The 2022 Kia EV6 is an objectively great electric crossover. Long-legged, agreeably priced, freshly styled, and fun to drive, it's little wonder Kia has struggled to keep up with demand even as dealers add all kinds of markups. But the EV6 is just one of the South Korean conglomerate's trio of compact electric crossovers. And when I set my objectivity aside, the EV6 is the last one I'd consider.
This is ultimately down to personal preference rather than some critical assessment, though. Mechanically, the EV6 is identical to the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and very closely related to the Genesis GV60. You can't go wrong with any of these three EVs, although I personally prefer the Ioniq's styling and the Genesis' available performance and interior design. But if the Kia tickles your fancy, or if you're simply struggling to find either of the other two in stock, the EV6 is a smart, pleasant alternative with lots of range and impressive charge speed.
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|Quick Stats||2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line|
|Motor:||Single Synchronous Permanent Magnet|
|Output:||225 Horsepower / 258 Pound-Feet|
|0-60 MPH:||7.2 Seconds|
|EV Range:||310 Miles|
Gallery: 2022 Kia EV6: First Drive Review
Exterior Color: Steel Matte Gray
Interior Color: Black
Wheel Size: 19 Inch
Despite their relationship, all three of Hyundai Motor Group's electric crossovers have their own unique exterior style. Kia's is arguably the most avant garde. The hood plunges down, presenting an angular, wedge-like shape, which the squinty headlights and slim grille emphasize. The sill finisher kicks up aggressively as it moves toward the EV6's tail, eventually merging with the C-shaped lightbar that wraps into the fenders. Matte gray paint is available, and it makes a handsome vehicle handsomer still, but I'd recommend a gloss or metallic color unless you're willing to deal with the special requirements that come with this finish.
The EV6's cabin has far more in common with the Ioniq and GV60. The center display slab, which houses two 12.3-inch displays, is identical, and in general the Kia and Hyundai have similar material choices and dash/door shapes. However, the EV6's cabin isn’t as open and spacious as the Hyundai or Genesis. A center console that extends further forward and the all-black interior are certainly to blame on that front. The optional suede upholstery looks great and is reasonably affordable, at least.
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Seating Capacity: 5
Seating Configuration: 2 / 3
Cargo Capacity: 24.4 / 50.2 Cubic Feet
Even with 19-inch wheels, the EV6’s ride is relaxed thanks to the 55-series tires (the vehicle pictured wears optional 20s on 45-series rubber). The thick sidewalls pay dividends, giving the Macpherson-strut front/multi-link rear suspension plenty of leeway and contributing to the stable and isolated ride. There's very little tire roar here, too, and a twist of the volume knob easily beats whatever wind noise creeps into the cabin.
Where the EV6 falls short is with ho-hum front seats. They feel flatter and less supportive than the thrones in the Ioniq 5 and EV6, let alone rival EVs like the Ford Mustang Mach-E or Volkswagen ID.4. The rear bench is a better place and benefits from a flat floor that makes the area usable for three adults in a pinch.
Center Display: 12.3-inch Touchscreen
Instrument Cluster Display: 12.3-inch
Wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto: No
Attractive graphics and quick responses from the center touchscreen, along with a layout that promises quick, efficient navigation, make the infotainment system in the EV6 (and its siblings) one of our favorites. The digital instrument cluster that works alongside the touchscreen has a few different themes, although Kia could stand to be bolder – there's very little differentiation between the looks.
A point of contention during my week with the EV6, which I split with Editor-In-Chief Seyth Miersma, was the touch-sensitive bar that sits below the infotainment screen. Press a button and it shows the climate controls. Press again, and the knobs for the dual-zone climate start adjusting the volume and tuning the radio while quick-access buttons for the infotainment pop up – I didn't know this and spent my first day behind the wheel thinking the EV6 had no hardware controls for the audio system. The arrangement isn't bad, but I think it's unnecessarily complicated. Miersma feels otherwise. Tell Seyth why I'm right in the comments.
Engine: Single Synchronous Permanent Motor
Output: 225 Horsepower / 258 Pound-Feet
Transmission: Single-Speed Automatic
One thing I've realized after several years of EV testing is that it only rarely makes sense to opt for the more powerful model. I made that argument in my review of the Ford Mustang Mach-E GT and I'll make it soon with a piece on the Mercedes-Benz EQS 580. For now, though, I'd like to contradict myself, because the EV6 is deeply uninteresting in single-motor form.
The rear-mounted electric motor and 77.4-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery (the GT-Line isn't available with the base 58.0-kWh pack) are good for 225 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, but they struggle to motivate the 4,255-pound crossover. There’s immediate off-the-line torque, naturally, but the performance feels more serviceable than sensational. Perhaps it’s just that we’ve been spoiled by all-electric rocket ships, but the EV6’s 7.2-second sprint to 60 feels downright leisurely, especially compared to the 5.1 seconds it takes a dual-motor model to achieve the same speed.
Moreover, and this is my midwestern brain talking, the idea of a rear-drive CUV has limited appeal in Michigan. But there might be a small handling advantage with the rear-driver, which is nearly 200 pounds lighter. The ride is agile enough but never feels especially engaging. Body motions are loose but linear, while tossing this Kia into a bend quickly overwhelms the 235/55/19 tires and soft suspension tuning.
Braking is predictable, although as is usually the case, I relied on the adjustable motor regen. Like Ioniq and GV60, there are three steps in addition to a fully off setting and the smart i-Pedal mode, which delivers one-pedal driving. The system's primary annoyance is that i-Pedal isn't persistent; the driver has to reactivate it every time the vehicle starts.
Driver Assistance Level: SAE Level 2 Hands-Off
NHTSA Rating: Not Rated
IIHS Rating: Not Rated
The EV6 GT-Line includes every active safety system in the Kia catalog standard. The highlight is, of course, Highway Driving Assist 2, which blends adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping tech with an automatic lane change function. The system works beautifully on the road, behaving predictably in both heavy traffic or through highway bends. HDA 2 includes a navigation-based adaptive cruise control that can even slow for approaching corners.
EV Range: 310 Miles
Charge Type: 110 Volts @ 12 Amps / 240 Volts @ 48 Amps / 50 Kilowatts DC @ 125 Amps / 240 Kilowatts DC @ 200 Amps
Charge Time: 68 Hours / 7.2 Hours / 73 Minutes (10-80 Percent) / 18 Minutes (10-80 Percent)
|Efficiency||EV Range||240V Charge Time||DC Charge (80 Percent)|
|Kia EV6 RWD||310 Miles||7.2 Hours||18 Minutes @ 240 kW|
|Ford Mustang Mach-E X RWD||303 Miles||10.9 Hours||45 Minutes @ 150 kW|
|Hyundai Ioniq 5 RWD||303 Miles||7.2 Hours||18 Minutes @ 240 kW|
|Toyota bZ4X FWD||242 Miles||9.5 Hours||30 Minutes @ 150 kW|
|Volkswagen ID.4 RWD||262 Miles||7.5 Hours||38 Minutes @ 125 kW|
Base Price: $41,400 + $1,295 Destination
Trim Base Price: $52,995
As-Tested Price: $53,405
Without absurd markups, prices for the 2022 EV6 start at $42,695 (including a $1,295 destination charge). But that lightly equipped model is also down on power and has a smaller battery. If you want the fully loaded GT-Line with its larger battery and 225 hp, plan on ponying up $52,995. The out-the-door price for my tester, which added the $695 matte paint job and a $295 suede seat pack was $53,405. Adding the dual-motor all-wheel-drive setup would add $4,700 to the price, and while $58,000 is a good chunk of change for a car, the EV6 makes a compelling case.
I'm not sure I'd pay that though, because the mid-range EV6 Wind is such a strong value. With a starting price of $48,795 in rear-drive form and $52,695 for all-wheel drive, it sacrifices a little that I'd really call critical. HDA2 disappears, but the standard HDA 1 system is great – I promise, you'll survive without automatic lane changes. Things like a panoramic sunroof and augmented reality HUD are nice, but is any of this stuff worth $4,200? And would you want any of it more than the dual-motor arrangement, which only costs $3,900 on the Wind? Exactly.
|Pricing||Base Price w/Destination||Competitively Equipped Price|
|Kia EV6 GT-Line RWD||$41,400 + $1,295||$53,405|
|Ford Mustang Mach-E Prem X RWD||$43,895 + $1,100||$55,875|
|Hyundai Ioniq 5 SEL RWD||$44,000 + $1,295||$52,395|
|Toyota bZ4X Limited FWD||$42,000 + $1,215||$47,915|
|Volkswagen ID.4 Pro S RWD||$41,230 + $1,295||$47,025|