Even before the Kia EV6 has won its new awards across Europe, Britain and Ireland, this new all-electric car was attracting attention. Within the motoring world, the Kia EV6 is being classed as a crossover, a car that blends saloon car driving with SUV styling. For me is does more, it provides a modern driving experience in a car that meets all environmental and sustainability needs with modern style, comfort and the range satisfaction that sets new records. This is a car that can work for Irish drivers, if only the price was right.
For Kia the success of its first fully electric model is hugely important. On top of winning the 2022 Irish Car of the Year, the EV6 took the top award 2022 Car of the Year (COTY) award as voted by a 61-strong jury consisting of highly respected motoring journalists from 23 European countries. Add to that some other respected titles such as 2022 What Car? ‘Car of the Year’ and we can expect that the EV6 is destined for success if adequate supplies can be delivered to the Irish market.
So why is the Kia EV6 so special? The EV6 is Kia’s first car to be based on the company’s dedicated new platform for battery electric vehicles (BEVs). Starting from a clean sheet has allowed the Kia engineers to produce an all-electric car that can achieve a range of over 500km on a single charge. And it’s a big car, a car with solid driving feel and impressive driving performance driving the car’s rear wheels.
The EV6 is a no-compromise car and that has under pinned its success. And there’s a premium feel to the car that raises the profile of the Kia brand. Kia has used a combination of premium and sustainable materials throughout the EV6’s cabin with claims of durability. The sustainable materials used include vegan leather trims to seat fabrics and floor carpet made using recycled plastics, equivalent to 100 plastic 500ml water bottles.
While the first impressions on the inside gives a modern digital look to the controls, it was easy to get comfortable with the layout and positioning each option. All of the main controls are located within easy reach of the driver and the Shift-By-Wire driving selector is placed alongside the EV6’s starter button on the centre console. The steering wheel has a sleek design that integrates the key ADAS safety switches for ease of use. Touch-type control switches for the EV6’s heated steering wheel and ventilated and heated seats are also easily reached.
There’s a bright and airy feel to the cabin area helped by the wide curved panoramic displays for the controls and infotainment system that blend into one. The hatchback boot door has electric opening, and the load space opens up from 520 litres to 1300 litres with all rear seats down to give great load carrying ability. There’s some additional storage under the front bonnet which also doubles as the storage area for the charging cables.
For most drivers the EV6 story will be about the car’s range. The rated figure of 508km or 687km for city driving puts the EV6 into a new league. I’m not adverse to long across the country drives, but never more than 500km in a single day. So, locating a charging point becomes the only issue, while home charging from a low battery will take some time.
The EV6’s 77.4kWh battery pack provides the answer relative to the competition. Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 comes with a slightly smaller output 72.6kWh battery pack or a smaller still 58kWh battery pack, both of which deliver a smaller driving range on a full charge, even though they come with a lower price tag.
Other differences include the fact that the EV6 is slightly longer than the Ioniq 5 while the boot space is similar, Hyundai claims that with the seats folded down, the Ioniq 5 has more capacity in a shorter vehicle body. The Ioniq 5 has a more upright SUV stance from my impression and that’s a feature that will attract some drivers, where the marginal range differences will not determine ultimate choice.
While the EV6 has yet to achieve a Euro NCAP safety rating, expect it to perform well. Kia claims that it offers class-leading levels of safety and convenience thanks to its suite of driver assistance systems (ADAS). Safe Exit Assist (SEA) helps people avoid collisions with a rear side vehicle when exiting EV6. When the occupant opens the door to exit the vehicle after a stop, the system provides a warning if an approaching vehicle from the rear side is detected. SEA also helps keep the rear door closed through operation of the electronic child lock.
Lane Following Assist (LFA) helps centre the vehicle in the lane. When driving, LFA can be switched on and off with the press of a button. While Highway Driving Assist 2 (HDA 2) helps maintain a set distance and speed from the vehicle ahead when driving on a motorway and helps centre the vehicle in the lane, even when driving through a curve. And finally, Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA) helps remotely park or exit a parking spot with the driver operating EV6 from outside the vehicle.
Kia has delivered impressive all-electric performance in the new EV6, coupled with a more premium feel. There is a big car feel to the EV6 and it comes with a big car price starting at €50,000 after government grants that remains too expensive. Hyundai’s entry level Ioniq 5 models come with a lower €38,495 entry point but with lower range and performance. Hyundai’s higher performing Ioniq 5 models close to match Kia prices so there is no easy access point for electric car range and power.
The good news for Kia owners in Ireland is the recent launch of KiaCharge, a European-wide integrated public charging service, giving drivers easier access to public vehicle charging. The KiaCharge app is available to download, and it gives owners access to more than 1,400 charge points across Ireland, from a single account.
This new Kia EV6 is a star performer in the modern electric car world. It is expensive, comes with 7-year warranty on the car and battery and it packed with the latest safety features. With petrol and diesel prices spiralling at the pumps, the €50,000 EV6 price point might now become a more affordable longer term ownership option, it’s just that entry point remains that still the challenge.
|Kia EV6 – specifications|
|0 – 100km/hr||7.3 seconds|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||0 litres|
|Range Theoretical||508km (687km City)|
|Charging Time||7hr 20min|
|Road Tax Annual||A €120|
|Main Service||12 months or 30,000km|
|Euro NCAP Rating||NA|
|Turning Circle Kerb to Kerb||10.2m|
|Kerb Vehicle Weight||2053kg|
|Luggage Capacity||520/1300 litres|
|Warranty||7 years on car & battery 150,000km|
|Entry Price||€50,000 after grants & delivery|