By Mike Torpey on 2023-05-13 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Kia EV6 GT-Line S
FEW would dispute that the Kia EV6 electric model is one of the most stylish looking cars on the road.
So it may come as a surprise to learn that designing the interior was the most important priority for the EV6 design team.
In fact design chief Jochen Paeson summed up the brand's philosophy by insisting that while people are first attracted by the exterior of cars, they eventually fall in love with the interior - where they spend most of their time.
Fair point, and with that in mind the cabin of the EV6 is certainly something to behold, with its premium relaxation seats that can lift and recline at the touch of a button - ideal for reading a book or having a quick nap while the car is charging.
Taking centre stage is a curved display incorporating a pair of 12.3-inch screens, the left one a touchscreen, with essential info in front of the driver and everything else - like radio and sat nav - above the centre console.
There are also traditional knobs for controlling temperature and air flow with a touch-sensitive bar between them.
Like the rest of the cabin, it all looks very futuristic - there's plenty going on but at no time is there a sense of clutter. It's minimalistic and it works.
Interior space is a revelation in that you aren't expecting the amount of available head, leg or shoulder room before getting into the car. It's so good and the seats are so comfortable that there's a definite limo feel, especially in the back.
Plenty of smart storage is on offer too, the likes of an oversized glovebox, central container, stowage tray for small bags, door bins, drinks holders and, on GT-Line and GT-Line S models, a wireless mobile phone charging pad.
Fold down the 60/40 second row seats and the boot capacity stretches to a handy 1,300 litres, plus an extra 52 litres in the front boot, where there would normally be an engine.
But there's far more to the EV6 than an accommodating interior. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder but few would deny that this is a stunning-looking vehicle with its flared features, stylish bulges and low-slung stance.
There are two variants up for grabs, one with a single electric motor driving the rear wheels and the other featuring a motor on each axle giving it all-wheel drive.
Our model in high spec GT-Line S trim was the rear-wheel drive version priced at £53,645 and offering 226bhp as opposed to the 321bhp of the four-wheel drive car, which costs around £4,000 more. It equates to an acceleration time of 0-62 in 7.3 seconds and top speed of 114mph.
More important to many drivers will be the driving range of 328 miles, removing any distance anxiety concerns, and while it makes sense to have your own wallbox the EV6 will power up quickly from a public fast charger. We charged from 10 to 80 per cent in 75 minutes at a 50kWh point.
The car we drove also benefited from Kia's latest generation heat pump which scavenges waste from the car's coolant system, ensuring that even at minus 7 degrees Centigrade the EV6 can achieve 80 per cent of the range that would be possible at 25 degrees C.
Over the course of seven days and 400 miles the EV6 coped with motorways, city streets, rural lanes and sleet across the Pennines the car performed exceptionally well - smooth and relaxing to drive but with direct steering and admirable body control.
Everything is very well put together with a premium feel to the materials and a plethora of kit. For instance entry level Air models come with 19-inch alloy wheels, auto headlights, rain sensing wipers, heated folding door mirrors, auto air-con and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay.
Top spec GT-Line S cars get 20-inch alloys, sliding sunroof, heated seats, powered tailgate, 360-degree camera and a 14-speaker Meridian premium sound system among other goodies.
Kia EV6 GT-Line S
Mechanical:226bhp, 77.4kWh electric motor driving rear wheels via automatic transmission
Combined MPG:328 Combined miles electric range
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