Kia on charge with

EV6

Kia EV6, 2021, front
Kia EV6, 2021, side
Kia EV6, 2021, rear
Kia EV6, 2021, rear, action
Kia EV6, 2021, instrument panel
Kia EV6, 2021, interior
Kia EV6, 2021, charging port
Kia EV6, 2021, rear seats
Kia EV6, 2021, boot

KIA has launched its first all-new electric vehicle and it boasts a choice of trims, impressive driving ranges between charges, fast charging and a competitive price-tag.

It is called the EV6 and has been developed as part of a collaboration between all three studios in Kia's global design network including Korea, Germany and the US.

Owners can choose between two powertrains - a 226bhp rear-wheel drive single motor or a 321bhp all-wheel drive dual motor. In addition, at launch there are three trims levels on offer called Air, GT-Line and GT-Line S with a high performance GT flagship joining the range at a later date.

The EV6 is competitively priced with models costing from £40,945 to £51,945 (OTR) and, with a driving range from 300 to 328 miles between charges, range anxiety should be non-existent.

With its crossover-inspired design, the EV6 boasts Kia's traditional tiger nose face with sleek daytime running lights, a distinctive grille for the electrified era, a swept back windscreen, bold rear haunches, a rear spoiler and the option of 19 or 20-inch alloy wheels.

There is a strong emphasis on sustainability with vegan leather upholstery and sections of the dashboard and centre console feature recycled plastics with 107 plastic 500ml water bottles used in each car.

On-board technology is impressive across the entire range too with a wealth of creature comforts to explore. These include, depending on trim, a 14-speaker Meridian sound system, smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, a head-up display, twin 12.3-inch touchscreens with a curved panoramic display, a wireless mobile charger and remote parking assist.

The car has a clutter-free feel to it with a minimal number of physical buttons. Instead the likes of the climate control and infotainment and navigation system are accessed via a dedicated screen with haptic feel buttons. This is far simpler than complicated drop-down touchscreen menus and causes less driver distraction.

GT-Line and GT-Line S models are available with both rear- and all-wheel drive - the later offering extra grip in poorer driving conditions.

The RWD EV6 has a driving range of up to 328 miles on a single charge and the battery delivers a power output of 226bhp with torque of 350Nm. It can sprint to 62mph from a standstill in 7.3 seconds and tops out at 114mph. The AWD versions with a dual motor have 321bhp on tap with 605Nm of torque. This translates into a 0-62mph sprint time of just 5.2 seconds and maximum speed also of 114mph. AWD versions have a driving range of up to 314 miles between charges.

The battery pack is located beneath the cabin floor between the axles which not only opens up extra space within the cabin, but also helps give the car a low centre of gravity. And that in turn has a knock on effect when it comes to performance.

We tried the EV6 GT-Line S model with AWD powered by the 77.4kWh battery. This car was priced at £51,945 and not only looked stunning, but offered performance ability to match.

The acceleration is blisteringly fast and there is always ample power to overtake at short notice. There is a choice of drive modes with Sport offering a truly dynamic experience sharpening up the throttle considerably. There are also various levels of regenerative braking to capture energy, so single pedal driving is a possibility.

The car is perfectly balanced through the B roads where it can be unleashed and on motorways it reaches the national speed limit in the blink of an eye - it is that quick.

With fine-tuned steering offering great precision and agility, the EV6 is engaging to drive and the suspension set-up has been engineered to deliver a sportier driving experience.

And special mention to the new look infotainment screens that are modern, clear and exceptionally stylish in their layout and design.

The cabin remains beautifully refined with very little noise filtering through thanks to sound absorbent materials in the doors, wheel arches, floor and boot lid.

In addition, the speaker system delivers a clever active sound that matches the speed the car is travelling at and drivers can select from three levels, adjust the volume or turn it off completely.

There is bundles of space within the EV6 with room for a trio of back seat occupants - the lack of any central tunnel is good news for the passenger in the middle seat.

Storage options are impressive too with the EV6 able to swallow 490 litres of luggage - a limit that increases to 1,300 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat. The capacity is 480 litres on the GT-Line S models due to the Meridian sound system's sub-woofer eating into boot space.

There is also a front boot or frunk as it's known and this can hold an additional 52 litres of kit on RDW cars or 20 litres on AWD models.

Within the cabin there are a number of convenient storage options, including a large glovebox, a huge centre storage tray, front and rear cup holders and a charging pad on all apart from EV6 Air versions.

And with family breaks in mind and little fear of range anxiety, the EV6 makes the ideal vehicle to tow a caravan with a weight limit of 1.6 tonnes.

Safety features are comprehensive too with more kit added as you move up through the trim levels. Expect to see the likes of forward collision avoidance with pedestrian and cyclist detection, highway driving assistance, lane follow assist, lane keep assist, driver attention warning, blind spot collision avoidance, rear-cross traffic alert and a system to automatically park the vehicle in a tight space.

All EV6 models are supplied with a five-metre Type 2 to Type-2 charger as well as a Type 2 to domestic three-pin plug charger as standard. The car has an innovative multi high-speed charging system which gives it access to a broader charging infrastructure. It is compatible with both 800v ultra-fast charging and more mainstream 400v fast charging without any special adaptor needed.

Stopping at an 800V charger sees the battery boosted from 10 to 80 per cent in just 18 minutes.

Of course there are other alternative charging options. Via a 50kW charger it takes 1 hour and 13 minutes, or to a full 100 per cent using a 7kW home charger in seven hours and 20 minutes.

All in all, the Kia EV6 is a very impressive newcomer. It looks striking, drives beautifully, is packed with tech and offers a great driving range between charges - all for a price that will raise a few eyebrows too.

And there will be more to follow before long too as Kia has announced that the EV6 is the first of 11 fully electric vehicles to be launched by the company by 2026.

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