Kia EV6 GT review
Flagship EV is the most powerful Kia ever, with enough performance on tap to rival a Porsche Taycan GTS
- Seriously quick
- Good to drive
- Better value than a Porsche
- Refinement could be better
- Shorter range than other EV6s
- Expensive for a Kia
|Car type||Range||Wallbox charge time||Rapid charge time|
|Electric||263 miles||12hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)||18mins (10-80%, 240kW)|
The Kia EV6 is one of the most accomplished long-range electric cars we’ve ever tested. It’s stylish, practical and good to drive, and it’s got some of the fastest charge times of any car currently on sale; a 10-80% top up takes just 18 minutes on a 350kW ultra-rapid charger.
In addition to all this, even the entry-level rear-wheel drive model feels quick, taking just 7.2 seconds to go from 0-62mph. What the EV6 never felt like it needed, then, was an extra 350bhp. Alas, that’s exactly what Kia has gifted it, creating the 577bhp EV6 GT.
Of course, it’s not just a power hike. The EV6 GT also gets beefier performance brakes, active suspension, and a limited-slip differential. There are various drive modes, Eco, Normal and Sport, plus a GT setting that unleashes the flagship Kia’s full arsenal, while loosening the traction control settings for a more playful character.
Visually, the GT is set apart from its standard siblings thanks to a slightly more aggressive body kit, new bumpers and 21-inch wheels, behind which sit unmissable acid green brake callipers. That green theme continues inside, with contrast stitching and further piping on the seats. The GT drive mode is accessed via a big – you guessed it – green button on the steering wheel.
Kia’s E-GMP platform has already impressed us. It’s the same base used for the exceptionally talented Hyundai Ioniq 5 – our 2022 long-distance electric-car award winner – and soon we’ll see the EV6 GT’s battery and motors supply the hardware for the Ioniq 5 N hot hatch. So our verdict here could prove quite telling.
On the road, at normal speeds, the EV6 GT feels much the same as the standard car. The steering is well weighted, and the ride – despite the bigger wheels – feels nicely judged. Poor rearward visibility doesn’t help when parking, nor does the compromised steering rack; fewer turns lock-to-lock means an otherwise simple manoeuvre can morph into a four or five-point turn.
But that’s not what this car is all about. Find yourself a twisty, flowing back road and the changes Kia has made to the EV6 GT come into their own. The suspension hasn’t just been firmed up at each corner; it’s stiffer at the back, but softer at the front. The result is a sharper nose that’s even more eager to turn in, and a more rigid rear designed to limit squat at the back when you hit the accelerator.
And it works; the GT feels tied down without being uncomfortable. There’s still a bit of lean through the corners, but it’s communicative, and makes you feel more connected to the driving experience. As mentioned, the car’s GT mode lessens the interference from the traction and stability control, but the dual motors still mean the EV6 will grip and grip unless unreasonably provoked.
It’s a rewarding car to drive, then. Quick, too. Kia says the EV6 GT will do 0-62mph in 3.5 seconds and keep pulling beyond 160mph. We can well believe it; throttle response is instant thanks to a sledgehammer 740Nm of torque, but the way it builds speed feels more refined than, say, a Tesla Model 3 Performance. It’s rapid, but less unhinged – and that’ll suit many buyers wanting to drive their cars on a daily basis.
But here’s where the positives start to tail off. GT stands for Grand Tourer, which to all intents and purposes should mean this is a car designed to cover huge distances in complete comfort. Indeed, we’ve no issues with the way this car rides, but we’ve been in plenty of electric – and petrol, for that matter – cars that are quieter at motorway speeds. Wind noise only makes itself known when you breach three figures, but the big tyres do generate an unwanted amount of road noise.
Then there’s the range. While 263 miles will be plenty for most, it’s a hefty 20% cut on the Long Range AWD EV6, which can officially manage 314 miles on a charge. The rear-wheel drive version is better still, claiming 328 miles before needing to be plugged in. The silver lining, of course, is that no matter which EV6 you go for, an ultra-rapid charge won’t delay your journey for longer than it takes to grab a coffee and use the loo.
Elsewhere, the GT looks and feels worthy of its now-£61,595 price tag, though, at launch a few months ago the maker’s flagship was over £3k cheaper. But while that makes it the most expensive car in Kia’s range, it’s remarkable value when compared to something like a Porsche Taycan GTS – a £106,000 car that might offer just a little more driver engagement, but less power, less performance, and, if you compare spec-for-spec, less equipment too.
Want to read about the standard Kia EV6? Check out our seven-page in-depth review here.