Kia EV6 performance, motor & drive
It's compromised somewhat by its significant weight, but overall the EV6 is one of the better-handling electric cars you can buy
|Model||0-62mph||Top speed||Driven wheels||Power|
|Long Range RWD||7.2s||114mph||Rear||226bhp|
|Long Range AWD||5.2s||116mph||Four||321bhp|
|Long Range GT||3.5s||160mph||Four||576bhp|
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 a 226bhp power output. For ultimate performance, driving enthusiasts will have to wait until late 2022, when the range-topping, 576bhp GT model joins the line-up, promising a neck-snapping 3.5-second 0-62mph time.
Kia EV6 0-62mph, top speed and acceleration
On the road, performance from the all-wheel-drive EV6 is strong courtesy of 321bhp from its two electric motors, which develop peak torque of 405Nm. That translates to 0-62mph being over and done with in 5.2 seconds, as well as nicely punchy performance for overtaking from any speed. The top speeds of the two models are almost the same, and even the 226bhp, single-motor rear-drive car’s 0-62mph time of 7.3 seconds is very respectable.
The latter also has a strong torque figure of 350Nm, so it doesn't struggle with getting up to speed or accelerating, either – even in the 'Normal' driving mode. We've yet to drive the 576bhp GT variant, but we'll update this review with impressions when we do, ahead of its late-2022 on-sale date.
In addition to Eco and Normal, the EV6 has Sport driving mode intended for 'spirited' driving. It makes the car so potent, however, that the chassis can sometimes feel like it's struggling to deal with the power being produced. It doesn't really suit driving on typically twisty and bumpy UK country roads, so most owners will probably reserve for a few grin-inducing blasts of flat-out acceleration where it's safe to do so, but stick with Normal mode most of the time.
Weight is always a factor when it comes to discussing electric-car handling, and despite some clever suspension technology, Kia's engineers haven't quite managed to disguise the EV6's 2,015kg mass, nor its fairly long wheelbase. In most everyday driving, however, it stays nicely composed; it actually feels a bit more controlled and tied-down than the sometimes-bouncy behaviour of the Hyundai Ioniq 5.
As we've mentioned, progress is swift in the EV6, but it's also quiet: even at motorway speeds, wind, tyre, suspension and electric-motor noise are kept to a reasonable level, which isn't always the case with electric cars. Comfort is good, too – although not quite to the same extent as the Ioniq 5. There's a definite firm edge to the ride, but this is an inevitable tradeoff for the Kia's sportier handling compared to its Hyundai cousin.
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 £10,000 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 obvious.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe 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 & drive - currently readingIt'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 ratingNo independent Euro NCAP crash-test score yet, but Kia's track record for both safety and reliability is good