Kia EV6 review: a gold star electric vehicle

Kia EV6 review: a gold star electric vehicle

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Photo by Roberto Baldwin for The Verge

Other automakers should beryllium frightened of Kia — precise scared

The Kia EV6 is designed to beryllium seen. Fortunately, it was besides engineered to beryllium enjoyed portion down the wheel.

The crossover (which is truly much of a wagon) is an awesome operation of what the South Korean automaker has learned implicit the past fewer years from its EVs and gas-powered vehicles. The effect is simply a smart, exciting, and downright outstanding introduction into an progressively crowded marketplace that includes the Volkswagen ID 4, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Tesla Model Y, and Chevy Bolt and Bolt EUV.

The contented with driving the EV6 is the information that follows it. Don’t get maine wrong, the conveyance itself is plentifulness safe. It’s the drivers successful the adjacent vehicles connected the road and successful municipality trying to sprout photos and videos of the conveyance arsenic you thrust by. It looks dissimilar thing other connected the road. An assertive beforehand extremity gives mode to a longer-than-expected illustration and is wrapped up with a rear extremity that’s adjacent parts futuristic and eye-catching. It includes the lightbar that’s 1 portion signal, 1 portion spoiler, and starts its travel astatine the instrumentality wells.

Hopefully, the wide nationalist grows astatine slightest a spot wary of the avant-garde looks to halt putting their lives and the lives of their passengers successful mortal peril due to the fact that the EV6 is simply a joyousness to drive. Looky-loos beryllium damned.

Photo by Roberto Baldwin for The Verge

A New EV Platform

At the halfway of the conveyance is Hyundai Motor Group’s E-GMP (Electric Global Modular Platform) architecture. It’s the ground for the EV6, Hyundai Ioniq 5, and Genesis GV60. Introduced successful December of 2020, the automaker plans connected introducing 23 planetary EVs by 2025. There are already 2 connected the road, and the Genesis GV60 is expected successful the outpouring of this year.

The radical besides made definite to future-proof its underlying system. E-GMP vehicles usage an 800-volt architecture, portion astir each different automaker is utilizing a 400-volt system. The biggest payment to an 800-volt strategy is that it allows the EV6 and Ioniq 5 to complaint astatine a complaint of up to 350 kW astatine a DC accelerated charging station. That’s quicker BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, Ford… practically each different EV connected the road.

We speech a batch astir scope anxiety. As the infrastructure continues to grow, that whitethorn beryllium replaced by complaint anxiety, and Hyundai is making definite its drivers won’t consciousness near down arsenic speedy charging stations look connected the landscape. You tin instrumentality astir modern EVs hundreds of miles connected a azygous charge, but it inactive takes longer to complaint a conveyance than capable it with gasoline.

Kia says the EV6 volition complaint from 10 percent to 80 percent successful 18 minutes. I wasn’t capable to trial this since the 350 kW charging presumption I encountered topped retired astatine 260 kW. But adjacent astatine that speed, I was backmost connected the roadworthy quicker than I anticipated portion charging from 25 percent to 90 percent. I had capable clip to drawback a fewer photos, get a portion from Starbucks, and that’s astir it.

Photo by Roberto Baldwin for The Verge

For at-home charging, the EV6 has an 11 kW onboard charger. It’s speedy capable for level 2 overnight charging, which is however a bulk of these vehicles volition beryllium charged.

A unsocial diagnostic is the vehicle-to-load (V2L) capability. Kia says you tin powerfulness different devices, different EV, and adjacent your house. The higher trim levels person a 120-volt outlet astatine the bottommost and successful the mediate of the rear seats. If you hap to beryllium extracurricular and don’t privation wires moving retired of your car, there’s an adapter that plugs straight into the complaint larboard with an outlet. It’s large for tailgating, camping, and perchance keeping the fans going successful your location during a heat-wave-induced blackout.

A Hot EV Hatch

America doesn’t similar wagons. With that successful mind, the EV6 is marketed arsenic a crossover oregon CUV. Sure, it looks a spot similar a wagon successful existent life, but it’s important for selling that it’s known arsenic a crossover. It adjacent has the requisite precocious sitting presumption successful the vehicle. But, really, it’s a wagon. A large wagon that quickens the pulse and handles acold amended than it should.

Kia offered up the RWD (rear-wheel drive) GT mentation of the EV6 for testing, the 2nd quickest trim level available. The fastest favoritism belongs to the eAWD (electric all-wheel drive) version. Still, portion rolling with 1 centrifugal alternatively of two, I wasn’t wanting for power.

Accelerations disconnected the enactment astatine a standstill are good with a 0–60 of 7.2 seconds. Once you get going, though, it’s blast-off each clip you deed that pedal. The azygous rear-mounted centrifugal successful the conveyance affords it 225 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. During my week with the EV6, portion entering the road oregon erstwhile I needed to walk a semi that seemed to person issues staying successful its lane, determination was ever capable get up and spell astatine the ready.

Previously, I’ve driven the eAWD GT mentation with its dual motors, 320 horsepower, 446 pound-feet of torque and 0–60 clip of 5.2 seconds. It’s outstanding, but for day-to-day driving, the RWD GT is much than adequate.

Photo by Roberto Baldwin for The Verge

Tackling corners, the EV6 handles wonderfully for a conveyance its size. Excessive assemblage rotation and tyre squeal were lone encountered erstwhile truly pushing the vehicle. On the twisty back-roads of Northern California, the EV6 felt acold much planted than different crossovers connected the market, some powered by state and electrons. For driving purists, the RWD mentation has capable oversteer to support them happy, and you tin crook disconnected the traction power if you’re into doing donuts successful abandoned parking lots.

Around town, the EV6 was comfortable, agile, and astatine easiness successful traffic, dense municipality areas, and connected agelong road drives. The steering is choky without feeling twitchy successful each driving situations.

Kia offers up 4 driving modes: Eco, Normal, Sport, and Snow. Around town, Normal and adjacent Eco ne'er felt underpowered. Sport unveiled capable of a powerfulness quality that, erstwhile enabled, you knew it without looking down astatine the dash cluster. On backmost roads, the powerfulness was ever determination portion linking corners.

On the braking front, determination are 4 regen modes. Well, the archetypal Level 0 is coasting. Level 1–3 accrued regenerative braking successful gradual steps, portion I-Pedal turned connected the vehicle’s one-pedal driving feature. You request a agelong runway for the conveyance to travel to a implicit stop. Mastering one-pedal driving successful the EV6 without touching the brakes was pugnacious due to the fact that you truly had to assistance up connected the accelerator overmuch sooner than expected. As the days progressed, I ended up conscionable utilizing the brakes astatine stoplights and signs.

As for its range, Kia says the RWD GT has a scope of 310 miles via a 77.4 kWh capableness artillery pack. The institution hasn’t revealed whether that 77.4 fig is the gross capableness oregon usable capacity. During a scope trial of mixed driving environments of road driving with the cruise power acceptable astatine 70 miles per hour, driving astir residential and suburban streets, and hitting the backmost roads of the region, I was capable to get 310 miles of range. Eerily connected the dot with what Kia promises and bully quality for those looking for a long-range conveyance that isn’t a Tesla.

Photo by Roberto Baldwin for The Verge

In immoderate environment, the EV6 shines and feels similar a conveyance acold much costly than its sticker terms lets on. But the terms tin alteration wildly depending connected your trim level.

The automaker offers six variants of the EV6. The apical of the enactment GT starts astatine $51,200 for the RWD mentation I was driving and climbs to $55,900 for the AWD version. Below GT are the Wind trim levels. The RWD Wind volition acceptable you backmost $47,000, portion the AWD mentation starts astatine $50,900. There’s besides the Wind with a Tech bundle that costs $52,400. For each of these vehicles, the RWD versions person a scope of 310 miles, portion the AWD versions person a scope of 274 miles.

Then there’s the $40,900 Light RWD trim. The entry-level EV6 has a smaller 58 kWh capableness artillery pack, which translates into a scope of 232 miles. All the vehicles person an ratio standing of 4 miles per kilowatt which is up determination with Tesla.

Smart Interior

Like its exterior, the interior of the EV6 is simply a plan triumph. More importantly, it’s comfy for some the operator and each passengers. Leg and headroom are much than capable adjacent for those implicit six feet tall. At 6 feet, 3 inches tall, I typically person to determination the driver’s spot guardant erstwhile sitting successful the back. In the EV6, nary adjustments were needed, and I inactive had a fewer inches of abstraction for my knees.

This has to bash with the size of the EV6, which is the aforesaid magnitude arsenic a BMW 3 Series. It mightiness not look that ample successful photos, but that’s a instrumentality of the oculus caused by the wheels being pushed towards the borderline of the vehicle. When you get inside, it’s spacious and airy, with country for 5 if the folks successful the backmost are connected the bladed side. Four adults volition acceptable comfortably without immoderate problems.

Kia and Hyundai some person a past of delivering interiors that consciousness much upmarket than their terms would suggest. That carries implicit present to the EV6. The vegan leather and recycled materials successful the conveyance felt similar the offerings you’d find successful a overmuch much costly vehicle.

The disposable tech is besides what I’m utilized to seeing successful much costly vehicles. In the agleam 12.3 TFT (thin-film-transistor) dash cluster, erstwhile the blinkers are turned on, an outer camera feeds a presumption of the vehicle’s unsighted spot successful the cluster. This is thing we’ve seen connected different Hyundai Motor Group vehicles, and it’s bully to spot it here.

Photo by Roberto Baldwin for The Verge

There’s besides thing that I’ve seen successful the Mercedes S-Class and EQS, augment turn-by-turn arrows successful the HUD (head-up display). With navigation enabled, arrows volition look successful the HUD to assistance you find your upcoming exit oregon adjacent turn. It’s not rather arsenic polished arsenic the offering from Mercedes, but it’s a bully touch, and I recovered it adjuvant erstwhile I happened upon a bid of roundabouts portion driving.

Sadly, it doesn’t enactment with Google oregon Apple Maps. The conveyance does enactment some Android Auto and Apple CarPlay (although oddly, not wirelessly) — conscionable don’t expect floating arrows to assistance you arsenic you drive.

The 12.3 TFT touchscreen houses the emblematic Kia infotainment system. Outside of the beauteous location surface that shares scope data, media information, and the weather, the remainder of the setup is fundamentally a tablet layout of features aligned on a rigid grid. In my experience, that’s not needfully a atrocious thing, arsenic I was capable to rapidly find features without having to larn a caller interface.

Where things autumn level is the dependable assistant. It feels 2 generations down different offerings connected the marketplace and is fundamentally a bid of acceptable commands and corresponding defaults. For example, if you accidental you privation the conveyance to beryllium cooler, the strategy volition acceptable the somesthesia to 64 degrees. Say you’d similar it warmer — it’ll beryllium acceptable to 80 degrees. Anything beyond that is each the down oregon each the mode up.

Photo by Roberto Baldwin for The Verge

The operator assistance strategy does get marks for offering vehicle-follow successful stop-and-go postulation without having to property the accelerator oregon resume button. While navigating road traffic, the EV6 reacted safely without excessively overmuch acceleration oregon braking erstwhile vehicles chopped successful beforehand of it oregon erstwhile they moved retired of the way. I ne'er felt the request to measurement connected the brake oregon accelerator due to the fact that the strategy was being excessively aggressive.

No More Compromises

This was my 2nd clip driving the EV6. The archetypal was for the day, which is good for a archetypal impression, but you request a fewer days down the instrumentality to truly spot however good it would integrate into the lives of imaginable buyers.

As they picked up the vehicle, though, I started to miss it. For idiosyncratic that drives implicit a 100 cars a year, that’s saying a lot. For years, we’ve had 2 classes of vehicles: bully cars and bully electrical cars. The EV6 is simply a bully car, plain and simple. There’s nary longer a database of caveats that request to beryllium explained to imaginable owners.

The Hyundai Motor Group made the determination to walk the other wealth to put successful a robust 800-volt architecture. That stake is paying disconnected with a bid of vehicles that are coming to marketplace with features recovered connected much costly vehicles.

For Kia, the EV6 sets a barroom not lone for its ain aboriginal vehicles but for each different automaker arsenic they participate the space. It’s not capable to conscionable physique an EV — they person to physique a large EV.

That’s what Kia built: a large EV.

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