Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Reviews 2022 Kia EV6 First Drive Review :Different and Impressive

2022 Kia EV6 First Drive Review :Different and Impressive

  • The Kia EV6 is surprisingly competent, offering a lot of space and impressive comfort

  • It isn’t cheap, however

  • Charging the EV6 is lightning-quick, at least on paper…

Kia hasn’t shied away from electric vehicles, as a matter of fact the Korean automaker was one of the first manufacturers to offer not one but two electric vehicles to the North American market. Now, Kia is moving into the next phase of EV development with the 2022 Kia EV6 and the product is both impressive and surprising.

After a week driving the Kia EV6, the main conclusion is that this new EV represents everything Kia is doing well right now with its gas-powered vehicles. As such, the brand should have a lot of success with its latest EV. If they can roll out enough EV6 models, that is.

2022 Kia EV6 review

Impressive EV Technology

The 2022 Kia EV6 uses an 800-volt EV battery architecture, a setup usually reserved for high-end electric vehicles like the Porsche Taycan or the upcoming GMC Hummer EV. The EV6 shares this advanced architecture with its brother, the also-new Hyundai IONIQ 5 and immediately ups its street cred as an advanced EV.

The main advantage of an 800-volt architecture is that it cuts down on charging time. The new EV6 can charge up to 350-kW, allowing it to add 200 miles (321 kilometres) of range in 18 minutes. Those are numbers even the most hardcore EV skeptics can get behind.

Here in Canada, however, we couldn’t do better than a 100-kW charger on a cold, February morning. There, we averaged 50.4 kWh per hour, and charged the EV6 from 45% to 80% in 30 minutes.

2022 Kia EV6 review

The EV6 GT-Line we were driving had all-wheel drive, and posted range is 441 kilometres. Based on weather and how we were driving, which wasn’t aligned at all with maximizing EV range, our computer showed an available range of 321 kilometres.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t slightly disappointed with those numbers, specifically the charging time. That said, cold temperatures wreak havoc on an electric vehicle’s charging capability and overall range. On the other hand, those 321 kilometres represent what the EV6 with all-wheel drive can do in difficult conditions without modifying in any way how one drives their vehicle. With that considered, the EV6 did alright.

Comfort with a Dash of Performance

Where the 2022 Kia EV6 really shines is out on the road, specifically on a long highway with a few hours to kill. There, the EV6 provides a level of comfort that far exceeds its relatively high price tag (more on that later). As noted earlier, the EV6 does what every new Kia vehicle introduced recently does best: above-average comfort and refinement. The Kia Telluride, the Kia Sorento, the Kia Carnival… All deliver a premium feel that goes beyond the expectations we have relative to their cost. The Kia EV6 does as well.

2022 Kia EV6 review

It is smooth, the seats offer great support, it is quiet (quieter than many EVs) and the suspension does a great job handling roads in poor condition. Even on 20-inch tires, the EV6 felt like it glided on the road.

The driving experience is enhanced further by great handling from the EV6. Without necessarily calling it sporty, it is nevertheless a very agile car that doesn’t mind a winding road. As far as the accelerations go, the EV6 reacts very quickly, and you can definitely feel the 320 horsepower and 446 pound-feet of torque under your right foot.

2022 Kia EV6 review
2022 Kia EV6 | Photo: Olivier Delorme

The 2022 Kia EV6 has four driving modes: Eco, Normal, Sport, and Snow. The difference between Normal and Sport isn’t that noticeable in how the EV6 behaves overall, but the accelerations are definitely quicker. It feels faster than a base Model 3 or Mustang Mach-E, although it wasn’t as peppy as the Volvo XC40 Recharge we drove a few weeks back. The EV6 slots right in the middle between the first two and the Volvo.

2022 Kia EV6 review
2022 Kia EV6 | Photo: Olivier Delorme

Strong winter performer

I drove the 2022 Kia EV6 through a snowstorm and came away impressed. Snow mode locks the torque distribution to an even 50/50 split, offering a lot of grip, and improving confidence when cornering. If only the EV6 had better tires…

Mounted on the massive 20-inch wheels were Michelin Green X Lattitude Alpin tires that just aren’t good in deep snow and slick ice, the kind Canadians face from January to April.

SUV-like interior

The Kia EV6 is a hard car to describe. If I had to take a shot at it, I’d call it a four-door coupe hatchback crossover. It certainly doesn’t look like a sport utility vehicle, and yet the interior is very SUV-like in its versatility. There’s plenty of room for your legs in the back, and teens and adults will be happy to spend hours back there. There’s good cargo space, and you can sit a toddler on a child’s seat, and they won’t kick the back of the passenger seat. The cabin is open, and there is a ton of storage space everywhere including a huge area below the centre console.

2022 Kia EV6 review
2022 Kia EV6 | Photo: Kia

As for the design of the interior, it’s clean and modern. Kia said they wanted to provide a very simple design with minimal buttons. Therefore, there is a row of digital controls under the centre touchscreen that essentially controls all of the climate and radio functions. You can switch between rows of digital dials to access the functions you need, or you can use the touchscreen. The design is superb, but it isn’t the most practical setup. The buttons are small, and you will have to take your gloves off.

2022 Kia EV6 review

On other hand, both the touchscreen and the instrument cluster are gorgeous as were the tester’s dual-color seats.

2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line Package 2

Our tester came with everything you can get in an EV6. The GT-Line Package 2 includes the 20-inch wheels as well as a sunroof and an advanced heads-up display which is useful and looks very good. The other function that comes with the top package is Kia’s Vehicle-to-Load function which allows the EV6 to function as a generator to power tools, camping gear, or even another electric vehicle.

2022 Kia EV6 review
2022 Kia EV6 | Photo: Kia

This comes at a price, however. The GT-Line Package 2 is $62,000 in Canada. The equivalent is over $55,000 in the US.

In Canada, you get full Federal and Provincial rebates on the EV6 which helps lessen the cost significantly (up to $13,000 off in Quebec, for example). Still, the 2022 Kia EV6 isn’t cheap in its top version. AWD will set you back at least $55,000 in Canada, and $50,000 in the US.

Those are luxury car prices. On the other hand, the 2022 Kia EV6 delivers on value, and it provides a luxury car experience.

2022 Kia EV6 | Photo: Olivier Delorme

2022 Kia EV6 | Photo: Olivier Delorme

2022 Kia EV6 | Photo: Olivier Delorme

2022 Kia EV6 | Photo: Olivier Delorme

2022 Kia EV6 | Photo: Olivier Delorme

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Charles Jolicoeur
Charles Jolicoeur was studying to be a CPA when he decided to drop everything and launch a car website in 2012. Don't ask. The journey has been an interesting one, but today he has co-founded and manages 8 websites including EcoloAuto.com and MotorIllustrated.com as General Manager of NetMedia360. He also sits on the board of the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada. Send me an email


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