The electric crossover worth the wait
With the new 2022 EV6 on the market, Kia didn’t just need to prove it could make a good electric vehicle. It had to prove that it could do the job better than its Hyundai Motor Group rival, the Hyundai brand, and their 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5.
Mission accomplished. The 2022 Kia EV6 doesn’t just outpace its relative competition, it outpaces many other electric cars and crossovers, putting itself at the forefront of consideration.
The exterior styling of the EV6 does not differ from corporate themes and standards. The look is fierce in the front and elegantly sophisticated in the back. It’s easily recognizable from the face or the tail, for all the right reasons.
Buyers can get the Kia with the same powertrain and transmission options as the Ioniq 5, at least for now. The move is strategic because the vehicles share a platform.
There are four grades: Light, Wind, GT-Line and GT. The base model EV6 (Light RWD) features rear wheel drive (RWD), a 58 kilowatt hour (kWh) battery and a 167 horsepower rear motor. It has an estimated all-electric range of 232 miles.
All other models come with a 77.4 kWh battery.
Upgraded RWD models (Wind RWD, GT-Line RWD) are equipped with a 225 horsepower engine. Both crossovers should travel 310 miles on a full charge.
Dual-motor e-AWD (electronic all-wheel-drive) versions (Wind AWD, GT-Line AWD) have a 74 kilowatt (kW) front motor and a 165 kW rear motor that combine to deliver 320 horsepower. These models have less range than their RWD counterparts, only going 274 miles when the battery is full.
Kia’s top-of-the-line EV6 GT is a twin-motor e-AWD unit that uses the combination of a 160 kW front motor and a 270 kW rear motor to produce 576 horsepower. Range estimates have not yet been released for this model.
When charging on a 350kW charger, the Kia can cover 70 miles of range in under five minutes and up to 217 miles in under 30 minutes. However, at the moment, these types of chargers are rare in the United States.
Using the car’s 11 kW on-board charger, the 77.4 kWh versions of the electric vehicle can charge from 10 to 100 percent in 7 hours and 10 minutes using a 240-volt outlet.
The EV6 GT won’t go on sale until later this year. He was unavailable to drive on that first opportunity on the road.
There are distinct power differences between the models, with the mid-range all-wheel-drive models offering the best opportunity for driving excitement. It’s not in power where the EV6 outperforms its competition. It is in the dynamic dynamics and the configuration of the equipment.
Unlike the Ioniq 5, the EV6 doesn’t feel like it wants to be a zippy (and underperforming) kart. The EV6 doesn’t have as much tilt as the Ford Mustang Mach-E or BMW iX. It’s fun to drive, unlike the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Nissan Leaf. The ergonomics of the EV6 are far superior to those of the BMW i4.
The steering is connected and precise. The throttle doesn’t unleash a burst of power all the time, but rather allows power to be delivered quickly in a way that doesn’t push passengers back in their seats.
These seats are comfortable and spacious in the front. In the back, the space seems a little more restricted and is not helped by the firmness of the bench seat. Still, there’s plenty of room for four adults in the cabin.
The car’s cargo space and infotainment system are perfectly fine. If you’ve used a Kia or Hyundai model recently, you’ll find that this EV6 does the same. The screen isn’t as responsive as the Mustang Mach-E’s, but there’s nothing wrong with its menus or setup.
Unlike the Ioniq 5, the EV6 has easy-to-reach seat heating and ventilation buttons on the front of the console. There’s also a touch bar below the infotainment screen that switches between climate controls and infotainment functions with a simple touch. It eliminates the need for buttons, but takes your eyes off the road for longer than it seems with traditional buttons.
Aesthetically, the cabin of the EV6 is not as original as that of the Ioniq 5. There is nothing wrong with that. Materials, textures, fit and finish are exactly where they should be for the price.
Its driver-assist tech looks more elaborate than rival Hyundai, along with the car’s lane-centering tech working in tandem with lane-keep assist to eliminate ping-pong between lane lines. The materials don’t seem as cost effective as those that fill the cabin of some of the more expensive EV competitors.
Kia has priced the EV6 right. The 2022 Kia EV6 starts at $40,900. The EV6 GT-Line, the current top of the model line, costs just $55,900.
The 2022 EV6 is competitive across the lineup. Its base model slashes the base price of the Tesla Model Y by nearly $14,000, before incentives. The Kia is cheaper in the GT-Line version than the sportier editions of the Mustang Mach-E. Each EV6 model has an additional destination and delivery charge of $1,215.
That’s all well and good, but where the EV6 really wins is overall. It’s more comfortable, with improved dynamics and easy-to-use technology that makes it the electric vehicle to put on your shopping list.
Demand is high and Kia is limited in producing the model for U.S. customers this year due to COVID-19-related manufacturing issues and allocation priorities. But, the Kia EV6 is worth the wait.