It’s now April, which means that many of the 2022 releases have finally hit the road in car news. Along with the high profile releases like the electric trucks from GM and Ford, or the initial releases from German automakers like BMW and Volkswagen, the Hyundai Group made their EV debut with the Kia EV6 station wagon.
The Kia EV6 is powered by the Hyundai Group’s Electric Global Modular Platform. This versatile platform will be used in a significant amount of Kia’s EV lineup going forward and in EVs from Hyundai. However, the Kia EV6 acts as a jumping-off point for the group’s electrification initiative.
The EV6’s design lends itself to a new direction for its EV lineup; there are still remnants of previous models that show up. The car keeps to the basic silhouette of the Kia brand by maintaining the tapering roofline. Yet, the famous tiger-nose grille on all of its Internal Combustion Engine cars has been all but omitted, opting instead for the industry trend of a grille-less front. Despite lacking the tiger nose, the rest of the face is still very much on brand. Thin aggressive lights outline the gentle curve of the hood and make the car easily recognizable despite the lack of a grille. The vehicle’s body is sleek and minimal, owing to the line tracing the outside of the body and door handles that run flush with the doors. The brake lights are oddly sculptural and provide an interesting contour to the rear of the car. As a whole, the car’s body is a sporty, fun addition to Kia’s lineup.
The EV6 enjoys some pretty nice automotive chops as well. The line provides a range of performance levels, with the lowest rear-wheel-drive model delivering power as little as 167 horsepower and or as much as 567 horsepower on their all-wheel-drive GT model. The EV6 also achieves acceleration times as quickly as 0-60 in 3.5 seconds. Yet, despite the performance metrics, the car was very much designed for comfortable cruising and city driving. The main reason for this is the battery range. Most EV6 models sit squarely in the mid-200 mile range segment, which isn’t nearly enough for long road trips. Although the longest EV6 model, the RWD GT, tops out at 310 miles of range which could pull its weight on the longer trips and, as a bonus, rub shoulders with the Tesla Model Y’s 330 miles of range. The car offers super fast charging capabilities in lieu of a wider battery range at lower price points. On a DC fast charging station, the car can replenish the battery from 10% to 80% in under 18 minutes and can supply about 70 miles back in less than five. Even without access to a DC fast charger, a Level 2 charger can fully charge a car in less than 7 hours.
The interior is marked by a well-curated array of knobs, buttons, and screens, a welcome relief from the extreme minimalism applied to many of the market’s emerging EVs. Both the dashboard and the infotainment system are very driver-centric. The screens face the driver’s seat, and the knobs used to control the infotainment center are positioned closer to the driver’s seat for easier access. The five-seat interior is spacious and offers plenty of room for cargo, with 24 cubic feet of storage in the trunk, which becomes 54 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded back. There is also additional storage space in the front trunk space.
The EV6 also enjoys plenty of safety features, including collision avoidance systems for pedestrians, lane changing, and oncoming traffic. In addition, it has a host of sensors and cameras to monitor blind spots, assist with parking, change lanes, and smart cruise control functions.
The Kia EV6 pricing starts at just over $42,000 for its entry-level option, with its GT version starting at just over $52,000. Overall, the car is an excellent choice for a mid-level price point electric vehicle. With this being the first release of the Hyundai Groups’ electric overhaul, it will be interesting to see what they do next.