Sharing its E-GMP (Electric-Global Modular Platform) platform within the HMG (Hyundai Motor Group) with the Ioniq 5, the Kia EV6 opens a new all-electric era for the manufacturer. Presented as a crossover, it features a massive silhouette that breaks with Kia codes.
The EV6 is offered in two power levels: 168 kW (229 hp) in rear-wheel drive and 239 kW (325 hp) in all-wheel drive. A strong GT version with 585 hp will appear soon. To power the engine(s) (positioned on the rear axle or on each axle depending on the version), a 77.4 kWh battery provides between 508 km and 528 km in mixed WLTP depending on the engine.
A new version with a 58 kWh battery and 170 hp power is also now available to bring the bill down to €47,990. Our test version in Design finish with 229 hp engine and 77.4 kWh battery requires an entry ticket of €55,790. On the other hand, the all-wheel drive version demands more €4000.
In all cases, the 800V architecture can recharge the battery from 10 to 80% in 18 minutes and supports (optional) V2L charging. Plus, starting at the lower trim levels, there are two 12.3-inch screens each and they help keep the line, traffic jam assist, semi-autonomous driving or even emergency braking and speed limit sign recognition.
Promising on paper, the Kia EV6 makes interesting arguments that we were eager to evaluate in real-world conditions.
ergonomics and design
With its athletic design, the Kia EV6 boasts a dynamic style that contrasts with the more consensual design that the manufacturer has accustomed us to. If the lines are less sharp than those of the Ioniq 5 cousin, the Kia EV6’s silhouette mixes curves and stops to assert a sporty look.
Up front, the closed, sloping grille is enhanced by a pair of full-LED matrix headlamps positioned in a boomerang pattern. The ribbed hood frames two domed fenders, sculpted sides that incorporate flush door handles elongate the silhouette towards the rear, and the bow features an original light design. The light signature describes a curved line made up of LEDs starting from the rear wheel arch and extending across the entire width of the luggage compartment. The bow is reinforced by a spoiler integrated into the roof that completes the vehicle’s aerodynamics.
The EV6 is 4.68m long, almost as long as the Ford Mustang Mach-E (4.71m) and Tesla Model Y (4.75m). That’s more than the Volkswagen ID.4 (4.58 m) and Hyundai Ioniq 5 (4.64 m), for example. However, it is lower than these SUVs, with a height of 1.55 m.
Most surprising is the wheelbase that reaches 2.9 m. This benefits the habitability, namely in the rear seats, and the occupants of the bench seat can also enjoy a flat floor. Too bad, however, that the middle passenger doesn’t have a separate seat.
Another complaint, given the size of the EV6, we would have appreciated a greater load volume. If it is not ridiculous (490 l; 1300 l with the seat folded down), this value is still lower than that of a Mustang Mach-E for example (519 l), an Ioniq 5 (527 l) and the champion of the genre, the Model Y (854 l).
For greater comfort, we will have the 52 l of the “frunk” (front trunk) of the 2-wheel drive version.
Note that passengers will be able to benefit from a domestic socket (230 V), capable of supplying a maximum power of 3.6 kW.
comfort and equipment
The EV6’s interior reveals a flattering, modern design with fine tuning. The choice of some materials such as fabric upholstery made of recycled plastic and artificial leather brings a touch of originality. On the other hand, the design of the two-spoke steering wheel is a bit out of step with the EV6’s sporty silhouette and if its controls are well placed, the associated pictograms aren’t the most obvious.
Likewise, if the mounts are correct, the finishing details take a while because of the exaggerated use of hard plastics, including on the undersides and the floating center console.
The latter incorporates an induction smartphone charger, parking assistance buttons and 360° camera, as well as the P, N, D, R gear selection wheel. by the thumb. The controls are okay overall, but you’ll still have to take your eyes off the road to access certain comfort functions.
Underneath the center vents, a row of touch controls allow you to select interface menus and change the display of this banner. So you can access audio or navigation shortcuts or ventilation controls. Two physical dials complete these controls. Everything is easy to use, but not as easy as traditional controls.
The top of the panel accommodates two 12.3-inch screens, connected within a slightly curved frame. The center touchscreen dedicated to infotainment is identical in architecture and layout to the Ioniq 5. The graphics are modern, the responsiveness is correct without being exceptional, and the interface is complete and dense – it takes a little getting used to.
Many settings are available, such as the possibility to choose the maximum load, driver assistance, comfort options, brightness customization or even access to Kia Live. We note, however, that if the matte panel offers good gloss, it is particularly sensitive to fingerprints.
Browsing provides an acceptable experience. Unlike many manufacturers, it is possible to preview the vehicle’s range in proportion to the remaining range. However, we regret the absence of a “route planner” that would integrate loading steps into the navigation route.
The seats offer good support and support. It is possible to activate the seat ventilation and its heating, as well as the heating of the steering wheel via buttons located on the center console.
Finally, the digital instrumentation, carried on another 12.3-inch screen, does not revolutionize its field, but it is quite readable and easy to handle. However, we are sorry that it is not possible to display the navigation map in this interface.
Handling and performance
The Kia EV6 is a cute baby whose imposing size doesn’t make the city its favorite terrain. However, the smoothness of the controls makes maneuvering particularly easy. The quality of the 3D renderings and the reversing camera provide good visibility of your surroundings and the obstacle detection radars are quite accurate.
The steering is smooth, relatively well-calibrated, without, however, offering very exhaustive feedback. Comfort is very good, even with the 20-inch rims, but the weight of 2075 kg is very noticeable during somewhat dynamic driving. The 229 hp and 350 Nm of our test version are clearly not too much. However, they offer sufficient performance with 0 to 100 km/h advertised in 7.3 s. Despite its line, the Kia EV6 proves to be a good touring car and exhibits a certain neutrality in corners, despite a slight sagging in the front axle at corner entry. The rear is a little stiffer, but the whole is healthy.
The Kia EV6 benefits from 4-phase regeneration, with the One Pedal mode that lets you drive with just the right pedal outside of emergency situations. Recovery from lifting the foot is quite significant, but it can give passengers annoying kicks to the kidneys. On the other hand, alone on board, we really appreciate this mode, especially in a peri-urban environment.
The Kia EV6 gives pride of place to steering aids with a level 2 autonomous mode that combines adaptive cruise control and a lane centering function. The function is well calibrated on the road, with help especially useful in traffic jams. On the other hand, we were not convinced by the lane change assistant, who demands very open conditions. Likewise, the automatic modification of speed on the highway according to navigation data and recognition of road signs causes some phantom braking.
The EV6 is approved to tow up to 1600 kg, as long as the battery charge is greater than 35%.
Autonomy and charging
The EV6 is now accessible with a 58 kWh battery (and 170 hp) to lower the entry ticket, but the range is just 394 km on the WLTP combined cycle.
Our test version was equipped with a useful 77.4 kWh battery, for a maximum range of 528 km in WLTP combined cycle, according to the manufacturer. According to our measurements, we noticed a mixed range of 424 km, with an average consumption of 18.2 kWh/100 km: 15.3 kWh in the city, 17.5 kWh on the highway and 23.4 kWh on the highway.
On the charging side, the EV6 accepts up to 10.5 kW of AC current as standard, for a 10 to 100% charge in 7 h 20 min, according to Kia. This crossover is distinguished by its direct current load capacity of up to 239 kW, thanks to its 800 V architecture. Thus, it is possible to go from 10 to 80% load in just 18 minutes, on a compatible terminal.
Comprehensive driving aids.
Smoothness of commands
Charging speed on compatible terminals.
Maneuverability in the city.
Trunk volume compared to overall dimensions.
Overabundance of submenus in the interface.
How does ranking work?
The Kia EV6 is one of the best electric cars tested by the editorial team. Although it suffers from some shortcomings, such as a slightly low trunk volume in relation to its dimensions, a somewhat disappointing finish due to its price and an interface that requires some adaptation time, this 100% electric crossover has good energy efficiency. and, above all, substantial and efficient equipment, even from the first trim level. What’s more, its ride, if not as dynamic as its line might suggest, is safe and comfortable. In short, the Kia EV6 offers a compelling electric experience, crowned by a charging speed that minimizes time spent in the terminal.