We freely admit it. The anticipation of waiting to test the EV6 has been noticeable. We’d already driven the brother-under-the-skin Hyundai Ioniq 5 AWD, but this is Kia’s flagship GT-Line EV, and we wanted a taste of it.
Straight out of the box, this car makes a confident statement of intent. It’s bold and attracts attention almost everywhere, with other road users manoeuvring to look it over. We had several spectators walk up to us in the street to chat about it too.
During a drive through the NSW Southern Highlands we were detoured away by roadworks. As we routed through the rainforest we were backed up behind a small truck struggling with the incline.
We had resigned ourselves to take in the views at 30 km/h when the road opened up to a steep uphill straight. To overtake the truck safely meant hitting the go pedal with a clear conscience.
Although the driving mode was set to normal, the Kia exceeded acceleration expectations. You can colour us impressed.
Our test vehicle is finished in matte grey (Moonscape) and looks faintly menacing to us. The dark accents around the glasshouse and lower parts of the vehicle contribute to the stealth vibe.
This car rolls on 20-inch alloys with curved spokes in an eye-catching rotational pattern, which don’t look large proportionally. The Continental Premium Contact 6 tyres felt capable in rain or shine.
We like the flush-fit exterior door handles too, and they are in keeping with the smooth body ethos. LED lighting is fitted all around and the headlamps have adaptive high beam (GT-Line only) and a rear full-width red light bar.
The first thing to catch our attention inside is the curving screen binnacle containing two crystal clear 12.3-inch displays, which stretches across the dash. The floating centre console contains HVAC controls and a start button at the front.
There’s also a shift-by-wire gear selector wheel and convenient wireless charging pad. The padded armrest lifts to access the cubby box adjacent to two cup holders and a small oddment space.
Rear seat pockets are fitted to both front seats and cargo space is rated at 480-litres, with the rear seat raised. This expands to 1280-litres with the 60:40 rear seat lowered. The door bottle holders are decent too.
Two cup holders in the rear seat fold down arm rest cover on-road refreshment needs. An open lower console box is deep enough to stow all kinds of needs in close proximity to USB-C or12 volt outlets.
The multi toned interior trim with floating front seat head rests is definitely a good look, and pleasing blue ambient lighting accents the cabin. The panoramic electric sunroof, with blind, lets in as much of the outside world as desired.
The usual high quality Kia steering wheel is here too, this one with a flattened bottom curve. Steering height and reach adjustment fine-tuned our driving position and dash instrument readability.
There is a front trunk (or frunk) that can be used for stowing charge cables but not much else. Back behind the wheel, the head-up display is is very clear with relevant information in line of sight.
Direction correction arrows are displayed for lane keeping errors, as we discovered. Steering wheel buttons switch the drive mode with a corresponding instrument gauge display change; red for Sport has the intended visibility.
The other modes toggle through ECO, Normal and Snow. Our test vehicle was fitted with a 14-speaker Meridian premium sound system, delivering some excellent audio spatial separation.
Of course, (wired) Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are in place too, with Bluetooth, DAB+ radio, satellite navigation, automatic head lights and wipers (although there’s weirdly no rear wiper).
Three USB-C ports are located at the front lower console with USB-C ports in the sides of both front seats for rear passengers. One 12 volt outlet is fitted at the lower front console with another in the cargo area.
Dual zone AC joins heated and vented front seats and a heated steering wheel, to make the cabin a comfy space. Parking sensors, remote parking assist and an overhead 360-degree surround view display make entry and exit to a carpark pretty painless.
As we mentioned, our test vehicle was the all-wheel drive (AWD) GT-Line Long Range version, equipped with electric motors front and rear. The long range variant has a 77kWh lithium ion polymer battery below the floor and produces a solid 239kW.
A lower spec Air version is available with a single motor driving the rear wheels, in short or long range guise. The GT-Line has an estimated range of 484km, which ensures the ability to leave and return to population centres without stress.
Power usage is rated at 18kWh/100km, which we achieved and sometimes bettered in our testing. Steering wheel paddles can be used to increase or reduce brake regeneration efficiency, with i-PEDAL stopping function included.
With some practice, we feel confident to use these tools to minimise current draw. The Kia EV6’s locally tuned suspension manages the vehicle weight of 2,105 kg elegantly with good road feel and handling.
Charging the Kia on a suitable fast charger really brings the vehicle’s 800 volt electrical architecture to the fore. We were able to recharge 41kWh to the battery in 18 minutes, while buying a coffee.
Just open the charging door at the rear corner of the car and plug in the charge cable. The car polls with the charging station for best charge rate automatically and the provider phone app details progress.
Recharging the EV6 can even be scheduled based on next departure timing and internal temperature settings can also be programmed. The EV menu contains a screen with economy history for those wishing to delve into power usage.
Mounted on the floor by the rear seat is a conventional 230 volt power outlet for V2L (Vehicle to Load) to charge from the car. The drain limit can be configured for safety and works internally and externally for charging an e-bike or appliance.
The EV6 is bristling with safety kit too, including blind-spot collision-avoidance assist, rear cross traffic alert, AEB with junction turning, lane keep and follow assist, and forward collision avoidance assist, among others.
The colour palette comprises Aurora Black Pearl, Glacier Metallic (Air only), Snow White Pearl and Yacht Blue Metallic, along with Moonscape Matte Grey. The interior colour scheme of the GT-Line consists primarily of dark grey trims with silver accent pieces.
Seat trim is lighter grey suede with pale side highlights. A striped pattern of the same colours runs across the console lid and passenger side of the dash as a thematic item. There are the usual piano black surrounds on door switch packs and on the console.
The 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line is covered by the brand’s 7-year unlimited kilometre warranty, with one year roadside assistance. The traction battery has a 7-year/150,000km warranty and three, five and seven year service plans are available too.
In its as tested specification, you can grab one for $82,990 plus on-roads. You can find out more on the Kia Australia website. It is however worth noting that there are extensive wait times for this vehicle due to stock supply issues. If you need finance, check out CreditOne.
Our test vehicle was supplied by Kia Australia. To find out more about the 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line, contact your local Kia dealer.