2022 Kia EV6 First Drive Review | Sets the electric SUV bar even higher

HEALDSBURG, Calif.– It would certainly be challenging, even insincere, to cover the 2022 Kia EV6 without mentioning the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5. Thus, we won’t also attempt to prevent it. They make use of the same bases, Hyundai Team’s Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), which, as we located with the Ioniq, is a strong foundation for a reliable, qualified, long-range and also (possibly most significantly) entirely entertaining electric auto. The two EVs share a great deal of the very same infotainment and also security innovation also, which we’ll dive into later on. With bench currently established rather high by its Hyundai cousin, our expectations were high as we took a trip to The golden state’s Sonoma white wine country for our initial drive in the Kia EV6.

The most noticeable difference between the EV6 and also Ioniq 5 is, of course, the appearance. While the Hyundai has hatchback-adjacent proportions and the type of futuristic vibe that can have been visualized by the “Robocop” manufacturing designer, the Kia looks extra like a standard if flashy portable crossover. It appears rather tiny in photos, however face to face, you can much better value that the EV6 has the exact same 114.2-inch wheelbase as the Kia Telluride three-row SUV. Remarkably, the Ioniq 5’s is nearly 4 inches much longer than that although its general length is virtually 2 inches less than the EV6.

So what does that mean for interior space? The EV6 is spacious, with 103 cubic feet of passenger room, which resembles the Ioniq 5’s cavernous 106.5 dices. The EV6 boasts 24.4 cubic feet of freight area behind the rear seats, as well as 50.2 cubes with the rear seats folded up– less than the Hyundai’s 27.2/ 59.3-cubic-foot cargo capacity.

The interior decoration additionally differentiates these 2 automobiles. While the Ioniq 5 feels open, ventilated and also lounge-like, the Kia EV6 really feels extra conventional, albeit flashy as well as concentrated. The plastic pieces in our testers had fascinating patterns. Vegan leather upholstery is the requirement in all but the Light (which gets towel seats surface areas), however both of our testers had the GT-Line’s optional microfiber suede seats, which were both comfortable as well as trendy, with black perforated suede cut with white leather.

One piece of weirdness is the distinct, dual-purpose control touch bar at the end of the center stack that controls either the sound and climate systems. In audio mode, the touch bar has faster way buttons for various infomercial food selections as well as track looking for. To the left of that are physical switches for front as well as back defrost, air recirculation and car environment control. The left as well as appropriate knobs control volume and also tuning/track seeking, specifically. Finally, among it all is a switch that switches over the entire touch bar to climate controls. In this mode, the knobs regulate the dual-zone temperatures, while the audio switches transform into controls for heat, A/C, driver-only or temperature level sync modes, as well as follower speeds. If you do not recognize where to look, you might have difficulty finding these environment controls, and the touch switch that switches over in between the two settings ought to be bigger with symbols that make it more obvious what the switch actually does.

The EV6 is provided with two battery options, rear-wheel or four-wheel drive, and 3 trim levels. One of the most budget-friendly model is the Light trim with RWD as well as the 58-kilowatt-hour battery. At $42,115 after location yet before any rewards (like the $7,500 federal tax obligation credit history), that benefits 232 miles of driving array, with 167 horse power, 258 pound-feet of torque and also a 0-60 time of 8.0 secs.

Going up to the Wind trim obtains you the exact same 77.4-kWh battery as the rest of the schedule. In RWD ($48,215) it offers 225 horse power, 258 pound-feet of torque and a 0-60 time of 7.2 seconds, along with 310 miles of driving array. The Wind AWD ($52,115) gets an added electric motor up front for an overall of 320 horsepower, 446 pound-feet of torque, a 0-60 sprint of 5.1 secs. AWD compromises some driving variety, however, at 274 miles.

The GT-Line RWD ($52,415) as well as AWD ($57,115) have the very same efficiency and also effectiveness specs as the Wind, however adds attributes like auto-pop-out door handles, a sunroof, remote wise parking assist, the augmented blind-spot warning system that won our 2020 Modern technology of the Year Honor, as well as the more advanced Highway Driveway Assist II suite of driver assistance tech that consists of cruise control machine learning, automated lane altering and also evasive guiding assist.

Regardless of the version you select, every EV6 has the same 800-volt battery architecture that enables ultra-fast DC billing, efficient in filling the battery from 10% to 80% in simply 18 minutes at a 350-kW charger. They all have the exact same MacPherson front and also five-link back suspension, double 12.3-inch bent displays, a cordless phone charger and warmed front seats. All but the Light trim obtain vehicle-to-load ability, which enables you to power appliances with a three-prong plug at either the outlet below the back seats, or via an adapter at the automobile’s charging port.

We began our day in the GT-Line RWD in a dynamic Path Red (one of 9 offered outside paint shades). Slipping away from the courses bordering the young grapevines as well as past the primary entrance hall of the Mosaic Resort, we passed a family members monitoring in to the resort. Their eyes arrived on the red EV6, as well as the father loudly declared, “Wow!” prior to he concerned his senses and vacated the means. We took out of the resort and also onto Sonoma Region’s low-lying roads, which wind their way in between ranch and also winery with near continuous modifications in altitude.

Ultimately we would certainly function our way higher right into the hills, where citizens toss their ancient pickups via blind curves as well as snaking paths with the kind of self-confidence that only features years of retracing one’s tire tracks enough to eliminate thoughts of barreling down a wooded cliff. Here, the EV6 went after those citizens like a dog goes after a bunny. The steering really feels connected, light as well as precise adequate to confidently change from one corner to one more. It’s an extra feelsome car than the Ioniq 5, though not quite as pinned down. The a little much shorter wheelbase made this EV6 simply a little bit much more ready to turn, and also obtaining stabby with the accelerator at the right time while leaving a corner obtains the tires to spin as well as the back to wiggle happily.

Later, we would certainly enter a Steel Matte Gray GT-Line AWD. The most significant advantage to the all-wheel-drive variation of the EV6, at the very least on these completely dry, well-paved The golden state roadways, is the included electric motor’s extra power. The extra 95 horsepower and also 188 pound-feet of torque cut 2.1 seconds off the 0-60 time. In practice, this implies you require a shorter path of dotted yellow lane markings to make your move past that box truck that’s been holding you up via the hills. For all practical issues, we ‘d be happy to deal with the still-quick velocity of the RWD EV6, but the AWD variation lends itself to more straight-line confidence and seat-stuffing giddiness.

While the EV6, despite drivetrain, could conveniently keep up its rate with these hill roads, we needed to benefit the incentives. Get in a corner as well quickly, and also the vehicle would certainly start to rake, up until we used just sufficient accelerator that the wheels would certainly push the weight of the automobile back on training course. These corrections came a little simpler in the AWD automobile, with the tug of the front tires aiding to realign the car, with much less of the unruly actions at the back side.

Drawing the left wheel paddle summons complete regenerative braking pressure, making reducing for each and every edge a smoother, more instinctive procedure than attempting to flawlessly time when as well as by just how much to take off the accelerator to involve regenerative braking. The outcome is smoother driving as well as cleaner, much more fluid corners. You can additionally shut off such lift-throttle regenerative stopping and do it all the old made way with Shore mode. There are 4 degrees of regen offered.

When not flogging it through the hills, the EV6 provides a stress-free drive. Shared with the Ioniq’s 5’s 2 top trim levels and also numerous Genesis versions, the GT-Line’s Freeway Driving Help II system is a superb flexible cruise control system with similarly adept lane-centering as well as consists of semi-automated lane changes set off by the turn signal. For the latter, it checks for an opening in traffic and smoothly moves the car into the following lane. The readily available enhanced fact head-up screen offers a wide range of useful information at an easy-to-read distance in front of you, consisting of highlighting the auto you’re complying with as well as supplying useful navigating signs to tell you where as well as when to transform.

If you’re taking into consideration adding an EV to your driveway, it would certainly be difficult to do much better than the Kia EV6 … or its Hyundai Ioniq 5 relative. Which you pick is a matter of individual preference, generally– as well as if you’re asking yourself, we still favor the Hyundai (at least in AWD, as we have not driven a RWD Ioniq 5 yet) for its appearances, a little more polished cruising feel, open-feeling cabin, and also the truth that the totally packed price comes in $1,390 less than that of the Kia. The Hyundai likewise includes 3 years of complimentary 30-minute billing sessions on the Electrify America network, while the Kia EV6 comes with just 1,000 kWh of free charging on the very same network. That would likely exercise to fewer than 20 charges from 10-80%.

There is one substantial advantage the EV6 has going all out, though: accessibility. While the Ioniq 5 is originally only offered in 18 states, Kia will certainly supply the EV6 in all 50 beginning in a couple of weeks. In fact, Kia intends to have an EV6 in every dealer in the country by the time its large television area broadcasts throughout Super Bowl LVI on February 13, 2022. Depending on where they live, that might just be the making a decision element for consumer on the market for an enjoyable, quick, state-of-the-art electrical crossover.