q1HbI6RG 2022 Kia EV6 GT Line 6
2022 Kia EV6 GT Line 6

Kia EV6: Ummm . . . what about?

Riley Riley

2022 Kia EV6 GT Line 7

What is it?

Back in the Sixties Gerry Anderson created the puppet phenomena Thunderbirds.

The puppets or marionettes later grew into real life actors in shows like UFO and Space: 1999, complete with space-age clothing, architecture and futuristic cars that made a turbine-like sound.

I suspect many car designers have spent too much time watching sci-fi shows because most seem to think EVs should come in futuristic packaging, with form taking precedence over functionality.

Kia’s first, dedicated, fully electric vehicle, EV6, is an example. It looks and feels more like a statement of what is possible rather than a real car, ready to take on the demands of the weekly grind or occasional trip to the tip on Saturday with a back full of junk.

EV6 may be Wheels’ Car of the Year and there are certainly many things to like about the car, but it’s not the most practical thing we’ve driven — not by a long shot.

2022 Kia EV6 GT Line 18

What’s it cost?

Prices start from $72,590 for the EV6 Air RWD.

EV6 GT-Line RWD is priced from $79,590, while top of the range EV6 GT-Line AWD is priced from $87,590.

A high performance version, the 430kW EV6 GT, is expected in January around the time of the Australian Open which Kia sponsors. Its price is yet to be revealed.

Our test vehicle, the GT-Line AWD, came with the options of premium paint ($520) and a second cable that allows the car to be hooked up to a pay-as-you-go charger ($583), taking the price to $88,693 before on-road costs.

It’s a long, wide car at almost 4.7 metres and 1.9 metres across, with an oh-so-long 2900mm wheelbase.

But the proportions are not what we have come to recognise as ideal, with a short bonnet and boot that brackets a long cabin.

After all, there’s no gas-guzzling ICE to accommodate. The batteries take up a bit of space though, sandwiched and spread out under the floor.

To placate traditionalists, a grille of sorts remains at the front.

Unlock EV6 and flush-fitting, body-coloured door handles pop out in welcome.

Gloss black A-pillar, wing mirrors and beltline garnishes complete the look, with full-width tail lights and a stylish rear wing.

Standard kit includes 20-inch alloys with Continental 255/45 tyres, dual zone climate air with rear vents, and power-adjust, heated and cooled front seats, a heated steering wheel and mood lighting with 64 colours.

Trim is a combination of black and white, a mix of artificial suede and vegan leather upholstery with white stitching, with power adjustment for driver lumbar support.

There’s also LED lights, folding, heated door mirrors with integrated indicators, automatic high beam, smart cruise control with stop and go, auto parallel and perpendicular parking, tilt and slide sunroof and a smart power tailgate.

Rounding out the list is head-up display, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, auto lights and wipers, front and rear parking sensors, along with a 360 degree camera.

Infotainment consists of a 12.3-inch touchscreen, with built-in navigation, with AM/FM and DAB+ digital radio, Bluetooth, together with wired Android Auto and wired Apple CarPlay plus ‘Sounds of Nature’ ambient background noise.

In the GT-Line the standard six-speaker sound system makes way for Meridian premium audio with 14 speakers.

Connect with three USB Chargers (1 x Type A and 2 x Type C) in the front tray with multimedia connectivity, two USB Charger (Type C) in front seat backs, plus two 12 volt power outlets ( 1 x boot side/1 x front tray).

Wireless Qi phone charging is also standard.

Five-star safety starts with seven airbags, a rear-view camera with dynamic guidelines, plus Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) with car, pedestrian, cyclist detection (and junction turn assist).

There’s also Blind Spot (including rear cross traffic assist), Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA), Lane Follow Assist (LFA), Lane Keep Assist (LKA), Driver Attention Warning with lead vehicle departure alert (DAW+), Multi-Collision Braking (MCB) and Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).

EV6 provides three top tether and two ISOFIX child seat anchors.

Like all Kias, it’s covered by a 7-year unlimited kilometre warranty. Unlike others, pre-paid service plans are available.

2022 Kia EV6 GT Line 2

What’s it go like?

Air is the more range focused of the trio, with 168kW of power and 350Nm of torque and a range of 528km, while RWD GT-Line with the same powertrain is good for 504km.

GT-Line with AWD adds a second electric motor and produces a combined output of 239kW and 605Nm, along with a range of 484km.

All are powered by the same 77.4kWh battery pack, which is located under the floor and weighs 477kg, with a single speed reduction gear transmission.

Moving through the grades, energy consumption ranges from 16.5 to 17.2 to 18.0 kWh/100km.

There’s four selectable drive modes: Eco, Normal, Sport and Snow which also change the look of the instruments. 

Adding some drama to the drive experience is Active Sound Design (ASD) with a choice of artificial engine sounds and custom setting.

They’re unique electronica rather than engine noise emulations.

With this much power and torque under foot and all that torque available in a flash, EV6 has plenty of get up and go, with 0-100km/h in the AWD taking a rapid 5.2 seconds.

With a burst of speed, overtaking can be accomplished virtually at will, but it’s a weighty device and wants to run wide in corners.

Steering is heavy and uncommunicative.

EV6 has powerful braking too, perhaps too strong at times, or more specifically — irritatingly abrupt. 

It pulls up with a jerk and releases with a lurch, and can be difficult to control in close manoeuvring.

One way to avoid this happening is one-pedal driving, using the regenerative brake system that is controlled by the steering wheel paddles normally devoted to gears.

In this way, the car slows when you lift off the accelerator — to a complete stop if necessary. 

An electric parking brake is provided, but instead of being located close to hand in the centre console, it’s relegated to a position to the right and below the dash.

More jerkiness follows. Try releasing the brake and moving off in reverse if you’re parked on a slope.

A dab on the accelerator pedal is required and is liable to result in an intake of breath as the car shoots backwards.

EV6’s space-age look is polarising. Some people love it, others hate it.

Facing the wrong direction the pop-out handles are awkward to use and for a 4.7 metre vehicle getting in and out is not as easy as it should be.

The door openings are large, but a low roofline and relatively high seating position compromise access, together with the sunroof that further reduces headroom. Watch your head and hold on to your sunglasses.

Ditto for rear seat passengers, with an elevated seating position and low hanging roof, and surprisingly little legroom considering the length of the car.

Getting into the car for the first time I was confronted with a washed out instrument panel with pale blue lettering on a white background that was difficult to see in sunlight.

I was later able to change this to black after finding the appropriate setting in the infotainment system, but for the first few minutes I was flying blind.

Moving from one Kia to another, the steering wheel switch gear is familiar, but they had been transposed from one side of the wheel to the other.

The dash layout is similar to that of the Niro EV that we drove, but as with Niro I found that I had lost a physical volume control.

The luggage area is quite large with a hidden area underneath for cable storage, along with a smaller boot at the front of the car, but alas no spare tyre.

A tyre repair kit is provided instead. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, it can tow a 1600kg load.

Most annoying was the location of the charge port. In Niro it is sensibly located at the front, but in EV6 it is cleverly concealed near the  driver side tail light.

The location necessitates backing the car in to access power.

Charging can take a looong time with a standard powerpoint, down to as little as 18 minutes for 80 per cent with a 350kW DC commercial charger.

Even fully charged the system reported a distance to empty range of 412km — some 70km less than claimed.

Stranger still, after travelling a few kilometres to do some shopping, the range actually went up a few kilometres rather than down, even though the battery dropped to 97 per cent.

At the end of the day we were getting 17.0kWh/100km after about 400km of mixed driving.

After all the EV6 hype, it’s a mixed bag and something of a letdown.

Until now Kia’s ergonomics have been a shining example of simplicity. Who let the nerds out?

2022 Kia EV6 GT Line 14

What we like?

  • Electric
  • Turns heads
  • Strong performance
  • The nerd factor

2022 Kia EV6 GT Line 1

What we don’t like?

  • Pricey
  • Jerky brakes
  • No volume knob
  • Tyre repair kit
  • Hard to manoeuvre when parking
  • Cost of additional charge cable

2022 Kia EV6 GT Line 5

The bottom line?

It’s a halo model for the brand, pure and simple.

Cashed up nerds will want one. Lesser so, user-choosers, who will be drawn to the usual lineup of Euro suspects.

Who then does that leave? It’s a fairly short, exclusive list at $90K by the time you put it on the road.

Just over 500 EV6s have found homes in Australia this year. Over the same period, Kia has moved four times as many Stingers (and they reckon its days are numbered).

No doubt, the arrival of the EV6 GT will give the figures a bit of a bump — but after that, who knows?

2022 Kia EV6 GT Line 3


CHECKOUT: Kia Sorento Hybrid: This is the one

CHECKOUT: Kia Niro EV: A charge of pace


Kia EV6 AWD GT-Line, priced from $87,590
  • Looks - 7/10
  • Performance - 7.5/10
  • Safety - 8/10
  • Thirst - 7/10
  • Practicality - 6/10
  • Comfort - 7/10
  • Tech - 8/10
  • Value - 7/10

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