2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line AWD Review

HomeCar Reviews2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line...


2022 Kia EV6 RWD review 1

The RWD version of the Kia EV6 impressed us, but can the AWD model do the same?

There’s a sense of quiet confidence about Kia’s new electric flagship, the EV6, which will certainly break the $50k price barrier. It’s much more than one would have thought a Kia could cost not that long ago, but plenty are lining up for the Sorento which costs just that.

EVs still cost more than their combustion-engined counterparts anyway, and the market is also very “green”, with brand equity and image playing a lesser role. Perfect fodder, really, for a company like Kia, complete with the hi-tech backing of the Hyundai group.

2022 Kia EV6 RWD review 9

We were pretty impressed with the EV6 when we tried it in rear-wheel-drive form in the UK. Now it’s time to decide whether it’s worth spending the extra money for more power and performance with the four-wheel-drive variant. To be noted, prices and specifications are yet to be announced for Australia.

The EV6, of course, sits on E-GMP, the same bespoke pure-electric platform as the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Genesis’s forthcoming GV60. That means 800V electrics, which equates to ultra-fast charging; there’s some debate about the actual speed, but all you really need to know is that when it’s hooked up to a 350kW charger, the EV6 can replenish 80 per cent of its 77.4kWh usable battery in just 18 minutes.

2022 Kia EV6 RWD review 6

The raw stats, of course, are shared with the rear-drive EV6. But this GT-Line has a second electric motor on the front axle, boosting the total power and torque figures from 166kW and 350Nm to a meaty 236kW and 605Nm. The top speed remains at 170km/h, but the 0-100km/h time is now a punchy 5.2 seconds, a gain of more than two seconds over the rear-wheel-drive edition.

You can feel the difference, too; there’s still not the sledgehammer delivery of force that you get in a Porsche Taycan; that will presumably come with a hilarious-sounding, 424kW version of the EV6 that’s due in 2022. But there is more urgency about the full-size, five-seat crossover in this format; let’s call it genuine shove to match the instant electric torque delivery.

2022 Kia EV6 RWD review 2

In a straight line, then, the GT-Line AWD will certainly deliver that all-electric one-upmanship at traffic lights. Around the corners, though, the chassis – while still better tied down than the Ioniq 5’s – is rather less happy with the increased potential. The system struggles to cope with the motors’ responses, giving you an inconsistent delivery that makes it hard to drive smoothly.

And that’s on wider routes with a perfect surface. Flick the EV6 into Sport mode on a bumpy, twisty back road and despite the decent body control, it becomes altogether unruly, to the point where it’s not really much fun at all. At least the ride quality remains on the acceptable side of firm.

2022 Kia EV6 RWD review 4

Elsewhere, the cruising experience is similar to that of the two-wheel-drive version, albeit with a teeny bit more electric whine because, well, you’re closer to the front motor than you are to the rear.

And of course, the addition of that extra unit in a car with the same battery capacity means a reduction in range – from 528km down to around 480km. Our experience suggests you’ll get north of 460km without much compromise in your driving style, though, which is solid. Hyundai-Kia’s battery-management algorithms remain among the best in the market.

2022 Kia EV6 RWD review 8

Inside, there are a few harder plastics but the overall finish is excellent, and the technology fitted is right up there with the best in class. There’s a pair of 12.3-inch curved displays, accommodating digital instruments and then a slick, responsive infotainment system.

2022 Kia EV6 RWD review 3

The cabin itself has room for five adults, albeit with slightly reduced headroom in the rear compared with the Ioniq 5 – a trade-off, certainly, for the EV6’s more coupe-esque roofline. The boot capacity is 490 litres – more than enough for a family’s everyday needs – and you can alter the floor height. There’s also a “frunk”, a plastic storage box under the bonnet, but the additional motor cuts its capacity on this model to 20 litres, compared with the 50 litres on offer in the rear-drive edition of the Kia EV.

2022 Kia EV6 RWD review 7

The Kia EV6 is a terrific electric car, but we’re not convinced that it’s worth spending the extra money on this dual-motor version. It’s faster in a straight line but not really any more involving or capable on twistier roads – so you’re left with a model that commands a price premium, while offering reduced range compared with the rear-drive edition. That’s the EV6 we’d go for.

Model: Kia EV6 GT-Line 77.4kWh AWD
Price: TBC
Motor/battery: 2 x e-motor, 77.4kWh
Power/torque: 236kW/605Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
0-100km/h: 5.2 seconds
Top speed: 170km/h
Range: 480km
Max charging: 350kW (0-80% in 18min)
On sale: 2022 (Australia)

 

2022 Kia EV6 RWD review 5

John McIlroy

Final Verdict:
" "

Related articles