The road to electrification is paved with pricey and, in some cases, ugly models. Yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but there is no excuse for new Tesla models that look so dull.
Fortunately, some manufacturers realize that one important aspect of convincing consumers to adopt EVs has much to do with styling. The all-new Kia EV6 is a strong example of that thinking, a midsize utility vehicle with room for five.
2022 Kia EV6 Review
The 2022 EV6 is one of a trio of new models from Hyundai Motors. Along with the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the Genesis GV60, these models arrived this calendar year, enabling their respective brands to gain a foothold in the burgeoning EV market. All three share a common platform with rear-wheel drive available or all-wheel drive offered.
Kia offers the 2022 EV6 in three grades: Light ($41,400; RWD), Wind ($47,500; RWD/$51,400; AWD), and GT-Line ($51,700; RWD/$56,400; AWD) grades. Add $1,295 for the destination charge. Kia supplied us with an all-wheel-drive Wind for our review.
We give Kia high marks for designing a thoroughly visually stimulating model in the EV6. The look doesn’t match Kia’s design language with its other models, but that’s just fine. The brand needs to set itself apart from its corporate stablemates and it has done so in a significant way.
Somehow, Kia managed to combine elements from a hatchback with a bulky SUV to design a pleasing look. This appearance begins up front with a low nose marked by handsome LED lights. The visage seems stolen from an exotic car and that’s fine with us.
Strong shoulders, bold body sculpting, and arching taillights suggest a far more expensive model than it is. It makes for a dramatic, yet cohesive layout, with aerodynamic touches.
Special features of note include flush-mounted door handles (they open automatically with the GT-Line). Also, dual aero-style rear spoilers, power-folding and heated side mirrors, and black wheel arch trim complete the expression.
GT-Line garnishment and a power liftgate are available. Standard 19-inch aero-style 5-spoke wheels may be swapped out for 20-inch wheels on the GT-Line.
The EV6’s cabin is not as dramatic as the exterior, but it makes a statement, nonetheless. We’ve seen some EVs with a space-age design that is big on brightness (and plastic), but otherwise just weird. The EV6 attempts to normalize matters, although the look is thoroughly modern.
High-end imitation leather seats, soft-touch materials, available alloy pedals, and the limited use of hard plastics dress the interior.
The front seats are on the thin side, yet they’re comfortable and supportive. There is ample legroom front and back, with very good headroom for the front row and average space in the rear.
Of course, what helps the interior is no space is set aside for an engine or transmission. The lack of a drivetrain hump translates into plenty of space in the back seat. With no engine present, the cabin is pushed as far forward as needed.
The standard storage space is decent too: 24.4 cubic feet but doubling with the rear seat folded.
All the creature comforts are offered here as well. These include full power accessories, fabric or imitation leather seats, and heated front seats. The list of available features includes ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a power-controlled passenger seat, LED ambient lighting, and a heated steering wheel.
Differences between grades underscore the distinctions in tech offerings. All models come with four USB ports, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a wireless phone charger.
Especially noteworthy are the twin 12.3-inch display screens. The two flow together to form a thoroughly futuristic look. The left screen is for the instrument panel, the right for infotainment and in-cabin controls.
The single difference between trims involves the audio system. The base grade has a 6-speaker system, while the other two come with a 14-speaker Meridian audio package. Also, navigation is standard across the grade walk.
As expected, Kia supplies generous amounts of driver-assist technologies with the EV6. However, some features are limited to the top-grade model.
All three grades come with forward collision avoidance assist with pedestrian and cyclist detection. Other standard features include blind-spot collision avoidance assist rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control with full stop and go, and highway driving assist.
Parking distance warning, rear is standard. Front warning is included with the Wind grade. A head-up display, surround view monitor, enhanced forward collision warning, and blind-spot view monitoring accompanies the GT-Line.
No engines are offered, but the EV6 comes with either one or two electric motors.
The standard Light grade comes with a 125 kW rear-drive motor good for 167 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The Wind and GT-Line models have a 168 kW rear-drive motor with 225 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.
These two grades also offer the option of all-wheel drive with a front 74 kW electric motor. Combined, the power output is 320 horsepower and 446 pound-feet of torque.
The all-electric range is 232 miles with the Light edition and 310 miles with the Wind and GT-Line. Adding all-wheel drive, however, drops that range to 274 miles. The EV6 when properly equipped can tow, with the two top grades reaching 2,300 pounds.
Torque is instantaneous with electric vehicles and the EV6 is no exception. We believe most shoppers will opt for all-wheel drive as the two-motor system supplies the most power and is likely the better choice for a vehicle weighing more than two tons.
Add in people and stuff, and the gross vehicle weight rating reaches 5,556 pounds in some configurations. Included in that total is a battery pack that tops 1,000 pounds with all-wheel drive.
Nevertheless, the EV6 is quick to move forward under all conditions. With a dual-motor configuration, your 0-60 mph time is below 5 seconds. That’s grand tourer range for the EV6, with an even more powerful GT model arriving this fall.
Users have a choice of Normal, Eco, Sport, and Snow driving modes along with six distinct settings for regenerative braking. In Eco mode, the climate control system’s output reduces accordingly, saving battery power while keeping passengers comfortable.
Choose the Sport mode and the accelerator response sharpens as well. We left this EV in Normal mode for most of the week, which had little negative effect on the range.
Credit Kia for developing a connected driving experience with direct steering and good handling present. The suspension system is tuned to the firm side, but it devours road insults while keeping passengers comfortable. It isn’t a corner carver by any means, but you won’t wobble on twisty roads as much as the usual high-profile vehicle.
Kia EV6 Considerations
It’s a new world for Kia and in the EV6 we like what we’re seeing. The move, though, to EVs means that several of its current models are going away, including the Stinger and K5 sedans as well as the entry-level Accent.
Unfortunately, the sub-$20,000 market is fading fast with no affordable EV replacements on the way, at least not immediately. As for the EV6, expect to pay north of $50,000 for one, before the available federal tax credit and local incentives kick in.
See Also – Introducing the Electric Kia EV6
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