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 has been on sale for a couple of years now, but it remains one of the most accomplished long-range electric cars we’ve ever tested. Big batteries mean even the entry-level model can cover quite some distance between charges, while the EV6 also brings stylish looks, sporty handling and decent practicality to the table. It boasts some of the fastest charge times of any car currently on sale; a 10-80% top up takes just 18 minutes on the very fastest ultra-rapid chargers.
In addition to all this, the Kia EV6 is quite a fast family car. Even the 226bhp rear-wheel drive model feels quick, taking just 7.3 seconds to go from 0-62mph, and the faster-still 321bhp all-wheel drive version (0-62mph in 5.2 seconds) will put quite a few hot hatchbacks to shame. What the EV6 never felt like it needed, then, was an extra 256bhp. 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 that helps get all of that power to the road. 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.
While the performance is a big step-up over the standard car, the EV6 GT doesn’t look drastically different to the regular EV6 models. Delve a little deeper, though, and you’ll be able to make out the subtle body kit, more aggressive bumpers and the new 21-inch wheels, behind which sit the much-easier-to-spot acid green brake callipers. That green theme continues inside, with contrast stitching and further neon 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 – as well as a slew of other electric Hyundai, Genesis and Kia cars. It also underpins the forthcoming 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, if a little stiffer than the already firm-riding standard EV6. 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 and wide tyres 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 all the way to a top speed of 162mph. 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, and the sporty bucket seats do offer good support.
However, the EV6 GT doesn’t boast amazing refinement; we’ve been in plenty of electric (and petrol) cars that are quieter at motorway speeds and, while wind noise only makes itself known when you breach three figures, those big tyres the GT rides on 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 with the same 77.4kWh battery pack as the EV6 GT. The rear-wheel drive version is better still, claiming 328 miles before needing to be plugged in. The silver lining, of course, is that all Kia EV6 models can accept very high charging speeds, so 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 £62,625 price tag – despite the fact it cost over £1,000 less at launch in 2022. But while that makes it one of the most expensive cars in Kia’s range (only the Kia EV9 seven-seater SUV commands a higher starting price), it’s remarkable value when compared to some of the other high-performance electric cars out there. Take the Porsche Taycan GTS as an example – it may offer a little bit more driver engagement but, at £110,000, it’s also nearly double the price of the Kia EV6 GT. The Taycan has less power, less performance and, if you compare spec-for-spec, less equipment than the Kia, too.
Want to read about the standard Kia EV6? Check out our seven-page in-depth review here.