New 2022 Kia EV6 review

Rory White

20 Dec 2021

1/9
The Kia EV6 is a radical new electric car that offers bags of style, but does it have the substance to back it up? We've driven one in the UK to find out.

YesAuto Score:

91/ 100

This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car.

YesAuto’s exhaustive evaluation criteria considers every aspect of a car in terms of how it stacks up against rival models in the same class only. Below are the areas every car is judged and scored out of 10 on, each contributing to an overall score out of 100:

  • Interior quality and design
  • Interior tech
  • Interior space
  • Boot space
  • Engine performance
  • Engine economy
  • Ride and comfort
  • Handling
  • Driving and safety tech
  • Fit for purpose

Electric cars are scored out of 10 in the following areas instead of performance and economy:

  • Battery and motor
  • Range and charging

PROS:

+ Impressive range and charging speeed

+ Very comfy to drive

+ Great infotainment system


CONS:

- Steering a bit vague

- Average boot space

- Higher starting price than some


Verdict: The EV6 has style and substance in spades. It's relaxing to drive, has a great range and charging capability and comes stacked with equipment. There are more fun EVs to drive that are more practical, though.


2022 Kia EV6: walking around it


The Kia EV6 is a big departure from the rest of the current Kia range in terms of design, but that's no bad thing because it has no trouble turning heads on the high street.


Its pinched front-end with slimline LED headlights gives it a purposeful face, while its sloping roofline and tapering side window line give the impression it's moving even when it isn't.


At the back, you'll find a prominent LED light bar that illuminates a duck-tail type kink on the EV6's boot lid. It's a bit like a Jaguar iPace from the front and Aston Martin DBX from the back. Neither is a bad thing.


The EV6's alloys range from 19 inches in size for the entry-level Air model and top out at 21 inches for the range-topping GT. Thankfully, the EV6's good looks don't change much across the range, because only the entry-level Air model foregoes the more aggressive black bumper design in these pictures.



2022 Kia EV6: sitting inside it


Inside the EV6 continues to impress. The rate at which Kia and its sister company Hyundai have been improving in this area over the years has been staggering and the EV6 is the best for Kia to date.


Not only does its interior have a genuinely interesting design, it's also very well screwed together and made from lovely materials. All the switches you use feel reassuringly plush too.


The main things you notice are the EV6's quirky steering wheel with its flat bottom and stretched design, and its centre consoled that seems to hover above a storage tray below. Both look and feel futuristic without being annoying to interact with.


Depending on which EV6 you buy, you get fake black leather, fake black and white leather or black suede seats, but all feel nice to the touch.



2022 Kia EV6: using the tech


Every EV6 comes with twin 12.3-inch screens as standard on every model. The right screen deals with the digital driver's dials and the left with the car's infotainment system.


Starting with the dials, Kia has done a fine job cramming loads of information in front of the driver without it being hard to follow. You can move through different layouts for the info and the screen is always beautifully bright and razor-sharp.


The left infotainment system screen deals with everything else. It features Kia's latest menu layout which is simple to use and the screen responds quickly to inputs, although Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard if you'd prefer it all to work like your smartphone instead.


Wireless smartphone charging is standard on all models but the entry-level Air and an augmented reality head-up display on rung three and four of the four possible trims.


Those upper two trims (GT-Line S and GT) also upgrade the EV6's sound system from a six-speaker system to a 14-speaker system made by UK hi-fi firm Meridian.


2022 Kia EV6: getting stuff in it


The Kia EV6 is a five-seat EV that'll seat four adults with no problem at all and even three adults across its back seats without too much shoulder crushing, although a long journey would end up being pretty uncomfortable.


Of course, three kids sat across the back seats is fine and the EV6's wide-opening doors and standard Isofix fixing points help when trying to get a child seat inside. However, the style-led sloping roof does mean you need to duck down more than you would in, say, an SUV to get the seat inside.


As standard, the EV6 comes with a manually adjustable seat with an electrically adjustable lumbar support, but from second-run GT-Line trim that upgrades to complete power adjustment for the driver and passenger.


The EV6's boot measures 490 litres on rear-wheel-drive models, and 480 litres on all-wheel-drive models, due to the addition of an extra electrical motor. That's better than a Tesla Model 3, despite the EV6 only having rear space rather than front and rear.


However, a Hyundai Ioniq 5 is quite a bit larger in the back when it comes to luggage space because the EV6's sloping roofline impedes on space more than the Hyundai's boxier dimensions.


Still, the EV6's rear seats will split in a 60:40 configuration and fold flat to open up the space, which is the same flexibility that the Hyundai and Tesla can manage.


2022 Kia EV6: driving it


All versions of the Kia EV6 come with 77.4kWh of useable battery and either a single or dual electric motors.


Air, GT-Line and GT-lIne trims can be had with either setup, which with RWD means 229hp, 0-62mph in spritely 7.2 seconds and a range of up to 328 depending on the size of your wheels.


Going for the AWD models instead adds a motor on the rear axle, upping the power to 325hp and dropping the 0-62mph sprint time to just 5.2 seconds. Its max combined range drops too, to 314 miles.


Eventually, Kia will introduce the range-topping GT, which has the same better and twin motors but produces 585hp. None of the GT's figures have been confirmed yet, but it'll likely still be extremely swift and nudge 300 miles of combined-driving range.



Regards charging, a 10-100% charge via a basic three-pin socket will take some 32 hours, but using a 7kW home wall box that drops to 12.5 hours. If you're out and about and you find a 50kW charger, you'll get 10-180% in just over an hour.


However, the EV6 comes with up to 350kW charging, which, if you can find a charger supplying that, will give you 10-80% in just 18 minutes. That's faster than a Tesla can manage.


So far we've tried that AWD basic model, which like all EVs feels extremely quick off the line, but with 325hp on tap remains feeling that way all the way to motorway speeds. The EV6 is an extremely comfy car too, with some of the best bump suppression of any EV we've tried, at any speed.


With all-wheel drive, it has no problem putting its power down out of wet T-junctions or out of tight, low-speed corners either. However, the EV6 doesn't feel outright agile, because its body does lean more than a Model 3's and its steering is never particularly communicative.


Maybe the upcoming GT model with its sporty rear differential will remedy this.


Still, the EV6 will cruise with the best of them on the motorway and Kia's standard adaptive cruise control and lane-keep tech works well enough that it makes the whole experience relaxing on long journeys.


2022 Kia EV6: paying for it


For a full in-depth rundown on the EV6's prices, specs and YesAuto deals, click here.


The Kia EV6 starts from just over £40,000 and climbs to just over £50,000, which makes it look expensive next to other EVs you might be considering, such as the Hyundai Ioniq 5.


However, while other EVs tend to have a small battery option that's cheaper but doesn't go as far on a charge, the EV6 comes with a large battery as standard and all models, therefore, achieve a 300-mile range.


Every version of the EV6 is also very well equipped. Even the entry-level Air comes with things like 19in alloys, climate control, rain-sensing wipers, heated door mirrors, automatic LED headlights, cruise control, a heated steering wheel and heated front seats, plus those twin 12.3-inch screens. It feels its price inside, too.


2022 Kia EV6: comparing it


If you're wondering what else you should be looking at, cars like the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2 will all be of interest.


The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is more practical and has a cheaper starting price, but by the time you've specced it up, it's actually about the same price as the EV6 and isn't as comfy to drive.


The Tesla Model 3 is also less comfy and more expensive but comes with that Tesla desirability and one of the best charging networks around on tap.


Also more expensive, is the Polestar 2, which sadly also comes with a shorter range. It does feel even more upmarket inside, though and its infotainment is even easier to use.


Compare these cars with the EV6 using YesAuto's car comparison tool here.


FAQs


Q: How much does the Kia EV6 cost?

A: The Kia EV6 starts from just over £40,000 and climbs to just over £50,000, which makes it look expensive next to other EVs you might be considering, such as the Hyundai Ioniq 5.


Q: Is the Kia EV6 an SUV?

A: Officially, yes, but the jury is out. The EV6 is styled halfway between an SUV and a traditional hatch, and a traditional SUV is more upright and more practical.


Q: Why are EVs so expensive?

A: EVs are now closer than ever to their combustion-engine equivalents, but uncertainty around resale values means finance payments still tend to be higher. That will change over time as we all move to EVs and the tech wins more trust from the masses.


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Rory White

20 Dec 2021