Written by Justin Delaney, an Independent Reviewer, Journalist, and Motor expert.
Recently we were afforded the opportunity to take an initial test drive in the all-new electric KIA EV6. It’s a vehicle that has been teased for quiet some time and we had all seen pictures or video of the car prior to its Irish arrival but nothing prepared us for the sheer scale of the EV6. This is KIA’s first car to be based on the company’s highly advanced and dedicated architecture designed specifically for battery electric vehicles (BEVs). It brings long-range, zero-emissions power, high-tech 800V ultra-fast charging and crossover styling that can only be described as jaw dropping. The high-tech 800V charging capability means EV6 can go from 10% to 80% battery charge in just 18 minutes, while the GT version for those that want that little more performance will enjoy the 0 to 100 km/h dash in just 3.5 seconds leading up to a top speed of 260 km/h. KIA Ireland have stated that they will be initially offering two trim levels in the form of the EV6 Earth and EV6 GT Line. They are both RWD with minor differences in spec such as 19-inch wheels and a full charge range of 528kms on the Earth whilst the GT-line on 20-inch wheels sacrifices a little range to 506kms. Both models have the long-range 77.4 kWh battery pack paired with a 229ps electric motor. Both models are also fitted with a heat pump for efficiency.
When you are done drooling over the exterior you will have to take time out to discover what’s inside. Front passengers are greeted by a stylish, minimalist dashboard architecture that gives the cabin a remarkable sense of space. Like many other EV’s there is no need to house a central transmission tunnel so the EV6’s flat floor provides rear-seat passengers with 990mm of legroom for exceptional comfort. Sitting in the drivers seat the two curved 12.3-inch high definition widescreens, which have thin film panels that utilise new structures work great and leaves everything within easy reach. Premium materials are used throughout the EV6’s cabin for not just a welcoming feel but also for the utmost in durability. Sustainable materials have been used, from vegan leather trims to seat fabrics and floor carpet made using recycled plastics, equivalent to some 111 plastic 500ml water bottles apparently! An innovative new HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) system further enhances front passenger comfort and interior space whilst having minimum impact on battery life.
The EV6 line-up offers buyers a choice of multiple fully electric, zero-emission powertrain configurations, including long-range (77.4 kWh) and standard-range (58.0 kWh) high-voltage battery packs. Although not available here just yet the EV6 GT Line which equipped with high-tech 430 kW dual motors will be coming next year. This car is available exclusively with the long-range 77.4 kWh battery pack and has a maximum torque output of 740 Nm. From standstill the EV6 GT accelerates from 0-to 100 km/h in a blistering 3.5 seconds. The addition of an electronic-Limited Slip Differential adds to that performance car feel. The Earth 2WD 77.4 kWh model can travel up to 528 kilometres or 328 miles on a single charge on the WLTP combined cycle. The 77.4 kWh battery pack is paired with a 229ps electric motor powering the rear wheels and as mentioned above, this single motor variant is also available in GT Line trim.
Given the fact the EV6 is totally new it was always going to be something of a technology flagship for KIA. Bristling with safety features even in the standard version, buyers get autonomous emergency braking, which looks out for cyclists and pedestrians, as well as other vehicles. It also has the navigation-based smart cruise control system that can assist with driving in heavy traffic, which we recently sampled on the Sorento. GT-Line cars add blind-spot warnings, supplemented by semi-autonomous parking, highway driving assist, an augmented reality head-up display and a parking collision avoidance system. We anticipate it will score well when tested by NCAP.
Prices kick off at €50,000 for the EV6 Earth including SEAI Grant. Step up to the EV6 GT Line for €54,345 again including the SEAI Grant. It is also worth noting KIA’s partnership with part-owned IONITY will give EV6 customers access to over 400 high power charging stations across 24 European countries including the 6 currently operational in Ireland. At Ionity charge points it takes less than 4.5 minutes for 100km of range! All EV6 buyers will receive a free 12 month KIA Power Package subscription that offers this Ionity fast charging service at just €0.29 (normally € 0.79) per kWH.
Our time with the EV6 was short lived but we have been promised a weeklong test drive in the New Year. We flicked through the driver modes Eco, Normal, Sport and got to feel the various levels of power on offer. It felt engaging to drive on the back roads around Castleknock Golf course but we didn’t have long enough with it to see how battery power is managed. Attributes such as torque mapping, steering, ESC and energy consuming systems are managed by the vehicle’s intelligent drive tech to provide the most suitable driving experience at all times and in damp cold conditions, it didn’t put a foot wrong. We often over exaggerate steering and throttle inputs or late braking on an initial test drive to get a feel for the car but nothing flustered the EV6. The bright and spacious interior was a lovely place to be and we can’t wait to spend some more time with it. There has been a healthy interest in the new car with over 200 units sold before it even arrived to Ireland. With supply issues affecting most brands heading into 2022 it might be worth getting your name down for one! Go take a test drive today.
Supply might be a problem
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