On the road

0-100: Kia EV6 GT-Line

Kia’s EV6 might well be the fraternal twin of Hyundai’s Ioniq 5, but with its superior range and pace, it’s by no means a second-choice electric vehicle.

Between them, Korean siblings Hyundai and Kia have thrown down the gauntlet to electric vehicle (EV) rivals like Tesla and Polestar, introducing two impressive new battery electric models within months of each other. Journeys covered the stylish and technically impressive Hyundai Ioniq 5 in our Feb- March edition and it’s now time for that car’s twin-under-the-skin the Kia EV6 to take centre stage.

While the Korean EVs couldn’t look more different, they share underpinnings, both being built on a shared Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). Unlike previous EVs from both brands, which were based on internal combustion models, the Ioniq 5 and EV6 are built from the ground up to be dedicated EVs. The design freedom this enables has resulted in two truly eye-catching vehicles, with the EV6 adopting a curvier and more overtly sporty look than the edgy and futuristic Ioniq 5.

Hidden beneath the Kia’s sweeping curves is a large 77.4kWh battery pack that provides power to its twin electric motors, one at either end of the vehicle, endowing the large 2.1-tonne SUV with sports-car-rivalling acceleration. Those twin motors ensure the range-topping EV6 GT-Line AWD is quickest and grippiest of the three-model EV6 lineup. But the extra motor also draws more power, meaning the two single-motor variants travel an extra 44km using the same battery pack. When it comes time to charge, all three EV6 models can use ultra-fast 350kW chargers thanks to their 800V electrical systems, placing them in elite company, along with the Ioniq 5 and Porsche Taycan.

On the road, the EV6 shows the benefits of Kia’s commitment to local suspension development and tuning, with its disciplined body control and ride quality that is firm but never crashy, even on the standard 20-inch wheels and tyres. With its battery weight set low under the floor and the twin motors shuffling drive to either end on demand, the EV6 is a quick and highly capable crosscountry tourer, with a level of involvement that will please enthusiast drivers.

The sporty exterior design carries over to the attractive and sophisticated interior, with its pair of curved digital display screens stretching out ahead of the driver, and a rotary gear selector set atop a floating centre console. Anyone who watched the Australian Open on TV in February can’t help but be aware of the EV6, thanks to Kia’s advertising blitz. Unfortunately, that might be as close as most will come to seeing one in the metal for a while at least, since Kia’s entire 2022 allocation amounts to just 500 vehicles, with demand already far outstripping supply.

The specs

Retail price: $82,990 (Stamp duty exempt in Tas)

Body style: Medium SUV

Seating: 5

Energy consumption: 18.0kWh/100km

ANCAP safety rating: TBC (Not yet tested)

Motor type: Dual front-and-rear-mounted permanent magnet synchronous electric

Battery: 77.4kWh lithium-ion polymer

Range: 484km (WLTP)

Transmission: Single speed reduction gear

Drive type: All-wheel drive

Max. power: 239kW

Max. torque: 605Nm

0–100km/h: 5.2 seconds

For more, visit Kia.