Read Caroline’s Kia EV6 review for everything you need to know about Kia’s new electric car in Ireland in 2022. The EV6 is also the recently crowned Continental Tyres Irish Car of the Year 2022.

The Kia EV6 arrived in Ireland in the second half of 2021. Kia in Ireland is no stranger to electric vehicles and very successful ones. But the EV6 feels like a real flagship for Kia. It showcases the absolute best of the brand.

On sale in Ireland from €50,000 including the SEAI grant, the new Kia EV6 has a sensual and sporty design, futuristic interior, 800 volt battery system and long range of well over 300 km.

Kia Ireland has some form in the electric vehicle space. The Kia e-Niro and e-Soul have been very popular since they were launched, with the Kia e-Soul crowned Irish Car of the Year 2020 soon after it arrived here.

The new Kia EV6 on test for Changing Lanes
The new Kia EV6 on test for Changing Lanes

What’s so special about the Kia EV6?

The Kia EV6 moves the game on again, in terms of design, quality and technology. The EV6 is Kia’s first dedicated electric vehicle. It’s underpinned by the new E-GMP platform from the Hyundai Motor Group.

Kia has gone for an avant-garde look for their new electric car. Classed as a crossover, this is an unusual looking car but undeniably a showstopper. It is the result of a collaborative effort between all three studios in Kia’s global design network in Korea, Germany, and California.

At the front there are characteristic daytime running lights with a sleek, modern appearance, forming what Kia calls a ‘digital tiger face’. This is a design progression evoking Kia’s ‘tiger nose grille’ for the electrified era. This is a superbly aerodynamic design with a swept-back windscreen providing dynamism and purpose. The bold rear haunches add volume and a charismatic rear light signature.

In Ireland there are two trim levels – Earth and GT Line. Both trim lines use a 77.4 kWh battery pack paired with a 168 kW (229 hp) electric motor and are fitted with a heat pump. Power goes to the rear wheels.

The Kia EV6 goes on sale in Ireland priced from €50,000
The Kia EV6 goes on sale in Ireland priced from €50,000

What are my options?

On 19” wheels as standard, the Earth model has a quoted range of 528 km (WLTP). Features include dual 12.3” display screens inside, UVO Connect, charcoal grey vegan leather upholstery with premium relaxation seats, LED headlamps and a powered tailgate.

The GT Line is the sportier of the duo. On 20” wheels it has a quoted range up to 506 km (WLTP). The EV6 GT Line goes on sale from €54,345 including SEAI grant. It features sportier GT Line styling, suede/vegan leather seats, front ventilated, blind spot view monitors, augmented reality heads-up display and a panoramic sunroof.

The EV6 has been optimised from the ground-up to be a full electric vehicle. It takes advantage of the E-GMP’s sophisticated tech and engineering foundations.

Interior design has also been liberated by Kia’s dedicated E-GMP platform. The EV6 offers increased space compared to previous Kia EVs based on existing internal combustion architecture.

It is certainly a large car, deceptively so.

The interior of the new Kia EV6
The interior of the new Kia EV6 GT Line

Inside the EV6

The interior of the EV6 has good width, with a ‘floating’ centre console and dashboard design that is innovative and gives a great feeling of space up front in the cabin. A flat floor in the rear makes it a comfortable place for rear passengers. Two adults will be very well catered for back there with large footwells and decent headroom too.

The boot has a hatchback-style opening and a flat floor boosting practicality. There is 520 litres available so a decent show for a family car too, with a 52 litre ‘frunk’ under the bonnet!

The Kia EV6 GT Line on test for Changing Lanes is the sportiest of the range and adds a lot of glamour and prestige to the EV6. There is youthful exuberance to this car, with plenty of gloss back in the dashboard design, full digital displays for the driver and cool ambient lighting.

The curved display sweeps across the dashboard, providing an instrument cluster in front of the driver and infotainment and navigation above the centre console. It’s all easy to operate on the move. The EV6 GT Line also has suede sports seats as standard, which really add to the exclusive feel.

The Kia EV6 shares much of its underpinnings, technology, and battery with the Hyundai IONIQ 5. But the EV6 and the IONIQ 5 do look distinctly different from each other, with a very different cabin ambience.

Boot space in the Kia EV6
Boot space in the Kia EV6

Driving the Kia EV6

And there’s more under the surface. The EV6 has been developed with Kia’s sporty driving appeal in mind, promising direct steering responses, agility, and road grip that boosts the ‘fun-to-drive’ ethos of the brand. The suspension has been engineered to deliver a sportier and more dynamic driving experience compared to its nearest rivals. Marginally stiffer front and rear spring rates result in slightly better controlled body roll when cornering and over undulating roads. The front and rear anti-roll bars are also 1mm thicker, resulting in a flatter, more controlled ride from behind the wheel, and slightly more linear steering. Increased damper force has also resulted in useful enhancements to body control and steering response.

The flat battery pack is placed across the floor of the vehicle, spreading the mass, optimising ride quality, and giving a low centre of gravity for a full electric vehicle. Innovative hydraulic bushings connect the rear subframe to the main body of the car, helping to further enhance the EV6’s driving performance and offset the overall weight typically associated with fully electric vehicles. The driving position is also more low slung than a traditional SUV for example, aiding that sporty feel behind the wheel.

The Kia EV6 surprises in just how settled and comfortable it feels over the tarmac. It hunkers down well, and true there is a sporty feel to the way this car handles. In fact it’s very natural feeling on the road. It’s testament to how this car has been developed with such pedantic pursuit of perfection and a desire to lead in the electric vehicle space.

Charging the EV6 at IONITY
Charging the EV6 at IONITY

Charging the EV6

At the moment all models in Ireland are rear wheel drive. Kia quotes a WLTP range of over 500 km for the Kia EV6 77 kWh. However on a full charge for this reviewer with plenty of high speed motorway driving, 350 – 400 km seems more realistic. But these days that is more than enough to get around happily.

When it comes to charging, the EV6 is one of the best on the market with an 800 volt battery system. If you can find an IONITY station, you can charge at up to 220 kW and add 80% battery power in about 20 minutes.

EV6 buyers in Ireland receive a free 12 month Kia Power Package subscription that offers this IONITY fast charging service at just €0.29 per kWh (normally €0.79).

At a 50 kW charger, it will take a little over an hour to get to charge the battery to 100% (but beware the overstay fee after 45 minutes!).

There’s also an 11 kW AC on board charger, which is handy when you stop at one of those 22 kW chargers in many Irish towns as it charges almost twice as fast as a lot of other EVs on the market. AC charging to 100% at home should take just over 12 hours from a 7.4 kW wallbox.

Did you like it?

With a starting price of €50,000, the Kia EV6 offers everything –  a large practical cabin, a stunning interior design, a leading 800 volt battery system, 11 kW on board AC charger, and long range battery.

What’s most striking is how Kia has taken the rival IONIQ 5 platform and tuned it for a sportier drive to add distinction. It looks completely different too with a more sensual and sporty design, and a wraparound cabin experience.

Granted with just the long range battery available, the EV6 has arguably a more premium billing in the Irish market than the IONIQ 5. The latter feels a bit more accessible thanks to a more affordable entry price for a standard range battery.

But design, cabin quality and equipment do a great job to justify the EV6 package. The GT Line is a truly appealing prospect in the electric vehicle market.

The Kia EV6 is an easy car to recommend. It is one of the best electric vehicles you can buy on the market right now.

The EV6 uses a 77.4 kWh battery pack
The EV6 is one of the best electric vehicles on the market today

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Kia EV6 GT Line
Price:
€54,345 including SEAI grant
Battery: 77.4 kWh
Power:
229 hp
Torque: 350 Nm
0-100km/h:
7.3 seconds
Top speed: 185 km/h
Motor tax: 
€120 per year