This is the Kia EV6, one of the most talked-about new electric cars to launch to the market this year. The EV6 is Kia’s flagship electric car, sitting above the E-Soul and the E-Niro in its electric car range. It offers up to 528 kilometres of range depending on which version you go for, while prices in Ireland start from around €50,000 including the SEAI Grant. The EV6 goes up against other EVs like the Volkswagen ID.4, Hyundai IONIQ 5, Tesla Model 3 and Ford Mustang Mach-e, but is it the best option on the market right now?
Starting outside, there is a lot to talk about and it really is a big car when you see it in-person for the first time. While it shares its platform and many components with the Hyundai IONIQ 5, the EV6's design is very different on the outside with sleeker and sportier styling. Although it mixes many different elements, the EV6 could be described as a hatchback SUV, and it stands apart from most other electric cars in the looks department.
Up front it has sharp daytime running lights, dynamic indicators and a lowly-placed air intake. Along the sides it has a curving character line and sloping roof line with gloss black detailing on the c-pillar. The rear of the EV6 divides opinion, with a huge curving light bar that runs the full width of the car, a subtle roof spoiler and a low-positioned reversing light cluster. The EV6 certainly stands out from the crowd, especially in this Yacht Blue metallic colour scheme which changes in appearance depending on the light.
As standard the entry Earth model gets 19-inch alloy wheels but this higher specification GT-Line model has larger 20-inch alloy wheels and a panoramic sunroof. Unlike many of its rivals, the EV6 is only offered with one long range option, and it gets a large 77.4 kwh battery as standard. The entry Earth model with the smaller 19-inch alloy wheels has a range of up to 528 kilometres, while this GT-Line with the larger 20-inch wheels range has a slightly reduced 506 kilometre range.
First impressions are very good when you sit inside the EV6 . It is very impressive, with a minimalist layout to the dashboard, supportive seats and lots of space throughout the cabin. The dashboard is dominated by two large 12.3-inch screens, one for the digital driver’s display behind the steering wheel and another for the infotainment system that leans slightly towards the driver. The 12.3-inch touchscreen system is good to use and it has Apple Car Play and Android Auto built-in as standard when you connect your smartphone by USB, with additional controls on the steering wheel and voice recognition too.
The climate control can be adjusted using touch sensitive buttons on the centre console and this takes getting used to at first, but there are also physical buttons for adjusting the temperature. Some of the interior materials are made using recycled materials, including the bolsters on the front seats, which Kia describes as vegan materials. The entry Earth model gets Charcoal Grey Vegan leather seat upholstery as standard, but this GT-line model has upgraded black suede seats with white vegan material detailing.
In similar fashion to the Hyundai IONIQ 5, the front seats can recline completely flat with leg supports when you want to take a nap when charging. The driving position is very good with plenty of adjustment to get comfortable and there are plenty of storage areas dotted throughout the cabin including underneath the centre console and a sizeable glove box, although the door bins could be bigger. There is also a conveniently placed wireless phone charger, a mix of USB and USB-c charge points further down and also two 12-volt charge points. The overall fit and finish of the interior is very good and it feels premium throughout, which you would expect in the €50,000 price bracket.
Rear passengers get lots legroom with a flat floor layout and the rear seats adjust and recline. Rear headroom is good if not quite as strong as what you will get in some other large electric cars, but overall it is very comfortable in the rear seats. You also get two USB-c charge points, two sets of ISOFIX mounts and a comfy armrest with two cup holders. Boot space is very good too at 520 litres in size and there is no load lip so it is easy to slide items in and out.
Although the boot is slightly smaller than the Hyundai IONIQ ,5, just falling short by 20 litres, the EV6’s boot is on par with other electric cars like the Volkswagen ID4 and Ford Mustang Mach-e. If you fold the rear seats down, space increases to 1300 litres. While the rear seats don’t fold down completely flat, it is nonetheless a very useful space for lugging larger items. Under the bonnet there is a useful 52 litre storage area for stowing your charge cables. Boot space is slightly reduced in the all-wheel-drive versions of the EV6 but for now, we only get the rear wheel drive models here in Ireland
The EV6’s sporty styling is backed up by a pretty engaging drive, and it feels more driver-focused than many of its rivals. In Ireland, the EV6 gets a 77.4 kwh battery and a single electric motor that sends 229 brake horsepower to the rear wheels. In this GT-Line model, claimed range is just over 500 kilometres, which is similar tothe long range Hyundai IONIQ 5 and Volkswagen ID.4. The drive selector is located on the centre console close to the driver’s armrest, twisting it for drive and reverse. You can adjust regenerative braking with paddles behind the steering wheel and also select driving modes with a drive mode button on the steering wheel, including ECO, Normal and Sport. Hold down the drive mode button for an extended period and there is even a snow mode for wintry conditions.
With 229 brake horsepower going to the rear wheels it feels powerful, especially in sport mode. Acceleration is good with 0-100km/h taking 7.3 seconds, but this is somewhat slower than what you get in a Tesla Model 3 or in the all-wheel-drive versions of the Hyundai IONIQ 5. Most buyers will care more about range than acceleration times however, and from our experience, the EV6 offers a realistic 400 kilometre range with varied driving. All models in Ireland get a heat pump for added efficiency in colder weather.
Overall, the EV6 is very enjoyable to drive, it’s quiet around town, smooth at motorway speeds and it has enough power for overtaking with ease. The steering is direct and it corners well despite being a heavy car. It is smooth and refined even on bumpy roads and with the larger 20-inch wheels. In other markets Kia also offers more powerful all-wheel-drive versions of the EV6 but unfortunately they aren’t available in Ireland, we’ll only get the rear wheel drive models here. There is even a high performance GT model due next year which will have two electric motors, four wheel drive and 584bhp which will get from 0-100km/h in 3.5 seconds, faster than a Porsche Taycan!
At 4.7 metres long and with a large 2.9 metre wheelbase, the EV6 feels like a large car, and it can be difficult to park in tight parking spaces due to its wide turning circle, but the standard reversing camera and sensors alleviate this somewhat. In terms of charging, the EV6 is a star performer with 800 volt charging technology and it charges at speeds of up to 233 kilowatts, which is among the best of any EV on the market right now. With an IONITY charger and a rapid CCS connector, of which there are a handful of locations in Ireland at the moment, the EV6 can charge from 10 to 80 percent in just 18 minutes. That is seriously impressive, but ultimately there are still very few of these chargers available in Ireland at present. With a more commonplace 50 kilowatt charger, it is possible to charge the EV6 from 10 to 80 percent in just over an hour.
Most buyers are likely to charge the EV6 at home or in work with a 7 kilowatt charger and a type 2 connector, and a full charge in this scenario would take around 10 hours overnight. Like the Hyundai IONIQ 5, you can also use the EV6 to charge another electric car or to power an electric gadget or device. You can use the battery to send power of up to 3.6kW for things like charging another car, charging an electric lawn mower or e-bike or potentially power a sound system when parked up at a campsite! This feature would definitely come in useful on longer road trips. Speaking of road trips, the EV6 can tow up to 1600 kilograms when extra load lugging is required.
There is lots of safety tech to get accustomed to including advanced driver assist systems which alert you to different scnearios out on the road, but in an intuitive way. Our high specification GT-Line test car is fitted with blind spot view monitors which flash up on the digital driver’s display and this is helpful for turning in areas of low visibility or watching out for pedestrians and cyclists.
The EV6 is available in two different specifications in Ireland, Earth and GT-Line. The entry Earth model gets the large 77.4kWh battery as standard and it starts at €50,000 including the SEAI Grant. It is very well equipped as standard with 19-inch alloy wheels, the dual 12.3-inch screens inside, UVO connect, premium relaxation seats, LED headlights, a heat pump and an electric tailgate. Claimed range for the Earth model is 528 kilometres from a single charge.
The higher specification GT-Line specification which is the one that we tested, starts from €54,345 including the SEAI Grant and it gets larger 20-inch alloy wheels, suede vegan leather upholstery, front ventilated seats, blind spot view monitors built into the driver’s display, AR heads-up display and a panoramic sunroof with lots of other features.
Kia’s partnership with IONITY gives EV6 customers access to 400 high IONITY high-speed charging stations across Europe, with five locations currently in Ireland including Athlone, Gorey, Cashel, Kill and City North in Dublin. At IONITY charge points it takes just 18 minutes to charge from 10% to 80% capacity and less than 4.5 minutes for a 100 kilometre range top-up. All EV6 buyers get a free 12 month Kia Power Package subscription that offers this Ionity fast charging service at just €0.29 per kWh, which is normally € 0.79 per kWh.
So should you buy the Kia EV6? If you are looking for a premium EV that is fun to drive and offers good practicality, with excellent range and charging times, it should be high on your shortlist. What’s more, it has an impressive spec of standard equipment and technology, although you would expect it at this price point. The EV6 isn’t exactly cheap with the entry model starting from €50,000, especially when you consider the smaller battery version of the Hyundai IONIQ 5 which starts from around €38,000. As it’s a large car, it feels it when you drive around town too. The EV6 isn’t to be confused with cheaper electric models however, this is a premium EV that stands toe to toe with the best models on the market right now, and it is likely to prove popular and Kia a deluge of new fans as a result.