Many EVs have come my way for road test, some have impressed, while many have just failed to hit the sweet spot. For me, the big problem is range; many still fall well short of an acceptable range. However, there are exceptions, and the best I have tested to date is the Kia EV6. Not only does it provide an acceptable range, but it has a premium feel- a fact which may come as a surprise to many. To be honest I am not at all surprised; on two occasions I have visited the home of the brand in South Korea. I was totally impressed by the attitude of all who work there from design right through to manufacture; they are never satisfied, always striving to produce the best and their reward shines through with the EV6.
Not only does this Kia satisfy in terms of range, but it delivers performance; several EVs I have tested may deliver reasonable acceleration, but at the top end very disappointing. I found performance bright with 226bhp at the command of the right foot; rest to 100kph (62mph) in a whisker over seven seconds and on to a top speed of 184kph (114mph) . When it comes to range, when charged it read 440km (274 miles), of course achieving a good range depends on a number of factors. If you are using lights, wipers, radio, heated seats etc, don’t expect the range which is stated.
There is a more powerful version with AWD, my test vehicle had two wheel drive; the AWD version featuring dual motors delivers 321bhp. A colleague from Derry highlighted another anxiety to go along with range- charger anxiety and unfortunately on this island of ours there are many places where there is a distinct lack of charging facilities and often when you find one, it is out of order. The EV6 brings up on its wide screen the distance to the nearest charge point, very clever indeed. Often when I have had an EV on test, the charger leads, usually two supplied, are very bulky and they are either loose in the boot or some type of bag. Not with Kia, keeping it all neat and tide in a storage area with a lid under the bonnet, this frees up all available space in the boot. On the subject of charging times, they vary from 18 minutes, 73 minutes, 7 hours 20 minutes to 32 hours 45 minutes and to aid peace of mind it is probably best to fit a home charger.
The EV6 is the company’s first dedicated electric vehicle, underpinned by the new E-GMP platform, a huge leap from the Soul EV which started back in 2015 and the EV6 is the first of eleven all new BEVs to be launched by Kia by 2026 Three model grades available in N.I. ‘Air’, ‘GT-Line’ and ‘GT-Line S’ while in the ROI currently one grade – ‘Earth’, My test vehicle was the entry level ‘Air; well appointed and very comfy. Many may have watched coverage of or indeed attended the recent Festival of Speed where the EV6 GT made a high speed performance, it can deliver blistering performance and when it arrives it will be the true flagship of the EV range. I for one will be keen to get behind the wheel The EV6 is the result of a collaborative effort between all three studios in Kia’s global design network in Namyang (South Korea), Frankfurt, and Irvine (California, USA). Is the EV6 the best EV I have tested? Yes without a doubt and one I could live with.