Kia EV6 Road Test Review – Inspiringly Electrifying

With the future being Electric and all the car makers getting their EV models on the lineup Kia India is all set to launch their very first All Electric car model for the Indian market the EV6. We have driven the Kia EV6 on the Buddh race track trying to understand what exactly this All Electric stylish crossover exactly is in our road test right here.

Food for Thought

Kia introduced the EV6 all Electric Crossover SUV in 2021. The EV6 was codenamed as CV during its development. The EV6 uses the Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) that it shares with the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the Genesis GV60. The EV6 also is the winner of the European Car of the Year for 2022. Kia will import the EV6 as CBU from its Hwasung plant in South Korea and the first batch will be limited to only 100 units. India gets the EV6 in two versions, an top of the line AWD variant the GT Line and a Rear Wheel variant.

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Exteriors

First look at the Kia EV6 and the body styling reminds you of the Porsche’s. The EV6 has rounded smooth body styling with tons of road presence. The EV6 stands at 4695mmin length, 1890mm in width 1550mm tall with a wheelbase that of 2900mm. The for India EV6 gets a improved ground clearance that of 178mm to tackle the conditions here.

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Coming to the styling the EV6 sports the trademark Kia tiger face grille in glossy black, neatly flushed large all LED headlamps with twin projector glow and DRL’s with lot of detailing in them that double up as sweeping turn lights, neatly sculpted front bumper with a wide air dam, practical air inlets and chrome inserts, scooped up clamshell bonnet styling with soft character lines defining it and not forgetting the large KIA logo looking smart.

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The sides of the EV6 comes with soft rounded body styling with the key highlights being the slopping roofline, blacked out A, B and C pillars, electrically flushed door handles, sharp stamping lines on the fenders, character lines on the middle of the rounded doors and the lower section of the doors that also houses a glossy black design insert. The sides of the EV6 looks further more dynamic due to the large 19 inch wheels mounted on dual color alloy wheels. The roof gets an electric sun roof along with the shark fin antenna. Wing mirrors finished in glossy black get their edges scooped out to enhance aerodynamics.

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The rear profile on the EV6 is probably the best in terms of design and styling. You get this raised type hump styling that infuses the all LED tail lamps that run across the width of the car’s rear profile. The lower section of this LED strip houses the turn lights along with a chrome strip that mates the boot lip. The rear glass area is placed at a sharp angle and also gets a large wing spoiler ornamenting and extending the roof area.

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The rear bumper comes in dualtone finish with the lower section done in glossy black along with an extended faux skid plate in silver. The bumper also houses an unique looking multi LED stop/reverse lamp placed in the middle.

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Interiors

The Kia EV6 comes with an dark interior theme with a neatly designed dash that houses a twin 12.3 inch curved color displays one for as the AVN touch screen unit and other as the instrument cluster.  The crash pad area gets chrome inserts running across the dash and also a unique angular design print along with a unique pattern 64 color ambient lighting placed below the AC vents, door pads, and the centre console.  The AVN system comes with the latest generation Kia Connect OS that’s compatible to all the connectivity options like Apple CarPlay Android Auto, Bluetooth, FM radio etc. The display also gives you the readout to the vital statistics of the EV.

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The instrument display is crisp to read out again displaying all the vital real time information of the EV and the drive. You also get a heads-up display on the feature list. The dual zone climate control command unit is touch control type which also doubles up as the multimedia control unit at a press of a button. The steering unit is a dual spoke design unit with leather wrapping and metal inserts along with glossy black finished MFD buttons placed on it. You also gets a special drive mode toggle button on the steering to choose between Normal, Eco and Sport modes. This steering also gets paddle shifters for brake regeneration and manual adjust for height and reach.

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The centre console comes in a unique floating design as there is no transmission unit that goes into the floor hence freeing up the space below which is utilized for storage. The centre console comes finished partly in glossy black and partly with metal inserts. It houses the EV start stop button, drive mode dial, wireless mobile charger, and auto hold button on it. The centre arm rest opens up with storage space under it. You get one USB and one USB type C charging ports on the dash.

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Front Seats get full electric adjust and come in dual color suede leather upholstery with cooling and heating feature, the driver’s seat also gets electric lumber support. Both the front seats have this unique feature that Kia terms as zero gravity where at a press of a button the seats incline back fully while the car is in the Park mode.

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You get a 14-speaker premium sounding Meridian Audio sound system on the EV6 that pumps out some super rich music into the super silent cabin of the stylish EV.

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Seats offer excellent comfort and support. Seating in the front is very good and the driver gets a bird’s eye view from his seat. Rear seats come with adjustable head rests and a foldable arm rest. Seating here is also pretty comforting but what laced is the under thigh support to some extent. The middle passenger gets a full flat floor due to the missing transmission h and its hump. Rear passengers get their AC vents placed in the door pillars while the USB mobile ports are placed uniquely into the sides of the front seats.

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Also placed under the rear seat is an 250V power output socket that is capable of charging all your gadgets and also can power a washing machine, mixer grinder etc if needed. You can also do vehicle to vehicle charging if and when needed.

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The Kia EV6 has a fairly spacious boot capacity of 520 liters that can be further extended to 1300 liters with the rear seats folded down. You also get around 20 liters of storage under the bonnet which is known as the Frunk storage area.

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Electric Motor – Battery – Drive

The Kia EV6 that we drove was the top end GT Line that comes powered with a 77.4 KWh battery that powers two motors one each in the front and rear wheels making it an AWD EV. The combined power output from these motors is 325PS with 605Nm of torque. The EV6 GT Line can do a 0 to 100kmph in just 5.2 seconds.

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For charging the EV6 you just need 18 minutes using a 350Kw charger from 10% to 80% while if you use a 50kW charger it will take 1hour and 13 minutes for the same. Kia claims a overall range of around 500 plus KMS on a single charge with ARAI figures awaited. Charging ports for the EV6 are placed at the rear just around the bumper with an electric opening/closing flap with charge indicator display grid in place.

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You also have a single motor driven RWD version of the EV6 for India which we will speak about in later in another review once we drive it.

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How is the EV6 to drive.

To start off with this being an EV you have tons of power and super high refinement. The cabin is so quiet that Kia has added artificial ambient noise to the audio system to keep the driver involved. The steering feels well weighted and the immediate power delivery is insane especially if you are in the sport mode. You can actually feel the G’s working on you during sudden acceleration. We touched the limited top speed of 192kmph with extra ease at the race track. Drive quality being super premium and the EV6 holding on to the corners smartly thanks to its design and the 19 inch wheels. The ride quality is excellent with Kia having redone the suspension and ground clearance for the India bound EV6.

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The drive modes – Normal Eco and Sport alter not only the power delivery but also changes the total range for the EV6. There is lot of fun factor involved especially in the Sport mode and you can only hear the wheels screeching during sharp cornering with no engine or engine noise. The EV6 also comes with a four stage regeneration feature that can be controlled using the paddle shifters. This alters the engine braking which invariably charges the battery during coasting. You also have an I-Pedal mode that you can use for single pedal driving with the mode doing all the braking including brining the car to a complete halt.

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Safety

The Kia EV6 comes with ADAS features which includes Forward Collision Avoidance Assist, Lane Keep Assist, Brake Control Assist, Adaptive Cruise control, Auto Braking, Lane follow assist, Blind Spot collision assist, Driver attention warning, Safe exit assist, Rear traffic collision assist, 8 Airbags, ABS, EBD etc.

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Competition

For now the Kia EV6 has no competition until the Hyundai Ionic 5 launches later this year.

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Verdict

Kia wants to showcase its power in the EV segment with the EV6 which is their latest Global model. The EV6 shines in all departments, in terms of looks, styling, cabin space, the way it drives, features, safety and its premium drive quality. The EV6 will be a CBU import so expect it to be priced on the higher side of Rs. 55 Lakh but at this price it has no competition till Hyundai launches the Ionic 5. The EQ6 sits happily in an all empty segment where the next bunch of EV cars are the Mercedes EQC, Audi eTron, Jaguar iPace all of which are priced above Rs. 1Crore making the Kia EQ6 for now an excellent choice if you want a different looking head turning EV that is pretty powerful and inspiring too in this price segment.

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Words – Ritesh Madhok
Photography & Video – Govind Gadekar

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