2023 Kia EV6 GT review by Ben Lewis

Of all the manufacturers, Kia and its sibling Hyundai seem to really be on a roll. And for the Asian nameplate manufacturers, it’s really pushing the EV envelope with loads of great vehicles. One of the best is the Kia EV6we tested recently. With 225 horsepower and a range of 310 miles it’s the sweet spot in the lineup.

Unless you’re an enthusiast that is, because at the top of the line, there’s the EV6 GT model with 576 horsepower and allegedly the kind of performance that humbles the most expensive European models, let alone most EV’s. So, we had to drive one, and now we have!

Is this the new direction in muscle car performance? Let’s find out.

Subtle Design

If you didn’t know better, you’d think the GT is one of the less expensive, less powerful EV6 models. That’s good if you like to fly below the radar, but not great if you want to show off. That’s not all bad – this is a gorgeous vehicle to begin with.

Like the over EV6’s, the GT is a big vehicle, running on the same 114.2-inch wheelbase as the Telluride SUV.

Up front there’s the aggressive look with Kia’s “Digital Tiger” grille design, segmented LED headlights and daytime running lights. The GT does stand out with a unique lower fascia with an aggressive lower grille and side intakes that make it look even more evil!
The profile really shows that long wheelbase, and it’s definitely sporty with bulgey fender flares and a swept back roofline that gives off a coupe like vibe. One of the big GT trim giveaways are the huge 21-inch throwing star design alloy wheels that look awesome – especially when you see the equally massive brake calipers painted in a bright neon green that really pops.

The rear remains 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. Like the front, the GT has a unique lower black fascia that looks extra mean. At the rear is also where you’ll find the flip-out panel for access to charge the EV6.

Finishing off the show, our tester wore a brilliant Runway Red paint that really pops and helps to sell the outrageous exterior. This is one EV that really turns heads!

Space Age Cockpit

Open the door, and the first thing you’ll notice are the GT’s unique front sport seats with pronounced bolsters and cut-outs in the backrest – they remind us of the BMW M4 we recently tested – but the Kia seats are much easier to get in and out of! You’ll also find some contrasting piping on the seats, visually tying into the neon green performance color on the brake calipers.

The rear seat also has the nice material and is heated too. You do lose a little headroom with the coupe-like lines, but adults can fit back there in comfort. And for a full-on EV that has to share space with a large battery, we’d say the cargo area is spacious, and the power opener for the hatch makes access easy.

Back up front, your eye is drawn to the twin 12.3-inch screens that span horizontally across the dash, and it gives off a wide, airy vibe that reminds us of its sibling the Hyundai Ioniq 5.

Rather than the “Vegan” leather (we’re still scratching our heads on that one ) you’ll find on lesser models, you do get a rich looking black suede interior.  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. Another unique GT feature is the leather-wrapped flat bottom sport steering wheel, that fits in perfectly with the horizontal styling motif.

Adding to the futuristic vibe, there’s a floating center console that holds the start stop button, 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 high-end features including Surround View Monitor, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Another cool tech bit is the Augmented-Reality Head Up display that gives a wide aspect 3d effect that uses a lot more of the windshield as your background. It can even be set up to automatically adjust with the driver’s seat memory.

Like our previous tester, the 14-speaker Meridian Premium Audio system sounds fantastic. Also like our previous tester, 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.  

Putting the Grand in Grand Touring

Driving the GT separates itself from the lesser EV6 in about 3.2 seconds, which is all it takes to from 0-60! Yes, that is jaw-dropping, Porsche-baiting fast. Using a dual-motor system with all-wheel drive the GT actually limits power based on driving mode. Eco is 288 horsepower, still more than the 255-horse wind we tested.

But that’s not all! Normal and Sport modes give you a substantial bump to 460 horsepower which feels plenty quick in your daily drive. That is until you hit the Neon green GT button on the steering wheel which puts 576 hp at your fingertips. And all trims serve up a massive 545 lb.-ft of torque!

GT Mode is just phenomenal – off the line it pushes you deep into the sport seats and your eyes car hardly believe how fast the digital speedometer is moving. The lack of any engine noise (more on that in a sec) reinforces the effect. Merging onto freeway traffic is equally silly. It seems to go from 30-80 in a heartbeat. Whooooooosh!

Adding to the fun you have a choice of three power “soundtracks” Cyber, Stylish, and Dynamic or you can just turn it off and zoom around in silence. Very cool!

So does all this power make you drive like a crazy person? Actually, no. With this much go on tap, you cruise around sedately, calmly, judiciously. Really, are you going to worry about some dude in a tuned whatever? No, you’re a big game hunter now. Of course, all that power does come at one cost – range. 206 miles makes it about the lowest charge-to-charge EV6 and is pretty low rung in EV land.

Not to worry, with a 50 kW DC fast charger, you can go from 10-80% in just 73 minutes. Even better, if you can find a 350kW DC fast charger Level 3 that same amount is 18 minutes. That is fast!

This is more than a one-trick electric pony – the GT gets a sport-tuned suspension, quicker steering and an electronically-controlled limited slip rear differential. While you’re always aware that the EV6 is hefty, it’s eager to play in corners, and there’s plenty of grip from those big wheels and tires. There’s even a Drift Mode if you feel like roasting the tires!

We also like the brakes, that have a firm, progressive feel, and using the steering wheel paddles you can set the level of regenerative braking making it easy to “one-pedal” drive most of the time.

We really loved the overall balance of the GT – it could be easy to overpower a chassis with all that oomph, but Kia stepped up to make all parts of the car work together. Another nice thing – this is an exceptionally comfortable and easy car to drive – especially on the lower settings. Comfy cruiser or Radical rocket, the GT can do it all.

How Much for a Trip to the Fun House?

Surprisingly reasonable! You can get into an EV6 RWD Wind model starting at $48,700. The GT is at the other end of the spectrum, starting at $61,400. But you get all the performance, luxury and tech included at that price. Our tester had the lone option of floor mats ($170), and adding in $1,295 for Destination, we rang the bell at $62,865.

If you want this kind of EV performance elsewhere, you’ll be looking at the BMW i4. We tested the eDrive40 at $64,820. But with only 355 horsepower, it’s not even close. You’d need to opt for the i4 M50 model to get close – but do that and you’re looking at $76,700. And a loaded Porsche Taycan 4 S is superb, but it can easily go over $140,000! We’ll just say the Kia looks like a bargain.

Stylish, luxurious, loaded with tech and incredibly fast, the Kia EV6 GT isn’t just an EV Supercar, it’s a bargain too!