2022 Kia EV6 Review: The Middle Child

Verdict

9.1 / ten

Design | Comfort | Technology | Performance | Security | Fuel economy | Pricing | FAQs

The 2022 Kia EV6 is an objectively brilliant electric crossover. Long legs, nicely priced, freshly styled and fun to drive, it’s no wonder Kia has struggled to keep up with demand even as dealers throw in all sorts of markups. But the EV6 is just one of three compact electric crossovers from the South Korean conglomerate. And when I put my objectivity aside, the EV6 is the last one I would consider.

However, this ultimately comes down to personal preference rather than critical evaluation. Mechanically, the EV6 is identical to the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and very close to the Genesis GV60. You can’t go wrong with any of these three EVs, though I personally prefer the styling of the Ioniq and the available performance and interior design of the Genesis. But if the Kia tickles your fancy, or if you’re just having trouble finding one of the other two in stock, the EV6 is a smart, enjoyable alternative with plenty of range and impressive charging speeds.

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Quick Stats Kia EV6 GT-Line 2022
Engine: Single synchronous permanent magnet
Production: 225 horsepower / 258 lb-ft
0-60MPH: 7.2 seconds
EV range: 310 miles
Price as tested: $53,405

Design

8/10

Exterior colour: matt steel gray
Interior color: Black
Wheel size: 19 inch

Despite their relationship, Hyundai Motor Group’s three electric crossovers have their own unique exterior styling. Kia is arguably the most avant-garde. The hood dips downward, presenting an angular, wedge-like shape, which the sleazy headlights and thin grille emphasize. The sill finisher lifts aggressively as it moves toward the tail of the EV6, eventually merging with the C-shaped light bar that wraps into the fenders. Matte gray paint is available, and it makes a good-looking vehicle that much better, but I’d recommend a gloss or metallic color unless you’re prepared to deal with the special demands that come with that finish.

The EV6’s cabin has much more in common with the Ioniq and GV60. The central display panel, which houses two 12.3-inch screens, is identical, and in general the Kia and Hyundai have similar material choices and dashboard/door shapes. However, the EV6’s cabin isn’t as open and spacious as that of the Hyundai or Genesis. A center console that extends further forward and the all-black interior are certainly to blame on that front. The optional suede upholstery looks great and is reasonably affordable, at least.

Comfort

7/10

Capacity: 5
Seat configuration: 2 / 3
Cargo capacity: 24.4 / 50.2 cubic feet

Even with 19-inch wheels, the EV6’s ride is relaxed thanks to 55-series tires (vehicle shown wears optional 20-series tires on 45-series rubber). Thick sidewalls pay dividends, giving the Macpherson strut front suspension and multi-link rear suspension plenty of room to maneuver and contributing to a stable, isolated ride. There’s also very little tire roar here, and a twist of the volume knob easily beats any wind noise that creeps into the cabin.

Where the EV6 fails is with ho-hum front seats. They feel flatter and less supportive than the thrones of the Ioniq 5 and EV6, not to mention rival EVs like the Ford Mustang Mach-E or Volkswagen ID.4. The rear seat is better placed and benefits from a flat floor which makes the space usable for three adults in a pinch.

Interior dimensions Head room, front/rear Leg room, front/rear Cargo volume
Kia EV6 2022 39.0 / 38.0 inch 42.4 / 39.0 inches 24.4 / 50.2 cubic feet
2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E 40.4 / 39.3 inches 43.3 / 38.1 inches 29.7 / 59.7 cubic feet
Hyundai Ioniq 5 2022 39.1 / 37.5 inches 41.7 / 39.4 inches 27.2 / 59.3 cubic feet
Toyota bZ4X 2022 38.6 / 37.1 inch 42.1 / 35.3 inches 38.1 / 56.1 cubic feet
Volkswagen ID.4 2022 40.6 / 37.9 inches 41.1 / 37.6 inches 30.3 / 64.2 cubic feet

Technology and Connectivity

7/10

Center display: 12.3-inch touchscreen
Instrument Cluster Display: 12.3″
Wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto: No

Attractive graphics and quick responses from the central touchscreen, along with a layout that promises quick and efficient navigation, make the infotainment system of the EV6 (and its siblings) one of our favourites. The digital instrument cluster that works alongside the touchscreen has a few different themes, although Kia could be bolder – there’s very little differentiation between the looks.

One point of contention during my week with the EV6, which I shared with editor Seyth Miersma, was the touch bar that sits below the infotainment screen. Press a button and it displays climate controls. Press again, and the dual-zone climate control buttons begin to adjust the volume and tune the radio while the quick access buttons for infotainment appear – didn’t know that and had my first day behind the wheel thinking that the EV6 didn’t have hardware controls for the audio system. The arrangement isn’t bad, but I think it’s unnecessarily complicated. Miersma feels different. Tell Seyth why I’m right in the comments.

Performance and handling

5/10

Motor: Single permanent synchronous motor
Output: 225 horsepower / 258 lb-ft
Transmission: single-speed automatic

One thing I’ve realized after years of testing electric vehicles is that it rarely makes sense to go for the most powerful model. I made this argument in my review of the Ford Mustang Mach-E GT and I will do so soon with an article on the Mercedes-Benz EQS 580. For now, however, I would like to contradict myself, because the EV6 is deeply uninteresting in single engine form.

Rear-mounted electric motor and 77.4 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery (GT-Line not available with 58.0 kWh base package) are good for 225 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, but they struggle to motivate the 4,255-pound crossover. There’s immediate off-line torque, sure, but the performance feels more useful than sensational. It may just be that we’ve been spoiled by all-electric rockets, but the EV6’s 7.2-second sprint at 60 feels downright leisurely, especially compared to the 5.1 seconds it takes a two-motor model to achieve the same speed.

Also, and this is my Midwestern brain talking, the idea of ​​a rear-drive CUV has limited appeal in Michigan. But there might be a small handling advantage with the rear driver, which is nearly 200 pounds lighter. The ride is nimble enough but never feels particularly engaging. Body movements are loose but linear, while throwing this Kia around a corner quickly overwhelms the 235/55/19 tires and soft suspension tuning.

Braking is predictable, though, as is usually the case, I relied on the engine’s adjustable regeneration. Like Ioniq and GV60, there are three stages in addition to a fully disabled setting and i-Pedal smart mode, which offers one-pedal driving. The main drawback of the system is that the i-Pedal is not persistent; the driver must reactivate it each time the vehicle is started.

Security

9/10

Driver Assistance Level: SAE Level 2 Hands-Free
NHTSA Rating: Not Rated
IIHS rating: not rated

The EV6 GT-Line includes all the active safety systems of the Kia catalog standard. The highlight is, of course, Highway Driving Assist 2, which combines adaptive cruise control and lane keeping tech with an automatic lane change function. The system performs wonderfully on the road, behaving predictably in heavy traffic or when cornering on the highway. HDA 2 includes navigation-based adaptive cruise control that can even slow down when approaching corners.

fuel economy

9/10

EV Range: 310 miles
Load type: 110 volts at 12 amps / 240 volts at 48 amps / 50 kilowatts DC at 125 amps / 240 kilowatts DC at 200 amps
Charging time: 68 hours / 7.2 hours / 73 minutes (10-80%) / 18 minutes (10-80%)

Efficiency EV range 240V charging time DC load (80%)
Kia EV6 RWD 310 miles 7.2 hours 18 minutes @ 240kW
Ford Mustang Mach-E X RWD 303 miles 10.9 hours 45 minutes at 150 kW
Hyundai Ioniq 5 RWD 303 miles 7.2 hours 18 minutes @ 240kW
Toyota bZ4X TA 242 miles 9.5 hours 30 minutes at 150 kW
Volkswagen ID.4 RWD 262 miles 7.5 hours 38 minutes at 125kW

Pricing

7/10

Base price: $41,400 + $1,295
Trim base price: $52,995
Price as tested: $53,405

Without absurd markups, prices for the 2022 EV6 start at $42,695 (including a $1,295 destination charge). But this lightly equipped model also runs out of power and has a smaller battery. If you want the fully loaded GT-Line with its larger battery and 225 hp, budget for $52,995. The purchase price for my tester, which added the $695 matte paint job and a $295 suede seat pack, was $53,405. Adding the dual-motor all-wheel-drive configuration would add $4,700 to the price, and while $58,000 is a nice change for a car, the EV6 makes a compelling case.

I’m not sure I’d pay that because the mid-range EV6 wind is such a strong value. With a starting price of $48,795 in rear-wheel-drive form and $52,695 in all-wheel-drive form, it sacrifices a bit that I would really call critical. The HDA2 is gone, but the standard HDA 1 system is great – I promise you’ll survive without the automatic lane changes. Things like a panoramic sunroof and an augmented reality HUD are nice, but is it all worth $4,200? And would you want more than the two-motor arrangement, which costs just $3,900 on the Wind? Exactly.

Pricing Basic price with destination Competitive equipment price
Kia EV6 GT-Line RWD $41,400 + $1,295 $53,405
Ford Mustang Mach-E Prem X RWD $43,895 + $1,100 $55,875
Hyundai Ioniq 5 SEL RWD $44,000 + $1,295 $52,395
Toyota bZ4X Limited TA $42,000 + $1,215 $47,915
Volkswagen ID.4 Pro S RWD $41,230 + $1,295 $47,025

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