Base price for the 2022 Kia EV6 is $44,995 in Canada and $41,400 in the US.
The Kia EV6 is the IONIQ 5’s twin.
The EV6 is also one of the most inspired EVs currently available for sale.
I’ll go right out and say it: I’ve made it clear over the last few years that I do not entirely trust Hyundai Auto Group vehicles to be all they are cracked up to be. Having said that, I would toss caution to the wind and call a new 2022 Kia EV6 my own.
As brutal as it may sound, I’ve been suspicious of Hyundai products for almost a decade now about as much as steered consumers away from Daimler-Chrysler vehicles during the late 1990s and 2000s. In short, following several purchase recommendations from me between 2010 and 2014, with one exception, I had to deal with many calls from owners disappointed or frustrated with the quality or reliability of their vehicles.
But spending a week behind the wheel of the Kia EV6 forced me to rethink my position on Kia. The reason is quite simple: this electric vehicle is amazing in every way.
Showing off inside and out
There’s no easy or concise way to describe its appearance. The EV6 is a cross between a supercar, a luxury sedan, a high-performance SUV, and a station wagon – deal with it. In some ways, it looks much smaller than the IONIQ 5, when in fact it’s longer, just as wide, but not as tall.
The lower roofline, while giving the EV6 a great fastback profile, is a rare source of the complaint. Entry and exit, in both rows, can be perilous for the noggin of average-height adults. Headroom is very limited, even when sitting comfortably in the front. Note that its wheelbase is as long as the Kia Telluride’s, so don’t be surprised by the impressive rear legroom.
The dashboard is commendable too, but it’s not without mild irritants. But first, the good stuff. The lovely dual 12.3-inch screens are curved, not flat like in the IONIQ 5. As well, the center console has real controls for the steering wheel, heated seats, and more, which means there’s no need to navigate countless menus through screens for comfort settings. And lastly, the attention to detail is obvious as there are textures and visual accents throughout the cabin.
The main blemish is under the air vents in the center of the dashboard. There is a thin touchpad that serves as a panel to access the climate control functions. To access a more general menu, including audio controls, occupants must select the little triangle to change the menu. The maneuver requires far too much attention and dexterity to pull off.
IONIQ 5’s twin – yes and no
It’s true that it shares Hyundai’s E-GMP architecture with the IONIQ 5 (and the Genesis GV60) as well as the available electric motor configurations. However, the EV6 drives like it’s never heard of its twin. The Kia is more agile, feels lighter, and offers a much more dynamic driving experience. It’s more sporty car than crossover.
On the road, the ride quality is not as cushy as the IONIQ 5 or Nissan Ariya, but its chassis doesn’t punish like the Volkswagen ID.4 or worse, the Tesla Model Y. Of all these electric vehicles, the EV6 is perhaps the most communicative from the driver’s perspective. In addition, the five brake-regeneration modes add an extra degree of control to the driver using the steering wheel-mounted paddles – no other EV here, other than the IONIQ 5, offers as much flexibility.
The Kia’s dual-motor versions are particularly interesting. Despite the 320 horsepower, we’re not discussing a fast vehicle here given the 2,100 kg that must be moved, but it’s a real pleasure to mash the throttle to sample the abundant torque. The arrival of the more powerful GT version will make the EV6 a real high-performance EV however this version’s got plenty enough go to quickly get into trouble. Of course, this is not the way to save electrons but fortunately, the EV6 is quick to absorb its electricity.
At home, a Level 2 charging station will fill up the 77.4 kWh battery (the only one available with all-wheel drive) in just over seven hours. With its ability to store at a charging rate of 350 kW, going from a 10 to 80 percent state of charge will take less than 18 minutes on a really fast charger. In my experience, I have not encountered any complications when charging a Hyundai Group electric vehicle at a public charging station, which was not the case with the Volkswagen ID.4, for example.
A highly convincing EV
The assault that the Hyundai group is organizing on the electric vehicle field is amazing, as is the Kia EV6. In fact, so compelling is the EV6’s performance, styling, and packaging that I’d set aside my misgivings and pick one up. And the as-tested $54,995 Runway Red AWD LR is spot-on perfect.