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Kia EV6 review

Enjoy the ride in a future-proofed electric crossover, the Kia EV6.

Future driving, now: the new Kia EV6

Future driving, now: the new Kia EV6

Earlier this year, we brought you the first images and basic details of Kia’s new bespoke electric car, the EV6. Now, the Korean manufacturer has confirmed more specifications for its electric crossover; and the headline-grabbing fact is it’ll have a range of up to 328 miles. There’s also a charging world first… but you’ll need to read on to find out the details.

Prices start at £40,895, with first deliveries scheduled for October. Initially buyers will be able to choose from three trim levels — Air, GT-Line and GT-Line S — and two drivetrains. In the UK, all EV6 models will be powered by the company’s long-range 77.4kWh battery, rather than the entry-level 58kWh unit offered in other markets.

To further whet your appetite, the EV6 range will eventually be topped out by a Porsche Taycan-rivalling GT flagship. Powered by two electric motors with a combined output of 577bhp, Kia says it’ll cover 0-62mph in a rather eye-watering 3.5-seconds. And while top speed is increased to 162mph — where, of course, legal … which means, in the UK, most likely a racetrack or private airfield — maximum range drops to 251 miles.

Expect the GT to become available next year, with first deliveries expected during the second half of the year and with a price tag of £58,295.

Ok, that’s great, but what about the main sellers?

Let’s focus first on the entry-level Air spec. Featuring a 226bhp electric motor, Kia says it’ll be capable of covering 328 miles on a single charge. Standard kit looks good: rear parking sensors, rain-sensing wipers, LED headlights and 19-inch diamond-cut alloy are all included.

Inside the cabin there are two 12.3-inch screens — one for the digital instruments and one for the car’s infotainment functions — plus an ambient lighting system, automatic air-conditioning, a heated steering wheel and heated front seats trimmed in black vegan ‘leather’.

Excellent, what’s next?

If you want something a bit sportier, you’ll be looking at the EV6 GT-Line. Buyers can choose from either the 226bhp rear-wheel drive, priced from £43,895, or a dual-motor, four-wheel drive 321bhp powertrain. The latter starts at £47,395.

Opt for the 4WD model — which packs 605Nm of torque — and you’ll hit 62mph from standstill in 5.2s. That performancecomes at a price; range drops to 314 miles on the WLTP cycle. Worth highlighting though that both official range figures are improvements on Kia’s original targets.

Externally, the GT-Line distinguishes itself from the Air spec primarily thanks to a more aggressive body kit and rear privacy glass. But it also benefits from dual-LED headlamps with adaptive high-beam, front parking sensors and 19-inch alloys.

There are also more toys inside the cabin, including a wireless smartphone charging pad, aluminium pedals and black suede upholstery.

Most importantly though, you get Kia’s ‘Premium Relaxation Seats’. These automatically tilt back when the vehicle is charging to give the driver a chance to catch a ‘NASA nap’ between driving stints. I kid you not.

The GT-Line also includes Kia’s handy ‘vehicle-to-load function’. This allows owners and passengers to use the EV6’s battery to power external appliances rated up to 3.6kW.

And what about the GT-Line S?

Externally, it carries the same kit as the GT-Line, and is also available with the rear-wheel drive motor, priced from £48,395, or the 4WD powertrain, starting at £51,895. However, it does come with more equipment as standard. There’s a panoramic sunroof, which both tilts and slides; remote smart parking assist, a power-operated tailgate and 20-inch alloys. Buyers also get Kia’s Highway Driving Assist 2 system. This allows the EV6 to assume control of its steering, brakes and throttle when on the motorway.

Inside the cabin there’s an augmented reality head-up display system, which projects information on the car’s speed, navigation and assistance technology onto the windscreen. Also included as standard are a pair of heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and a 14-speaker Meridian audio system.

Sounds great, what about charging?

More good news. Because the Kia EV6 is built on the company’s new E-GMP underpinnings, which features the latest 800-volt electrical architecture, the electric crossover can be charged from 10% to 80% in just 18 minutes. Maximum DC rapid charging capability stands at 239kW.

And remember that world-first I mentioned? Kia’s boffins have ensured the EV6 has the capability to transform a power feed from a more common 400-volt rapid charger to 800 volts. By utilising a clever motor and inverter set-up — don’t ask me for more details … it’s tech intensive — it allows the EV6 to charge at its maximum capacity.

I guess there’s a smartphone app?

Of course! In a huge effort to remove the concerns over charging, Kia’s Charge solution package gives EV6 owners access (and guidance via the nav) to around 205,000 charge points across Europe, both AC and DC feeds.

The handy smartphone app links the user to the various different charging providers that are part of the scheme (including the Ionity network). In addition, Kia manages the subscriptions and payments for three levels of membership subscription depending on owners’ usage levels.

EV6 drivers of course can do their own bit to further maximise range by utilising the electric crossover’s six different regenerative braking settings. Ranging from modes 1 to 3, there’s also an ‘i-Pedal’ mode. This allows maximum energy harvesting and brings the car to a stop without touching the brakes, allowing one-pedal driving. The final two settings are auto and off.

Anything else?

Oh yes. A couple of interesting factoids. Kia has pushed the levels of efficiency to new levels, including pushing the wheels close to the model’s extremities to maximise space inside. But what will make you smile is the fact the slim, lightweight seats are trimmed in fabric made from recycled plastics, equivalent to 111 water bottles.

Plus … the EV6 comes with its own heat pump. By scavenging waste heat from the car’s coolant system, Kia states that even in temperatures as low as -7C the car can achieve 80% of its claimed range possible at 25C ambient temperature.

Final thoughts

There’s no denying electric cars are becoming more mainstream by the day as more and more manufacturers launch their own, all-new, bespoke EVs.

The Kia EV6 looks set to become one of the most stylish, practical and sought-after EVs on the road.

About the Author

Jim McGill