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2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line AWD first drive evaluation: Merely the perfect

Kia’s EV6 appears to be like superb, however it’s even higher from behind the wheel.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

The all-electric 2022 Kia EV6 is lastly right here, and the primary examples will likely be hitting dealerships over the subsequent few week. The battery electrical crossover relies on the identical Electrical World Modular Platform (E-GMP) because the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Genesis GV60 however rolls out with a barely totally different strategy to efficiency and its personal distinctive aesthetic. All instructed, its an enormous step ahead for Kia — the corporate’s engineers and designers put their finest foot all the best way ahead with this one.

Energy, vary and charging

The EV6 is offered with three powertrain configurations. There’s the 167-horsepower base mannequin with its 58-kilowatt-hour battery pack and 232-mile EPA-estimated vary. Upgrading to a bigger 77.4-kWh battery pack boosts the single-motor output to 225 hp and estimated vary to 310 miles. Peak torque for each configurations is said at 258 pound-feet.

My instance options the stronger dual-motor all-wheel-drive setup, which retains the 77.4-kWh battery however provides a second motor to the entrance axle, boosting whole output to 320 hp and 446 lb-ft. Extra energy comes a small compromise to vary, dropping all the way down to an EPA-estimated 272 miles per full cost.

Kia paid specific consideration to the charging expertise; the EV6’s 800-volt system boasts a number of the quickest theoretical charging speeds on the street as we speak. At a 350-kW DC quick charging station, the Kia can add as much as 180 miles of vary in round quarter-hour and hustle by way of a 20-80% cost in round 20 minutes. At a slower 50-kW DC station, a full cost takes slightly over an hour, whereas an 11-kW Stage 2 dwelling or public station takes between 6 and seven hours. Each EV6 consists of 1,000 kWh of complimentary charging at Electrify America stations, and a few fast back-of-the-napkin math figures that to be round 3,500 miles of free best-case-scenario vary.

I solely want the EV6’s charging port was situated close to the entrance, reasonably than its present spot above the rear bumper. In my expertise, it is often simpler to tug nostril first into most charging stations — significantly in tons with angled parking — however that is largely nitpicking. The EV6’s charging port can also be bidirectional. With the help of the included vehicle-to-load (V2L) charging adapter, customers are in a position to plug in 110-volt equipment and home equipment for cellular or emergency energy. Kia provides the instance of powering a house fridge for greater than 300 hours (virtually two weeks) within the occasion of an prolonged blackout. There’s additionally a second 110-volt outlet beneath the rear seats. House owners can set a discharge restrict on the V2L output, making certain there’s sufficient vary to get dwelling on the finish of a day tailgating.

Electrical grin generator

Final yr, I had a chance to take a look at the EV6 on a really quick agility course, so I already knew how laborious this dual-motor configuration launches, however I used to be more than pleased to expertise it many times on the street. The EV6 completes the 0-to-60-mph dash in simply 4.6 seconds, surging ahead with easy, silent confidence and pulling my facial options again into a smile. Stoplight shenanigans are enjoyable, however the EV6’s flat torque curve implies that it is simply as responsive throughout a brief merge on the base of an on-ramp or a fast move at freeway speeds.

The EV6 has one of many quickest charging speeds of any new automotive as we speak.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

The EV6 options paddles that regulate the extent of regenerative braking utilized when lifting the accelerator. There are 4 major settings, starting from Stage 0’s no-regen coasting to Stage 3 with near-max regeneration, which is fairly near one-pedal driving, however nonetheless requires the brake pedal to carry at a whole cease and can creep ahead at very low speeds. There’s a fifth i-Pedal mode that allows true, full-stop, one-pedal braking, however it’s solely selectable below sure situations and the EV6 will at all times revert to Stage 3 when restarting.

4 drive modes are additionally selectable. Eco mode detunes the accelerator’s responsiveness and deactivates the entrance motor below most situations for the absolute best vary. Sport boosts throttle sensitivity and makes full use of each motors for max responsiveness. Regular is the default setting, splitting the distinction with on-demand use of the entrance motor. Twin-motor fashions additionally function a fourth Snow mode for elevated traction in slippery situations.

The EV6’s static suspension is properly tuned with a agency trip that emphasizes the sportier aspect of the E-GMP structure. After my preliminary quick take a look at, I feared it might skew too agency for consolation, however on the street my fears had been allayed by the crossover’s balanced agility with a nonetheless wonderful stage of compliance over bumps. The EV6 will not idiot you into pondering it is a sports activities automotive, however there’s some efficiency potential on this Kia.

This dual-motor GT-Line mannequin steps as much as bigger 20-inch wheels.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

The steering is properly weighted with sufficient constructive suggestions to make going round bends satisfying. Apparently, throughout full-throttle launches, the EV6 squats again onto its haunches sufficient that I used to be in a position to really feel the steering loosen up a contact — not a lot that it detracts from the general surefooted stance and flat, managed dealing with, however sufficient of an impact so as to add to the “holy crap, I am hauling” feeling.

I used to be shocked to discover a menu within the infotainment system that allowed me to pick from three settings for the EV6’s fake engine sound. There’s the refined Trendy sound, a deep Dynamic tone and a sci-fi Cyber sound, every with three quantity ranges that correspond to the throttle place and velocity. Customers may customise the behaviors of any of the three presets or fully disable the generated sounds altogether. 

Infotainment and inside design

Total, the EV6’s cabin is about the identical dimension as that of the Hyundai Ioniq 5. Nevertheless, the Kia feels extra compact and its inteior extra cockpit-like thanks largely to its bigger, floating heart console that stretches as much as virtually meet the dashboard — to not point out my tester’s darker upholstery. Kia’s console would not slide like Hyundai’s, so passengers will not have the ability to take as a lot benefit of the flat flooring, however I just like the EV6’s heart unit makes room for devoted and simply reached controls for the heated seats and steering wheel simply forward of the digital rotary shifter. (Hyundai hides these generally accessed controls in a touchscreen submenu.)

The EV6’s bigger heart console makes the crossover really feel extra cramped than the Ioniq 5, however noticeably improves ergonomics.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Twin 12.3-inch screens stretch throughout the dashboard behind a single curved panel. The left display screen serves because the totally digital instrument cluster, whereas the proper is the touch-sensitive major infotainment show.  The menu system is just like the icon-based setup utilized in many trendy Hyundai, Kia and Genesis automobiles and is logically organized, satisfyingly responsive and full of a complement of helpful and peculiar options like a voice memo recorder or ambient soundscapes. Personally, I desire Kia’s darkish interface to the retina searing white menus of the Ioniq 5, significantly when driving at evening.

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are customary, however wi-fi connectivity for the applied sciences shouldn’t be supported. That makes the usual wi-fi charging pad, which simply barely suits my Google Pixel 6 Professional, a bit much less helpful, in my view — an annoyance that is compounded by the truth that the one USBs usable for information connectivity are beneath the dashboard close to the ground. Total, the EV6 options 4 USB ports, together with a pair of Kind-C ports on the entrance seat backs for simple backseat charging.

Simply beneath the primary touchscreen is a capacitive financial institution that serves double obligation as local weather controls and menu shortcuts. By default, there are knobs for quantity and tuning and shortcuts to varied infotainment capabilities just like the map or cellphone menus, however with the faucet of a button it switches to knobs for dual-zone temperature management and buttons for varied local weather modes. Now, on the one hand, having to toggle between the 2 modes is slightly annoying at first. Nevertheless, should you’re the type of one that likes to set their automated temperature settings and overlook them, it isn’t so unhealthy, particularly contemplating the local weather options I am most definitely to fiddle with — the heated and ventilated seats — are at all times out there on the console. After a couple of days behind the wheel, the uncommon toggle turned second nature.

This financial institution of capacitive buttons and knobs could be toggled between local weather and infotainment controls with a faucet.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Drivewise security suite

The 2022 Kia EV6 comes customary with Kia’s wonderful Drivewise driver-assistance suite. This consists of lane-centering steering help along with entrance, rear and blind-spot collision avoidance tech and machine-learning adaptive cruise management that works in stop-and-go site visitors and adapts over time to match the motive force’s habits. The EV6 additionally boasts a surround-view digital camera system that aids in exact parking and the automaker’s blind spot digital camera system that shows a video feed of the adjoining lane when signaling for a lane change. Rounding out the packed listing of options is Kia’s Distant Sensible Parking Help, which permits the EV6 to tug straight ahead or again in or out of a slender parking spot whereas the motive force controls from curbside with the important thing fob.

For essentially the most half, I am happy with the EV6’s tech suite. Nevertheless, the head-up show wants a bit of labor. The additional-large HUD guarantees to duplicate a 44-inch show projected over the hood of the automotive however, from my regular seating place, clips the underside edge in any respect however the highest vertical adjustment stage. Augmented actuality information can also be supposed to spotlight the automotive forward when cruise management is lively, however the system would not robotically monitor my head/eye place like Mercedes-Benz’s AR system, so the glowing spotlight sits too far to the left. There are handbook changes I can tweak to raised line up the overlay, however the highlighted zone would not seem when parked, that means I might should fine-tune it whereas driving, which is distracting. I am usually a fan of head-up tech, however that is the uncommon instance the place I simply discover myself not bothering and turning off many of the HUD’s options.

The HUD is a dud, however that is hardly a dealbreaker on an in any other case wonderful machine.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Pricing and competitors

The 2022 Kia EV6 begins at $42,115 together with a $1,215 vacation spot cost for the bottom EV6 Gentle with the smaller, customary vary battery. My top-spec EV6 GT-Line AWD stickers for $57,115, arriving at an as-tested $58,105 due to $695 Metal Matte Grey Paint and $295 GT-Line suede seats. Ignoring these aesthetic selections, the EV6 is between $370 and $1,190 dearer than a comparably outfitted Ioniq 5 however boasts between 7 and 18 miles of extra vary relying on the chosen trim stage. I additionally desire the look of the EV6 and is smarter cabin controls, however your preferences might fluctuate.

Outdoors of Hyundai Motor Group, Ford’s Mustang Mach-E performs in the identical worth and efficiency vary, as does the Polestar 2. After all, there’s additionally the Tesla Mannequin Y Lengthy Vary, which edges Kia out on estimated vary at the price of a bigger price ticket and different compromises

Its excellent vary and wonderful worth could be sufficient to advantage your consideration, however the 2022 Kia EV6 stands even additional other than the group with head-turning fashion, actually satisfying efficiency and distinctive options like V2L energy and ridiculously quick charging. It isn’t only a robust contender for top-of-the-line automobiles on this rising class of electrical crossovers, it is also top-of-the-line, most considerate vehicles Kia has ever made.

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