2022 Kia EV6 - Review by Larry Nutson
Editor's Note: This EV review is a perfect example of why The Auto Channel reviews are performed by expert journalists only. Today, vehicle technology is advancing rapidly. We are transitioning away from the internal combustion engine being the sole source of vehicle power. New technology can be confusing to the average driver. Our long time professionals have more to give than just specs, impressions and driving opinions...our review team will give you more whys, hows and when's of the reviewed vehicle and how its history affects what it is today. Each of our journalists brings personal perspective and experienced relevance to their reviews making them unique among today's typical lead - gen site reviews.
A new beginning
By Larry Nutson
Executive Editor and Bureau Chief
THE AUTO CHANNEL
Over eight years ago at the February 2014 Chicago Auto Show Kia revealed the 2015 Soul EV. The Soul EV was Kia’s first all-electric, zero-emission car sold in the U.S. It went on sale in the third quarter of 2014, initially being sold in California.
The Soul EV had an average 93 miles of driving range when the high voltage battery was 100% charged. Although sold mostly in California, I drove the Soul EV in Chicago during the cold of winter.
How times have changed! Fast-forward to today and we have the Kia EV6 5-passenger sports crossover with a driving range of up to 310 miles. The entirely new EV6 is built on a purpose-built EV platform.
For 2022, EV6 is offered in Light, Wind and GT-Line trims. The Light trim is rear-wheel drive while Wind and GT-Line trims are available in rear-wheel drive and also Dual Motor e-AWD configurations.
EV conversations today are about driving range and charging times. Rear-wheel drive EV6 configurations deliver up to an EPA-rated 310-miles of all-electric range (AER). EV6 e-AWD configurations get up to 274 miles of AER.
Driving range varies dependent on driving conditions. An electric vehicle can get both more or less than the EPA mileage ratings. Driving style, vehicle load, vehicle maintenance and condition, terrain, ambient temperature and battery temperature all have influence.
Kia has achieved 339 miles of real-world city/highway driving with a RWD EV6. With and e-AWD EV6 Kia achieved 281 miles. Compare these to the figures above.
Kia has the world’s first patented multi-charging system supporting 400v and 800v DC charging, which works on DC chargers with speeds ranging from 50kW to 350kW. An 800v DC fast charging from a 350-kW charger allows nearly 70 miles added in less than 5 minutes. Up to 217-miles (10-to-80 percent) can be added in under 18 minutes.
A 11kW on-board charger (OBC) provides Level 2 recharging from 10-to-100 percent in 7 hours, 10 minutes (240v AC, at 40-amps) for the larger 77.4 kWh battery versions.
Kia went out with the EV6 and captured a Guinness World Record, traveling 2,880.5 miles with the shortest charging time to cross the United States in an electric vehicle. During the seven-day trek from New York City to Los Angeles, the Kia EV6 was plugged in for only 7 hours, 10 minutes and 1 second, beating previous record holder, Tesla, by more than five and a half hours (12 hours, 48 minutes, and 19 seconds).
EV6 Light trim is equipped with 58.0 kWh battery with a 168kW rear motor that yields 167 horsepower and AER of 232-miles. Wind and GT-Line RWD have a 77.4 kWh battery with a 168kW rear motor that yields 225 horsepower and AER of 310-miles
Wind and GT-Line AWD with Dual Motor e-AWD have 77.4 kWh battery with a 74kW front motor and a 165kW rear motor yielding 320 horsepower and AER of 274-miles. Estimated zero-to-60 performance is 5.1 seconds.
For 2023 a new GT trim Dual Motor e-AWD with 77.4 kWh battery with a 160kW front motor and a 270kW rear motor has 576 horsepower. Estimated zero-to-60 mph performance is in 3.4 seconds. Top speed is 161 mph.
For the three EV6 trims now available 0 to 60 mph acceleration ranges from 8.0 seconds to 5.1 seconds. And, this is plenty quick for the average driver in everyday use.
The EV6 is 184.3 inches long and rides on a 114.2 inch wheelbase. Seating is for five with 24.4 cu.ft. of cargo space behind the rear seat. This opens up to 50.2 cu.ft. with the rear seat folded.
Overall, the EV6 is a nice size urban-use vehicle that will comfortably transport you and your family with good driving dynamics while providing decent driving range to carry out your household errands or commute to your workplace.
I recently had a week’s time with a EV6 GT-line model. My driving was mostly of the city-type near my Chicago home as well as a couple longer distance highway drives to the suburbs and back. Driving range was never a concern. The 310 miles of range with a fully charged battery is plenty for the kind of driving I did. Plus, with all the stop-and-go city driving regenerative braking--there are four levels of regenerative braking, played a big role in adding charge back into the battery.
My EV6 arrived with about 85% charge. I never needed to recharge although I wasn’t concerned about doing so. A public Level 3 DCFC is nearby. The EV6 features a Battery Heating System that manages the battery’s temperature to ensure optimal conditions. Battery conditioning is a function that not only preheats to secure better performance when the battery temperature is low, but also shortens the amount of charging time by adjusting the battery temperature.
I drove the EV6 as if it were mine. I went about my daily business enjoying its distinctive exterior design, refined and stylish interior appointments, very quick acceleration and balanced driving dynamics. More often than not, when parked out in the public I got comments from on-lookers about the sleek good looks of the EV6. The flush door handles that popped out when I approached the car drew some attention.
EVs tend to be weighty due to the heavy batteries mounted low under the floor. Depending on model the EV6 has a curb weight in the range of 4,000 to 4,800 lbs. Ride is a bit harsh on some EVs but I didn’t feel that the case with the EV6. The low-profile 45-series tires on 20-inch wheels do pick up more road imperfections, but not to an extreme or a concern. And, with no internal combustion engine making its own noise or masking other vehicle noises, I was pleased with the quiet driving environment of the EV6.
The EV6 is equipped with a long list of collision warning, collision intervention, and driving control assistance features.
More information and details on the Kia EV6 can be found at www.kia.com. 2022 model pricing starts at $41,400 and goes up to $56,400 plus $1,295 destination charge. Prices for the 2023 models including the new GT are expected to be released in the fourth quarter 2022.
All EV6 buyers will receive a charging credit of 1,000 kWh, useable over a 3-year period. An innovative Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) function turns EV6 into a mobile power source for computers, camping, tailgating, and back-up power at home
Certain EV-related broad National concerns remain, such as creating greater access to charging (especially for apartment and condo dwellers), extending vehicle range, and lowering purchase prices, according to findings from the largest-ever nationally representative survey from Consumer Reports. Thirty-six percent of Americans are planning to buy or lease an electric vehicle or are seriously considering to do so.
Take note. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 made change to the federal EV tax credit which is now referred to as a Clean Vehicle Credit. Check for the latest details on this should you go shopping.
© 2022 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy