Kia EV6 long-term test: report 4

We rate this electric SUV so highly that we named it Car of the Year. But does it continue to impress when you live with it every day?...

Kia EV6 long term

The car Kia EV6 RWD GT-Line Run by Allan Muir, managing editor

Why we’re running it To see whether the EV6 can live up to its status as our reigning Car of the Year and cement its place among the very best electric cars

Needs to Deliver on the promise of a long range and ultra-fast charging, while being comfortable and good to drive

Mileage 4270 List price £47,195 Target Price £47,195 Price as tested £45,370 Test range 278 miles Official range 328 miles

30 July 2022 – 1070 miles in four days

Back in 2019, I read an entertaining feature about a bucket list road trip to Scotland to drive the South West Coastal 300 (SWC 300).

As the name suggests, this is a 300-mile driving route around the south-west corner of Scotland. It’s a part of the country I’d never been to before, and ever since then I’ve had a hankering to do the SWC 300 myself. The time was finally right for me to tick this road trip off my own bucket list recently, and the obvious car to take was my Kia EV6.

Kia EV6 long term

Now, you might be thinking that a sports car such as a Porsche 911 GT3 might be better suited to such an adventure, but first of all I didn’t have one of those to hand, and secondly I was eager to put the electric EV6 to a real test.

On the motorway, the EV6 cruised along quietly and comfortably at 70mph, feeling every bit as much of an executive express as, say, an Audi A4. And it was surprisingly enjoyable to drive around the SWC 300 route, striking an ideal balance between compliance and body control that allowed it to flow along the twisty, undulating roads with precision and confidence.  

Kia EV6 long term

Starting in Dumfries, my anticlockwise route took me past the giant Clyde wind farm, over the Mennock Pass (with a quick detour to Drumlanrig Castle), then westwards towards Ayr and down to Stranraer for an overnight stop in Portpatrick. The next day took me back to Dumfries via Newton Stewart and Kirkcudbright, hugging the Irish Sea coastline most of the way.

Although you can control the car’s speed purely via the accelerator, without much need to touch the brake pedal, I often found myself tapping the paddles behind the steering wheel to adjust the level of regenerative braking (which harvests energy under deceleration to help eke out the range).

Kia EV6 long term

By strengthening the regen on the way into corners (to slow the car down with extra vigour) and reducing it on the way out (for catapult-like exits), I felt more involved in the driving process than I might have done in an electric car without multiple levels.

Front seat comfort could be better, though. The bases are a bit narrow for someone my size (6ft 1in tall and 90kg), so sometimes I feel as though I can’t settle into them properly. But you tend to get used to this after a while, and I still felt fine after seven or eight-hour days at the wheel, albeit interspersed with plenty of breaks. 

Kia EV6 long term

Although there was no shortage of public rapid chargers that would accept contactless credit card payments along the way, three of the ones I tried weren’t working, forcing me to switch to another device at the same location or move on to another spot.

That said, at no point during the 1070 miles that I ended up covering over four days did I have to take any risks with the battery’s state of charge, thanks to the EV6’s generous range. The lowest it got to was about 18%, and most of the top-ups were relatively quick ones from 30-40% back up to 80%. 

Kia EV6 long term

Some of the stops took longer than they should have, though, in large part because none of the chargers I tried – even the fastest, 350kW ones – came close to delivering the sort of power the EV6 is capable of accepting. The prospect of getting from 10-80% in as little as 18 minutes – which the EV6 is supposedly able to do – therefore remains a pipe dream for now. 

That’s not the car’s fault, of course. I still think my EV6 is fantastic, and it made my road trip more painless and stress-free than any of the shorter ones I’ve done in other electric cars. There were surprisingly few moments when I wished I were driving a 911 GT3 instead.

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