On the heels of the Hyundai Ioniq5 comes KIA and its EV6 electronic SUV that’s poised to shake up the market with great looks, great tech, and an excellent driving experience. Tesla should be worried.
There are two different models that we recently drove while in Sonoma, California. The Light version with read-wheel-drive and the full-blown GT-line. Their prices start at $40,900 and $55,900 respectively and each qualifies for the Federal EV credit of $7,500.
KIA developed a new modular platform called the E-GMP or Electric-Global Modular Platform which underpins all of its new CUV rear-wheel drive or dual-motor all-wheel-drive options. It incorporates the world’s first 800V multi-charging architecture which enables faster DC charging capabilities. KIA tells us that you can go from a 10-percent charge to 80-percent in under 18 minutes. The EV6 will run up to 217 miles on an 80-percent charge under ideal conditions. If you get in a pinch, you can do a 60-mile range charge in only 5 minutes.
To make this new charging tech a reality, KIA uses 77.5KWh high-density, lithium-ion batteries that provide a maximum of a 310-mile range. Overall horsepower output for the GT model is 320 and is said to propel the EV6 from 0-60 in less than 3.5 seconds.
Its exterior design is excellent and trend-setting. It breaks-away from the all-too-traditional look we see in so many SUVs on the road today. The rear of the car looks exceptionally great at night, all lit up.
The front seats are comfortable, supportive and feature lumbar support for both driver and passenger. Finally, a company seems to realize that both people in the front want that level of support.
The ride quality of the EV6 is very good, it uses the same 114.2-inch wheelbase as the Telluride SUV. Handling is solid and in energy recovery drive mode, you’ll find the one-pedal drive system can be rather handy. KIA includes a few drive modes, including eco, normal and sport — while the all-wheel-drive model also has a snow mode. The reason for this is because the AWD decouples the front motor after you get up to speed to help conserve energy. Going into snow mode forces the front motor to always be engaged.
We love the build-quality of the interior as top-shelf materials, look, feel and tech are here. In fact, it’s the first KIA to use an augmented reality heads-up display for driver assistance info, safety-related warnings and other useful driver information.
There are two 12.3-inch curved display screens that have a plethora of information available. The infotainment system has some very useful apps available as well as native support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Audio buffs will appreciate the high-powered multi-channel, multi-speaker system from Meridian Audio.
Standard safety includes blind spot monitoring/alert, forward collision avoidance, lane departure warning, highway driving assist, surround view camera, parking collision avoidance, cross traffic alert as well as remote parking assist called Smart Park.
Look for the EV6 to hit stores almost any day now. We have no doubts it’ll be a huge seller for KIA and it certainly offers better value than anything we currently have from Tesla. It’s great to see so much competition hitting the EV market as a rising tide lifts all boats and this kind of fire under the belly of other EV makers will help everyone ramp up their game.