The futuristic EV6 is a big deal for Kia because it’s the South Korean brand’s first electric-only vehicle…
Crowned 2022 European Car of the Year, you don’t need me to tell you that it’s one of the best EVs on the market.
The EV6 is quite hard to categorise. I’d class it as a five-door fastback, but like many electric vehicles with their batteries slung underneath, it sits slightly higher than a regular petrol engined car, but it is lower than an SUV. It’s also bigger in the metal than you expect from the pictures.
Sharing a platform with its cousins, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Genesis GV60, it’s available as either a 321bhp four-wheel-drive (dual motor) or more affordable 226bhp rear-drive (single motor). The usable battery capacity is 77.4kWh, regardless of which configuration you choose.
The single motor has the greatest range (328 miles compared to 314 miles). The top speed for both is 114mph, while the 0–60mph time for the four-wheel-drive version is 2.1 seconds faster at 5.2 seconds.
Charging from 10-80% takes as little as 18 minutes via 350kW ultra rapid charger (it’s future-proofed with an 800-volt charging infrastructure). A more common 50kW charger will take one hour 13 minutes, or if you can plug-in at home (7kW) it will take seven hours 20 minutes.
A little smaller than an I-Pace, the EV6 has a few similarities with the Jag when it comes to design – they both share a modest nose, short overhangs, pop-out door handles and big wheels.
The cabin has a futuristic feel and it’s well put together, but it could do with a few more soft-touch surfaces and less hard black plastic. More smart than plush, it won’t trouble the premium brands.
There’s an impressively large, curved touchscreen on top of the dashboard, merging into a digital driver’s display. Both are 12.3-inches and feature Kia’s usual clear and crisp graphics. Generally, it looks state-of-the-art and delivers a good mix of dials, buttons and touchscreens.
The EV6 ticks the sustainability box too because it’s available with “vegan leather” seats, and sections of the dashboard and centre console are clad in recycled plastics, equivalent to 107 plastic 500ml water bottles per car.
Inside, it’s spacious and slick, with plenty of room for five adults. However, it’s not perfect. Rear visibility could be better, there’s no rear wiper and I’d like to be able to lower the driver’s seat further.
Further back, there’s a decent 490 litres of space in the horizontally deep boot, expanding to 1,300 litres with the rear seats folded.
The EV6 also features extra storage at the front, courtesy of its front trunk, or ‘frunk’, providing an additional 52 litres of storage space for RWD models and 20 litres for AWDs (more than enough space for charging cables).
Standard equipment with the entry-level EV6 includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, LED lights, heated front seats and steering wheel, sat-nav based smart cruise control and autonomous emergency braking (AEB).
Goodies further up the range includes wireless smartphone charging, privacy glass, blind-spot collision warning, a panoramic sunroof, remote smart park assist, a powered tailgate, a 14-speaker Meridian audio system and a head-up display.
On the road the futuristic EV6 is comfortable, refined and turns heads for all the right reasons.
We tested both the single and dual motor versions and frankly there’s not much between them. If money is no object and the loss of 14 miles of range makes no difference, then go for the all-wheel drive version which is a little faster and offers extra traction.
A button on the steering wheel allows you to choose between Sport, Eco and Normal drive modes. Normal is just fine and Sport is ideal for overtaking and short bursts of fun, while Eco is best left for motorway runs.
The steering wheel paddles let you choose between six levels of regenerative braking, the last of which switches to “one-pedal” driving, which harvests maximum energy when you lift off the accelerator, bringing the car to a stop without touching the brakes.
The EV6 does a decent job of hiding its two-tonne bulk, feeling agile and staying fairly flat in corners. However, when really pushed, there’s no disguising its height and weight.
Ultimately, the EV6 isn’t quite as dynamic to drive as its looks promise. That said, the steering is light in town, yet adds weight at speed, while the brakes are more progressive than most EVs.
If you want more performance, then the upcoming EV6 GT will be able to hit 0-62mph in 3.5 seconds.
So, the EV6 is an impressive all-round package with a range far exceeding many premium rivals, and for me, it has the edge over the Ioniq 5.
Naturally, it’s also safe (achieving a maximum five stars in Euro NCAP crash testing), and like all Kia cars, it comes with a seven-year warranty, so there’s peace of mind too.
Priced from £45,245, its rivals include everything from the Ford Mustang Mach-E to the Jaguar I-Pace, Polestar 2, Tesla Model 3, Volkswagen ID.4 and Hyundai Ioniq 5.