Today, we are driving the car of the future. When you look at Kia’s new EV6 electric vehicle, it’s easy to think that this is what the future of the automobile might look like. Especially if you put on your 1980’s hat.
If the EV6 had plopped down at the LA Auto Show as a “future concept” we all would have nodded our heads – something stylish, unique, using electric power and loaded with all sorts of amazing tech.
Well, the future is here. So how does it stack up?
Meet George Jetson
Well, Kia has nailed the look.
First of all, this is a big vehicle. For comparison, the EV6 has the same 114.2-inch wheelbase of the Kia Telluride, which by the way we love.
We also love Kia’s all-new “Opposites United” design language, combining class sports car inspiration with a couple-like profile and high-tech cues. Word has it that Kia’s head of design further inspired the team with the design of the Lancia Stratos sports car of the 60’s. Interesting!
From the front, the EV6 looks sleek and low slung, with a “Digital Tiger” grille design. Segmented LED daytime running lights and headlights give a fresh look. Speaking of fresh, Kia changed their logo to a much more modern script a year ago, and it looks perfect on the EV6’s future-forward design.
The profile really sells that long overall length, and it’s an interesting combination with black textured over fenders, large radius wheel arches, and massive-looking 19-inch “rimless” alloy wheels. The roofline sweeps back for a coupe-like effect while a lower panel tucks in the lines for an athletic look. One of the smaller details are the flip-out door handles which give an aero-flush look, but honestly are a little bit of a pain to use. Suffering for art’s sake, we guess.
The rear is the most breathtaking angle, with an integrated “whale tail” design, that has the LED taillights spanning the width of the rear. Above the rear window is a rear spoiler with cutouts that’s very sporty, while a lower black fascia looks more crossover like. At the rear is also where you’ll find the flip-out panel for access to charge the EV6.
The perfect finishing touch on our tester was the optional “Glacier” color paint – quite appropriate for an eco-friendly EV, and an elegant and rich creamy hue that looks big bucks.
Space Capsule Interior
If you like the looks of the exterior, you’ll swoon over the interior!
Open the door, and your eye is drawn to the twin 12.3-inch screens that span horizontally across the dash, and to our eyes, look much better than the Tesla’s single vertical tablet. Something to impress your friends, the EV6 uses blue light-filtered screens to reduce eye strain and fatigue. Interior lighting is handled by LED’s as well. Cool!
The two-one gray over cream looks elegant, with the two-spoke steering wheel echoing the cabin’s wide horizontal lines.
The seats are covered in what Kia calls “Vegan” leather – but at least it’s not made from crushed pinto beans and oat flakes. A high-quality faux leather, it looks stylish, and should wear and clean easily. Kia also says that there’s an extensive use of recycled plastic throughout the interior. Fine with us – it looks premium and beautifully put together.
The front seats are slim-design using ultra-light giga steel to maximize rear seat space. We found the seats well-padded, comfortable and are heated and cooled to keep you comfy. Settle into the front seats and those dual displays are crisp, easy to understand and look very upscale.
The center floating console holds the start stop button – we never got used to it not being on the dashboard – plus a round gear selector and wireless phone charger. Underneath is a large storage cubby and USB charger for hooking up your phone.
We love the Kia Connect suite of info-tainment, with its quick connectivity and abundant features. Our favorite has to be the available On-demand Find My Car with Surround View Monitor. it uses the vehicle cameras to capture images of the EV6’s surroundings and then displays them in the Kia Access App or Owners Portal. Amazing!
We also enjoyed the sounds of the 14-speaker Meridian Premium Audio system. Like most Kia/Hyundai products it has the goofy ambient sound display – Lively Forest, anyone? – this is fun to show your friends, but you probably won’t use it much after that. Although the crackling fireplace is nice on a chilly night….
Riding on the same wheelbase on the Telluride serves up a spacious rear seat with loads of legroom, but the coupe-like design might put a little squeeze on headroom for those over 6-feet tall. We really liked the fact that the EV6 is a hatchback, and with the rear seats folded you get an impressive cargo hold for longer items. A hands-free power tailgate makes for easy access as well.
The high-tech good times keep on rolling with the driving experience.
The EV6 gives you a variety of performance and range, depending on your budget. There’s your entry model with 167 horsepower electric motor and an estimated range of 232 miles. At the other end is the forthcoming dual-motor e-AWD with a jaw-dropping 576 horsepower and 0-60 mph in less than 3.5 seconds.
Our tester, the Wind rear wheel drive is the long-distance master with 225 horsepower and an impressive 310-mile range. And like other EV’s we’ve driven, you get maximum torque instantly that makes for one very quick vehicle off the line and on the go.
We found a large difference between ECO, Normal and Sport settings. Eco felt lethargic and the car felt heavy. We found Normal to be an excellent blend of strong performance and range, and it’s easy to cruise quickly and serenely. Sport adds to the fun.
And that range makes a huge difference. We recently tested the Mazda MX-30 which we really enjoyed, but with a 100-mile range, we were always eyeing how much charge we had left. With over 300 miles on tap, you’re not sweating it.
There’s some other interesting charging tech here, including the world’s first patented multicharging system supporting 400v and 800v DC charging which works on DC charger with speeds ranging from 50kW to 350kW.
That 800v DC fast charging from a 350kw charger serves up nearly 70 miles in less than 5 minutes, and up to 217 miles in under 18 minutes – perfect for a quick lunch break.
Along with that, smooth power you have a supple ride, grippy handling, and an overall effortless nature that makes for supreme comfort on the road. It’s like the spirit of the old Rolls Royce, Mercedes and Jaguar sedans rolled into modern technology. Wafting along in style!
Can I afford to Waft Along in Style?
Yes! The EV6 starts with the Light rear-wheel drive model at $40,900 – quite reasonable for a large comfortable family vehicle with stunning style. And don’t forget you’ll get $7500 in federal tax credits, plus state rebates.
And to sweeten the deal, All EV6 buyers will receive a charging credit of 1,000 kWh, useable over a 3-year period. This credit is equivalent to approximately 4,000-miles of energy for 77.4 kWh RWD EV6 models.
Our tester was the WIND RWD model, which gives a significant step up in luxury, range and style. We feel it’s the sweet spot in the lineup, starting at $47,000. Add in $495 for Glacier paint, and $1,215 for Destination, and we rang the bell at $48,710.
Competition would include the Hyundai Ioniq 5 starting at $47,545. We’ll have a full test of that soon. There’s also the Tesla Model S, starting at $48,440, but it only serves up 272 miles of range. The 358-mile-long range will set you back $55,940. And we’d also point out that the S is a common site now, where the EV6 really stands out in a crowd.
If you want style, and a lower price, we’d consider the VW ID4, that starts at $41,250, a lovely vehicle, but the 275 mile range is a bit lower than the EV6.
With stunning looks inside and out, excellent range and driving dynamics, the 2022 Kia EV6 is even better than we imagined the future might be!
Ben Lewis grew up in Chicago, and after spending his formative years driving sideways in the winter – often intentionally – moved to sunny Southern California. He now enjoys sunny weather year-round — whether it is autocross driving, aerobatics, and learning to surf.