Hyundai Ioniq 5 vs Kia EV6 Interior Comparison
Although mechanically extremely similar, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 are strikingly different. One main area where they differ is their interiors. And since that’s where you’ll spend the vast majority of time with each vehicle, it’s important to know which one is right for you. So we’ve spent some time in each and highlighted their differences in design, usability and space to help you figure out which electric hatch might be the best fit.
Like their exteriors, the Kia and Hyundai feature distinctly different styling that serves distinctly different purposes. The Ioniq 5 is clearly designed to be a modern, light and airy machine. The door panels are extremely minimalist, even hiding the grip points behind a simple block armrest. The dash is just as simple and short. The entire space under the dash is also open and the center console slides out with ample open storage space. The gear lever also sits on the column, further opening up the area under the dash. Its unusual placement under the wiper stalk where many cars place a cruise control stalk is definitely unusual, as is its functionality: twist down for reverse, twist up for drive, push the button at the end for parking.
All materials are muted in color, either black or soft gray (although cars painted in Digital Teal can have this color applied to the doors and dashboard). There are few shiny or flashy trims. It doesn’t even have a chrome badge on the steering wheel, just four little squares. These squares are found throughout the cabin, either through printed designs on the door panels or through perforations in the available leatherette upholstery. At night, the ambient lighting is equally soft and gentle, with most of it reflected off the door panels, with the lights hidden behind the armrests.
The Kia EV6, especially in GT-Line trim, is much flashier and sportier. The dashboard protrudes more, and it has all sorts of ornaments. The top is adorned with stripes and the middle of the dash features customizable ambient lighting segments. The controls seem to drop lower, and they’re almost met by a tall, long center console. This console features a few controls as well as the shifter dial, which practically fits under your palm. It all helps to create a futuristic cockpit feel.
The materials are all much darker, but with high contrast. Our model had black faux suede with a glossy white leatherette trim. There are brighter metallic accents, such as the ring mounted along the lower part of the steering wheel. The low roofline and dark headliner accentuate the enveloping and fitted cockpit ambience.
This is one area where the two EVs are beginning to show they are related. They both rely on a pair of 12.3-inch screens for instruments and infotainment. They may have a different skin, with distinct color and font combinations, but their layout and functionality are basically the same underneath. They look great in both cars, work well, and are fairly easy to read. Touchscreens are equally responsive with easy-to-touch icons. The menus aren’t too complicated or deep, so it’s a solid experience.
Below the screens are more dedicated buttons, and this is where the two cars diverge. They each have very similar sets of controls, but they are laid out differently. The Hyundai (pictured above) has a row of physical shortcut buttons and a volume knob to help with infotainment functions. Below is a bank of touch buttons to control more climatic functions. Curiously, those buttons lack the heated seat controls. These require showing the more detailed climate menu on the infotainment screen.
The Kia condenses all of these controls into a single row of touch buttons (see video above). Only climate controls or infotainment controls can be used at a time. One of the buttons is a dedicated selector. It’s a cool little trick to have those multi-function knobs and buttons, and helps streamline the look of the EV6 cabin. In practice, however, it’s a bit annoying having to bounce back and forth between the two if you want to set your air temperature followed by volume. And like the Hyundai, the climate buttons aren’t all-encompassing, so some functions have to be adjusted on the screen.
There is another weird user experience in the area of phone charging and connectivity. In the Ioniq 5, the wireless phone charger is buried at the bottom of the center console, along with the wired charging ports, which makes it a bit difficult to reach. The EV6 is better with its wireless charger on top of the console. Both cars however have the problem of no wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. That means you charge or plug in wirelessly, which is another downside. And that also goes against the EV6’s slight advantage in phone convenience.
The seats are definitely matched to the general orientation of each car. The Ioniq 5 has the real hits of the pair thanks to its integrated legrest on the driver’s seat which is designed to be used in conjunction with the maximum recline backrest. As good as this idea is for waiting for your electric charge, it won’t be useful for everyone. For a really leggy rider like yours, it doesn’t stretch enough to really provide much support. If you are smaller this might be useful.
One of the other key advantages of the Ioniq is the margin. Its higher roofline means there’s more headroom both front and rear – indeed, taller people might find their hair brushing against the Kia’s roof. It also contributes to the Ioniq’s light and airy feel.
The EV6 lacks a lot of fancy seating features, but GT-Line models have very sporty faux suede upholstery available. It matches the car’s sportier design, but it also helps hold you in place better so you don’t slip when enjoying those driving dynamics. The seat design seems to have a little more support, but it’s not particularly noticeable.
Beyond these differences, the seats of the two cars are quite similar. They have a good amount of cushion, but not much lumbar support or much shape. The bottom pads are a bit short, but the angle helps provide good thigh support. Leg and knee room in both rows is huge, with plenty of room for people and rear-facing child seats. We also really like the adjustable recline of the rear seats.
Just as different body shapes have affected passenger space, the Ioniq 5 and EV6 each have different amounts of cargo space. The more conventional and taller design of the Ioniq 5 gives it more space. With the rear seats up, it has 27.2 cubic feet, and folding those seats up increases the space to 59.3. The EV6 has 24.4 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 50.2 with them folded, which proved large enough to fit all the bags in our standard luggage test (we haven’t tested the Ioniq 5).
Objectively, the Ioniq 5 has a slightly best interior. It’s a bit roomier and its controls are a bit more user-friendly. But that matters much less than the subjective aspects. If you’re looking for a car that’s more like a soothing living room, the Hyundai is the way to go. But if you’re looking for something like the sporty cockpit of a spaceship, the Kia carries your captain’s chair. And you can’t really go wrong either.