Category Archives: Auto Reviews

3-cylinder, 300-hp for Toyota GR Corolla

The Toyota GR Corolla parked at Town Hall in Glen Haven. (Bud Wells)

There sat a Toyota Corolla in our driveway on a fairly quiet afternoon; not just an average nondescript Corolla, this was the 2023 GR Corolla Core all-wheel-drive crossover in a supersonic red exterior finish.

The GR is for Gazoo Racing, Toyota’s performance and motorsports division.

Note the triple exhaust placement. (Toyota)

The compact hatchback has excellent presence with a black matte grille and angular LED headlamps out front and rear spoiler, rear diffuser and triple exhaust – a pipe for each bore. Yes, it’s a turbocharged 1.6-liter, 3-cylinder with 300 horsepower and 6-speed manual transmission. The three-exhaust emit is great sound and, of more importance, reduces back-pressure on the engine.

Inside the sporty five-door, Jan and I headed west into the Big Thompson Canyon, forking to the right at Drake. That put us on the lightly traveled Devil’s Gulch Road, away from the much-busier U.S. 34. The gulch is a 17-mile back-roads’ diversion from Drake to Estes Park. I drive it often.

The numerous sharp bends and short sprints in between are conducive to near-perfect testings of the 3-cylinder/6-speed manual setup. The GR is quick with response and while shifting back and forth between 3rd and 4th gears on the descent back toward Drake, I might have touched the brake twice.

To say of the GR Corolla Core, “It’s not a great ride, it’s a great drive,” is acknowledgement of the extreme rigidity the Gazoo team builds into the specialty vehicles. So devoted it is to a car at a time, the production rate is 49 GR Corollas per day.

The GR Corolla has both front and rear differentials; twist a knob on the center console, you have all-wheel drive with a 30/70 rear ratio, twist it again its AWD is front-based 60/40. It rides on 18-inch wheels, with Michelin Pilot Sport tires.

The special Corolla averaged 24 miles per gallon; its EPA estimate is 21 city, 28 highway, 24 combined.

We were a bit late to get into the Glen Haven General Store (and its cinnamon rolls), which during November is open only on Saturdays and Sundays and closes by 4 p.m.

The GR Corolla’s base price of $35,900 climbs to $39,659 with addition of the limited-slip front and rear differentials, along with JBL eight-speaker premium audio and amplifier, fabric sport seats and GR-trimmed leather-wrapped steering wheel.

On the safety front, it is equipped with pre-collision and pedestrian-detection, lane-departure alert and lane-tracing assist, automatic high beams and road-sign assist.

The GR is on a wheelbase of 103.9 inches, with overall length of 174 and curb weight of 3,250 pounds. Toyota has established a dedicated GR factory at its production facility in Motomachi, Japan. Among competitors are the Volkswagen Golf R and Hyundai Veloster N.

Volvo XC90 offers wool-blend seats for leather

The roomy XC90 SUV has been a mainstay for Volvo for 20 years. (Bud Wells photo)

The Volvo XC90, introduced in 2003, has through the years retained strong popularity among the luxury midsize SUV competitors – the BMW X5, Mercedes GLE, Porsche Cayenne, Range Rover Sport, Lincoln Nautilus and on and on.

My recent drives were aboard the XC90 Recharge AWD Ultimate seven-seater, a plug-in hybrid which with a fresh charge will provide up to 38 miles of all-electric power before falling back on its regular gas engine.

The powertrain combo of turbocharged 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine and 18.8 kWh battery, with 8-speed Geartronic automatic transmission, delivers a combined 455 horsepower and 523 lb.-ft. of torque; mash the throttle and be amazed at the thrust of power.

My Autel charger at home replenished the battery three times (4-to-5 hours per charge), which was enough to hand us an overall mpg of 42.7 for around 200 miles. With four-corner air, the highway travel was smooth, other than an occasional bump too severe for absorption by the 21-inch Pirellis, and a bit of shudder on transfer of power sources.

The big XC90 carried Jan and me in to Denver on a Friday for a stop at the Colorado Auto Dealers Association, then lunch out north with Ted and Shirley King. The Kings are up to their elbows in fudge, preparing and distributing hundreds of delicious batches through the holidays from a long-used secret recipe. 

The light-colored wool-blend seats are optional to the normal leather seats.  (Volvo)

On first opening the driver’s door, I was surprised by the gray-colored, wool-blend seats, instead of leather. Volvo says the seats are perfect, and aims for the day when its products will be all-electric and all-cloth, no leather seats.

I considered Volvo’s seats as among the best in the business 15 to 20 years ago, especially with the XC70 wagon, one of my alltime favorite cars to drive. The wool-blend seats in this new XC90 review model are stylish, form-fitting, comfortable. But give up leather? Are you kidding?

The air suspension and Bowers & Wilkins premium sound added $5,000 to the Volvo’s sticker price, which reached $85,495. Drive-mode settings, adaptive cruise, lane-keeping, heated steering wheel and crystal shifter were among many other highlights.

The XC90 was built in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Scrapbook, email stir memories of midget racers

Bob Smith points to Johnnie Tolan photo in Smith’s scrapbook from his boyhood. (Photo by Debbie Rehfeld)

Bob Smith, a friend from Lochbuie, was carrying an old scrapbook when he stopped by our home in Greeley. Smith, whom I’ve written about previously, is the former longtime, highly successful wrestling coach at Wray High School.

His scrapbook was more like a large photo album in which he had dozens of pictures and newspaper clippings from Denver midget-car racing, a fascination of his growing up in the late 1940s and early ‘50s in north Denver near the Lakeside race track. Jan and I enjoyed turning the pages to the long-ago happenings.

Two weeks later, in an exchange of emails with Jeff Ball, a boyhood friend of my younger brother Kent at Sterling High School more than 60 years ago, we learned some of the racing success of Jeff’s father, who lost his life in a crash in Arizona in the early ‘50s.

Midget car racing at the Lakeside track in Denver was a big attraction in the late 1940s.

Prompted by Smith’s and Ball’s connections, I remembered a summer morning at Wray, probably around 1949 when I was 12, when I sat down and joined in on an outdoor neighborhood gathering. I listened to a couple of the older boys tell of the races they’d seen the night before in accompanying their parents to Lakeside.

Restored midget racer, trailer and 1952 Ford pickup are like those of Bobby Ball’s in early 1950s. (Photo by Jeff Ball)

They kept referring to the “Offys” (Offenhauser engines). “They’re the fastest,” they insisted. My family still owned and operated Dale Wells Ford Garage at Wray, and I quietly remained loyal to the cars powered by V8(60) engines built by Ford, which competed with the 4-cylinder Offenhauser-powered race cars.

Midget racing at the Lakeside Speedway, begun in 1938, was halted for four years during World War II, then resumed in 1946. Bob Smith’s scrapbook is filled with photos and writeups of such race drivers as Loyd Axel, Johnnie Tolan and Roy Bowe into the 1950s, until stock cars emerged as main interests.

Bobby Ball, Jeff’s father, did some racing at Lakeside in 1949, though his main achievements in midget cars were in California and Arizona. In an 18-race midget series at the Phoenix South Mountain Speedway in 1950, Ball won 14 times and was runnerup in the other four runs. He was winner of the 1950 Western States and Arizona Midget series championships, then finished fifth in the 1951 Indianapolis 500 in the Blakely Oil-sponsored Schroeder Indy roadster.

Ball on Jan. 4, 1953, suffered severe head injuries in an accident at Carrell Speedway in Los Angeles, remained in a coma for 14 months, passing away in February 1954.

Smith and Jeff Ball are included in the chapter, ‘My Favorite Car,’ of my book, “2,600 Cars and a Dog Sled: Bud Wells’ 67 Years in Newspapering and Automobiles,” being printed at Morris Publishing at Kearney, Neb. Each cited his first car as ‘favorite:’ Smith a ’36 Ford, Ball a ’51 Chevy. Books can be ordered at

Jeff Ball.  (Jan Wells)

Jeff Ball enjoyed a career in sales and management of automobile and motorcycle dealerships in northern Colorado. As a young man, he owned two Lotus Super Sevens; a series 2 car with which he toured Europe with a brother in winter of 1966. The second was the Twincam. “I set records on road racing tracks and a world record in AHRA drag-racing class for the car; it ran 13.7 seconds at 103 mph in Scottsdale in 1971 and I won SCCA season championship for its class in sanctioned autocross competition four years in a row,” Ball said. “I promised my mother when I was 10 years of age that I’d never do professional racing, so amateur racing in the Sevens was gratifying.”

Bob Smith graduated from Denver North High School in May 1954, attended University of Northern Colorado (then known as Colorado State College), accepted a position as wrestling coach at Wray High School and directed the Eagles to 30 conference championships in 33 years and 10 state titles. He’s been a car collector. As a young teacher in 1960, he helped overhaul the engine in his Model A in the shop at the Ford Garage at Wray.

Rock Creek trim firms up ’24 Nissan Pathfinder

The Rock Creek edition of the 2024 Nissan Pathfinder.

A bit more rugged-looking is the consensus on the 2024 Nissan Pathfinder in its relatively new Rock Creek trim level.

Power is delivered from a 3.5-liter V-6 engine, with 9-speed automatic transmission and Intelligent 4X4 (basically all-wheel drive), with offroad-tuned suspension. Horsepower is boosted from a normal 284 to 295 for the Rock Creek trim, which also provides seven Drive modes, including Sand and Mud/Rut aimed at offroading.

An Auto mode automatically adjusts power between front and rear wheels, while a hands-on Pro pilot assist system offers lane-keeping, throttle and brake control.

Acceleration response is smooth and plenty powerful at highway speeds, though it is not as instantly responsive as some competitive V-6s at the various rates of speed. When properly equipped, the Pathfinder can deliver up to 6,000 pounds of towing capability.

Inside, the Pathfinder is roomy and comfortable, with seats of leatherette edges and durable-material centers. Rock Creek badging adds to the offroad image presented by the Pathfinder. Its high-riding dash and hood can reduce visibility to the lower areas out front.

Among competitors are the Jeep Grand Cherokee L, Toyota Grand Highlander, Mazda CX-90, Volkswagen Atlas, Kia Telluride, Dodge Durango and several others.

The Pathfinder carried Jan and me on Sunday out to the home of Brent and Tina Wells in Windsor for the 1st birthday of their youngest grandchild, Kade. EPA estimates for the midsize Nissan SUV are 20/23 miles per gallon; my overall average for 220 miles was 21.9.

Sticker price on the big unit is $45,920, including forward-collision and blind-spot warning, automatic emergency braking, second-row captain chairs, remote-engine start and leather-wrapped steering wheel.  

The Pathfinder, built in Smyrna, Tenn., is in its sixth generation. It dates back to 1985. The Rock Creek trim was added for the 2023 model year.

QX65 in ’25 may spark surge for Infiniti QX60

A bright bordeaux with black roof for the 2024 Infiniti QX60. (Bud Wells photos)

The week after testing the new Rock Creek trim of the Nissan Pathfinder, we enjoyed the luxury division’s offering from the same platform, the 2024 Infiniti QX60 midsize SUV crossover.

Similar underpinnings, yes, though while those who promote the Pathfinder make mention of its somewhat rugged capabilities, the Infiniti is marketed for its smoothness of operation and luxurious interior.

The reality of that edge in ride and style is summed up at sticker price. Infiniti QX60 AWD range of prices is roughly $52,000 to $70,000. The Nissan Pathfinder’s AWD pricing goes from $38,000 to $55,000. The high-end Autograph trim of the Infiniti I drove was stickered at $69,445; the Pathfinder Rock Creek $45,920.

Smooth power, particularly in low-end acceleration, is on the mild level from Infiniti’s 3.5-liter V-6 engine, 9-speed automatic transmission and Intelligent all-wheel drive. Tow capacity is 6,000 pounds for the 295-horsepower crossover with wheelbase of 114.2 inches, overall length of 198.2 and curb weight of 4,657 pounds. The QX60 averaged 23 miles per gallon in a 50/50 split of city and highway driving. The Pathfinder of the previous week was equipped with the identical 3.5 engine; its overall average was 21.9 mpg.

Throttle and shift controls are adjusted by drive-mode selection between personal, sport, auto, eco or snow. Sport selection pepped things up a bit. ProPilot assist with navigation link, along with traffic-sign recognition and intelligent cruise control add safety and confidence.

A muscular bumper below a distinctive grille is out front of the beautifully finished deep Bordeaux (red) exterior. Seats and lower dash in the three-row QX60 are dressed in quilted, durable semi-aniline leather; driver and front-passenger seat are heated/ventilated with massaging feature. Second-row seats tilt and slide to provide access to the third row. Other highlights are panoramic moonroof, 12.3-inch infotainment display with Bose Performance 17-speaker audio system, rear-door sunshades and ash-wood trim.

The QX60 accounts for almost half of Infiniti’s sales, though the brand has five other models. Major competitors of the QX60 in the luxury field are the Acura MDX, Buick Enclave, Cadillac XT6 and Lincoln Aviator. Though Infiniti has jumped in sales through the first nine months of 2023, its total of 48,830 trails Buick’s 124k, Acura’s and Cadillac’s 110k each and Lincoln’s 59k.

Based on surveys of luxury consumers, part of the sales lag for Infiniti is lesser engine response than the others; some of that reaction might be overcome with a new model for 2025 – a QX65 two-row crossover with coupelike styling, with possibility of turbocharged power. Its fastback body would apparently be of the same platform as the QX60. It would compete with the BMW X6 and Audi Q8.

An Infiniti M35 from 15 years ago.

Twenty years ago, 2003, Infiniti sold almost 119,000 vehicles. Sedans were in favor then and half of Infiniti’s sales were by the G35 car. The Japanese-based company launched its U.S. sales in 1989 with a Q45 sedan and M30 coupe.

Toyota moves up to Grand Highlander

The new Grand Highlander crowds midsize SUV market. (Bud Wells photos)

Another major player – the 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander 4WD Platinum Hybrid sport ute – has driven right into the middle of the burgeoning, 3-row midsize SUV competitors.

The price range for this red-hot market is $30,000 to $60,000, and this big, loaded-up Grand Highlander qualifies – by $122. Sticker price of the one delivered to me is $59,878.

Among the many midsizers are the new Mazda CX-90 and relatively new Jeep Grand Cherokee L, the Acura MDX, Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Expedition and Explorer, GMC Yukon, Honda Pilot, Kia Telluride, Nissan Pathfinder, Subaru Ascent, Volkswagen Atlas and many others.

Toyota insists the Grand entry is much more than a stretched version of the Highlander of the past 20-plus years. The traditional Highlanders and Grand are built on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform. From there, though, the Grand is much larger, with upgrades structurally and in styling. The rigid platform gets it down the road with excellent control. The Grand Highlander’s 116-inch wheelbase and 201 overall length are 4 inches longer in wheelbase and 6 inches longer overall, with its 4,870 curb weight 400 pounds more than the regular Highlander.

2001 Toyota Highlander at First Christian Church of Wray.

The original Highlander was unveiled at the 2000 New York Auto Show; I drove one of the first to arrive in Denver to the 100th anniversary celebration of the First Christian Church at Wray in 2001. Today’s Grand Highlander is almost 1½ feet longer than the 2001 model.

Toyota has excelled in its production of numerous gas/electric hybrid vehicles, and the Grand was no exception in smoothness of acceleration, handling and braking. A big disappointment was its overall fuel mileage of 22.6 mpg. EPA estimated fuel economy for the Grand Highlander Hybrid is 26-27 mpg.

The review model’s top-end Platinum trim brings the turbocharged 2.4-liter Hybrid Max 4-cylinder with 362 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque. It is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. Tow capacity is 5,000 pounds. The Grand rides on Yokohama Geolander 255/55R20 tires.  Available in a lesser trim is a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder and two electric motors for a combined 243 horsepower.

The Grand is spacious, with 20.6 cubic feet behind a third row of seating, with room for three adults, plus two bucket seats in the middle row, the normal two up front for seven-passenger total.

Those front seats are heated and ventilated, the second row pair is heated and further highlighting the interior is JBL audio, with wireless AppleCarplay and Android Auto compatibility. The Grand Highlander is built at Princeton, Ind.

2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz adds XRT trim

New Hyundai Santa Cruz XRT recorded high fuel mileage. (Bud Wells photos)

Beginning its third year of production, the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz minipickup showed up at my home in a more rugged-looking new trim – the XRT.

Already known for departure from the norm in pickup appearance, the Santa Cruz’s new edition adds distinctive fender flares, side steps, bed rails, orange center caps on the wheels, black mirror caps and black door handles.

Its exterior style may be unordinary, but the finish was one of the most beautiful light-green hues I’ve seen; actually, according to Hyundai, its color is “sage gray.”

The 281-horsepower, turbocharged 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine and 8-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission, previously optional, are now standard on the XRT. Standard also is all-wheel drive.

Jan and I drove it north to Cheyenne for a Sunday evening dinner (Rib & Chop House). The Santa Cruz drives, rides and handles very carlike; it is based on the Hyundai Tucson’s unibody platform. Midrange power is very adequate for the S-Cruz after relatively slow takeoffs and the overall drive is fun with dual-clutch quick shifts, even quicker with use of the paddle shifters.

Rear-side vision from the driver seat is impaired, blocked by the front-seat headrests and the pickup’s undersized rear-side windows. Side-by-side small-circle speedometer and tachometer in the instrument panel appear to be a throwback to olden days; that impression is dispelled when the engagement of a turn signal flashes a view of the left or right side of the vehicle in the circles, a modern marvel.

The easy, 144-mile drive, there and back on U.S. 85 in order to avoid heavy traffic on I-25, resulted in a high fuel mileage reading of 27.6. EPA estimate for the Santa Cruz XRT is 19/27/22.

Sticker price on the XRT review model is $41,635. The Santa Cruz Limited is the only trim higher-priced than the XRT. Base model begins around $29,000.

The side steps provided Jan with easy entry. Inside, the seats look of leather, though they are of leatherette/polyvinyl. Legroom is somewhat limited in the rear seating area. The seats are flip-ups, with storage bins.

The integrated tonneau-covered box at back is of limited size, measuring 52.1 inches long and 57.9 wide, 42.7 between wheel wells. Built-in steps in bumper corners assist access. Drop the tailgate to access a small, lockable storage space beneath the bed floor. A self-leveling rear suspension helps a tow capacity, which is rated at up to 5,000 pounds.

A close competitor to the Santa Cruz is the three-year-old Ford Maverick, also of unibody construction, 4 inches longer than the overall length of the Hyundai, and a small bed a bit longer than the Santa Cruz bed.

The Hyundai is 195.7 inches in overall length on a wheelbase of 118.8 inches. Its curb weight is 4,200 pounds.

Another unibody competitor is the Honda Ridgeline, though the Santa Cruz is smaller. The Honda is 6 ½ inches longer in wheelbase, 14 inches in overall length and is 300 pounds heavier in curb weight.

‘24 Mazda CX-90 with inline-6 or plug-in

2024 Mazda CX-90 gets power from 4-cyl., battery pack. (Bud Wells photo)

Offering a PHEV plug-in hybrid option to the new 2024 Mazda CX-90 three-row crossover seems timely, particularly since the Japanese firm aspires to a premium product ranking, just a notch below the luxury field.

The ’24 CX-90 replaces the ’23 CX-9 in the Mazda lineup. The new one is 2 inches longer in overall length and its interior is finished luxuriously. It is built in Hofu, Japan.

Strong performance is delivered from a 323-horsepower, 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, an electric motor, 8-speed automatic transmission, paddle shifters and a battery pack of 14.8 kWh energy capacity. It is standard all-wheel drive. With all that, its curb weight is a heavy 5,236 pounds.

It is quick-charged in a couple hours overnight with a Level 2 charger. Its electric range, though, is only 26 or 28 miles. When you look out at all those other pluggers, including Ford at 37 miles, Volvo 41, Toyota 42 and 46, it seems 26 might be insufficient.

Three times I charged it full to 26, 28 and 29 miles, and mixing together all the driving of the week was an average of 39.4 miles per gallon. It is rated at 56 MPGe and 25 miles per gallon for gasoline usage.

Its shift sequence is somewhat odd, in that the lever, from Drive, moves forward to Reverse, then left to Park. The 90-degree turn requires a moment stop at Reverse. Drive modes include Normal, Sport, Offroad, Towing and EV. Tow capacity is 3,500 pounds.

The review model delivered to me is the high-end PHEV Premium Plus, sticker-priced at $58,920, including 12.3-inch center display, lane-departure warning, 21-inch wheels, heated and ventilated nappa leather seats, and on and on. Lesser-equipped PHEV trims begin around $7,000 cheaper. Gasoline-only models are powered by a 3.3-liter, inline-6-cylinder, and base trim begins in the low $40,000s.

A delay in the Mazda key pod in its intended unlocking and locking, leaving the charge connector secured to the rear-fender receptacle, caught the attention of Leonard, a neighbor/friend, who was walking past my opened-door garage. We tried again, the doors unlocked, the plug pulled right out, we hung-up the cord, put things away and Leonard sat down for a cup of coffee.

Toyota brings Crown back as hybrid, AWD

The Toyota Crown features two-tone premium paint. (Bud Wells)

The Crown showed up at my place.

No, not the Crown Royal; no, not the Crown Prince.

It is the mid-sized Toyota Crown hybrid sedan, successor to the big Avalon four-door, for which production was shelved a year ago. It’s been 50 years since Toyota sold a new product in the U.S. under the model name of Crown.

The original Crown was much smaller than today’s entry. (Toyota)

This one is an eye-catcher, lengthy and lifted, sporting two-tone paint and riding on 21-inch machined alloy wheels and Bridgestones.

It is the Platinum upper trim level, which means it is equipped with a turbocharged 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder engine, two electric motors (one for each axle), direct-shift 6-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. The engine/motors combination delivers 340 horsepower. 

With adaptive variable suspension upgrades and full-time electronic AWD adjusting between 70:30 and 20:80, the 4,350-pound Crown is well-planted and an excellent handler. Drive-mode selection is open to study; it is offered as Normal, Eco, Sport, Comfort and Custom. Jan and I enjoyed a pleasant Sunday evening drive to Fort Morgan for dinner at the Mav. The interior is luxurious, roomy with comfortable, upright seating.

There is a tradeoff to all those performance and transmission achievements. The Crown Platinum averaged about 28.5 miles per gallon in our easy drive. The Crown’s lesser trims of XLE and Limited are equipped with 2.5-liter engine, two motors, AWD and a much weaker continuously variable transmission (CVT). Yet, it should average around 38 mpg, almost 10 better than we did for the same-type driving we did.

Dimension-wise, the Crown falls between the former Avalon and current Camry. The Crown’s overall length of 194 inches is 2 shorter than the Avalon’s and 2 longer than Camry’s. The fact the Crown is lifted a bit lends it more the feel of an SUV crossover than a competitive sedan.

Beginning prices for the three trim levels of the Toyota Crown are $41,045 for the XLE, $46,645 for the Limited and $53,445 for the Platinum.

Boosting the Crown’s sticker to $55,217 are two-tone premium paint, side puddle lamps, all-weather mats and mud guards. Highlighting a long list of standard equipment are heated steering wheel, heated and cooled leather front seats, heated rear seats, 11 JBL speakers including subwoofer and amp, panoramic roof, wireless smartphone charging, radar cruise control, lane-departure alert and steering assist, road sign assist, parking assist with automatic braking.

The Crown, built in Aichi, Japan, was originally sold in the U.S. from the late 1950s until 1972. It was a much smaller vehicle then, about a foot shorter and 1,300 pounds lighter.

Aerodynamically, ‘24 Ioniq 6 electric one of best

The Ioniq 6 is 191 inches in overall length. (Bud Wells photos)

Though 2 inches shorter in wheelbase, Hyundai’s new 2024 Ioniq 6 sedan is almost 9 inches longer in overall length than the Ioniq 5 crossover.

Jan and I enjoyed a very smooth drive with the Ioniq 6 from our home up north, heading across U.S. 34 to busy I-25 and on south to Longmont. For the return, we selected the more leisurely U.S. 287 from Longmont to Loveland, then home via U.S. 34.

Comfort and ride quality are positives for Ioniq 6, which is based on the Hyundai platform, E-GMP, which also serves the Ioniq 5, Kia EV6 and Genesis GV70 electric.

The Ioniq 6 is one of the most aerodynamic production sedans ever built. With its extended length, it is generally roomier than the Ioniq 5, other than headroom for which the 6’s sleek, low-slung style is costly.

The I-6 slots high in my book covering the many all-electric models I’ve driven in the past three years. But I must ask, “Is anyone buying sedans these days?”

Even the Hyundai’s sticker price of $58,425 seems in line with competitive electrics.

The sedan’s all-wheel-drive capabilities come from dual electric motors and a 77.4 kWh battery. Active air flaps in the front bumper open when the battery pack is in need of extra cooling.

Hyundai has a quick, easy charging system. A DC fast charger can reach 80 percent capacity in as few as 18 minutes; a Level 2 home charger can attain full charge in approximately seven hours.

I was unable to accomplish any relatively quick recharging of the Ioniq 6 from my home-base garage, for Hyundai didn’t provide an adapter for mating up with my 220-volt receptacle. The Ioniq’s charging cord was fitted for 120-volt engagement, which is so much slower than the 220. I was able to maintain near-full range with the Audi Q8 e-tron quattro the previous week, for an easy-to-use adapter was part of the car’s charging assembly.

The Ioniq 6 rear features twin ducktails.

With key in pocket, approach the Hyundai car and door handles, flush with the door skin, pop out for use in opening; switches for operating the front windows are positioned in the center console.

Twin ducktail spoilers draw attention to the rear of the vehicle at night with special lighting. Other features include auto-dimming rearview mirror, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, rain-sensing windshield wipers and Bose premium audio.