Ladies and gentlemen, what we have here is a breakthrough – the Kia EV6 – a pure electric vehicle with no compromises.
No excuses necessary. A dedicated platform, and a powerful emission-free electric drivetrain able to go more than 400 km on a charge, all wrapped in a stunning body.
The first thing you notice is the distinctive design – one that causes people to stop, stare and ask questions – the most common among them: “what is it?”
2022 Kia EV6 – striking appearance and clever, too!
The striking appearance is the first application of a new Kia design language from the digital “Tiger Nose“ grill, to the unique narrow lightbar across the top edge of the rear hatch. Clever details abound, inside and out.
The interior is similarly ultra-modern as befits a vehicle breaking new ground. The driver faces a lovely, curved display made up of a pair of 31-cm high-definition screens. The one in front of the driver displays information relative to the vehicle and its performance.
The one in the centre is for the first-rate infotainment system.
Wirelessly connect your smart phone and that screen is displayed in the larger size. Most related controls are capacitive touch buttons, but thankfully there are a pair of old-fashioned knobs for audio and HVAC control.
The centre console appears to be floating, and the leading edge contains touch points for the heated and cooled seats and the heated steering wheel. There is a multi-function Heads Up Display (HUD) and materials and workmanship are first rate.
The whole image is one of a very modern and more expensive automobile.
The EV6 has a longer wheelbase than the big Telluride, but is wider and shorter overall. Electric motors are much smaller than internal combustion engines, and there is no need for a radiator, transmission or driveshaft connecting front and rear axles. The result is a great deal of passenger and cargo space.
The perfectly flat floor adds to the feeling of spaciousness.
The EV6 can be configured in a number of ways – front or all-wheel-drive, standard or extended range. The base $44,995 unit comes with a 58 kWh battery pack and a single 167-horsepower motor driving the rear wheels. The combination yields a range of 375 km. An upgrade is available – a 77.4 kWh battery and 225-horsepower motor with 500 km range.
Want the all-weather security of all-wheel-drive?
Kia puts an additional motor up front to drive those wheels. Output climbs to 320 horsepower and the range is 440-km. This is the configuration I spent a week with.
This is one of those vehicles you look for an excuse to drive. There is a surplus of power, with all that torque immediately available from tip off. It will press you back into the seat and reach 100 km/h in less than five seconds.
One pedal driving is readily available thanks to five levels of regeneration available via paddles on the steering wheel. They range from no regeneration to the “iPedal” mode, which allows you to bring the vehicle to a complete stop without touching the brakes.
The engineers did an excellent job of reaching a compromise between ride and handling.
Neither too firm or soft, the EV6 provides a supple ride with little body roll in the corners. The EV6 is rated to tow up to 5,000 pounds, which of course would shorten the range between charges.
The list of equipment and features in the 2022 Kia EV6 is impressive to say the least.
Kia has established a reputation not only for quality and reliability, but also value. The tester had smart cruise control, lane keep assist, and forward collision avoidance allowing you to maintain the distance from the vehicle in front and within your lane automatically. An array of five radars and 12 ultrasonic sensors helping avoid contact from the front or side.
In addition to the emission-free advantages, and addictive power, the EV6 has a number of neat features, including the ability to park it from outside using the remote key fob and to power external devices such as laptops, small appliances etc. through a couple of 120-volt outlets.
It can also be used to partially recharge another electric vehicle!
The EV6, joins the $120,000 (plus) Porsche Taycan in offering an 800-volt recharging system, double that of the majority of electric vehicles. That would allow recharging from 20% to 80% in 18 minutes if you could find the appropriate charging station providing 350 kW charging.
You can’t in Nova Scotia or much of the country or continent- yet. There are however, a growing number of publicly-available fast charging stations cropping up. Unfortunately, there have been repeated reports of some being out of order, so plan ahead.
Infrastructure needs to catch up!
The EV6’s big battery provides a lot of juice and allows a great range – but, on a standard household 120-volt outlet, takes up to 80 hours to reach an 80% charge. On a Level 2 home charger that drops to little more than seven hours making overnight recharging feasible.
I plugged into a Flo network Level 3 52 kW DC charger and in one hour and 18 minutes charged the battery from 10 to 100 % at a cost of $19.54. While waiting, I figured out that covering the same distance using gasoline at $1.75/litre in a vehicle that averaged 10 litres/100, I would have spent $70.
In this age of rapidly rising gas prices and concerns about global warming, electric vehicles are becoming more attractive.
If you have a Level 2 charger installed at your place of residence or work, and access to Level 3 chargers along any longer routes, the Kia EV6 is among the most advanced and attractive (literally and figuratively) electric vehicles on the market at any price.
It offers an impressive amount of features and useable real-world driving range. It is eligible for up to $8,000 in provincial and federal rebates, erasing much of the added cost of electrification. You can save the environment and operating costs while you wait for the charging infrastructure to catch up, making it even more attractive.
FACTS & FIGURES – 2022 Kia EV6 Long Range AWD
As tested: $64,345 including freight
Automatic collision notification, safe exit assist, forward collision avoidance assist with junction turning function, blind spot and rear collision avoidance, highway driving assist II,
31-cm screen, navigation, Android Auto & Apple CarPlay compatibility, wireless phone charging, pre-wired trailer package, Meridian Premium audio system,
31-cm digital instrument cluster, surround view monitor, dual zone automatic climate control, heated mirrors and steering wheel, heated and cooled seats, around view camera, cruise control, power tailgate, 20-in alloy wheels, LED headlights, power windows, seats and mirrors, power driver seat lumbar support, remote service using smart phone, rear privacy glass and remote smart parking assist.
Runway Red premium paint, $250
Permanent-magnet synchronous AC motor powered by a 77.4 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack. rear motor: 225 horsepower, 258 lb. ft. of torque; front and rear motors combined: 320 horsepower, 446 lb. ft. of torque, direct drive. NRCan rating (litres/100km city/highway equivalent): 2.0 / 2.5 or 19.9 kWh/100 km
Length, 4,680 mm; width, 1,890 mm; wheelbase, 2,900 mm; weight, 2,059 kg