What Car? says...
And those claims should be taken seriously because Kia isn’t new to the electrification game. In fact, the brand's first effort – the 2019-2022 Kia e-Niro – became the first electric car to win our overall Car of the Year award. However, unlike that car, the EV6 was designed from the outset to be a pure electric car – and that should give it an advantage in several key areas.
The Kia EV6 is bigger than it looks in pictures (it's slightly longer than a Jaguar I-Pace) and is something of a halfway house between an SUV and a regular hatchback. And although the EV6 has a lot in common with the Ioniq 5, it's not simply a reskinned version of its cousin.
For example, Kia has tuned the EV6 with the aim of making it more fun to drive, and it has a larger battery to give most versions an official range of well over 300 miles. (The GT performance version is an exception – see our Kia EV6 GT review for info on that.)
Thanks to super-fast charging, you can top up the battery (from 10-80%) in as little as 18 minutes. The only catch is that, at the moment, you won't find many public charging stations in the UK capable of delivering that much power.
So, is the Kia EV6 a brilliant buy or would you be better off with a Hyundai Ioniq 5 or perhaps even a Tesla Model Y? That’s what we’ll be finding out in this review. By the way, if you're looking for something smaller and cheaper, check out our Kia Niro EV and Kia Soul EV reviews.
When you've decided which new car is right for you, check out our What Car? New Car Deals pages to find out how much you could save on the brochure price. You'll find plenty of new electric SUV deals.
Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
In cheaper RWD form, the Kia EV6 has one 226bhp motor driving the rear wheels, giving performance that’s decent rather than, er, electric. In our tests, it managed 0-60mph in 6.9 seconds – faster than the equivalent VW ID 4 and Nissan Ariya but nowhere near as rapid as the Tesla Model Y Long Range. The EV6 RWD can officially do up to 328 miles on a full charge (depending on the trim level), although 230-270 miles is more realistic in the real world.
The pricier dual-motor (AWD) version has a second electric motor powering the front wheels, increasing power to 321bhp in total, and giving acceleration that’s a match for the Model Y Long Range. At our private test track, we timed one rocketing from 0-60mph in 5.0 seconds. You pay for that extra performance with a slightly shorter range, but only by around 15 miles.
Suspension and ride comfort
Kia has intentionally sacrificed some cushioning over bumps to create a car that’s a bit more agile and fun to drive. The EV6's ride is far from bone-shakingly firm, though – in fact, some will prefer the more controlled, less floaty sensation to what’s offered by the Hyundai Ioniq 5.
There are more comfortable electric SUVs for those with deep pockets (the Audi Q8 e-tron and Jaguar I-Pace for example), while the similarly priced Genesis GV60 and the cheaper Skoda Enyaq offer a slightly more agreeable ride. However, the EV6 is far comfier than the rather fractious Model Y and much more settled than the Ariya.
The EV6 isn’t the sort of car you’ll leap out of bed on a Sunday morning to go for a drive in, but the same goes for pretty much every other electric car on the market (the notable exception is the Taycan).
That doesn’t mean the EV6 handles badly, though – far from it. It grips well through corners and being slightly lower than most SUVs means it leans less than many rivals, including the Ioniq 5, Ariya and ID 4. In an ideal world, we’d like a better sense of connection with the front wheels from the steering, but it’s accurate enough to allow you to position the car with confidence at all speeds.
The AWD versions have more traction, so they feel more stable and planted when you're accelerating hard out of corners, especially in the wet.
Noise and vibration
As an electric car, the EV6 has an obvious advantage over petrol and diesel alternatives because there’s no engine chugging away under the bonnet.
True, the 20in wheels that come with top-of-the-range GT-Line S trim produce a noticeable amount of road noise, especially at motorway speeds, but on 19s – which are fitted to Air and GT-Line models – the EV6 is quieter than most rivals, including the Model Y and ID.4. For the money, only the GV60 is better, aided by foam-filled tyres and optional noise-cancelling technology to dampen unwanted road noise.
There’s the odd thump from the suspension, but overall the EV6 is roughly on a par with the Ioniq 5 for its ability to shut out unwanted noise and vibration. The Ariya is slightly more hushed in this regard, but if you really value quiet cruising manners, consider the super-hushed Audi Q4 e-tron.
The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
Is the Kia EV6 an SUV or just a regular hatchback? Well, it has a loftier driving position than the Tesla Model 3 saloon, but you don't exactly tower over other road users as you would in a Range Rover. The comfortable driver's seat hugs you securely around the middle, so you won’t find yourself sliding around the car through corners.
Entry-level Air models come with front seats that offer power adjustable lumbar support for the driver. You’ll have to upgrade to at least GT-Line trim if you want to adjust other parts of the seat electrically and treat your passenger to lumbar adjustment too.
Adjusting the interior temperature is easy thanks to physical dials on the dashboard, although there is a fiddly touch-sensitive panel below them for other air-conditioning settings.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
The EV6's aggressively angled windscreen pillars don't affect your view out at junctions and roundabouts too badly, and the relatively high driving position gives you a good view straight down the road.
The huge rear pillars and rising window line make over-the-shoulder visibility rather less impressive, but all models have a reversing camera and rear sensors to help with parking. GT-Line trim and above adds front parking sensors, while GT-Line S models have a 360-degree bird’s eye view camera.
It’s annoying that the rear window doesn’t have a wiper, though, especially when you want to quickly clear it on damp winter mornings.
Sat nav and infotainment
All versions of the EV6 come with a curved 12.3in touchscreen positioned conveniently high up on the middle of the dashboard. It’s easy to see and has a relatively intuitive operating system, so it's not too distracting to use while you're driving.
There's sometimes a lengthy pause between pressing an icon and anything happening, a problem that doesn't afflict the Tesla Model Y. However, overall the EV6 has a much better infotainment system than the one in the VW ID 4 and has slicker graphics than the display in the Nissan Ariya.
All trims have Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring, while GT-Line models and above get wireless phone-charging. The decent standard six-speaker stereo is replaced with a 14-speaker Meridian system if you go for GT-Line S trim.
With that in mind, it looks suitably upmarket inside with plenty of gloss-black and rubberised surfaces, and everything feels well screwed together. All the 'leather', on all trim levels, is vegan rather than the real thing. For that, you’ll need to opt for the Genesis GV60 and specify the pricey quilted Napa leather option.
Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
It can be hard to judge from photos, but the Kia EV6 is a really big car, so it’s hardly surprising that there’s lots of space in the front.
You’d have to be incredibly tall to have any problem with leg room, and the wide interior adds to the sense of spaciousness. There's enough head room for six-footers, too, although the sunroof fitted to GT-Line S models does lower the height of the ceiling slightly, so it's best avoided if you're tall.
You won't struggle for places to put odds and ends. That’s thanks to a huge open storage area under the ‘floating’ centre console, a lidded cubby under the central armrest and a large glovebox. The door pockets are a good size too.
Rear leg room in the EV6 is probably best described as ‘limo-like’. Even if there’s a tall person sitting in front of you, you’ll have loads of space ahead of your knees.
Head room isn’t quite as exceptional but it is far more accommodating than the Genesis GV60 and you’d need to be more than six feet tall to have any complaints in the back of an EV6. The Ford Mustang Mach-E and Nissan Ariya offer a couple of centimetres extra in this area. The flat floor and wide interior mean that it's not too much of a squeeze for three adults sitting across the rear bench.
Seat folding and flexibility
The EV6's rear seatbacks can be reclined for a more relaxed seating position or folded down in a conventional 60/40 split when you need to carry more clobber than can be squeezed in the main boot.
A hatch in the middle rear seatback allows you to carry long, thin items (skis, for example) and still have two rear passengers on board.
Another neat feature on GT-Line and GT-Line S models is a one-button recline function for the front seats, allowing you to have a quick snooze while you wait for your EV6 to charge.
Considering the size of the EV6, its 490-litre boot isn’t all that remarkable. Even so, we managed to fit seven carry-on suitcases below the parcel shelf – the same number as we got into the Audi Q4 e-tron and Mustang Mach-E, but one less than the Ariya.
Access is good because of the large hatchback opening, and the load bay is a useful square shape, with some extra space under the floor for the charging cables. You’ll be able to fit slightly more luggage in the Tesla Model Y and VW ID 4 though.
The EV6 also has a 'frunk' (front boot) which, on RWD models, is large enough for a soft overnight bag or a couple of small bags of shopping. AWD models have less storage space here – barely enough for a few groceries.
Buying & owning
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
Remember, though, that all versions of the EV6 have a large battery and (apart from the hot GT model) a 300-mile plus official range as standard, while cheaper versions of the Ioniq 5 and Enyaq have much shorter ranges between charges.
All versions of the EV6 can charge at speeds of up to 238kW, but because of the fairly low number of super-fast public chargers in the UK right now, you’re more likely to be charging at 50-100kW. At the lower end of this range, a 10-80% charge will take around 70 minutes.
Equipment, options and extras
Even entry-level EV6 Air models are pretty well equipped, with 19in alloys, climate control, rain-sensing wipers, heated door mirrors, adaptive cruise control, a heated steering wheel and heated front seats with driver lumbar support adjustment.
If you upgrade to GT-Line trim, you’ll get some sportier styling touches, electronically adjustable front seats with memory, adaptive LED headlights, tinted rear windows and a device that allows the charging port to double as a 3.5kW three-pin plug socket, which you can use to boil a kettle or even (very slowly) charge another electric car.
GT-Line S models get larger 20in alloys, exterior door handles that automatically pop out for you to grab, ventilated front seats and heated outer rear seats. It’s too pricey for us to recommend, though. Whichever trim you go for, we'd advise stumping up for the optional heat pump for more efficient warming of the interior in colder temperatures.
The EV6 comes with a seven-year (100,000-mile) warranty that covers most components, including the drive battery. The Ioniq 5 gets eight years’ covers on the battery but only five years on the rest of the car.
Safety and security
The EV6 achieved a five-star rating for safety when it was appraised by Euro NCAP, not least because it comes with plenty of active safety kit to help you avoid accidents in the first place.
All models have automatic emergency braking (AEB) that can recognise pedestrians and cyclists as well as cars, along with lane-keeping assistance, intelligent speed-limit assist and a system that monitors the attentiveness of the driver.
If you avoid entry-level Air trim, you’ll also get blind-spot collision avoidance and rear cross-traffic alert. GT-Line S models have more safety aids, including a blind-spot camera feed displayed behind the steering wheel.
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Absolutely. The Kia EV6 is a brilliant electric car – so good, in fact, that we voted it our 2022 Car of the Year.
The EV6 is a larger car than the Kia Niro, and is available exclusively in fully electric form. The Niro, meanwhile, is offered in electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid forms.
Yes, the EV6 is now available to order in the UK. You can check the latest prices using our New Car Deals pages.
The EV6 comes with Type 2 charging cable, which you can use to plug the car into a home wallbox. The charging point isn't included, though. Alternatively, you can plug your EV6 into a three-pin domestic socket (lead supplied), although expect to wait around 38 hours for the battery to charge from empty to full.
|RRP price range||£45,245 - £62,645|
|Number of trims (see all)||4|
|Number of engines (see all)||3|
|Available fuel types (which is best for you?)||electric|
|Available doors options||5|
|Warranty||7 years / 100000 miles|
|Company car tax at 20% (min/max)||£90 / £125|
|Company car tax at 40% (min/max)||£181 / £250|