New Kia EV6 vs New Polestar 2 vs Tesla Model 3: practicality

The class-leading Tesla Model 3 is being challenged like never before by promising new electric rivals from Kia and Polestar. Can it fend them off...

New Kia EV6 rear space

Space and practicality

Front space, rear space, seating flexibility, boot

If you’re sitting in the front, you won’t feel in the slightest bit cramped in any of our contenders; these are big cars, after all, and they feel it. You also get plenty of storage space, including lidded cubbies and a couple of cupholders, in all three, with the Kia EV6 benefiting from a second storage ledge beneath its ‘floating’ console between the front seats.

Move to the rear seats and there’s a clear running order. The Polestar 2 is the least accommodating, and most six-footers who try to relax back in their seat and use the head rest will instead bang their bonce on the ceiling. It’s also the only car here with a hump running along the floor that a middle rear passenger has to straddle. And although leg room isn’t bad, it’s still the worst here.

New Polestar 2 front space

A rear passenger will enjoy much more space and a less claustrophobic ambience in the Tesla Model 3, the latter helped by a standard glass roof. A high floor does make the seating position slightly unnatural, though, something that isn’t the case in the EV6. The EV6 also has the most leg room (by a mile), so it’s definitely the one anyone tall would prefer for a long journey. It’s also the only one of our trio in which you can adjust the angle of the rear seatbacks.

Consider purely how much luggage you can fit in these cars and the Model 3 is the best load-lugger. It can swallow nine carry-on suitcases in the main boot at the back, plus a further case in the ‘frunk’ under the bonnet. That compares with a total of seven each in the EV6 and Polestar, with neither car’s front compartment being big enough for more than a couple of charging cables.

Tesla Model 3 rear space

However, the Model 3 is a saloon, and that means the boot opening is relatively small. In the other two cars, which have hatchbacks, you get a bigger opening and can pack the boot higher by removing the parcel shelf. You can fold the rear seatbacks down (in a 60/40 split) in all three cars, but the Model 3 is the only one without a ski hatch to allow you to slot long, thin items between two rear passengers.

Folding down the rear seats is particularly easy in the EV6, because it has handles inside the boot to release them. It’s the only one of our contenders without an electric tailgate, though.

Boot space

Kia EV6

New Kia EV6 boot

Boot 490-1300 litres Suitcases 7

Polestar 2

New Polestar 2 boot space

Boot 405-1095 litres Suitcases 7

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3 boot space

Boot 450 litres Suitcases 10

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