- Normalises the electric car in ways other manufacturers have overlooked
- Augmented reality on heads-up display is a great perk
- More mileage range than rivals
- Poor rear visibility (mitigated slightly by reversing camera)
- More expensive than immediate rivals (but has a larger range)
It’s safe to say that Kia’s all-electric offering has come a long way since the Kia Soul was launched in 2015. While that marmite motor hinted at what the manufacturer is capable of, the Kia EV6 has truly cemented its place at the head of the table and proves it’s ready to face an onslaught of challengers in the race to all-electric dominance.
Read on to see our in-depth thoughts on the car…
Kia EV6 exterior
The Kia EV6 is a car of many firsts for the manufacturer. This starts with the introduction of a new design philosophy for the manufacturer which evolves Kia’s famed ‘tiger nose grille’ design for the electrified era. With its sleek, modern styling coupled with shooting-break-esque bodystyle, it’s a great looking piece of kit.
A swept-back windscreen provides dynamism and purpose, with bold rear haunches adding volume. Air is channelled through and under the car’s flat floor for optimum aerodynamics. On this point, the door handles sit flush to further increase its aerodynamics but rather than popping out electronically, like the Tesla Model S or Jaguar I-Pace, these can be pushed in from one end to pop out at the opposite leading to a streamlined-yet-practical effect.
Looking at the pictures in this article really doesn’t do the exterior design any justice: this is a car that has to be seen and appreciated in the metal with its swooping bodylines bringing to mind the Aston Martin DBX believe it or not.
Kia EV6 interior and tech
The Kia EV6’s cabin benefits from class-leading interior space and functionality, thanks to the flat battery under the floor. Despite the EV6’s relatively compact exterior dimensions – it’s no longer than a regular saloon – its 2,900mm wheelbase is longer than that of the Sorento SUV, the largest car Kia sells in the UK.
Front passengers are greeted by a lean, minimalist dashboard architecture that emphasises the cabin’s remarkable sense of space. A high-tech curved display sweeps seamlessly across the dashboard and comprises a digital driver display in front of the steering wheel as well as infotainment and navigation above the centre console. Both of these are anti-glare, with the infotainment touchscreen very responsive and intuitively laid out.
The centre console itself features a sturdy arm rest with plenty of storage space for valuables, and an additional storage space near the footwell for phones and whatnot. The gear selector is a rotating dial rather than the traditional gearstick most EVs feature, with the flat-bottom steering wheel both comfortable and ergonomic and offering various shortcuts for the digital driver display.
Space and convenience isn’t just reserved for those in the front either. Rear passengers get plenty of leg space and the seats even recline slightly for a more comfortable journey. USB chargepoints are available throughout the rear too.
This is further emphasised by up to 490 litres of luggage space being offered with the seats up, extending to a maximum boot capacity of 1,300 litres when folding the rear seats down. Still not enough space? A front boot where the engine would traditionally be in a ‘normal’ car offers additional storage of 20-50-litres if needed.
Kia EV6 driving and performance
While the Kia EV6 shares a lot of its underpinnings with the award-winning Hyundai Ioniq 5, the EV6 feels slightly sportier thanks in part to its firm suspension and light steering. Like the innovative Nissan Leaf, you can pretty much drive the car just using the accelerator pedal: lift off and the car naturally slows down, helping the battery charge to regenerate. This can be increased further using the foot break or even the handy break paddles on the steering wheel.
On the road, the EV6 really comes into its own. Around town it performs admirably, and the comfort and roominess of the cabin really hits home. Pull onto a major A-road or motorway and the instant 350 Nm of torque and 226bhp make their presence felt immediately. Want to make your journey feel effortless? Automatic Cruise Control takes all the sting out of long journeys, helping the car keep a safe distance from the one in front with auto steer keeping you in the same lane too.
While there is an element of road noise due to a mix of the 19″ tyres and no engine noise, it’s not as bad as you’ll experience in some EVs. If the crushing silence becomes too disconcerting for you, you can use the Active Sound System feature within the infotainment: this offers a choice of simulated engine sounds including Stylish (a natural and refined sound), Dynamic (which replicates an engine), Cyber (a Star Wars-esque futuristic sound) and a customisable option so you can make the volume ideal for you.
If that doesn’t appeal to you, you can always opt for the unique Sound of Nature feature: this fills the cabin with calming ambience and you can choose from scenarios such as relaxing ocean waves, the sounds of a bustling city cafe, and soothing rain drops. Or, y’know, you can listen to the radio instead I guess.
Kia EV6 efficiency and range
The driving range of the Kia EV6 offers an efficient and official driving range of 459 miles according to Kia which is 328 combined range. Efficiency-wise it equates to just over 5 miles per kWh in the city or 3.76 miles combined.
When it comes to charging, the EV6 can be charged in over seven hours using an 11kW AC wallbox. Direct Charging using a 50kW rapid charger takes 73 minutes to go from 10-80%. If you have access to a 350kW DC fast charger this can be achieved in just 18 minutes.