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Kia EV6 2022 review

The EV6 is a brand-defining moment for Kia
EXPERT RATING
8
Make no mistake, this is a brand-defining moment for Kia. For a company that cut its teeth on affordable motoring for the masses, this premium, pricey and very electric EV6 is a Big Deal. So does the brand's first major electric vehicle play live up to the hype? We put it to the test to find out.

Strap in, folks. This one is going to be electrifying.

Gawd, that's a terrible pun. But don't give up on me yet, because this really is pretty exciting. I promise.

We're getting our first proper taste of the new EV6, which isn't just a new Kia vehicle, but the start of a whole new Kia – one filled with electric powertrains, and higher prices.

But it starts here, and with this, the Kia EV6, which is a close sibling of Hyundai's equally brand-defining Ioniq 5.

It's new, it's exciting, and there's already a waiting list as long as your arm for it in Australia.  So let's not waste time, shall we? Let's go figure out exactly what we're dealing with here.

The EV6 is a brand-defining moment for Kia. The EV6 is a brand-defining moment for Kia.

Kia EV6 2022: GT-Line AWD (with Sunroof)
Safety rating
Engine Type
Fuel TypeElectric
Fuel Efficiency—L/100km
Seating5 seats
Price from$87,590

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?   8/10

When it comes to EVs, pricing is comparative, and bargains are relative, which is my convoluted way of saying the near-$70k asking price for the cheapest EV6 actually isn't quite as steep as it sounds.

You can get into a Polestar2 for less money, or a Tesla Model 3, but the pricing here has been more closely modelled on what is expected from the Tesla Model Y.

  • The near-$70k asking price for the cheapest EV6 actually isn’t quite as steep as it sounds. (Air RWD variant pictured) The near-$70k asking price for the cheapest EV6 actually isn’t quite as steep as it sounds. (Air RWD variant pictured)
  • The range begins with the EV6 Air at $67,990. The range begins with the EV6 Air at $67,990.

The EV6 arrives in Australia in two trim levels - the entry-level Air ($67,990) and the GT-Line ($74,990 RWD, $82,990 AWD) - and all share the same battery and platform, but with differing levels of performance and range.

The Air rides on 19-inch alloys, gets LED headlights and taillights, flush-fitting door handles and power folding mirrors. In the cabin, you get a round gear selector, paddle shifters (that actually control the regen-braking), part vegan leather seats, LED interior lighting and a clever V2L power point that helps keep devices topped up.

On-board tech is handled by twin 12.3-inch curved displays, and there's dual-zone climate, on-board navigation, wireless phone charging and USB charging.

  • In GT-Line spec it cuts a handsome on-road figure. (GT-Line AWD variant pictured) In GT-Line spec it cuts a handsome on-road figure. (GT-Line AWD variant pictured)
  • The EV6 is a sizeable beast, riding on the Hyundai Group's E-GMP platform and stretching 4695mm in length, 1890mm in width and 1550mm in height. (GT-Line AWD variant pictured) The EV6 is a sizeable beast, riding on the Hyundai Group's E-GMP platform and stretching 4695mm in length, 1890mm in width and 1550mm in height. (GT-Line AWD variant pictured)
  • Part swollen hatchback, part coupe-style SUV, and entirely different to most everything in the Kia family. (GT-Line AWD variant pictured) Part swollen hatchback, part coupe-style SUV, and entirely different to most everything in the Kia family. (GT-Line AWD variant pictured)
  • Step up to the EV6 GT-Line and you’ll get the GT-Line body kit with an external V2L power point. (GT-Line AWD variant pictured) Step up to the EV6 GT-Line and you’ll get the GT-Line body kit with an external V2L power point. (GT-Line AWD variant pictured)

Step up to the EV6 GT-Line and you'll get bigger, 20-inch alloys, and you get the GT-Line body kit with an external V2L power point. The seats are trimmed in suede and vegan leather, there's a stainless steel luggage sill, and you get Active Sound Design that allows you to dial up or down the driving soundtrack.

You then add an augmented-reality Head-Up Display, a 14-speaker Meridian sound system, a smart tailgate, a more advanced version of Kia's Remote Smart Park Assist, a heated steering wheel and heated and ventilated front seats - which also have a leaned-back relaxation mode for when you're recharging.

Kia also homologated a smaller (which means cheaper) battery version of the EV6 for Australia, but with the brand holding some 25,000 registrations of interest, and with only around 500 vehicles to be delivered this year, there's little chance of them adding it anytime soon. If you want an EV6 now, then it will be one of these ones.

  • Bizarrely, the EV6 is actually considered a large SUV (based solely on its dimensions). (GT-Line RWD variant pictured) Bizarrely, the EV6 is actually considered a large SUV (based solely on its dimensions). (GT-Line RWD variant pictured)
  • The Kia EV6, which is a close sibling of Hyundai’s equally brand-defining Ioniq 5. (GT-Line RWD variant pictured) The Kia EV6, which is a close sibling of Hyundai’s equally brand-defining Ioniq 5. (GT-Line RWD variant pictured)
2022 Kia EV6

Explore the 2022 Kia EV6 range

Is there anything interesting about its design?   8/10

The EV6 is destined to be constantly compared to the Ioniq 5, but which one looks better is a matter entirely for you. One thing is certain, though - the two sure look different.

Bizarrely, the EV6 is actually considered a large SUV (based solely on its dimensions), but it sure doesn't look like one. In GT-Line spec, especially, it cuts a handsome on-road figure, with its wide-and-low front end, raked-style roofline and fat-bottom rear-end - accentuated by the cool light bar that stretches from brake light to brake light.

Step up to the EV6 GT-Line and you’ll get bigger, 20-inch alloys. (GT-Line AWD variant pictured) Step up to the EV6 GT-Line and you’ll get bigger, 20-inch alloys. (GT-Line AWD variant pictured)

It kind of looks hard to classify, too. Part swollen hatchback, part coupe-style SUV, and entirely different to most everything in the Kia family.

The real highlight is the cabin experience, both front and back. Kia's twin-screen set-up looks clean and modern, but you don't have to rely on it to control the car's key functions. Instead, an active bar below with a dial at each end controls the air-con, or the stereo, depending on which you're using.

The cabin in the EV6 Air is a noticeable downgrade (reminder, it's a $68k entry-level model), with lesser materials and design flourishes. The cabin in the EV6 Air is a noticeable downgrade (reminder, it's a $68k entry-level model), with lesser materials and design flourishes.

The eco materials that span the dash feel high-quality to the touch, as do the seat materials, and the entire experience feels modern and new.

Downsides? The cabin in the EV6 Air is a noticeable downgrade (reminder, it's a $68k entry-level model), with lesser materials and design flourishes. And I know this is going to sound petty, but the use of Kia's traditional graphics and fonts simply don't do the new screens justice.

  • It comes with LED headlights. (GT-Line AWD variant pictured) It comes with LED headlights. (GT-Line AWD variant pictured)
  • And LED taillights. (GT-Line AWD variant pictured) And LED taillights. (GT-Line AWD variant pictured)

How practical is the space inside?   8/10

It's pretty practical in the cabin, a little less so in the boot. Simple.

The EV6 is a sizeable beast, riding on the Hyundai Group's E-GMP platform and stretching 4695mm in length, 1890mm in width and 1550mm in height, and it rides on a big 2900mm wheelbase – all of which is good news for cabin space.

The front seats are spacious and airy, but the big win is for backseat riders, where there was miles of leg-room behind my 175cm driving position, and , thanks to the lack of a tunnel, enough room for three passengers. The raked roofline does impact headroom a little. Not enough to trouble me, mind, but perhaps taller people might find it a little tight.

Open the boot and you'll find a wide space that will swallow between 480 and 490L of cargo, depending on your trim level. (GT-Line AWD variant pictured) Open the boot and you'll find a wide space that will swallow between 480 and 490L of cargo, depending on your trim level. (GT-Line AWD variant pictured)

More numbers? Kia reckons the EV6 will tow 1600kg braked, and 750kg unbraked, with a 100kg downball. Cleverly, the EV6 will automatically detect the weight of the trailer, and then adjust your range estimate accordingly.

There are some slight quirks in the cabin, though. I counted four USB-C connections - two in the front, and two in the sides of the front seats for rear passengers - but the only port that allows you to access Apple CarPlay is the sole USB-A connection. Which means, if you use a new iPhone and MacBook, then you'll be packing an older-style cord just to connect your phone to the car.

A wireless connection would solve that, of course, but it's missing from the EV6 inclusion list, though there is a wireless charge pad.

  • The big win is for backseat riders, where there was miles of leg-room behind my 175cm driving position. (GT-Line AWD variant pictured) The big win is for backseat riders, where there was miles of leg-room behind my 175cm driving position. (GT-Line AWD variant pictured)
  • The raked roofline does impact headroom a little. Not enough to trouble me, mind, but perhaps taller people might find it a little tight. (Air RWD variant pictured) The raked roofline does impact headroom a little. Not enough to trouble me, mind, but perhaps taller people might find it a little tight. (Air RWD variant pictured)

I do love the traditional house-style power point for backseat riders, which means you can run bigger laptops or gadgets, and I love the external V2L port in the GT-Line which allows you to power your campsite, or even trickle-charge someone else's EV. There's the usual array of cupholders and bottle holders, too.

Open the boot and you'll find a wide space that will swallow between 480 and 490L of cargo, depending on your trim level. It's joined by a frunk (or froot?) storage space under the bonnet that will store another 52L in rear-drive variants, or 20L in the twin-motor GT-Line.

What are the key stats for the motor and transmission?   8/10

All models get an 800-volt architecture and a 77.4kWh "Long Range" battery, but you do have to choose between one (RWD) or two (AWD) motors.

The Air and the GT-Line RWD are powered by a single electric motor at the rear axle, good for 168kW, 350Nm and a 7.3-second dash to 100km/h.

 The GT-Line AWD adds a second electric motor, and produces a total 239kW and 605Nm - enough to deliver a sprint to 100km/h in just 5.2 seconds.

All models get an 800-volt architecture and a 77.4kWh "Long Range" battery. All models get an 800-volt architecture and a 77.4kWh "Long Range" battery.

How much energy does it consume?  

Energy consumption here is measured in Wh/km, and the Air needs 165, the GT-Line RWD requires 172 and the GT-Line AWD needs 180. More commonly, we state these in kWh/100km, because that's what is more understandable. Thankfully, the maths is easy: Air - 16.5kWh/100km; GT-Line RWD - 17.2kWh/100km; GT-Line AWD - 18.0kWh/100km.

Energy consumption here is measured in Wh/km. Energy consumption here is measured in Wh/km.

But what does that actually mean? Well, the Air will give you the best driving range, at a claimed 528km between charges. Interestingly, the GT-Line RWD shares the same battery and motor, but will travel 24km less, at 504km. Finally, the GT-Line AWD will travel 484km between charges.

When it does come time to plug in, Kia reckons a 50kW charger will take you from 10-80 per cent in around one hour and 13 minutes. A 350kW charger will do the same in around 18 minutes. Using an at-home wall box will take you to full in around 11 hours.

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?   8/10

The safety story here starts with driver and passenger airbags, along with front-side, curtain and a centre-side airbag.

The Air then adds clever stuff like a reverse camera, AEB, blind-spot collision with rear cross-traffic alert, Lane Keep Assist and Lane Following Assist, multi-collision braking, front and rear parking sensors, active cruise with speed limit assistance, and a tyre pressure monitoring system.

The GT-Line models build on that again, adding a Blind Spot View Monitor, a 3D surround-view camera and powered child locks.

No ANCAP rating yet, but Kia will adopt the European crash scores in its bid for a five-star rating.

Warranty & Safety Rating

Basic Warranty

7 years / unlimited km warranty

ANCAP Safety Rating

ANCAP logo

What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?   8/10

Have you heard EVs are cheaper to service than ICE cars? They are.

The EV6 is covered by Kia's seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty, with its "high-voltage" bits covered for the same time, but the kilometres are capped at 150,000km. The battery, by the way, is guaranteed to maintain 70 per cent capacity at the seven-year mark.

Servicing costs are pretty impressive, with Kia inviting owners to pre-pay their maintenance costs for three years at $594, five years at $1089 package, or  $1584 for seven years. That comes out at around $226 per year.

What's it like to drive?   8/10

The mark of a sorted car is often how well it hides its size and weight. Some vehicles seem bigger from behind the wheel, but the good ones seem to shrink around you.

The EV6, then, is definitely in the "good ones" camp. Despite lugging two-tonne-plus with it wherever it goes, it somehow manages to feel constantly eager, mostly lithe and impressively sorted.

Yes, there are moments when the weight makes itself known (especially on the outside-front tyres when you're getting carried away in corners), but most of the time it's up to you to remember you're driving something pretty big and heavy, and to adjust your brake points accordingly.

  • The mark of a sorted car is often how well it hides its size and weight. The mark of a sorted car is often how well it hides its size and weight.
  • Despite lugging two-tonne-plus with it wherever it goes, it somehow manages to feel constantly eager. Despite lugging two-tonne-plus with it wherever it goes, it somehow manages to feel constantly eager.

Helping massively in that department is the rich flow of power generated by the EV6's electric motor, or motors. We took on a whole heap of roads and conditions, and never discovered any kind of flat spot in the power delivery, with the EV6 happy to keep accumulating speed in a refreshingly quiet and dignified manner.

I would argue that, for most people, most of the time, the single-motor models produce more than enough grunt for everyday driving. Not lighting fast, perhaps, but the power delivery feels so constant, so plentiful, that you never feel like you're really stretching its limits.

Yes, the AWD GT-Line is more fun powering out of corners. (GT-Line AWD variant pictured) Yes, the AWD GT-Line is more fun powering out of corners. (GT-Line AWD variant pictured)

Yes, the AWD GT-Line is more fun powering out of corners, but it's also more to think about as your barreling towards one, too, with speed arriving pretty quickly whenever you plant your right foot.

There are no ludicrous modes or anything like that — just a rich seam of power ready to be mined when you need it. And for mine, it's a better car for it.

What is fun, though, is the Sport Mode, which doesn't just unlock more power (which is super noticeable when you swap from Normal to Sport with your foot flat), but also a much louder Jetson's style soundtrack.

But it's also more to think about as your barreling towards one, too. (GT-Line AWD variant pictured) But it's also more to think about as your barreling towards one, too. (GT-Line AWD variant pictured)

Praise must once again be heaped on Kia's localisation program. We piloted some seriously dodgy road surfaces, and it's only the really major imperfections that make themselves known in the cabin.

The steering, however, isn't as brilliant. It's not terrible, either, it just doesn't feel all that linear, and it's super-sharp when you first turn the wheel, which can actually catch you off guard, before becoming a little more vague as the corner continues.

Honestly, I had just jumped out of another brand's hybrid before climbing into the EV6, and the all-electric drive was a much smoother and satisfying experience all around.

There are no ludicrous modes or anything like that. (GT-Line RWD variant pictured) There are no ludicrous modes or anything like that. (GT-Line RWD variant pictured)

Verdict

At first glance, the EV6 deserves its many accolades, and its lengthy – and growing – waiting list.

Part spacious, family friendly cruiser, part potent and pretty sporty weekender, it sits in both camps comfortable, and performs both roles admirably.

Honestly, it's the kind of EV that will encourage more people to make the all-electric switch. And that can only be a good thing.

Pricing guides

$80,090
Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)
Lowest Price
$72,590
Highest Price
$87,590

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
AIR RWD —, Electric, 1 SP AUTO $72,590 2022 Kia EV6 2022 AIR RWD Pricing and Specs
GT-Line AWD (with Sunroof) —, Electric, 1 SP AUTO $87,590 2022 Kia EV6 2022 GT-Line AWD (with Sunroof) Pricing and Specs
GT-Line RWD (without Sunroof) —, Electric, 1 SP AUTO $79,590 2022 Kia EV6 2022 GT-Line RWD (without Sunroof) Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8
Price and features8
Design8
Practicality8
Drivetrain8
Safety8
Ownership8
Driving8
Andrew Chesterton
Contributing Journalist

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Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.