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First look: Kia EV6

Can Kia's first proper EV tackle the Tesla Model 3?

15w ago
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Following on from the Tesla I reviewed a few weeks ago, I have caught the electric bug. We live in a time where you don’t have to buy a conventionally powered car, as you have the additional choice of hybrids, pure EVs and even hydrogen cars now. More and more manufacturers are going full electric and now, Kia have stepped in with their first ground-up EV, which they call the EV6.

Yes, Kia have been making EVs for a while now in the form of the Soul and Niro EVs but, they have been on shared platforms with ICE-based models. The EV6 is set to change this as it has been developed as a dedicated EV, which shares many parts with its sibling, the Hyundai IONIQ 5.

I thought it’d be a great idea to see what the EV6 was like at a dealer event and I was left with good feelings about the EV6. Let me explain.

Styling

Kia have been on a roll recently with their car design, with the Stinger, Ceed and the latest Sportage being some fantastic looking machines. The EV6 continues the good looks as it looks like nothing else in the current Kia line-up. It’s bold, fresh and futuristic both inside and out.

Starting with the outside, the EV6 builds upon the Kia design we all know and like but brings it forward with lots of curves, lines and LEDs as far as the eye can see. The EV6 I looked at was a GT Line S model which has a more aggressive body kit than a regular EV6, 20 inch alloy wheels which have a two-tone colourway, all round LED lights and body colour wheel arch mouldings. Also, the EV6 features Kia’s new badge which looks like it should say KN at a quick glance but it’s literally KIA but joined up into a singular shape.

Inside, it’s not as exciting as the outside but I am confident in saying that the EV6 has one of the nicest interiors I’ve seen in a sub-£60k car. There’s lot of neat design features such as a “floating” centre console, a large curved area on the dashboard which houses the dual 12.3 inch screens, and a panoramic roof which really brightens up the interior. And thanks to the floor also being the battery pack, you get a flat floor which is genuinely useful in such a big car.

Features and Tech

Being a GT Line S model, the car I looked at was fully loaded. You have your usual set of mod-cons such as sat-nav with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, parking sensors, a back up camera and a suite of safety tech, but there is some cool stuff on the EV6.

For example, you get an 800 volt charging system which allows the car gain 60 miles of range in just 4 and a half minutes, and a full charge will take a bit longer than that. There is also a vehicle-to-load system on the GT Line S which means you can use your EV6 to power anything you can think of such as laptops, gaming consoles and even other electric cars.

Other features include many USB-C sockets dotted around the interior of the EV6, with the back seat ones being located on the backs of the front seats, which is quirky. Also on the GT Line S models, you get an Augmented Reality head-up display which sounds like something you’d get in Star Wars. I have no idea how well this feature works but hopefully I can find out soon when the EV6 becomes available to test in the UK.

Practicality

By all means, the EV6 is not a small car. It comes in at just under 4.7 metres long and is nearly 2 metres wide which makes it roughly the same size as a Tesla Model 3. However, this does mean that interior space is big, really big. It feels bigger on the inside than both the Model 3 and Kia’s own Sportage.

Headroom and legroom is very generous in both the front and rear seats, with room for five adults. That’s right, you could easily have five adults in the EV6, with the passenger in the middle seat on the back bench not complaining much as they’ll be able to rest their feet comfortably on the floor, thanks to no transmission tunnel running down the middle of the car.

One downside is the size of the boot. I was told it’s the same size as the boot in the Sportage but I can’t see it myself. Sure, it’s long and wide but thanks to how the EV6 is designed, it’s not very tall. Plus, the wheel arches barge their way into the boot area, taking up valuable space which could have been used for other things. However, the boot in the EV6 will suit most people’s needs, and if they want more length, the rear seats can fold down.

Conclusion

I’m not sure if I’m easily impressed with all new cars that isn’t a Mercedes A-Class, or that most new cars are just good now, but I was left very impressed with the EV6.

Sure, I haven’t driven the car yet but as far as first impressions go, the EV6 should be able to match the Tesla Model 3 in terms of quality and practicality. I also think that the EV6 looks fantastic as it looks like a concept car that they just put into production with little to no change. The EV6 also benefits from being a Kia which means it should have their fantastic 7 year/100,000 mile warranty too.

Wether it’ll be able to match the Model 3 in terms of sales in another question.

Specifications

Kia EV6 GT Line S Long Range (RWD)

Price: £48,395 before options

Range: 260 miles approx

Power: 225bhp

Torque: 258lb ft

0-60mph: 7.5 seconds

Top Speed: 115mph

Rivals

Skoda Enyaq iV, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Nissan Ariya, Tesla Model 3

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