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In-depth reviews

Kia EV6: performance, motor & drive

While most EVs are compromised by their weight, the EV6 mostly manages to shrug this off and deliver an enjoyable driving experience

Overall rating

4.5 out of 5

Performance, motor & drive rating

4.0 out of 5

Model

0-62mph

Top speed

Driven wheels

Power

RWD

7.3s

114mph

Rear

226bhp

AWD

5.2s

116mph

Four

321bhp

GT

3.5s

160mph

Four

577bhp

No version of the EV6 could be called slow, with even the cheapest rear-drive version getting from 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds courtesy of its 226bhp electric motor. For ultimate performance, driving enthusiasts will be better served by the range-topping, 577bhp EV6 GT, which offers a neck-snapping 3.5-second 0-62mph time. We've reviewed it separately if you want to find out more.

Kia EV6 0-62mph, top speed and acceleration

Don’t be put off by the base rear-wheel drive Kia EV6; even this offers somewhat brisk acceleration and is arguably all most drivers will ever really need. As silent and smooth as you’d expect from an electric powertrain, the base configuration has no trouble getting up to motorway speeds and can even perform motorway overtakes without breaking sweat – it can feel a little sluggish in ‘Normal’ and ‘Eco’ mode, though, as both limit power to preserve range.

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If you really want the type of blazing acceleration that’s often associated with performance EVs, or are simply after some extra grip in the colder and wetter months, there’s always the mid-spec AWD model. The addition of a second electric motor on the front axle not only provides four-wheel drive grip, but boosts power to 321bhp. 

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Ultimately, given the AWD model is able to reach 62 mph in near-as-makes-no-difference five seconds, the much more expensive top-spec GT feels a tad superfluous as we doubt most family buyers will really need that level of performance.

Handling

With its huge 77kWh battery pack, the Kia EV6 isn’t what you would call lightweight, even by EV standards – dual-motor models weigh in at over two-and-a-half tonnes. Yet, while the boffins at Kia haven’t quite managed to disguise the EV6’s mass in its entirety, they’ve certainly tried their best and succeeded for the most part. 

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As we've mentioned, progress is swift in the EV6, but it's also quiet; even at motorway speeds, wind, tyre and electric-motor noise are kept to a reasonable level, which isn't always the case with electric cars. Kias of late have all had rather stiff suspension and the EV6 is no different; this doesn’t make the car uncomfortable to travel in and actually comes as a benefit to handling. The EV6’s steering is consistent and nicely weighted, making it quite a bit more enjoyable to drive than the comparatively cushy Hyundai Ioniq 5.

Having now sampled both the rear and four-wheel-drive versions of the EV6 on UK roads, we can confidently state that the latter isn't really worth the £3,500 premium you'll pay over the entry-level version. While it is usefully quicker than the rear-drive version in straight line, the four-wheel-drive EV6's additional power only compounds the issue of the chassis feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the power on offer. Throw in the fact that the rear-drive version returns more range from a charge, and the choice becomes pretty clear-cut.

The Kia EV6 GT is a different animal, however. The maker has tuned the EV6’s range flagship to be really stiff at the back and a little softer at the front, which improves turn-in response and limits rear-end squat when you pile on the throttle. Down a twisty back road the GT is fantastic, although there’s more motorway noise than we’d like. The steering rack needs fewer turns than the standard EV6 to go from lock-to-lock, but that means that three-point turns and tight manoeuvres can be tricky. On the right road, you won’t mind at all.

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Hello there, I’m Tom Jervis and I have the pleasure of being the Content Editor here at DrivingElectric. Before joining the team in 2023, I spent my time reviewing cars and offering car buying tips and advice on DrivingElectric’s sister site, Carbuyer. I also continue to occasionally contribute to the AutoExpress magazine – another of DrivingElectric’s partner brands. In a past life, I worked for the BBC as a journalist and broadcast assistant for regional services in the east of England – constantly trying to find stories that related to cars!

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