In-depth reviews

Kia EV6 review

The first of the new breed of pure-electric cars from Kia impresses, offering sportier looks and handling than its Hyundai Ioniq 5 cousin

Overall rating

4.5 out of 5

Pros

  • Sleek looks
  • Sporty handling
  • Good range and charging speed

Cons

  • Premium price
  • Slightly harsh ride
  • Not quite as practical as Ioniq 5
ModelRangeWallbox charge timeRapid charge time
Long Range RWD328 miles12hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)18mins (10-80%, 250kW)
Long Range AWD314 miles12hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)18mins (10-80%, 250kW)
Long Range GTTBC12hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)18mins (10-80%, 250kW)

Kia has never dragged its heels when it comes to electric cars, with the original Kia Soul EV being one of the first mainstream electric SUVs you could buy. Nowadays, the second-generation version of that model – and the closely related Kia e-Niro – remain among the best electric cars you can buy, especially if you need space for a family.

However, they're still based on architecture shared with petrol and diesel-engined models, which results in some compromises when it comes to design and interior space. So, just like the Volkswagen Group has done with its 'MEB' technology, Kia and sister brands Hyundai and Genesis have developed a platform exclusively for electric cars. It's called 'E-GMP' and is ready to underpin a wide variety of models in the coming years.

The first cars to be based on these foundations are the Ioniq 5 from Hyundai and this – the Kia EV6. We've already been impressed by the former, so it's safe to say expectations for the EV6 were high even before we drove it. There's a slight difference in philosophy between the two cars: whereas the Ioniq 5 places emphasis on comfort, the EV6 is intended to be a bit sportier and more dynamic.

That's immediately apparent in how it looks: sleeker and sharper than the boxy, retro-inspired Hyundai, leaning fully into the idea of a 'coupe SUV'. Where it does remind you of the Hyundai is in its sheer size: it's 4.7 metres long, and nearly three metres of that is the wheelbase between the axles, leaving plenty of room for both passengers and battery packs.

You might be thinking such a large car is clumsy and unwieldy to drive, but that's not the case at all: the EV6 is very accomplished on a twisty road, offering a slightly more engaging (and perhaps slightly less relaxed) driving experience than the Hyundai. It's easily the equal of the Ford Mustang Mach-E or Tesla Model Y in this respect. And it's the cheapest rear-drive version that's best in this respect; there's not really much to be gained by spending more on the all-wheel-drive model.

The EV6's electric technology is bang up-to-date, too. Okay, there aren't many charging stations in the UK now that can deliver power at the maximum 250kW the EV6 is capable of, but it's still good to know you can make full use of the infrastructure that is there – and that the Kia is 'futureproofed' for coming developments. Maximum range is over 300 miles and we've found that's entirely doable in real-world driving, too.

The EV6 initially seems quite expensive for a Kia, but the brand is making a deliberate move upmarket here and the car's pricing is in line with rivals like the Mustang Mach-E and Volkswagen's ID.5. And it's more than a match for them when it comes to practicality, technology, comfort and handling. So if you're willing to sacrifice a smidgen of refinement in pursuit of a sportier driving experience, the Kia EV6 has the makings of a very tempting 'do-it-all' electric-car package. It's simply one of the best electric cars you can buy, at any price. For a more detailed look at the EV6, read on for the rest of our in-depth review...

Most Popular

Top 10 best seven-seater electric and hybrid cars 2021
Mercedes EQB
Best cars

Top 10 best seven-seater electric and hybrid cars 2021

If the regular crop of electrified SUVs and family cars don’t provide enough practicality for you, then take a closer look at the range of electric an…
24 Nov 2021
Complete guide to the BP Pulse (formerly Polar Plus) charging network
BP Pulse
Your questions answered

Complete guide to the BP Pulse (formerly Polar Plus) charging network

This is how to charge your electric or plug-in hybrid car on the BP Pulse public charging network (which was formerly known as the Polar Plus network)
24 Nov 2021
New 2022 Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer plug-in hybrid unveiled
Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer
Vauxhall Astra

New 2022 Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer plug-in hybrid unveiled

The estate version of the latest Astra continues Vauxhall’s bold new approach to styling and will be available as a plug-in hybrid from launch
30 Nov 2021

More on EV6

New 2021 Kia EV6 electric SUV: pictures, price, range and on-sale date
Kia EV6 GT-Line - Exterior
Kia EV6

New 2021 Kia EV6 electric SUV: pictures, price, range and on-sale date

Kia's flagship electric car is capable of up to 328 miles on a single charge and recharging from 10-80% in just 18 minutes; available to order in the …
21 Jul 2021