- Exotic, futuristic and handsome styling
- Spacious, attractive and tech-filled cabin
- Excellent range and performance
- Interior quality feels $50k, not $75k
- Not cheap to buy
- Lack of spare wheel is not great
It’s 2022 and in case you’ve been living under a rock, electric cars are popping up everywhere from a plethora of manufacturers. Almost every mainstream car company now has an electric offering (or more) around the globe and with the EU further tightening emissions standards, car makers must make more EVs in order to survive. One such company is Kia, which produces electric versions of the Niro and Soul small SUVs, and has seen big increases in global sales thanks to these models. We’re predicting further sales with its latest release: the 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line RWD.
The EV6 uses the same ‘e-GMP’ platform as the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Genesis GV60 – all three are very arresting in appearance – with the EV6 sporting a particularly funky look. It ushers in a new era of styling for Kia, and it’s priced from $67,990 plus on-road costs. We tested the mid-size GT-Line RWD variant, which sits above the base Air, but underneath the GT-Line AWD. Is it worth consideration over other electric cars? Let’s find out.
Price & Equipment: 7/10
Priced from $74,990 plus on-road costs (around $82,000 drive away), the mid-spec 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line RWD is well equipped with all-LED lighting, 20-inch wheels, auto lights and wipers, suede and vegan leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats with a heated steering wheel, 14-way electrically adjustable front seats with driver’s memory settings, dual 12.3-inch displays – one for the infotainment system and one for the driver’s display, wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satellite navigation with live traffic, digital radio, keyless entry and start, remote start with the ability to move the car from the key, heated and auto-folding/dropping mirrors, a 14-speaker Meridian sound system and an electric tailgate with kick-to-open functionality.
Safety kit includes seven airbags, auto emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian, cyclist and intersection assist, lane keep assist with lane trace assist, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, rear auto braking, front and rear parking sensors, a 360-degree parking camera, blind-spot cameras, driver attention monitoring, rear occupant alert, a virtual reality heads-up display, speed sign recognition and adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality.
The only form of personalisation for the EV6 range is colour, and the GT-Line RWD we tested is offered in no-cost ‘Runway Red’, as well as $520-extra ‘Snow White Pearl’, ‘Aurora Black Pearl’ and our test car’s ‘Yacht Blue’. Black upholstery with white inserts is the only interior option.
Despite our fairly limited offerings of electric vehicles in Australia, there are still a number of competitors to the EV6. These include the EV6’s Hyundai Ioniq 5 cousin (from $71,900 plus on-road costs), the $76,990 plus on-road costs Volvo XC40 Recharge, the Polestar 2 (from $59,900 plus on-road costs) and the Tesla Model 3 (from $63,990) and its upcoming Model Y SUV brother.
While the EV6 GT-Line RWD’s pricing looks expensive from the outset, closer research amongst its competitor group reveals that it’s reasonable value for money – one must spend $12,000 in options on a Polestar 2 to match the EV6’s equipment list for a total of $76,900 plus on-road costs. An equivalent Tesla Model 3 (the Long Range) is priced $2,000 higher and it comes with less equipment, while the equivalent Hyundai Ioniq 5 is almost $1,000 more with slightly more standard kit, though it has less range at 451km.
The EV6 also looks like good value for money against smaller EVs, particularly the Kia e-Niro Sport that’s priced at $70,990 drive away. The EV6 offers more range, is better equipped, more practical, better to drive and significantly more modern than the e-Niro.
Performance & Range: 8/10
Sitting on the same ‘e-GMP’ platform and using the same battery hardware and motors as both the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Genesis GV60, the 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line features a 77.4kWh lithium ion battery that’s mounted underneath the floor. In the rear-wheel drive EV6 Air and GT-Line, that feeds a 168kW/350Nm motor with a single-speed transmission. Kia claims that it’ll hit 100km/h in 7.3 seconds, and it feels quicker than that in person with its instant acceleration.
Is that enough power? Well, go for the all-wheel drive model and you get a stronger 239kW, and there’s also a 430kW EV6 GT coming as well – but we think the base drivetrain offers enough for most people.
In the rear-wheel drive EV6 GT-Line, Kia claims that up to 504km of driving range is achievable – that’s 24km less than the base model Air due to the weight of the GT-Line’s extra features, but 20km more than the dual-motor all-wheel drive GT-Line. The charging port is mounted on the right hand side taillight and it supports up to 350kW CCS Type 2 charging – when doing so, a 10 to 80 per cent top up is completed in just 18 minutes. Using a slower 11kW AC charger – as many will do with wall boxes at their home or workplace – a 10 to 100 per cent charge takes just over seven hours.
Like most other electric cars, the EV6’s regenerative braking is adjustable though three levels – the maximum level is called ‘i-Pedal’ and allows for so much regeneration braking that you can pretty much drive it with one pedal. In terms of efficiency, the EV6 – like many electric cars – depends on what sort of driving you’re doing. Around town, we averaged 13kWh/100km – which would give a range of upwards of 550km – but in higher speed driving, that climbed to just under 17kWh/100km, which takes around 100km off the driving range of the EV6. If you’re planning to tow with an EV6 – and you can, as it will tow up to 1,600kg braked – that range will halve.
Ride & Handling: 9/10
Using a new platform and new internals, the 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line RWD driving experience sounds positive and thankfully for such an important car, it is. We weren’t amazed by the dynamics of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and thankfully, the EV6 is tuned differently for a sportier driving experience.
Where the Ioniq 5 feels heavy and underdamped, the EV6 feels lighter and more dynamic, and it’s quite fun to drive. The low centre of gravity helps here, as does the EV6’s height, which is lower than the Ioniq 5. Its handling is keen and thanks to its rear-wheel drive chassis, oversteer is more than possible – but the finely tuned stability control reigns in the fun in a controlled way.
When you’re not having fun with it, the EV6 rides quite well and it’s generally quite comfortable. Kia’s local tuning program has worked wonders in the past, so it’s no surprise just how well it copes with Australia’s typically rubbish roads. Around town, despite the large 20-inch wheels, the ride is comfortable and the body control is excellent – there’s no post-bump floatiness here as the suspension deals with bumps instantly.
Same with country roads – dips and undulations are dealt with instantly. Visibility is not the EV6’s strong point thanks to a low roof and small windows, but the 360-degree camera is excellent, as is its noise suppression.
Interior & Practicality: 9/10
The interior of the 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line RWD is fresh, tech-filled, spacious, comfortable and of a reasonably high quality. It’s one of the best cabins in the Kia lineup currently – which is just as well, considering that it’s the flagship of the range locally. While we’re yet to experience the GV60, the EV6’s cabin doesn’t feel as expensive as the Ioniq 5, but it’s still a nice place to spend time.
The materials in the EV6’s cabin are recycled for full eco-friendly effect and they’re nice, though not quite befitting a $80,000+ car once on-road costs are included. The front door tops and dashboard top are soft touch, though other parts like the cloth-esque dashboard facia are hard to the touch and there’s a strong use of plastic through the cabin. The felt-lined door bins are a nice touch, though.
But while the materials aren’t amazing, the storage on offer is – there’s a massive centre tray underneath the centre console, a huge glovebox, big door bins, a deep under-armrest box and large cupholders – plus several charging ports throughout the cabin as well, including USB-C ports in the back of the front seats for rear seat occupants and a wireless charger located next to the driver’s seat. One great thing about electric vehicles is their packaging, and the EV6 is no different.
Centre of the dashboard is a dual 12.3-inch screen set up. One is the touchscreen infotainment system, which is excellent and well-featured, while the other is the digital driver’s display. Both screens are of excellent quality, responsive, attractive and easy to use. The infotainment features wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, as well as satellite navigation with 10 years of live traffic reporting and digital radio. There’s also a large heads-up display, which displays its information in a virtual reality way – this means the info follows the curve of the road, for example, and is easier to see.
Special mention must go to the 14-speaker Meridian sound system, which sounds great in theory but in reality, it’s not great. While its clarity is good and it offers great surround sound, it’s lacking in bass and needs more punch. This is a common problem with a lot of Hyundai Kia sound systems, unfortunately.
As we said, the EV6’s packaging is excellent and that includes a spacious and comfortable rear seat – especially with the completely flat floor – with enough amenities including a centre arm rest with cupholders, integrated clothes hanger holders in the headrests, air vents in the pillars and the aforementioned USB chargers in the seat backs. Heated rear seats, sun shades in the windows and a separate climate zone – as well as the Ioniq 5’s sliding and reclining functionality – wouldn’t go astray, however.
The boot measures a healthy 480-litres with the rear seats erect, and 1,260L with them folded – that’s 47L smaller than the Ioniq 5. Underneath the floor is more storage for items like the boot cover and charging cable, though there’s no spare wheel. The front-mounted boot measures another 52L, which is large enough for a shop or a carry-on suitcase.
Service & Warranty: 10/10
Like other modern Kia products, the 2022 Kia EV6 comes with a seven-year/unlimited km warranty with up to eight years of roadside assistance and the battery pack is covered by a slightly lesser seven-year/150,000km warranty. Five years/75,000km of servicing the EV6 costs just $1,088 (an average of $218 per service) and you can pre-pay servicing when purchasing it, though there’s no discount like some other brands. Seven years of servicing costs $1,584 ($317 per service).
The seven-year warranty of the Kia shades its rivals, including the five year warranties offered by Hyundai, Polestar and Volvo – as well as the four-year warranty from Tesla. Unusually for a Kia, the service pricing is quite inexpensive as well. Not as inexpensive as the five years of cost-free maintenance from Polestar or the three-year cost-free maintenance on the XC40 Recharge, but less costly than the Ioniq 5’s $1,684 five-year cost.
The 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line RWD DiscoverAuto Rating: 8.6/10
The 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line RWD is undoubtedly one of the best electric cars on the market thanks to its combination of excellent driving dynamics, a spacious and tech-filled cabin, good performance and efficiency, a long driving range and a great after-sales program with a long warranty and pretty inexpensive service costs. It also looks fantastic, with a futuristic and exotic shape that will no doubt help it find friends in Australia.
Of course, it’s not perfect as the interior quality isn’t great, it’s not exactly cheap to buy and there are a few pieces of equipment that we think should be standard. But on the whole, the EV6 is a true watershed moment for Kia as it finally has an extremely competitive electric car, but one that is bought for more than just because it’s electric. It’s exotic, it’s fun to drive, it’s practical and it’s a great all-rounder. The EV6 is one of our favourite electric cars right now, but it’s also one of our favourite cars too.