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Car Review

Kia EV6 review

£40,840 - £58,240
910
Published: 01 Apr 2024
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Kia proving that forward-thinking doesn't need to be entirely wacky

Good stuff

Fun to drive, fun to look at, practical enough, excellent range and charging

Bad stuff

It’s a bit big, could be odd-looking for some, not exactly cheap

Overview

What is it?

It's a large, pure-electric crossover with polarising styling, tonnes of useful tech and excellent attitude, in the same vein as the Ioniq 5 from Hyundai. Literally. And yes, both are much bigger than they appear in pictures – it's not just perspective. 

We like the Ioniq 5 very much, and Kia's EV6 is essentially a platform-share/sister car with the '5 and Genesis GV60, thanks to an interwoven corporate and brand structure that's big on common resources.

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It's based on the electric-global modular platform called E-GMP, has the same (standard in the UK) 800-volt charging architecture and largely the same hardware and drivetrain options. All get more than 300 miles of WLTP range, and we don't (currently) get the smaller-batteried (58kWh, 250 miles of range) cars in the UK. 

Interestingly, it comes with a slightly bigger battery (77.4kWh useable plays 72.6) and a marginally shorter wheelbase than the Ioniq 5, so these two aren't twinning as much as some people might imagine. It is a very different car.

How so? 

While the EV6 might share the basic theory as the Ioniq 5, from the off it feels much more driver focused, much more intimate inside, and has less bootspace.

There's more direct and distinct steering, better body control - still in context of a more-than-two-tonne electric SUV, mind - and sharper responses. Sport mode, accessed from the small paddle at the bottom left-hand side of the wheel, brings faster throttle response and heavier steering (as well as a red-for-danger dash and more fake noise), but genuinely makes the EV6 feel more committed.

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And it's fast: the throttle maps might not have the neck-breaking jolt response of something like a Porsche Taycan, but it's well judged and gets away from pretty much anything bar a full-on sportscar from a standstill, even in the two-motor version.

Saying that, it's wise to note that this really isn't a lithe B-road dissector: the sheer width and bulk of the EV6 means that you have to be cautious on smaller lanes, though A-roads are dispatched with that easy nonchalance that very good electric cars excel at. Full details over on the Driving tab.

What's the interior like?

Quality is excellent, it's visually pleasing and the gadget count will have button-fetishists frothing - everything from advanced ADAS (advanced driver assist systems), to the latest safety kit and stuff like a huge head-up display that stretches over a good portion of the driver's view.

There are a couple of 12.3-inch screens that make up the interior information portal, and there are actual knobs to control temperature and a haptic bar between them to do all the other stuff. It's well laid out, although it takes more than a minute to decipher all of the various functions. It's full of detail though, and feels forward-thinking, rather than an agglomeration of elements. It's pretty damn good, all told. Head over to the Interior tab for more.

Does it cost a lot?

The base rear-wheel drive EV6 starts from £45,245, and the all-wheel drive variant from £51,775.

Those are competitive numbers in an ever-congested sector that includes the Audi Q4 e-tron, BMW iX1, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Genesis GV60, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Nissan Ariya, Tesla Model Y, Polestar 2, Skoda Enyaq iV, VW ID.4, and Volvo XC40 Recharge.

What's the verdict?

The EV6 carves a very different path dynamically to the Hyundai Ioniq 5 with which it shares bones and blood

Distinctive yet unlikely to fall off a fashion cliff, interesting to drive but no worry to a proper sports car, the EV6 carves a very different path dynamically to the Hyundai Ioniq 5 with which it shares bones and blood. And that's no bad thing.

But it's also spacious, quiet and a very capable cruiser, and equipped with that 800-volt architecture that makes the most of pretty much any public charging station you can lay your hands on. It's one of those cars that makes you think other countries are one step behind the game compared to what Korea has to offer.

It's well-judged, rounded, interesting and satisfying. Well done Kia. Everyone else, what have you got?

The Rivals

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