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      2022 Kia EV6 First Drive Review

      Desirazu Venkat

      Desirazu Venkat

      Why I would buy it?

      • Performance
      • Exterior design 

      Why I would avoid it?

      • Rear seat experience 
      • Charging infrastructure 


      Launched in 2021, the EV6 is Kia’s first dedicated battery electric vehicle. It’s underpinned by Hyundai’s E-GMP platform and is the first in a line of EVs over the next few years for the South Korean automaker. It’s fast, fun to drive, unique to look at and of course, has all the required green credentials. However, the rear seat experience is average with not enough features or even accessories. In the larger scheme of things, if this is the benchmark set by Kia ahead of its first locally produced EV in 2025, then the future looks good.    

      Exterior design

      Kia EV6 Right Front Three Quarter

      The first thing that catches your attention when you look at the EV6 is its silhouette. Some have termed it as a large hatchback. However, we think it’s more of a low slung crossover. Upfront, you get Kia’s signature Tiger nose grille along with these full LED headlamps and a significant bulge on the bonnet.

      Kia EV6 Left Front Three Quarter

      In profile, you can see the crossover stance as well as those massive 19-inch wheels. Also visible are these flared wheel arches and pop-out door handles. Auto enthusiasts will recognise the shape of the rear spoiler as being inspired by the legendary Lancia Stratos sports car. Other highlights here include this chrome strip above the number plate slot as well as this black cladding that adds a visual break to the rear design.

      Interior and features

      Kia EV6 Steering Wheel

      Inside, you get an all-black cabin with suede upholstery and vegan leather bolstering of which the former is not visible in the shots but will be offered on the customer vehicles. The cabin will look and feel familiar as one from the Kia stables and that’s a good thing as it will aid in bringing first-time buyers and Kia loyalists over to the electric side without much effort.

      Kia EV6 Front Row Seats

      Upfront, the dashboard is dominated by two massive digital screens with the one on the left for the infotainment system while the one on the right is a fully digital instrument cluster. Like the cabin, the interface on both screens is familiar and relatively easy to use. From the driver’s seat, the infotainment system is easy to reach and very visible in the bright sun that we experienced at the circuit during our shoot. 

      Kia EV6 Rear Seats

      What’s new, however, is the large two-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel loaded with a plethora of buttons controlling various functions across the car. Equally new and nice to look at is the island-like centre console with a large storage space sitting like a basement below. The centre stack leans ever so slightly towards the driver and has nice textured elements all over to give it a premium appeal. 

      Kia EV6 Steering Wheel

      The suede has been carried over for the second row with this nice sporty pattern stitched into the middle of the seats. Where there is so much excitement in the first row, the second row feels a bit basic with just AC vents, door pockets, and a central armrest with cup holders as the major highlights. The floor is flat but the seat base is low and thus thigh support is lacking especially if you are on the taller side of things. The rear seats can be folded down in a 60:40 split configuration for additional boot space. The loading appears high in terms of appearance but the boot is actually easy to access due to the car’s low stance. 

      Kia EV6 Open Boot/Trunk

      The Indian market only gets the EV6 as a fully loaded model and thus comes with almost all the bells and whistles. This list includes 10-way adjustable power ventilated front seats, power windows and mirrors, dual-zone climate control, wireless charger, sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, smart key with button start and rear defogger. The AWD version gets a head-up display, power tailgate, flush door handles and Meridian sound system with 14-speakers. Both versions get eight airbags, all-wheel disc brakes, ABS with EBD, hill start assist, stability programme, front and rear parking sensors and ISOFIX child seat mounting points.  

      Kia EV6 Head-Up Display (HUD)

      Kia has also introduced an ADAS suite, the likes of which include lane keep assist, blind-spot detection, lane follow assist, smart cruise control and safe exit assist. Lastly, the EV6, as expected, gets its version of Kia Connect with all the usual features but also a few specific to it being an EV.  

      Powertrain and charging

      Kia EV6 Engine Shot

      The EV6 here will be offered with a 77.4kWh lithium-ion battery pack mated to an electric motor that in RWD guise produces 22bhp and 350Nm while in the AWD guise produces a significantly higher 323bhp and 605Nm. Adding to these numbers is a 0-80 per cent charge time of just 18 minutes when connected to a 350kWh DC fast charger while a 50kWh DC fast charger will bring you from 0-80 per cent in 73 minutes.

      Kia EV6 EV Car Charging Input Plug

      Of course, Kia will offer an emergency wall charger as well as a wall box home charger that can be installed at a location of the customer’s choice that matches the requirements needed to install it.   

      Driving Experience

      Kia EV6 Left Front Three Quarter

      Out on the race track, the Kia EV6 right off the bat was fast and fun to drive with the headlines being a 0-100kmph time of 5.2 seconds for the AWD model and 7.3 seconds for the RWD model. We got to test this out on the back straight and it was a proper push back in your seat experience when we put the pedal to the metal with the car hitting its electronically limited top speed of 194kmph well before the 150-metres board for T5 on the track. In fact, it was so addictive that I had another go on my second hot lap and would have tried it again if I had got more laps.   

      Kia EV6 Right Front Three Quarter

      As a car to drive the EV6 felt intuitive and fun thanks to the way it provided feedback. The connection between the steering and wheels was linear and precise and with that much motivation on tap, there was more than enough capability to get the car to slide while tackling the turns. In fact, in sport mode and with a facility like the BIC, the EV6 didn’t feel like a car weighed down by heavy batteries and in fact, felt playful and egged you on to push it harder. Consequently, at low speeds, the steering felt light and easy to use and only required two turns to go from lock to lock. 

      Kia EV6 Left Front Three Quarter

       What we found slightly lacking were the brakes and felt that they could have done with more initial bite. However, given the heavy nature of track driving across multiple batches of journalists, it’s also possible that the brakes had undergone above normal wear and tear.

      Kia EV6 Rear View

      On the cool-down lap and once I had got my breath back, we tested out the normal and eco modes and could feel a noticeable difference in the response of the throttle, especially under heavy acceleration. The four-stage re-gen was also very effective to the point that at the highest setting you could drive the car with just one pedal. These are of course initial impressions of the Kia EV6 and we will be able to give you the full low down on this electric vehicle once we put it through CarTrade’s real-world performance and range tests. 


      Kia EV6 Front View

      The Kia EV6 will be offered in two guises, RWD and AWD, with different power outputs. There are five colour options and one GT line trim level being offered for the Indian car market. Bookings open from 26 May, 2022 and a price announcement on 2 June. Only 100 units via the CBU route will be sold in the first round.

      Photography: Kaustubh Gandhi

      Kia EV6
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      Kia | Kia EV6 | EV6 | EV6 GT Line AWD