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
- Sleek looks
- Sporty handling
- Good range and charging speed
- Premium price
- Slightly harsh ride
- Not quite as practical as Ioniq 5
|Model||Range||Wallbox charge time||Rapid charge time|
|RWD||328 miles||12hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)||18mins (10-80%, 233kW)|
|AWD||314 miles||12hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)||18mins (10-80%, 233kW)|
|GT||263 miles||12hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)||18mins (10-80%, 233kW)|
Kia EV6 verdict
Kia has long been an electric-car trailblazer, with the original Soul EV being one of the first mainstream electric crossovers you could buy. But the Kia EV6 model heralds the start of a new generation of impressively high-tech electric cars. With a long range, super smooth and engaging driving dynamics, plus a cutting-edge cabin with the latest infotainment software and charging technology, the EV6 is not only one of our favourite electric vehicles – owner satisfaction surveys suggest it’s one of your top picks, as well.
Range details, specs and alternatives
The difference between the EV6 and many of Kia’s other electric cars is that it’s not based on architecture shared with petrol and diesel-engined models, which often results in some compromises when it comes to design and interior space. Just like the VW Group did with its 'MEB' technology, Kia and sister brands Hyundai and Genesis developed a platform exclusively for electric cars. It's called 'E-GMP' and is ready to underpin a wide variety of models from the Korean trio in the coming years.
The first to be based on these foundations are the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Genesis GV60 and Kia's EV6, all of which we've driven. There's a slight difference in philosophy between all three cars, with the EV6 intended to be a bit sportier and more dynamic than the Ioniq 5 hatchback and GV60 SUV.
That's immediately apparent in how it looks: the Kia is sleeker and sharper than the boxy, retro-inspired Hyundai, with its four-door coupe-style fastback shape not dissimilar to a Mercedes CLS. The slightly confusing silhouette means rivals span everything from the Tesla Model 3 and Tesla Model Y, to the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Volkswagen ID.5. You could even throw executive cars like the BMW i4 into the mix.
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 distance between the front and rear axles (the wheelbase), leaving plenty of room for both passengers and battery packs.
Speaking of battery packs, while other markets get the option of a smaller unit, UK buyers must make do with the 77kWh battery also found in the Hyundai and Genesis. No bad thing, of course, as it means every EV6 has a range of more than 300 miles – aside from the hot 577bhp Kia EV6 GT, which we’ve reviewed separately.
So the biggest decision a Kia EV6 buyer needs to make is whether to go for rear or all-wheel drive. The former claims a range of 328 miles (depending on spec), while the latter can still do up to 314 miles. It’s the longer-range car that we’d recommend, however, as it still feels quick and comfortable. Plus – in the UK at least – few will see benefit from the more complex all-wheel drive system.
The cheapest rear-wheel drive version gets 226bhp and does 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds, while the AWD car costs £3,500 more and boosts power to 321bhp, slashing the benchmark sprint to 5.2 seconds. Both cars get super-fast 800-volt charging tech, for a 10-80% top-up in just 18 minutes (at speeds of up to 233kW) at a suitably rapid public charger.
Available in Air, GT-Line and GT-Line S trims, the basic spec only comes in rear-wheel drive form. All cars get twin screens for the infotainment, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as heated front seats and a heated steering wheel trimmed in a vegan leather alternative. Stepping up to GT-Line costs around £3,000, and can be optioned with or without a heat pump (£900), for more efficient running all year round.
GT-Line cars get wireless phone charging, premium seats with suede trim, and dual-LED headlights with auto high beam. These models also get Kia’s V2L charging system, which means you can run things like electric barbecues, laptop chargers or even a washing machine off the car’s battery. In theory, you could even charge another EV, or run power back into the grid if your supplier supports this.
GT-Line S comes fully-loaded with an opening glass roof, a power tailgate, Meridian stereo and a head-up display. These cars also get extra driver aids, as well as remote park assist. You’ll pay around £4,500 more than the equivalent GT-Line to upgrade.
For a more detailed look at the EV6, read on for the rest of our in-depth review…
In This Review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe first of the new breed of pure-electric cars from Kia impresses, offering sportier looks and handling than its Hyundai Ioniq 5 cousin
- 2Range, battery & chargingThe EV6 has impressive range figures – and comes impressively close to matching them in real-world driving, too
- 3Running costs & insuranceSlightly higher insurance groupings than rivals are the only real minus point here
- 4Performance, motor & driveIt's compromised somewhat by its significant weight, but overall the EV6 is one of the better-handling electric cars you can buy
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfortThe EV6 benefits from yet another impressive Kia interior, with easy-to-use tech and high-quality materials
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityLuggage space is decent, but you may need to double-check if the EV6's rear seats are big enough for your needs
- 7Reliability & safety ratingA seven-year warranty and five-star safety rating complements Kia's good track record for reliability