Kia EV6 review: One of the best electric cars on sale

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Kia’s latest electric vehicle is poised to take on everything from the Hyundai Ioniq 5 to the VW ID.4 and Tesla Model 3, and win



<p>Kia EV6 GT Line RWD</p><div data-ad-id=
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Kia EV6 GT Line with rear-wheel drive

The Kia EV6 marks the next step in the Korean brand’s shift to electrification. Kia was among the first mainstream automakers to take the idea of ​​electric cars seriously, with the first Soul EV launching seven years ago and the electric version of the Niro selling out before some competitors launched a single EV .

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In 2022, the brand will sell electrified (EV or hybrid) versions of six models and plans to launch 11 pure electric vehicles by 2026. The EV6 is the first among them and the first model from Kia built on the special E-GMP platform.

design and interior

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The EV6’s looks immediately set it apart from some of these competitors. Like the Ioniq 5, the EV6’s body shape is difficult to pigeonhole. Kia calls the sleek but muscular shape “crossover-inspired,” referring to the EV being an SUV. There’s evidence of that in the pronounced wheel arches and slightly high ground clearance, but for the most part the EV6 looks like a (very) large hatchback – think Polestar 2 rather than Ariya. It’s a sleeker, sportier alternative to the Ioniq 5’s retro binge or the Skoda Enyaq’s more conscious SUV styling. It won’t be to everyone’s taste, but there’s no question that it has presence.

The interior is less avant-garde than the Ioniq 5, and there are clear parts it shares with other new Kia’s like the Sportage. The EV6 features the same huge dual-screen display that curves gently towards the driver and houses a 12.3-inch instrument cluster and matching media/navigation screen. It also has the same dual function controls, switching between heating or media at the touch of a button and offering a mix of physical dials and touch-sensitive panels. There’s a massive center console that houses the drive selector switch, wireless charging pad, heated seat/steering wheel controls, cup holders and a massive floor-level storage bin. Overall it’s a fairly straightforward arrangement, with lots of glossy black plastic and chrome trim, only with a patterned and textured dashboard (made from recycled bottles) and some vegan “leather” upholstery to add some individuality. The Enyaq’s interior is more stylish, the Kia’s easier to use.

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It’s also enormously spacious. Kia says it has the roomiest cabin in its class, and although we didn’t pull out the tape measure, it feels cavernous. Front and rear passengers have plenty of leg and shoulder room. Even the insanely tall fit with ease, and the deep rear roofline only causes headroom issues for those well over six feet. Behind the passenger compartment is 490 liters of luggage space – ample for most uses, although behind several SUV-style competitors.

EV6 drives, performance and range

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The EV6 has a few powertrain options that follow the same pattern as several of its competitors. There is a rear-wheel drive version with 226 hp and an all-wheel drive version with 321 hp. There’s also a 577 hp GT version on the way.

As tempting as more power sounds, the rear-wheel-drive model never feels underpowered, responding with the instantaneous linear thrust common to all electric cars. With a speed of 0 to 100 km/h in 7.3 seconds, it is fast enough and offers between 22 and 45 km more range than the all-wheel drive variant, depending on the choice of wheel.

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Intelligent regenerative braking allows for one-pedal driving in most situations, and there’s a choice of Eco, Normal or Sport driving modes. These have a noticeable effect on the car’s throttle and braking response, but don’t affect the passive damping, which errs on the hard side and can occasionally be caught out by sharp road surface changes. However, that stiffer ride means impressive body control for such a large vehicle.

All versions of the EV6 use a 77.4 kWh battery. In the tested RWD GT Line specification, which offers an official range of 328 miles and consumption of 3.76 miles per kWh. Often these lab values ​​are difficult to replicate in the real world, but while we were never promised more than 301 miles of range, we easily surpassed official fuel consumption figures on a multi-day tour of the Scottish Highlands. We didn’t beat up the car by any means, but we also didn’t crawl around at 40mph with the air conditioning off (like I did before to conserve the charge). Over the course of more than 400 miles of winding A-roads that rise and fall through the countryside, we averaged 4.1 miles per kWh – better than any other EV I’ve tested. Even in the worst case – on a long motorway trip, the EV6 happily returned 3.5 million/kWh.

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Of course, the warm weather and road conditions were in our favour, so it will be interesting to see how a follow-up test in cold November affects that performance, but nonetheless it’s an impressive effort for a car of this size.

Along with that impressive consumption and large battery, the EV6’s unfailing accuracy in predicting real-world range takes a lot of the stress out of driving an unfamiliar EV. When it says you’ll get 296 miles on a charge, you really will, making charging stop planning easier.

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And when it comes to charging, the EV6 has some of the fastest charging speeds out there. Thanks to the 800V architecture of the E-GMP platform, the EV6 can charge at a maximum of 350kW, allowing a charge time of just 18 minutes to go from 10% to 80%.

Kia EV6 price and specification

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All of this makes for a mightily immersive EV experience, backed by the usual Kia values ​​of a long warranty, high specification and relatively good value for money. At nearly £48k, no one is pretending the EV6 is a cheap car, but as usual it’s well priced compared to rivals and even mid-spec GT Line packages include most of the equipment you could want. Highlights include adaptive LED headlights, vehicle-to-load capability, navigation-based intelligent cruise control, and “premium relaxation seats” that raise and recline so you can stretch out in comfort while you wait for the car to charge becomes.

The world of electric vehicles is still changing rapidly as brands release more and more models with ever-improving performance, range and capability. The EV6 is an impressive opening salvo in the latest phase of Kia’s electrification plan, offering a complete package of space, comfort, efficiency and value that the competition struggles to match.

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Price: £47,195 Engine: single synchronous electric motor; Battery: 77.4kWh; Perfomance: 226 hp; Torque: 258 pounds foot; Transmission: single-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive; Top speed: 114 miles per hour; 0-100km/h: 7.3 seconds; Area: 328 miles; Consumption: 3.76m/kWh; Load: up to 350kW

Advantages:

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  • Impressive real range
  • cabin space
  • Generous specification

Disadvantages

  • Smaller shoe than some competitors
  • The interior design is a little plain
  • Doesn’t look to everyone’s taste

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