contemporary touches like the portrait multimedia screen, digital dash, and pleasant textures throughout. Of all the cars here, it is the most traditional though, with a raised centre console and familiar touchpoints. Again, it shares its steering wheel and primary switchgear with its Volvo relations.

Next up, the Ioniq 5. This car surprised everyone when it launched with such an extreme design falling so close to the ‘45’ concept from which it was derived. It manages to make a car with the dimensions of a mid-size SUV look like an enormous hatchback, and deliberately leans into its retro-futuristic cyberpunk personality, with pixel-style light clusters, blocky motifs, and slotted patterns adorning its bodywork.

  • The Ioniq 5 manages to make a car with the dimensions of a mid-size SUV look like an enormous hatchback (Image: Glen Sullivan). The Ioniq 5 manages to make a car with the dimensions of a mid-size SUV look like an enormous hatchback (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The Ioniq 5 manages to make a car with the dimensions of a mid-size SUV look like an enormous hatchback (Image: Glen Sullivan). The Ioniq 5 manages to make a car with the dimensions of a mid-size SUV look like an enormous hatchback (Image: Glen Sullivan).

Inside, the Ioniq 5 is a sensory experience, intentionally quite unlike the current sporty Hyundai designs which fill out the brand’s combustion range. The light colour palette in our car makes it feel open and spacious, with unusual textures, sounds, and even odours with the flax-based materials used imbuing the interior with an organic smell, like sushi.

It’s surprising then, how different the Ioniq 5’s Kia EV6 relation looks and feels. Its GT-like silhouette immediately leaves you with the impression of sportiness from the outside, with its long descending roofline almost feeling more like that of a shooting brake than an SUV or hatchback. It has an unusual pushed-in face, but big wheelarches, with the spoiler and dramatic light clusters at the rear adding to its intrigue.

  • The Kia EV6's silhouette immediately leaves you with the impression of sportiness from the outside (Image: Glen Sullivan). The Kia EV6's silhouette immediately leaves you with the impression of sportiness from the outside (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The Kia EV6's silhouette immediately leaves you with the impression of sportiness from the outside (Image: Glen Sullivan). The Kia EV6's silhouette immediately leaves you with the impression of sportiness from the outside (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The Kia EV6's silhouette immediately leaves you with the impression of sportiness from the outside (Image: Glen Sullivan). The Kia EV6's silhouette immediately leaves you with the impression of sportiness from the outside (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line AWD | Design 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line AWD | Design
  • The Kia EV6's silhouette immediately leaves you with the impression of sportiness from the outside (Image: Glen Sullivan). The Kia EV6's silhouette immediately leaves you with the impression of sportiness from the outside (Image: Glen Sullivan).

On the inside, the sporty theme continues with the EV6 offering more a more traditional and driver-oriented feel compared to the Ioniq 5. Present are sporty suede seats, dark interior trims, and a fixed centre console as opposed to the Ioniq 5’s more open space and sliding centre console. On the downside, the EV6 feels far smaller on the inside, but some may prefer its more aggressive ambiance.

Finally, the BMW iX brings all the elements of the Bavarian brand’s controversial new design language. On the outside, this is most evident with the vertical blanked-out grille, slim frowny-face light clusters, and a glossy aerodynamic finish which almost makes it look as though this SUV has been shrink-wrapped. The enormous 22-inch wheels on our Sport Package car remind you of its imposing overall size.

  • The BMW iX brings all the elements of the Bavarian brand’s controversial new design language (Image: Glen Sullivan). The BMW iX brings all the elements of the Bavarian brand’s controversial new design language (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The BMW iX brings all the elements of the Bavarian brand’s controversial new design language (Image: Glen Sullivan). The BMW iX brings all the elements of the Bavarian brand’s controversial new design language (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The BMW iX brings all the elements of the Bavarian brand’s controversial new design language (Image: Glen Sullivan). The BMW iX brings all the elements of the Bavarian brand’s controversial new design language (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The BMW iX brings all the elements of the Bavarian brand’s controversial new design language (Image: Glen Sullivan). The BMW iX brings all the elements of the Bavarian brand’s controversial new design language (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The BMW iX brings all the elements of the Bavarian brand’s controversial new design language (Image: Glen Sullivan). The BMW iX brings all the elements of the Bavarian brand’s controversial new design language (Image: Glen Sullivan).

While the outside might take a smoother and more futuristic take on the classic BMW formula, the inside is far more revolutionary, featuring some of the open-space concepts seen in the Ioniq 5, with some of the sportier elements of the EV6. The two-spoke wheel with a square top and bottom is very science-fiction, as is the floating dual-screen panel and excessive amounts of crystal-styled switchgear throughout the cabin. Unusual materials and textures also make an appearance, from a wood touch panel in the centre console to the plush plaid-pattern seats.

While the Ioniq 5 is stunning, the BMW iX is truly spectacular on the inside.

All of these designs take such a different path, I applaud all four brands for taking the opportunity to bring new ideas with their flagship electric offerings here. Picking a winner seems pointless, as each car will be subject to the beholder’s taste, but for me the Ioniq 5 is the best from the outside, while the iX is incredible when it comes to the interior.

Score

 

Polestar 2

Hyundai Ioniq 5

Kia EV6

BMW iX

 

8

8

8

8

Interior and practicality

Our cars look the part, but do these new electric platforms really open things up on the inside? Let’s take a look.

First of all, it would seem our Polestar is at a bit of a natural disadvantage here. It’s not an SUV, and physically, it’s a lot smaller than our other cars.

It’s more complicated than that for our Swede though. It is the only car here which shares its underpinnings with a combustion vehicle, specifically the Volvo XC40 (which can also be had as EV).

As a result, the inside is compact. From the driver’s seat, perhaps too compact. It feels almost claustrophobic compared to its rivals, with a high dash, low seating position, an intrusively raised centre console, and a low roof. It’s more like sitting in a sport coupe than anything else.

The materials, while looking and feeling quite interesting, lack the plush padding of the other cars here. My knee is hard up against a plastic lining, my elbow falls between the gap between the armrest box and the centre stack, and the harsher trims continue into the doors too. At least adjustability isn’t bad, and the software is refreshingly simple and easy to control.

Storage is also comparatively lacking in the Polestar, with a bottle holder and small bin in the door, a single bottle holder in the centre console, with a second one available under the armrest. There’s no flat floor or pass through under the centre stack, with small bays suitable for wallets or sunglasses instead. There is also a small bay under the multimedia screen for your phone with two USB-C ports.

The back seat in the Polestar is better than expected when it comes to knee room (Image: Glen Sullivan). The back seat in the Polestar is better than expected when it comes to knee room (Image: Glen Sullivan).

The back seat is better than expected when it comes to knee room, although headroom is somewhat limited. This is the only car on this test with a huge raised transmission tunnel (for combustion vehicles on this platform) severely hampering room for passengers in the middle seat. There’s a bottle holder in the door, as well as two more in the drop-down armrest, and flimsy netted pockets on the backs of the front seats. Amenity-wise rear passengers can make use of dual adjustable air vents and two USB-C outlets.

Next is the Ioniq 5. It rides on a brand-new all-electric platform which the Hyundai Group dubs e-GMP, typified by a flat ‘skateboard’ battery housing, a long wheelbase, and a wide base. This grants the Ioniq 5 a flat floor and a big open interior.

The Ioniq's interior features pleasant soft materials (Image: Glen Sullivan). The Ioniq's interior features pleasant soft materials (Image: Glen Sullivan).

Its hatch-like shape also offers a tall roofline and massive windows for excellent visibility, and the interior has big chunky switchgear not shared with any other Hyundai product. The stalk gear selector is a bit weird, but it does free up space in the centre, where the Ioniq 5 features a sliding console and on the dash a shortcut touch panel for the climate controls.

The space feels enormous for front passengers with plenty of room for your arms and knees, with pleasant soft materials for elbows, too.

There are huge bottle holders and bins in the doors, two more in the moving centre console, and a huge space below the armrest which can even hold small bags and the like. The armrest itself has a small space inside, and the lower portion features two USB ports and a wireless phone charger. There is another USB port, small bay, and a 12-volt outlet under the controls at the front, but oddly no USB-C. The front USB port is also the only one which carries data, so you have to clutter up the otherwise tidy cabin with a cable running down there. The furthest edges of the multimedia screen can also be a bit of a reach for the driver.

There’s plenty of leg room, headroom and arm-room in the second row as well, with a bottle holder in the doors, and more in the drop-down armrest. Centre passengers are also seated in comfort, with a flat floor and an unobtrusive centre console. This area hosts a small bay with power outlets, as well as flimsy pockets on the backs of the front seats. The outboard rear seats are also heated.

Finally, rear passengers get adjustable air vents in the B pillars, and the second-row slides on rails, allowing you to reduce rear seat space and maximise boot volume.

While the EV6 rides on the same platform as the Ioniq 5, it is surprisingly different on the inside. The seating position is notably high, and the roofline comparatively feels lower than its Ioniq 5 relation, leading to a feeling of less space up front.

While the EV6 rides on the same platform as the Ioniq 5, it is surprisingly different on the inside (Image: Glen Sullivan). While the EV6 rides on the same platform as the Ioniq 5, it is surprisingly different on the inside (Image: Glen Sullivan).

This isn’t helped by the abundance of dark trims, or the large fixed centre console. Unlike the Ioniq 5, the Kia’s primary controls are all housed here, from the gear selector to the heated seat buttons, and it swaps away the open design for a large armrest box and large cutaway below.

The GT-Line seats are clad in a suede which is not as comfortable as the leather material which appears in the Ioniq 5, and there are a lot more basic hard plastic trims in the doors. Visibility out the front and rear is more limited thanks to this car’s design.

Storage is decent from that centre console though, and there are practical bottle holders with bins in the doors, two more in the centre console, and a wireless phone charging bay atop. Unlike the Ioniq 5, the EV6 offers the choice of USB-C or USB-A connectivity.

A clever touch, the EV6 gets two dials which can be switched to either control the climate or multimedia functions in a pinch.

The back seat follows the same theme, with leagues of legroom, but less arm and headroom than in the Ioniq 5. There are hard plastic trims in the doors, but in terms of storage, the Kia gets another holder in the door and two more in the drop-down armrest. Again, air vents appear in the B pillars, and the EV6 offers a full-size household power outlet and two more USB outlets for rear passengers. The rear seat can be adjusted in the same way it can for the Ioniq 5 to prioritise rear row space or boot capacity.

Finally, the BMW iX feels enormous in the cabin, as it should given its size. It’s more than just dimensions though, with the Bimmer offering a flat floor, tall roof and massive thrones for seats which pour over around the edges, because the crystal-style controls have moved onto the door frame.

The BMW iX feels enormous in the cabin (Image: Glen Sullivan). The BMW iX feels enormous in the cabin (Image: Glen Sullivan).

Space is ample and plush finishes adorn not only the arm-rests but the entirety of the dash. Under the floating console there is a large wireless charging bay and two cupholders, with further storage found within the armrest box. The doors feature a bottle holder each and are operated by button press rather than a handle. Very Tesla.

Frustratingly the climate controls are all operated via the multimedia screen, although BMW’s usually overcomplicated software has been notably improved by the new operating system which debuts in the iX.

Rear space is also enormous, with the rear row continuing to be finished in lavish plaid leather trim, resembling a lounge chair. The floor is flat, too, offering the best legroom of any car on this test, and it is also the only car to feature four climate zones, two of which can be operated by a touch panel for rear passengers who also get dual adjustable air vents. Amenities also include four USB-C outlets, bottle holders in the doors, and two more in a pop-out arrangement in the drop-down armrest. The only let-down here is the clamshell pockets on the backs of the front seats which won’t flex to include just any object.

All cars on this test offer dual ISOFIX and three top-tether child seat mounting points, and surprisingly, every car also offered ample room for me in the front passenger seat with a rear-facing child seat mounted in the back. Yes, even the Polestar.

All boot capacities are relatively impressive for the cars on this test with some surprises. The Polestar, for example, punched well above its weight, offering a surprisingly deep and usable space with a flip up barrier if you need to restrict smaller objects from moving around. Technically the Ioniq 5 has the largest boot capacity, although the deep and wide space is limited in height with the parcel shelf in place.

All cars except the BMW also offer a ‘frunk’ (front trunk) under the bonnet, although these tiny spaces are perhaps best left for the storage of charging cables. You can’t even open the BMW’s bonnet, a task meant exclusively for the brand’s workshop personnel, but the big Bimmer does offer an under-floor compartment in the boot to hide charging cables.

See the total storage capacities in the table below.

 

Polestar 2

Hyundai Ioniq 5

Kia EV6

BMW iX

Boot capacity (VDA)

405L

524L

480L

500L

Frunk capacity (VDA)

35L

24L

20L

N/A

Score

 

Polestar 2

Hyundai Ioniq 5

Kia EV6

BMW iX

 

6

7

9

9

Under the bonnet - Powertrains

All you need to know here, really, is that all these cars are ridiculously fast considering how heavy they are. In fact, generally they will outrun even performance variants of combustion cars in their respective segments.

All cars on test are all-wheel drive, each offering a motor on both the front and rear axles. The Polestar edges in front with the most powerful motors on this test, while the BMW is technically the slowest, but by fractions of a second to the point where it doesn’t matter. See the table below for full performance specs.

 

Polestar 2

Hyundai Ioniq 5

Kia EV6

BMW iX

Maximum combined motor output

300kW/660Nm

225kW/605Nm

239kW/605Nm

240kW/630Nm

0-100km/h sprint

4.7 seconds

5.2 seconds

5.2 seconds

6.1 seconds

The Polestar edges ahead as the fastest and most powerful EV here, but not by much.

Score

 

Polestar 2

Hyundai Ioniq 5

Kia EV6

BMW iX

 

9

8

8

8

Energy consumption and charging

First, let’s consider the EV charging time comparison for each vehicle here. Electric cars charge at different paces depending on where you plug them in and how much charge they can accept.

You can split our test into two groups here. The Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 share an 800-volt architecture, which means these two are the fastest charging of any electric vehicle currently on the market in Australia and can make use of even the fastest 350kW charging locations.

While there are only a handful of these locations so far, it does mean the Hyundai and Kia are more future proofed for the fastest possible charging in the future.

In the case of the Ioniq 5, this means it can charge its 72.6kWh battery from 10-80 per cent on a DC charger in just under 18 minutes. At a full charge, the Ioniq 5 has an official range (WLTP) of 430km.

The EV6 will charge in roughly the same time despite a slightly larger 77.4kWh battery. On a full charge, the EV6 offers the longest range of any car here, officially 484km (WLTP).

When using the slower AC charging, a more common kind found in shopping centres or council car parks or even at your home if you have a wall-box, both the Hyundai and Kia can charge at a rate of 10.5kW, for a 10 – 80 per cent charge time of just over six hours for the Hyundai and just over seven hours for the Kia.

Meanwhile the BMW iX and the Polestar 2 both use a lower voltage architecture, around 400-volts. Theoretically this means they should charge slower than the Kia and Hyundai with the stated max DC charging speed for our European models limited to 150kW.

In the case of the Polestar this means a 10 – 80 per cent fast charging time for its 78kWh battery of 35 minutes, while on the slower AC charger it will top up at a rate of 11kW for a charging time of just over seven hours.

See our charging table below for a quick reference

 

Polestar 2

Hyundai Ioniq 5

Kia EV6

BMW iX

Battery voltage

400-volt

800-volt

800-volt

400-volt

Battery capacity

78kWh

72.5kWh

77.4kWh

77kWh

Max DC charging speed

155kW

350kW

350kW

150kW

DC 10-80 per cent charge time

35 minutes

17.5 minutes

18 minutes

31 minutes

Max AC charging speed

11kW

10.5kW

10.5kW

11kW

AC 10 – 80 per cent charge time

Seven hours

6.5 hours

7.5 hours

Eight hours

The purpose of our testing loop and conditions was to assess the energy consumption of our vehicles and subsequently a true EV range comparison both on the open road and in conditions which are more representative of suburban driving.

This is because due to the introduction of regenerative braking – the ability of electric cars to use their motors to charge the battery when slowing down – electric cars tend to be more efficient in suburbia than they do on the open road. Our goal was to find out by how much.

Test loop one covered roughly 200km almost exclusively travelling at 80-110km/h, while loop two had us returning the long way back along the coast, having to continually stop and start at intersections, travel at low speed, and contend with light traffic.

See the results of our test in the table below:

 

Polestar 2

Hyundai Ioniq 5

Kia EV6

BMW iX

Official/combined energy consumption

20.2kWh/100km

19.0kWh/100km

18.0kWh/100km

22.5kWh/100km

Official/combined range (WLTP)

480km

430km

484km

425km

As-tested consumption (freeway)

19.0kWh/100km

15.6kWh/100km

15.8kWh/100km

16.5kWh/100km

As-tested consumption

(suburban)

18.2kWh/100km

14.9kWh/100km

14.9kWh/100km

17.4kWh/100km

Combined as-tested projected range (full charge)

409km

476km

504km

454km

The test yielded interesting results. While all cars outperformed their official/combined figures, it was interesting to find the BMW iX managed to perform better on the open road instead of in suburbia.

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 ultimately pulled slightly ahead of its Kia EV6 relation, while the Polestar 2 came in behind the rest with the most consumption and least projected range of the bunch.

Score

 

Polestar 2

Hyundai Ioniq 5

Kia EV6

BMW iX

 

7

8

8

8

Driving

Our drive route let us experience each of these EVs not only at both consistent freeway and stop-start suburban speeds, but also across a host different road surfaces and driving styles. The results are interesting, and really helped eke out a few minor details which are hard to tell apart in isolation.

Starting with the Kia EV6, this is a car which strikes a balance between the two extremes on offer here. While a car like the Polestar is sporty and firm in its orientation and the Ioniq 5 and BMW iX are both toward the comfort end of the spectrum, the EV6 balances elements of the two.

  • The EV6’s steering feels as though it has a high degree of electrical assistance. (image credit: Glen Sullivan) The EV6’s steering feels as though it has a high degree of electrical assistance. (image credit: Glen Sullivan)
  • The EV6’s more raked rear window compared to the Ioniq 5 means its less easy to keep tabs on your surroundings. (image credit: Glen Sullivan) The EV6’s more raked rear window compared to the Ioniq 5 means its less easy to keep tabs on your surroundings. (image credit: Glen Sullivan)
  • The ride is pleasant on the EV6. (image credit: Glen Sullivan) The ride is pleasant on the EV6. (image credit: Glen Sullivan)

Initially you notice a few things about the drive. Firstly, that claustrophobic cabin feel which comes from the comparatively closed-in design and dark interior trims expresses itself as a lower level of visibility when it comes to driving. The EV6’s more raked rear window compared to the Ioniq 5 means its less easy to keep tabs on your surroundings.

Next up is the steering. The EV6’s steering feels as though it has a high degree of electrical assistance, particularly on multi-lane expressways or the freeway. The lane keep assist feature is particularly annoying as it is quite heavy handed, while there’s an element of vagueness about what’s going on at the front wheels.

The lane assist can be turned off manually through the multimedia suite, although it is on by default. What is easier to use is the regenerative braking (regen). The EV6 has four levels which can be adjusted on the fly using the paddles on the steering wheel. It also has a well-tuned input system which rolls the regen on gradually as you let your foot off the accelerator. It and the Ioniq 5 are by far the smoothest cars to drive in our test.

The ride is pleasant on the EV6. While overall it feels similar to that of the Ioniq 5, after spending significant time behind the wheel of both cars I must say the EV6 is firmer but overall more consistent. It feels just as capable dealing with smaller bumps and big undulations as it does with corrugations and potholes. The harsh edge present on the Ioniq 5 and Polestar 2 has been smoothed out on the locally-tuned EV6.

Next up is the Hyundai Ioniq 5. I deliberately chose to compare it to the EV6 back-to-back as I wanted to see if there were major differences between it and the Kia with which it shares a platform.

  • The Ioniq 5 is a lot of fun. (image credit: Glen Sullivan) The Ioniq 5 is a lot of fun. (image credit: Glen Sullivan)
  • Road noise feels higher in the Ioniq 5 than it was in the EV6 or BMW iX. (image credit: Glen Sullivan) Road noise feels higher in the Ioniq 5 than it was in the EV6 or BMW iX. (image credit: Glen Sullivan)
  • The ride of the Ioniq 5 leans toward comfort. (image credit: Glen Sullivan) The ride of the Ioniq 5 leans toward comfort. (image credit: Glen Sullivan)

Surprisingly there is. Overall cabin comfort and visibility is much better in the Ioniq 5, with softer seats and bigger windows, while the steering tune feels near identical. If anything it feels as though it has even more electrical assistance than the EV6, making it easier to steer at low-speed but lacking feel at higher velocities. The annoying lane keep assist behaves identically to the EV6.

Just like the EV6, the Ioniq 5 has four levels of paddle-adjusted regenerative braking which is smoother than its rivals and easy to use. As proven on our test, it’s efficient, too.

The ride of the Ioniq 5 is interesting. Compared to the EV6 and Polestar 2 it leans toward comfort, feeling light and floaty over corrugations, undulations and smaller bumps. This makes it a comfy tourer on the freeway. What it doesn’t deal with as well is large bumps or potholes, with the huge wheels crashing into them and communicating an abruptness into the cabin which isn’t as present on the EV6. Road noise also feels higher than it was in the EV6 or BMW iX.

Keep in mind, these complaints are only in comparison to its rivals on this specific test, every EV here behaves generally better than a combustion equivalent.

The Ioniq 5 is a lot of fun though. It has a playfulness from its instant performance and grippy all-wheel drive system which combines with its almost goofy hatch body to make for a seriously entertaining SUV to drive. That’s rare for the mid-size SUV segment full-stop, and it’s good to see this kind of driver engagement is certainly not dead in the era of electrification.

Next, I hopped into the BMW iX. This car instantly establishes itself as the premium option with its lush feeling interior, great visibility and smooth inputs. The ride and seat comfort is a cut above even that of the Ioniq 5, (as you’d hope, given it costs twice as much) and the steering strikes a pleasant balance between electrical assistance and road-feel. This car all but glides over bumps, corrugations, and undulations of all shapes and sizes, despite its enormous alloy wheels.

  • The IX is the least fun SUV of the lot. (image credit: Glen Sullivan) The IX is the least fun SUV of the lot. (image credit: Glen Sullivan)
  • The IX car instantly establishes itself as the premium option. (image credit: Glen Sullivan) The IX car instantly establishes itself as the premium option. (image credit: Glen Sullivan)
  • The iX can be more abrupt when it comes to its acceleration. (image credit: Glen Sullivan) The iX can be more abrupt when it comes to its acceleration. (image credit: Glen Sullivan)

It feels several steps removed from the road, however, with its tall ride height and insular cabin, and is therefore the least fun car to drive of the lot. This isn’t to say it’s slow by any means. Sticking your boot into the iX will require an adjustment of your expectations when it comes to how fast a large and heavy SUV like this can move.

Roadholding is superb thanks to huge tyres and lots of weight, and less body-roll than expected is present in the corners.

The iX can be more abrupt when it comes to its acceleration and regeneration than its Korean rivals on this test but doesn’t shunt you about as much as the Polestar 2 can if you’re not careful with your accelerator input.

Regen is adjusted through the multimedia panel, just like the climate functions, which makes both a bit annoying to use while you’re trying to concentrate on the road. The top regen tier is very strong, evidently helping the iX perform better than expected when it comes to energy efficiency.

If cost is no barrier then, the iX is one of if not the most luxurious and refined EVs you can buy today.

Finally, the Polestar 2. After just seconds behind the wheel of this sporty crossover it’s clear it has an entirely different ethos to the more SUV-like options on this test. It’s low, hunkered down, and comparatively claustrophobic in the cabin, but it feels exciting for every minute you’re driving it.

  • The Polestar 2 is a sporty crossover. (image credit: Glen Sullivan) The Polestar 2 is a sporty crossover. (image credit: Glen Sullivan)
  • The Polestar 2 is  low, and hunkered down. (image credit: Glen Sullivan) The Polestar 2 is low, and hunkered down. (image credit: Glen Sullivan)
  • The Polestar 2 has by far the loudest and least comfortable cabin of our choices here. (image credit: Glen Sullivan) The Polestar 2 has by far the loudest and least comfortable cabin of our choices here. (image credit: Glen Sullivan)

It doesn’t let you relax as easily as the iX or Ioniq, for example, but its high-fidelity inputs are extremely engaging. The firm steering and solid ride let you feel the very texture of the road, and give you by far the best handle on what the four wheels are doing at any given time of all the cars here.

It’s exciting and encouraging, and makes you want to drive it fast. Perhaps it is a good thing then, that it is by far the fastest car here. Not just on the raw numbers, but by feeling, too. While there’s a moment of lurch associated with heavy acceleration in the SUVs on this test, the Polestar surges forward with an alarming energy but reassuring security. The big wheels and sporty tyres give it much-needed control, while the comparatively heavy steering makes it fun and easy to point the noise where you want it to go.

The downsides to this experience are obvious, however. The Polestar 2 has by far the loudest and least comfortable cabin of our choices here, and while the ride offers superb control it can be punishing if you hit the wrong bump. It’s also a bit too busy over corrugations and poorly sealed road surfaces.

When it comes to acceleration and regeneration, the Polestar 2 is the most abrupt of its rivals here when set to the highest regen setting and the normal drive mode. It requires a more finely tuned accelerator input to make it as smooth as the Korean cars on this test. While the regen tune is aggressive at slowing the car down, it was a shame to find the Polestar to be by far the least efficient of the cars on our test. This can only be made worse by turning the regen setting down (as you can do via the multimedia suite).

Overall, the Polestar feels more like a sports sedan than anything else, perhaps better suited to a single person or couple who enjoy driving than a family looking for long distance touring comfort.

Score

 

Polestar 2

Hyundai Ioniq 5

Kia EV6

BMW iX

 

8

8

8

8

Safety

All of the cars on this test are packed with tech, and subsequently have very high levels of safety gear.

They all wear maximum five-star ANCAP ratings to recent strict standards, apart from the Kia EV6 which at the time of writing was yet to be rated, and at a minimum all have high-speed auto emergency braking (AEB), and lane assist functions.

The Polestar, however, is the only car here which requires a pricey option pack to enable the full safety suite. Check out the table below for the full set of inclusions on each car.

 

Polestar 2

Hyundai Ioniq 5

Kia EV6

BMW iX

Auto emergency braking

4 – 205km/h

5 – 200km/h

5 – 200km/h

5 – 210km/h

w/pedestrian detection

4 – 80km/h

5 – 85km/h

5 – 200km/h

5 – 80km/h

w/cyclist detection

4 – 80km/h

5 – 85km/h

5 – 200km/h

5 – 80km/h

w/intersection assist

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Lane assist

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Blind spot monitoring

Optional

Yes

Yes

Yes

Rear cross traffic alert

Optional

Yes

Yes

Yes

Adaptive cruise control

Optional

Yes

Yes

Yes

Driver attention alert

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Parking camera

Standard (360-degree optional)

360 degrees

360-degrees

360 degrees

Airbags

Seven

Seven

Seven

Seven

ANCAP rating

Five stars (2022)

Five stars (2021)

Yet to be rated

Five stars (2021)

It’s frustrating the Polestar requires a $5000 pack to grant some of the features which are standard on its rivals, and points have been subsequently deducted here. Still, every car is about as safe as they come when it comes to features like AEB, and all have a front centre airbag to prevent head collisions in side impact crashes.

Score

 

Polestar 2

Hyundai Ioniq 5

Kia EV6

BMW iX

 

7

8

8

8

Ownership

On the ownership front every car here offers a similar promise bar the BMW. The Bavarian brand is one of only two hold outs in the premium space clinging to a three-year and unlimited kilometre warranty when its rivals have well and truly moved on to at least five years. Predictably, it has the most expensive service program, but not by as much as you might think, and much less than other BMW models.

At the other end of the spectrum, the Kia is a surprise here with seven years of warranty coverage and the second cheapest service offering.

The Hyundai offers the brand’s standard five-year and unlimited kilometre warranty, with slightly more expensive servicing than the Kia, but still generally less than that of a combustion car.

Finally, the Polestar 2 offers a five-year warranty, and is free to service for the first five years (although with 24-month service intervals, this only includes two services) which can be completed at select Volvo workshops.

See the table below for the full run-down of the numbers. The Kia is a notable outlier for its battery warranty, which is slightly less than its rivals here.

 

Polestar 2

Hyundai Ioniq 5

Kia EV6

BMW iX

Warranty

Five years, unlimited kilometres

Five years, unlimited kilometres

Seven years, unlimited kilometres

Three years, unlimited kilometres

Average annual service cost (for the life of the warranty)

$0

$336.80

$226

$366

Service interval

24 months/30,000km

12 months/15,000km

12 months/15,000km

Condition dependent

High-voltage battery warranty

Eight years, 160,000km

Eight years, 160,000km

Seven years, 150,000km

Eight years, 160,000km

There’s a little give and take here, but only a clear loser emerges, the BMW with its lacklustre warranty. Still, all cars here are also cheaper to service than their combustion equivalents, as they should be given the relative lack of mechanical complexity present in electric motors.

Score

 

Polestar 2

Hyundai Ioniq 5

Kia EV6

BMW iX

 

9

8

9

7

This was a tough test. As we said at the beginning, a winner is perhaps less important than discovering the strengths and weaknesses of each of these new EVs. During our testing we decided that a range over 400km of each of the vehicles here is more than enough to avoid the dreaded range anxiety, even though the charge network is paper thin and the hardware leaves a little to be desired.

When it comes to the cars though, two groups emerge. The Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5 are different sides of the same coin. The EV6 is sportier and more serious, but the Ioniq 5 is more playful and practical, but ultimately both cars represent the best value on this test. They were also the most energy-efficient on our drive route.

Meanwhile, the Polestar 2 and BMW iX represent the extremes. For a single person or a couple who love driving, the Polestar 2 is sports car levels of engaging, but certainly the least suited to families of the group, and by far the least energy efficient on this test.

Finally, the BMW iX is the cost-is-no-object luxury hero. You’d hope so for the price, but the big Bimmer is without a doubt one of the most comfortable and serene EVs you can buy today. It even managed to out-perform our expectations when it came to energy efficiency, landing within striking distance of the EV6 and Ioniq 5 despite its extra heft.

Did we have a winner? The scores were very tight, but the Hyundai Ioniq 5 inched just ahead of its EV6 rival (largely based on its smidge of extra comfort and practicality) to take the crown.

Final scores

 

Polestar 2

Hyundai Ioniq 5

Kia EV6

BMW iX

 

7.8

8.1

8.0

8.0

$66,400 - $135,900

Based on new car retail price

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