2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line AWD
Class: Electric Vehicle
Miles driven: 161
Battery capacity: 77 kWh
|CG Report Card|
|Room and Comfort||B+|
|Power and Performance||B+|
|Fit and Finish||B+|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide’s impressions of the entire model lineup.|
|Big & Tall Comfort|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. “Big” rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, “Tall” rating based on 6’6″-tall male tester.|
|Engine Specs||320 horsepower|
|Engine Type||Electric motors|
EPA-estimate MPGe: 116 city/94 hwy/105 combined
EPA-estimated driving range: 274 miles
Consumer Guide range estimate (ideal conditions): 274 miles
Base price: $55,900 (not including $1215 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: GT-Line Suede Seat Package ($295)
Price as tested: $57,410
The great: Quick acceleration; generous level of standard equipment; fast-charging capability
The good: Decent passenger and cargo room for the size; striking styling inside and out; pleasant ride/handling balance
The not so good: So-so rear visibility; some unconventional controls require acclimation; limited “frunk” space
The 2022 Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5 are new kids in the EV neighborhood. Living as they do in the same corporate house, the compact crossovers have to share some of their toys. But they certainly don’t wear each other’s clothes.
In the EV6, the sharp angularity and mechanistic details of the Ioniq’s outer surfaces are replaced by soft, wavy contours. If the Ioniq 5 has a “made-by-the-hand-of-man” appearance, the EV6 is more “forces of nature”—even its sharpest edge, the combined rear spoiler and taillight housing, looks like a windswept sand dune or snowdrift. On the inside, it’s clear that they have things like infotainment and climate-control systems in common but layouts are completely different.
Not only are the vehicles’ style senses different, there’s also the issue of “fit.” The EV6’s 114.2-inch wheelbase is 3.9 inches shorter than the Ioniq 5 span, but the Kia’s overall length is slightly greater. The Hyundai is marginally wider, 2.2 inches taller, and possessed of 30.7 more cubic feet of interior volume.
The EV6 bows for ’22 as Kia’s first dedicated-platform pure-electric vehicle. (The Kia Niro EV also comes in hybrid and plug-in-hybrid from, and the Hyundai Ioniq 5 follows an earlier Ioniq hatchback sedan and the concurrent Kona subcompact SUV in the marque’s line of all-electric offerings.) Unlike some electric vehicles—including the Ioniq 5—the EV6 is available in all 50 states. At launch it came in three trim levels: Light, Wind, and GT-Line, with a higher-performance GT expected later in the model year. Light is rear-drive only and GT is solely all-wheel drive. Wind and GT-Line offer the choice of both drivelines. Consumer Guide tested an AWD GT-Line with a starting price of $57,115 including delivery.
Powerplants in Light through GT-Line models have the same outputs found in Ioniq 5s but the estimated driving ranges of the Kias are slightly longer. The 239-kW dual-motor installation in the tested GT-Line produces 320 horsepower and 446 lb-ft of torque but a full charge should take it 274 miles, according to the EPA, where an Ioniq 5 with the same motivation is pegged to run for 256 miles. So far, we’ve been able to drive only dual-motor examples of these new EVs. In either brand the system produces lots of quickly mustered power for snappy performance, particularly in “Normal” and “Sport” modes. (“Eco” and “Snow” settings are available too.) EV6s are rated to tow as much as 2300 pounds, 650 more than an Ioniq.
Available range adjusts with the drive mode. At the end of this driver’s 62-mile turn that was evenly divided between city and highway conditions the EV6 reported a 13-mile difference between Sport (at the low end) and Eco (at the high end). In all cases, the indicated range seemed destined to exceed the projected 253 miles at the start of the test, which began with the 77.4-kWh lithium-ion battery charged to 96 percent of capacity. Regenerative-energy capture is variable; pull on the steering-wheel paddles enough times and resistance rises to the level of one-pedal operation, a feature that this reviewer used liberally. At turn-in time, with 78 percent of charge remaining, the vehicle reported that it would need just under 3.5 hours on CG’s 240-volt “Level 2” charging station to be fully topped off. The EV6 is compatible with “Level 3” DC fast chargers and Kia says an 800-volt fast charger can squeeze enough juice for 217 miles of range in 18 minutes. Note that Kia includes 1000 kilowatt hours of charging at Electrify America locations, which equates to 3500 to 4000 miles of use.
Our sampled GT-Line with the torque-vectoring all-wheel drive handled well, with a little bit of a taste for staying fairly flat when sawing through closely spaced left-right corners. Ride was smooth and quiet.
An AWD GT-Line costs $4700 more than one with rear-wheel drive. In addition to two more driving wheels and 95 extra horsepower (but a reduction in driving range) that upcharge buys larger 20-inch black-finish alloy wheels, a heat pump (to help preserve range in cold weather), and a heated steering wheel and outboard rear seats.
One thing provided to all GT-Lines is a “Vehicle-to-Load” generator that enables powering external devices. Other standards are a power sunroof, Wi-Fi hotspot, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone compatibility, wireless phone charging, 14-speaker Meridian audio system, satellite radio, dual-zone climate control, hands-free tailgate, augmented-reality head-up display, heated and ventilated power-adjustable front seats, and Remote Smart Parking Assist that lets users guide the EV6 in and out of tight parking spaces while outside the vehicle. Safety and driver-assistance features include Highway Driving Assist 2 (light autonomy with lane centering and adaptive navigation-based cruise control), forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane-following and lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, and parking assists.
“Vegan leather” (made from recycled plastic water bottles, Kia says) is the standard GT-Line seat covering, but CG’s tester was clad with optional suede inserts that were attractive and comfortable. A sweeping digital display panel with 12.3-inch driving-gauge and infotainment screens that’s turning up in Hyundai-Kia products is used here. The infotainment touchscreen is easy to use. A touch-sensitive control pad at the center of the dash has “dual-purpose” buttons that can be toggled back and forth between climate and infotainment-system functions. A dramatic and brightly trimmed suspended arm—not really a console—holds seat-heat buttons, starter button (angled toward the driver), and a rotating drive selector. The usual array of door pockets, seat pouches, covered storage, and cup holders serves passengers.
Legroom is generous in front and adult-sized in back, but we suspect anyone 6 feet or taller may sense they’re close to the roof, especially in sunroof-equipped cars. There’s a little less cargo space in the EV6 than in the Ioniq 5; the tailgate slope has a hand in this. Rear 60/40-split seats fold utterly flat for more space and there is some shallow room under the load floor.
Kia’s first step into the EV era is a sound one. Range is no revelation, but EV6 road manners and features are pluses, and federal tax credits can whittle down the purchase price. The new kid on the block is ready to play.
2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line Gallery
Click below for enlarged images