I’ve been looking forward to seeing the EV6 in the flesh for some time now, so I was excited to have an appointment with the new Kia last weekend. I collected it from Charles Hurst in Newtownabbey before setting off on my ‘get to know you’ weekend.
The EV6 is in the ever-popular crossover SUV segment and is built on the E-GMP platform (Electric-Global Modular Platform). It shares its skateboard underpinnings with the Hyundai IONIQ 5.
Accommodation & Equipment
This is the Gt-Line S version which comes with a long list of equipment including 20″ Alloy wheels, two 12.3″ screens, a tilt-slide panoramic sunroof, power tailgate, surround camera system, Meridan 14 Speakers sound system and an augmented reality head-up display (HUD). But of all the tech my favourite feature was the little pop-up on the drivers display showing the view down the side of the car when you turn on the indicators. This clever feature makes changing lanes so much safer and easier. You can add a £900 heat pump option to your spec which helps to heat the car’s cabin more efficiently and increase your winter range.
The driver’s surroundings are dominated by those 2 touchcreens in front and the cantilevered centre console to the side. The car is full of thoughtful design touches, like the air cooled wireless phone charging pad beside the driver. A row of touch switches and 2 dials below the centre screen perform dual-duties with the temperature control becoming the volume knob for example.
Closing the doors instantly gives a quality feel as do the materials used inside. Kia says the seat fabrics and floor carpets are made using recycled plastics, equivalent to 100 plastic bottles per car, as well as vegan leather trims.
The usual EV flat floor in the rear means there’s room for 3 adults, although the coupe style roofline does reduce cabin height in the back. The 490 litre boot expands to 1,300-litres with rear seats folded (with the pull of a couple of levers). That low roof line again means the boot area is not as high as in some other models though. There’s also a 52 litre frunk (20 litre for AWD models).
The user interface has a modern, clean design but does feel a little immature, hopefully this will improve over time. The Kia UVO Connect App allows some useful remote control of the car…
You have the ability to schedule your charging and pre-set your cabin temperature. Get notified if anything is wrong with your car, for example if you’ve left a window open or if the washer fluid level is low. You can also configure your car to suit you, all from your phone.
Performance, Handling & Ride
While in this rear-wheel-drive guise the EV6 does not feel as neck-snappingly fast as some other EVs I’ve driven, the 0-60 time on this particular model of around 7 seconds is still plenty quick.
Despite its size and weight the EV6 handles well, cornering without undue body roll, while at the same time not being too stiff. That makes the ride sporty but comfortable and the EV6 was more than capable of dealing with the rough and the smooth of all the Northern Irish roads we threw at it. Noise levels in the cabin are very good and the EV6 does start to show the dynamics of a rear wheel drive car when you are ready to push on too. Sport mode sharpens accelerator response when you’re ready to take advantage of the car’s 226BHP. Normal and Eco modes complete the choices available.
Paddles behind the steering wheel provide access to 3 levels of regen. A 4th setting puts the car into ‘i-PEDAL’, Kia’s one pedal driving mode which allows you to come to a complete standstill without having to touch the brakes.
The lane keeping assist feature is a little off-putting on narrower rural roads but it can be disabled with a long press of the button on the wheel. Other driving aids include adaptive cruise control as well as Highway Driving Assist 2 which takes over the steering as well as the throttle (whilst the driver keeps their hands on the wheel at all times ready to take over).
The EV6 is a big car, and has elements of a hatchback, an estate, a saloon, a coupe and an SUV. The pleasingly aggressive front styling, low roofline, sideline kick-up and unique rear, all combine to give the car a really individual look.
I showed it to a few friends over the weekend and they all mentioned the design, many referring to its ‘stunning looks’ and the fact that it is ‘unmistakable on the road’.
We were delighted to have EVANI member and Northern Ireland star car photographer ReinisB to take the shots for this review. Reinis has probably been in more classic and exotic cars than I’ve had hot dinners and he summed up the EV6 pretty well…
In a world where many modern cars are as exciting as a cardboard box, this is a daring and intelligent design.
Charging & Efficiency
The EV6 can charge at up to 11kW on AC and up to 220kW on DC. With its 400/800 Volt system, Kia also says the EV6 will charge from 10-80% in just 18 minutes, or add 62 miles in just five minutes. You’ll need to be using a 350kW rapid charger for this and although you aren’t going to find one of those in Northern Ireland currently, you can if you are travelling in RoI, GB or Europe. On the more common 50kW chargers we have here, a 0-80% charge takes around 70 minutes while at home a 7kW charger will fully charge the car from 0-100% in 10 hours.
All EV6 models currently available have the same 77.4kWh usable battery capacity, with a published WLTP range of “up to 328” for this rear-wheel drive model.
Our time with the car featured a good mix of motorway, urban and rural driving. Temperatures were in the 10 to 14 degree range and we were 4 up for many of the miles on the Sunday portion of our weekend. After around 200 miles the EV6 screen showed we had covered 3.4 miles per kWh, which points to a real world range of around 260 miles.
3.4 miles/kWh x 77.4 kWH Usable = 263 mile range
Our favourite electric car information website, the EV Database shows an identical 260 mile real world range for this model too, backing up our result. That’s enough for a trip from Belfast to Cork or this lap of NI, on a single charge.
Another of the Kia’s clever features is its V2L (vehicle to load) system. An adapter plugs into the car’s charger port, converting it into a regular UK 3 pin mains socket. This means you could power a long camping trip, save your freezer contents during a power-cut at home, or even help a fellow EVer by charging their car at the roadside. We gave this a try with a friend’s Leaf and it did indeed begin to charge. While this would be slow it could provide the vital few miles to get to the next charger.
So then, after a weekend with the Kia what’s the verdict?
The unique silhouette of the EV6 certainly makes it a head turner, but its appeal is more than skin deep.
Added to those good looks is a great build quality, an efficient drivetrain, excellent levels of equipment as well as Kia’s 7 year / 100,000 mile warranty, which should make long term ownership worry free.
Kia have raised the bar as they move upmarket with their impressive EV flagship. I think you’ll be seeing plenty of these unmistakable new EV6s on the road soon.
Prices for the EV6 start from £40,945 with the RWD Gt-Line S version spec tested here at £48,445. Many thanks to the Charles Hurst Group for the loan of the EV6 for this review.
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