Value & Style Rule the Day
Kia’s newest EV delivers great value, cutting edge styling and variety of configurations.
The Kia EV6 is a strong contender
Kia has been one of the leaders in value-priced EVs over the last few years, but their offerings had been based on vehicles that started life as conventional internal combustion cars. For 2022, Kia introduced the EV6, a second generation EV crossover that is built on the Hyundai/Kia/Genesis Electric-Global-Modular Platform (E-GMP). This platform will be the basis for a whole new line of future Kia EVs. The EV6 has an EPA range of up to 310 miles and quick charging rates due to its cutting edge 800-volt architecture. Initially, there are five versions of the EV6 with two different batteries, rear (RWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD), and between 167 and 320 hp. In the range topping GT-Line AWD model, it’s got Porsche-level performance of 0-60 in 4.6 seconds.
What Is the EV6?
The EV6 is a 5-door midsize crossover that sits on a 114.2-inch wheelbase. It’s available in both RWD or AWD and has two battery options, either a 55 kilowatt-hour (kWh) or 77.4 kWh lithium-ion-polymer battery. Depending on your needs or budget, there is a EV6 for every need. RWD EV6s deliver the best range, and AWD EV6s provide the best all-weather traction and best performance at a small penalty in range with an EPA range of 310 for the RWD vs. 274 miles for the AWD version. Pricing ranges from $41,400 to $56,400.
Under the little frunk are some powerful motors
The version that Clean Fleet Report tested was the mid-range EV6 RWD “Wind” trim. In our opinion it represents the best value EV6 with a full complement of advanced driver assist systems (ADAS), the best range (310 EPA miles) and peppy performance (0-60 in 7.2 seconds.)
The Wind and GT-Line versions also have decent towing capacity of 2,300 lbs.
With the E-GMP platform, the EV6 is in the top tier of all BEVs on the market today with its 800-volt charging architecture that can take full advantage of 350 kW fast chargers. Our EV6 charged its 77.4 kWh LIPO battery from 45% to 100% in less than 12 minutes. Those who plan on charging at home will appreciate the speedy L2 on-board-charging rate of 10.9 kW, too.
The EV6 designers spent a lot of effort making the body as slippery as possible, which allows the car to achieve a very good efficiency of 3.8 miles/Kw on the highway with the adaptive cruise control activated.
As with all EVs today, the EV6 is heavy, with curb weights ranging from 4,017 to 4,661 lbs. depending on trim and powertrain. Around 1,000 pounds of that weight are in the battery, which is under the flat cabin floor. Combining that with a fully independent 4-wheel suspension gives the EV6 a solid confident ride. The ride is compliant and firm, but never choppy or harsh. For highway driving along with the super quiet ride (60 dBA @ 70 mph) it was enjoyable and never fatiguing.
A Cutting Edge Fully Featured Cockpit
Cutting edge looks & tech
Kia has taken the features from much higher priced EVs and adapted them to the EV6. In some, it added features that improve on the designs. The first thing you notice with the EV6 cockpit is its futuristic and airy interior. The dash is dominated with a pair 12.3-inch panoramic displays for the driver controls and infotainment that give the illusion of one continuous display. Below the center display is an innovative control strip with both analog knobs and digital touch controls that toggle between the dual-zone HVAC controls and the multimedia controls. At first, it’s confusing, but once you figure out the toggle function, it really works and declutters the controls.
Storage above and below
Convenience features include navigation with automatic updates, a 14-speaker Meridian premium audio, wireless phone charging, Apple Carplay and Android Audio, five USB ports, Wi-Fi hotspot, a power tailgate, power driver and front passenger vegan leather-covered seats that are both heated and cooled. AWD models include a range extending heat pump and heated steering wheel.
The spacious interior boasts a total interior volume of 103 cu. ft. and cargo space of 24.4/50.2 cu. ft. with the seats up or down, which is about the same size as the Kia Telluride.
The EV6 has an innovative V2L (Vehicle to Load) feature that has two 115v power outlets, one under the rear seat and the other that uses an L2 charger port adapter.
As of this writing, neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have crash-tested the EV6. The EV6 does come with an extensive list of ADAS standard, including rear cross-traffic alert, front collision warning, rear collision prevention, lane-keeping assist, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, rear-collision prevention, rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot detection. There is also an optional head-up display, blind-spot/surround view monitor and remote parking assist.
It drives like it looks–fast and competent
How Does it Drive?
The solid body construction, combined with a low center of gravity from the battery placement along with amazing aerodynamics makes the EV6 a joy to drive. It’s not the fastest EV on the market today, but it’s no slouch. The top speed of 117 mph for the AWD version is close to the performance BMW i4 M50 we recently tested. In looking at the current crop of new EVs on the market today, it ranks in the top 3 new BEVs along with the Ford Mustang Mach-E and the Polestar 2. This is a BEV that can stand toe-to-toe with just about any mid-priced 5-door conventional ICE crossover on the market today. From price/value to quality and performance, this is one great EV crossover.
2022 Kia EV6 Specifications
|Performance||167-320 hp-258-446 pound-feet of torque (RWD-AWD) 0-60 ~8.0 seconds|
|Powertrain||Single or dual AC synchronous permanent magnet notor, 1-speed transmission, RWD or AWD|
|EPA Range||234/310 EPA mile depending on trim and drivetrain|
|Weight||4,017/4,539 pounds depending on trim and drivetrain|
|Battery||58/77.4 kWh lithium-ion-polymer (LIPO) battery|
|Price||$47,495.00, as tested + $1,215 destination charge Price range: EV6 Light RWD $41,400 EV6 Wind RWD $47,495 EV6 Wind AWD $51,400 EV6 GT-Line RWD $51,700 EV6 GT-Line AWD $56,400 The EV6 qualifies for the $7,500 federal tax credit and local or state incentives.|
The EV6 Raises the Bar for Mainstream EVs
Head-turner–the new benchmark
Our EV6 Wind RWD was the mid-range version of the car, and had no options at all. Despite that, it was extremely well-appointed and has great performance. The EV6 has head-turning looks, excellent quality, cutting edge, state of the art technology, well thought out aerodynamics and top of the heap workmanship.
It stays up with interstate traffic and has range that rivals ICE crossovers. It can take advantage of the most powerful fast chargers available today, and leaves rivals waiting in line at Costco. It’s a mainstream EV crossover that acts like a luxury premium EV. It’s got plenty of room, and can seat five adults comfortably. This is the EV that you need to consider above all. Now all Kia has to do is make enough of them the fill the demand.
Story and photos by Gary Lieber
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Clean Fleet Report is loaned free test vehicles from automakers to evaluate, typically for a week at a time. Our road tests are based on this one-week drive of a new vehicle. Because of this we don’t address issues such as long-term reliability or total cost of ownership. In addition, we are often invited to manufacturer events highlighting new vehicles or technology. As part of these events we may be offered free transportation, lodging or meals. We do our best to present our unvarnished evaluations of vehicles and news irrespective of these inducements.
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Gary Lieber is a Road Test & Technology editor at Clean Fleet Report. Gary is a Silicon Valley technology veteran, having spent more than 20 years as an executive at Apple and Microsoft. He is a life-long technologist, club racer and gearhead. He has written about cars for the last 10 years, focusing on battery electric cars, autonomous vehicles and the technologies behind them. He is an organizer of Silicon Valley Reinvents the Wheel, founder of the San Francisco Bay Leaf Owners Association, former Concours Chairman for the Porsche Club of America and currently serves as Vice President of Communications for the Western Automotive Journalists.