The 2023 Kia EV6 GT starts at $62,925 in the United States and at $78,944 in Canada, freight and delivery charges included.
Blistering performance, good handling, same versatility as regular EV6 variants.
Low driving range, some NVH issues, no power-adjustable front seats.
After launching the all-electric Kia EV6 for the 2022 model year, the Korean brand adds fuel to the fire with a high-performance variant this year. The 2023 Kia EV6 GT serves up gobs of horsepower, great handling and strong stopping power in a package that doesn’t look all that different from the crossover’s other variants.
And why not? Midsize electric performance crossovers are already becoming a sub-segment in today’s market, as the Ford Mustang Mach-E GT is already available, while the Chevy Blazer EV SS and the Hyundai IONIQ 5 N are on their way. Let’s not forget Tesla in general, which pioneered the notion that EVs can be stupid fast in the first place.
So we now have the 2023 Kia EV6 GT, equipped with a two-motor setup and AWD, boasting 576 horsepower and 545 pound-feet of torque. The manufacturer claims a 0 to 60 mph time of 3.4 seconds with the GT Drive Mode activated. That’s pretty fast. The GT is also much faster than the other EV6 variants, with a top speed of 161 mph or 260 km/h.
The EV6 GT rivals the Mustang Mach-E GT with its 480 horsepower and 600 pound-feet, or 634 pound-feet in the case of the GT Performance Edition. It reaches 60 mph from a standstill in 3.8 seconds, or 3.5 in GTPE spec. The upcoming Blazer EV SS will dish out 557 horsepower and 648 pound-feet, good for a 0-60 mph dash in less than four seconds. The IONIQ 5 N will belt out 600 horsepower, or up to 641 horses with its boost mode activated, and is expected to hit 60 mph in 3.4 seconds. Meanwhile, the compact-sized Tesla Model Y Performance is said to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, while its two-motor powertrain cranks out an estimated 450 to 500 horsepower. However, the Model Y doesn’t have the handling capabilities to match those of the Mach-E and the EV6 GT.
The EV6 GT’s 77.4 kWh battery pack provides a driving range of 206 miles or 332 kilometres on a full charge. The GT also includes a 10.9 kW on-board charger for Level 2 juice-ups, along with a max charge speed of 350 kW on a compatible DC fast charger. During out test, we managed a pretty good energy consumption average of 33 kWh/100 miles or 20.5 kWh/100 km. Here are some efficiency numbers compared to the Mustang Mach-E GT Performance and Model Y Performance:
|Model||Battery Size (kWh)||Driving Range (miles/km)||City/Highway/Combined (kWh/100 miles)||City/Highway/Combined (kWh/100 km)|
|Kia EV6 GT||77.4||206 / 332||39.8/45.7/42.5||24.7/28.4/26.4|
|Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition||91.0||260 / 418||38.3/44.7/41.2||23.8/27.8/25.6|
|Tesla Model Y||75.0 to 80.0 (est.)||303 / 488||29.3/31.9/30.4||18.2/19.8/18.9|
Other features specific to the 2023 Kia EV6 GT include a sportier suspension setup with dual lower front control arms and electronically controlled dampers, a quicker steering ratio, bigger brake discs and callipers with ventilated rotors at the rear, along with massive 21-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 255/40R21 performance tires.
Visually, there are very few clues to distinguish a GT from lesser trim levels, which is good or bad depending on if we want to flaunt our performance-focused EV6 or prefer to remain discreet about it. The GT’s upper faux-grille mesh has a different pattern, as does the functional lower grille. At the rear, the rear bumper garnish bears a different design with two vertical reflective strips, along with a more aggressive-looking bumper air diffuser. The obvious indication that we’re looking at a GT is the 21-inch wheels that barely hide the green-painted brake callipers.
The GT also features sport front seats, suede and leather seat upholstery with green contrast stitching, a heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats, a power sunroof, dual-zone climate control, a 12.3-inch digital driver instrument panel, a 12.3-inch infotainment system touchscreen with navigation, a Meridian premium sound system, head-up display, a power liftgate, a 360-degree camera system, ambient interior lighting and more.
Pricing for the EV6 GT starts at $62,925 in the United States, which includes freight and delivery charges, and at $78,944 in Canada, including freight charges and dealer fees.
Why You Should Buy a 2023 Kia EV6 GT
- Because it’s fun. Stabbing the go-pedal with the GT Drive Mode on pins us to our seats and gets us giggling like tickled children. The Drift Mode also funnels more power to the rear wheels for extra goosebump-inducing shenanigans. Obviously, we don’t encourage reckless driving on public roads, so it’s best to find a local racetrack to fully wring out the GT’s performance envelope.
- As mentioned above, the EV6 GT is barely distinguishable from more plebeian variants of the crossover. The GT is a true sleeper, relatively speaking, as every EV6 stands out from the bland automotive landscape with its alien styling.
- Choosing the GT doesn’t sacrifice anything in terms of versatility compared to the model’s other trim levels (Light, Wind and GT-Line in the U.S., Standard Range, Long Range and GT-Line in Canada). It boasts the same cargo capacity of 24.4 cubic feet or 690 litres with the rear seats up and 50.2 cubic feet or 1,422 litres with the seatbacks folded. It has the same 2,300-pound or 1,043-kilogram towing capacity. It also includes the V2L capability allowing us to plug stuff into the vehicle’s electrical system, which can come in handy on camping trips or in the event of a power failure at home, for example.
- The EV6’s modern interior design is swell, and the control layout is pretty good. In addition, the infotainment system is easy to use, even while driving, and it’s loaded with features.
Why You Shouldn’t Buy a 2023 Kia EV6 GT
- For the asking price, the EV6 GT doesn’t include power-adjustable front seats and seat ventilation as is the case in more affordable variants of the crossover. We get that this is a performance-focused EV, but less creature comforts for more money isn’t a good idea to us. Like in the regular EV6 variants, the GT has an inclined seating position for all occupants, as if we were sitting in Adirondack lawn chairs. Maybe it’s just me.
- The GT’s range is severely handicapped compared to the other EV6 variants. We could say the same for a more-powerful, higher-performance sports car with a gasoline engine, but in the realm of electric vehicles, range is still a purchasing factor. The Mustang Mach-E GT and Model Y Performance boast much better driving ranges.
- The 2023 Kia EV6 GT features three Active Sound Design options instead of the regular EV6’s lone setting. One sounds like the vehicle has a shot wheel bearing, another sounds like a kitchen blender. We can barely hear the third one. Ok, this is by no means a true shortcoming, but we just felt like it needed to be said.
- A vibration was constantly felt through our test vehicle’s front center armrest, meaning anything we put in the cupholders would shake and make noise. The augmented reality head-up display had a blurry projection, so we didn’t really use it. In short, there are minor adjustments to be made to the vehicle.
The 2023 Kia EV6 GT is an exhilarating electric crossover from a performance and handling standpoint, and it’s competitively priced compared the Mustang Mach-E GT, which starts at $61,795 in the U.S., or $66,795 USD/$85,090 CAD for the GT Performance Edition. Meanwhile, the Model Y Performance starts at $55,880 USD/$78,288 CAD this week, as recent discounts have made it significantly more affordable, but it’s slightly smaller than the EV6. The Blazer EV SS is supposed to start at $65,995 USD/$80,998 CAD when it hits the market early next year.
However, the GT isn’t better equipped than the other EV6 variants, and could use a little tweaking to improve noise, vibration and harshness, which we’re sure Kia will address on future model years. Its driving range is the biggest shortcoming, as we’ll have to get used to plugging it in more often, but that may be a small compromise for the fun we’ll have behind the wheel.