Electric vehicles are all the rage right now, as there are some really good ones out there. Seems like Tesla has set the standards, but there are also some impressive EVs from Ford with their Mustang Mach-E (and their new Lightning pickup) as well Porsche and Mercedes-Benz. And making an impressive showing is Hyundai’s Ioniq5. Now Kia is entering the market and proving that not only can they hang with the best, but they may well be one of the best.
The Kia EV6 is the first vehicle in the Kia lineup to be built from the ground up as an electric vehicle. Unlike the Kia Niro EV which is an all-electric version of the Niro Hybrid, there is no hybrid or gas version of the EV6. The advantage of this is that Kia was able to design the EV6 from the get-go without a traditional gas engine to worry about, letting them focus more on the EV drivetrain and styling. The results are impressive.
The EV6 is a small crossover/hatchback that shares much of its EV tech with the Hyundai Ioniq 5. The EV6 looks great with muscular and performance styling, but done in a very contemporary way. Range, the big thing with EVs is estimated to be up to 310 miles.
Step inside the EV6 and a traditional cabin awaits its occupants. It’s not as daring as its exterior, but the EV6 still features plenty of high-tech content such as a digitized dashboard, a floating center console with lots of storage space and a large bin underneath it. The dedicated EV platform creates a nice, spacious interior despite its relatively compact exterior dimensions.
When it comes to utility, the EV6 will meet most expectations. There is 28 cubic feet of cargo space behind the back seat and that increases to 54 when the rear seatbacks are folded flat. There’s a little more storage space in the frunk (front trunk) – another advantage of not having a gas engine.
The EV6 can be configured with rear or all-wheel drive. In rear-wheel drive, there is a single electric motor mounted on the rear axle. All-wheel drive EV6s use an electric motor on both the front and rear axles. The base EV6 trim level is called the Light and comes in rear-drive only and makes 167 horsepower. It has a range of 232 miles. Move up to the Wind or the GT-Line and the EV6 is fitted with a larger battery allowing rear-wheel drive models to make 225 hp and all-wheel drive models make 320 hp. Range is 310 miles for the rear-wheel drive and 274 for the all-wheel drive. Later in the year (or possibly in 2023), a GT model will be available that will make an impressive 576 hp.
The EPA rates the single-motor EV6 at 117 MPGe while the dual-motor version is rated at 105 MPGe. In MPGe, 33.7 kilowatt-hours (kWh) is comparable to a gallon of fuel. So, if an EV uses 33.7 kWh of electricity to travel 100 miles, it is said to get 100 MPGe.
The exciting exterior and fancy interior coincides nicely to a vehicle that is impressive to drive. The tester, an EV6 GT-Line with rear-wheel drive was very quick, being able to get to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds (Kia says the upcoming GT will do it in under 3.5 seconds). Not only is the EV6 quick, but it just feels good driving it – the steering is well-weighted and accurate, and the suspension tuning is spot-on.
Pricing for the Kia EV6 starts at $42,195. The tester carried an MSRP of $53,405.
There’s a lot to like about the EV6. From the way it looks to how it feels to be in and drive as well as its practicality, the EV6 has a lot going for it. And while it’s Kia’s first EV, they are showing that if you are looking at possibly purchasing a highly rated EV like the Tesla Model 3 (or Model Y) or a Mustang Mach-E, the Kia EV6 should be right there among them.
— Christopher A. Randazzo
By The Numbers:
Base Price: $52,995.00
Price as Tested: $53,405.00
Layout: single-engine / rear-wheel drive
Engine: single electric motor
Transmission: direct drive
Horsepower: 225 hp
EPA Fuel Economy: 117 MPGe
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