2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line RWD Video Review: Smiles or Miles?
As the electric vehicle market continues to expand rapidly, manufacturers are scrambling to get there early and get a piece of the action. Kia is one of them, entering the market with its first mainstream electric car in the United States, the EV6.
Like its split-platform cousin, the Hyundai Ioniq 5, the EV6 is available in single- and dual-motor configurations with two battery sizes: 58.0 and 77.4 kilowatts. In this InsideEVs video review, we explore the EV6 GT range, equipped with rear-wheel drive and a larger battery to see if that’s the spec to get. While that requires a sacrifice in outright performance, the claimed 310 miles of range will be a worthwhile trade-off for most.
Go further, not faster
That EPA rating is a big selling point for the EV6. Simply put, it’s the cheapest way to get over 300 miles of range in an electric vehicle.
This EV6 has a 77.4 kilowatt-hour battery, powering a single electric motor on the rear axle. The setup is good for 225 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. As mentioned, Kia also sells a dual-motor version, producing a beefier 310 hp, 448 lb-ft engine rated at 274 miles. I reviewed this powertrain in a recent comparison test with the Ioniq 5.
Despite a relatively small power difference, the lack of torque in the single-motor version is clearly noticeable. With over 5,000 pounds of car to push, upgrading is a more laborious process. Tepid acceleration sets the tone for the rest of the driving experience that feels more like an economy car than a performance car.
Low resistance Kuhmo tires are the main culprits for this. There is a little less cornering grip than desired; even with the slightest aggressive riding, the rubber begins to squeak and traction fades. A constant heavy right foot leads to inevitable oversteer, but the EV6 feels out of its comfort zone when that happens. Add in a good amount of body roll and it’s obvious that spirited driving should wait for the arrival of the EV6 GT later this year.
The rear-drive EV6 feels much more comfortable on a daily commute. Ride quality is supple with plenty of bumps in the road, and outside noise barely penetrates the cabin, even at highway speeds. This little spaceship is impressively serene on a typical A-to-B journey.
Feeling of the future
One of the main selling points of the EV6 is that its design and hardware will still be modern for years to come. Kia’s use of a round body that contrasts sharp edges results in a car that looks like nothing else on the road. Smaller details like LED running lights and C-pillar fins add even more uniqueness to the EV’s contemporary look.
The interior has a similar vibe with funky shapes and contrasting material colors. It is much livelier than some of its competitors, which will please some, but not all. The twin screens are easy to use and work through menus, but for some reason Kia only offers Apple Carplay and Android Auto connectivity via the USB-A port. That misstep aside, the rest of the tech suite is wonderful, including the Highway Driving Assist II.
Featuring an 800-volt architecture, the EV6 charges at emergency Level 3 stations. from 10 to 80% takes only 18 minutes. That’s on the impressive side of things looking at the full range of electric vehicles on sale today.
Choose your fighter
I prefer the twin-motor EV6, but that comes with a personal penchant for enjoying a sportier drive. For anyone looking for a stylish and comfortable electric vehicle with exceptional speed and charging range, the EV6 GT-Line RWD is hard to pass up.
The single-motor EV6 starts at $51,200 before incentives, and my test car’s matte gray paint and suede seats brought the tested price to $53,405. It’s very much in line with the 314-mile, $52,450 Mustang Mach E California Route 1 Edition. A Tesla Model 3 and its 334 miles of range cost $55,990. But even with those options on the table, the EV6 is still the one to have.