By Breda Corrigan
The new Kia EV6 has been awarded the prestigious Continental Tyres Irish Car of the Year 2022 title, with the EV6 having also won the Continental Tyres Irish Large Car category award at the award ceremony on February 11th. It is the second time that an electric vehicle has taken the award as Kia also won the 2020 Irish Car of the Year title with the all-electric Kia e-Soul.
Modern Design Inside & Out.
Kia’s new EV6 electric SUV has a bold, conventional, modern design and is proving itself to be an amazing family car in every respect. The EV6 is the first bespoke electric car developed by Kia and sits on an all-new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), which will see Kia launch another seven E-GMP-based models over the next five years. The EV6 is a surprisingly large car, and being 4,695mm in length and 1,890mm in width, it is a halfway house between a family SUV and a regular family hatchback. Although the EV6 has a lot in common with the Hyundai Ioniq 5, it is not a cloned version of its cousin.
Super-Fast Charging Capability.
The EV6 has two features that make it stand out from similarly priced alternatives, the first being the impressive super-fast charging rate of 350kW, which means the battery can be topped up from 10%-80% in as little as 18 minutes, or a 100km range could be achieved in as little as four minutes at a supercharger station. In the past it was hard to find public charging stations capable of delivering that much power, but a lot of the new service stations now have superchargers available. The second is what is called a vehicle-to-load (V2L) system which means that the EV6 can power household items, such as a kettle or microwave, or even charge another EV from its charge port. This could prove invaluable in a power cut, or when having a picnic.
Two Trim Levels.
Presently, there are two trim levels in EV6; Earth and GT Line, with one battery choice. The Earth model sits on 19-inch alloy wheels and has a full charge range of up to 528kms, while the GT Line comes with 20-inch alloy wheels and can achieve up to 506kms from a single charge. Additionally, drivers can use paddles on the steering wheel, along with the option of three driving profiles, if they want to change the amount of energy the car uses and retrieves as you slow down. However, it is easier, and more efficient, to let the EV6 work it out for you. The car will take into account the distance to other traffic, your speed, hills and curves before making a decision about the best way to use energy. It is so sensitive that it will make drivers who have never driven an electric car feel instantly comfortable. The EV6 features a 77.4 kWh long-range battery pack paired with a 229PS (226bhp) electric motor, while a heat pump also comes as standard. The EV6 Earth comes with a host of comfort, convenience and safety features as standard including Dual 12.3-inch Curved Driver Display Screens, UVO Connect, charcoal grey vegan leather upholstery with Premium Relaxation Seats (electrically operated and heated in the front), memory driver’s seat, Android Auto & Apple CarPlay, rear privacy glass, flush door handles, satellite navigation, adaptive cruise control, LED headlamps and a Smart Power Tailgate. Upgrading to the GT Line brings with it a panoramic sunroof, remote smart parking, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, GT styling pack, adaptive LED lights, blind spot monitoring system, head-up display, suede/vegan leather interior, and a 360-degree surround view monitor. The generous 2.9-metre wheelbase in the EV6 ensures excellent head, leg, and elbow room for front seat occupants and, with no need to house a central transmission tunnel, the EV6’s flat floor provides exceptional space and comfort for rear seat occupants too. Premium materials are used throughout the cabin of the EV6 for a welcoming feel, while their selection has also been chosen for utmost durability. Sustainable materials have been used, from vegan leather trims to seat fabrics and floor carpet made using recycled plastics, equivalent to 111 plastic 500ml water bottles per car. A conventional centre console, along with plenty of pockets and places to put your odds and ends, ensures that the cabin of the EV6 is an easy place to familiarise yourself with, while the infotainment system is easy to navigate and control while on the road. Boot space in the EV6 measures in at an impressive 572-litres, but this can be expanded to 1,300-litres by dropping the rear seat backs when the need arises. An additional small trunk under the sloping bonnet (sometimes referred to as a ‘frunk’) is an ideal place to store the charging cables, thereby freeing up more boot space in the process.
My test car was a range topping EV6 GT-Line finished in Snow White Pearl paintwork with contrasting black suede and white vegan leather seats. On the road the EV6 is sporty and responsive, with rapid acceleration leading to a 0-100km/h sprint in just 6.2 seconds. The EV6 is a lot of fun to drive on twisty roads and, as a driver, you can play with the throttle to adjust your line in corners in a natural way. It holds the road really well, and it is well controlled when pushed hard, while body roll is kept to an absolute minimum. Autonomous driving technology is easy to use and doesn’t brake harshly, so this is something that can be utilised for maximum driving pleasure on a motorway journey. The EV6 is one of the most enjoyable electric cars I have driven, and its striking front & rear LED lighting tech makes the car every bit as dramatic to look at as it is to drive.
Verdict, Pricing & Warranty.
For family buyers looking for a suitable electric car, the Kia EV6 easily fits the bill. With its reliable 500-plus km range, fast-charging capability and excellent level of standard equipment, the EV6 is one of the best electric cars presently on the market. Its sleek and stylish appearance offers plenty of kerb appeal, while its impressive technology makes life easier for electric car owners. The EV6 Earth and EV6 GT Line are priced at €50,000 and €54,345 respectively (after SEAI Grant & VRT relief) with a 7-year/150,000km warranty for ultimate peace of mind driving. Annual road tax is just €120.