Introduced 19 months ago as a 2022 model, the Kia EV6 is the South Korean manufacturer’s debut as it transitions from internal combustion engines to battery-electric vehicles. The launch has been an unqualified success.
The spacious five-passenger utility vehicle also further blurs the definition of car segments. The EV6, part of Kia’s EV1 through EV9 lineup plans, is simultaneously a station wagon, hatchback and crossover utility vehicle.
Kia marketed the EV6 toward first-time electric vehicle buyers. Available in Light, Wind and GT-Line trims, the EV6 starts with a base price of $40,990 and continues to $51,200. It also further erases KIA’a formerly maligned quality. It’s now a fast climber in overall brand rankings, including from J.D. Power, the respected Michigan-based analytics firm.
The base Light trim is rear-wheel-drive powered by a single electric motor. The 58-kilowatt-hour (kWh) nickel-cobalt-manganese battery pack delivers an EPA-rated, 232-mile range. The reviewed Wind and top-level GT-Line are available in RWD and dual-motor all-wheel-drive. Both trims have 77.4-kWh battery packs and are rated respectively with 310-mile and 274-mile ranges.
With its EV6, Kia has also provided answers to two questions often presented by EV skeptics — range and charging-time inconvenience. The new Kia’s three range options answer well the first issue. The EV6 will also charge from a 10-percent battery charge to an 80-percent charge in less than 18 minutes using a DC fast charger.
First-time electric vehicle owners are often impressed with their new machines’ acceleration. The EV6 does its part, advancing from zero-to-60 miles per hour in 4.6 seconds. It’s not the fastest nationally available EV, but it’s a top-notch effort for a non-sports car. The MPGe are 116 in city driving, 94 on the highway.
The EV6’s persona also features a sharp-line exterior styling. It’s a cross-over-station-wagon-hatchback, right? Yet the reviewed Kia also featured matte Glacier exterior paint and 19-inch wheels with a black finish prompting its share of approving nods from passersby.
Kia introduce a new logo in 2021 with 2022 models showcasing the new flowing carmaker’s name. It’s a futuristic, polarizing look that improves with familiarity.
As a vehicle listed in the gray area of car segments, the Kia EV6 offers an impressive interior design. It has 24.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the 60/40 split-folding rear seatback. While the seatbacks don’t fold flat, the overall cargo space expands to 50.2 feet. It further helps define the car’s overall roomy feel and its plentiful storage areas as well as various pockets and bins. A hands-free hatchback lift adds to the convenience of hauling stuff.
The information and infotainment displays feature two side-by-side, 12.3-inch touchscreens and are filtered by blue light to reduce eyestrain. The interior has plenty of plastic, but the contour and texture used on the dash are handsome and made from recycled materials. The design and coordination of seating colors, console, door panels and LED lighting enhance overall handsomeness.
Driving the new Kia EV6 also eliminates any residue of the manufacturer’s early years of less-is-less reputation. The EV6 is smooth at city and highway speeds. It handles more toward its sports car leanings than its utilitarian classification.
Electric vehicles still have state and federal incentives. Criteria vary, the 2022 Kia EV6 qualifies for as much as a $7,500 federal tax credit and as much as a $2,000 EV great from the state of California.
With its Wind Technology Package ($1,500) taxes, the new Kia costs slightly more than $54,000. Its top tax rebate incentive is $9,500, lowering the tally to $44,500. The average price of a new EV in the United States is $66,000; the average overall price of a new vehicle in the U.S. is just under $47,000. The numbers make the new Kia a bargain.