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%, 233kW)
Long Range AWD314 miles12hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)18mins (10-80%, 233kW)
Long Range GT263 miles12hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)18mins (10-80%, 233kW)

Kia has long been an electric-car trailblazer, with the original Soul EV being one of the first mainstream electric crossovers you could buy. Today, 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. Now, its Kia EV6 model heralds the start of a new generation of impressively high-tech electric cars.

The difference between the EV6 and Kia’s previous electric cars is that it’s not based on architecture shared with petrol and diesel-engined models, which 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 Ioniq 5 from Hyundai and this EV6 from Kia, while the Genesis GV60 also uses the same underpinnings. We were already impressed by the Hyundai, so expectations were high for the Kia 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 would be 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 the cheapest rear-drive version is actually best in this respect; there's not really much to be gained by spending more on the all-wheel-drive model. The range-topping Kia EV6 GT (reviewed separately) will certainly appeal to speed freaks, though, thanks to its Porsche Taycan-rivalling acceleration.

The EV6's electric technology is bang up-to-date, too. Okay, there aren't many charging stations in the UK right now that can deliver the maximum 233kW speed the EV6 is capable of, but it's still good to know you can make full use of the current infrastructure – 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 ID.5. Plus, 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 EV6 has all 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...

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