2022 Kia EV6 Wind RWD - Review by Bruce Hotchkiss +VIDEO
Does It Measure Up?
Special Correspondent, West Coast Bureau
THE AUTO CHANNEL
I am turning into an Electric Vehicle (EV) fan. I've driven a few and for the most part I like them. It bothers me that so many people want to disparage EVs. If you're on social media you've probably seen some of the negative posts.
I won't deny that EVs are not perfect, and they aren't for everyone - yet. If you go back to the dawn of the automobile you will see that gas engine cars weren't reliable at all. It took a couple of decades before they were commonplace. You would hear people say that the automobile would never replace the horse.
Think about the strides EVs have made in a short time span. Ten years ago an EV with a range of 100 miles was big news. Today many have a range of 300 miles and a few many more.
There are downsides to EVs. Recharging takes way longer than filling up a gas tank. And there aren't enough charging stations. The electric grid in this country stinks. EV batteries depend on rare, often toxic materials. But you know what? Petroleum is pretty darn toxic too.
EVs will get better. I predict that in the very near future most new EVs will be able to travel at least 500 miles on a charge. Hopefully, there will be new battery technology that will negate the problems of the current batteries.
EVs are not "the" answer but they are part of the answer. EVs, or some new tech, will be the transportation answer for the immediate future though.
Now onto the 2022 Kia EV6 Wind Rear-Wheel-Drive.
Generally I find the style of many EVs weird. I don't like weird, I think it is a detriment for many people. I think the EV6 tiptoes up to the edge of weird. It grew on me over the week I had it but I'm still not sure.
When I first walked around the EV6 I couldn't see the charge port. It isn't completely hidden but it took me a few minutes to see it built into the right rear corner. From a styling point of view it makes sense to hide the door but maybe a 'fuel-filler door' is what most people expect.
You can open the door by pushing on the left side, or just use the release button on the left lower dash. There is a button just under those four hash marks (they show the state of charge when charging) to close the door. It seems a tad overboard to have an automatic closer for that small door.
Inside there is some weirdness. When the EV6 was delivered it was a hot day - very hot. I wanted to adjust the A/C but I didn't see any controls. I fiddled around (why bother looking things up in the manual) and all of a sudden the radio controls became the climate control system's controls. I have no idea why it was designed this way but it annoyed me. It's something you'll probably get used to but anything that requires you to take your eyes off the road to operate is a minus in my book.
The rest of the interior was pretty straightforward. There were a few things I'd change but nothing that would kill a deal. I wouldn't put the smartphone wireless charger so close to the cup holders (yes I spilled coffee).
There are a lot of safety settings that you should familiarize yourself with. I went through all the settings to turn stuff on or off. Some of the safety stuff seems too intrusive to me so I appreciate that you can turn them off.
It seems that most if not all reviews of any EV focus on how quick it is. Other than being able to keep up with traffic, acceleration is far from a major concern for me (unless I'm in a performance car). If you want an EV that is quick Kia offers the EV6 GT-Line that goes 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds. I want to know how far I can drive on a full charge. The Kia EV6 Wind RWD is rated at up 310 miles on a full charge. That's decent.
Charging any EV can be an issue. The EV6 does not come with a Level 1 charging cable. You either have to buy a cable, install a Level 2 at your home, or use one of the commercial charging stations. This was my first time using a charging station and it was not pleasant. I spent 20-minutes trying to get the charger to work. I had no idea if I was doing something wrong (being a newbie) or if there was a problem with the charger. It ended up that the charger was the problem and eventually I got one to work.
While I was fighting with the charger probably five or six other EVs came to charge up. This surprised me because I just assumed that EV owners had some level of charging at home. The charging infrastructure right now is not capable of handling the traffic. (As I write this our electric company, PG&E, has asked that EV owners refrain from charging their EVs due to excessive demand on the grid.)
It seems that many automakers decided white (or off-white) should be the color for interiors. White should only be available for neatniks! I do appreciate that seats are covered in what Kia calls vegan leather (and no I am not anti-meat).
The EV6 had a perfect entry/exit height for me. And once inside the seats were nice and comfy. There's plenty of storage between the front seats both in a small bin with a lid and beneath the center console.
Behind the rear seats there is 24.4 cubic feet of storage; fold the seats down and that increases to 50.2 cu. ft.
I liked driving the EV6, I could live with it. It is comfortable and easy to drive. The least expensive 2022 Kia EV6, a Light RWD, starts at $41,400. The test EV6 Wind FWD is $47,500, and the top EV6 GT Line AWD hits $56,400. There are of course tax incentives.
To answer the question, does the Kia EV6 Wind RWD measure up? I'd say yes. Among the current crop of EVs it's a solid hit. It has the same drawbacks many EVs have but it is so well put together that I have no problem recommending it.