• 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line Review: Proof Electric Cars Should be Embraced

Electric mobility simply elevated

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If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that people hate change. It scares them even if it represents progress and that’s the current state of affairs with electric cars. Like only our country can, EVs have even become part of the political divide. Have you heard about the hillbilly politician down South trying to remove public car chargers unless gas and diesel equivalents are installed next to them? Welcome to the USA, 2022 edition. So, my goal is to edify why electrics like this awesome Kia EV6 are nothing to be feared. They may not be the right car for you at the moment but for many EVs make total sense right now.

  • 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line Review: Proof Electric Cars Should be Embraced
  • Year:
    2022
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Transmission:
    Gear Reduction Unit
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    320
  • Energy:
    Electricity
  • 0-60 time:
    4.6 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    117 mph
  • Layout:
    Dual Motor/AWD
  • Price:
    41400
  • car fuel:
  • body style:

When someone is shopping for their first electric car asks me where they should start, I point them right to Hyundai-Kia every time. The Korean automotive group has been selling some of the best and most affordable EVs for years now - not oddball stuff like the Mitsubishi i but impressive electrics from jump street like their first, the 2015 Kia Soul EV. Currently, Kia’s all-electric offerings constitute 2 small station wagons or crossovers, if you prefer: the front-wheel drive Niro EV that was redesigned for the 2023 model year and this all-new rear-or all-wheel drive EV6– a thoroughly modern, breakthrough electric car further extending their EV leadership.

PRICING

2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line Review: Proof Electric Cars Should be Embraced
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Available in 3 trim lines with a starting MSRP of $42,695 before the full $7,500 federal tax credit, my car is the range-topping all-wheel drive GT-Line optioned with the Suede Seat Package, which raises the sticker price to $58,255. That includes an electric motor at each axle, the most powerful battery, 20” wheels and the full pantry of luxury features and driver assist technologies. From its concept car-like, award-winning styling to its superfast 800-volt charging architecture the EV6 is impressive. Officially, the driving range is rated at 274 miles. In a typical EV that number can drop by as much as 40% in the cold winter months but Kia says the EV6’s heat pump will preserve most of that range. Likewise, it can extend well beyond 274 miles in temperate conditions – lithium-ion batteries are quite sensitive to ambient temperatures.

In Runway Red with black-finish wheels the EV6 really pops. Its rollercoaster-like acceleration is every EV’s seductive byline. And its long Telluride-like wheelbase and underfloor mounted battery create maximum interior space with true 3-across rear seating. There’s even a small frunk for a little extra storage under the faux engine cover. The cabin’s motif is futuristically eco-friendly featuring recycled plastics and artificial leather, a floating center console design and Hyundai-Kia’s familiar but updated touchscreen infotainment system previously known as UVO, now renamed Kia Connect.

2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line Review: Proof Electric Cars Should be Embraced
- image 1092935

And there are cool features everywhere:

  • remote start and remote parking via the key fob - perfect for times when the parking space is a tight squeeze
  • a hands-free hatch that opens simply by standing next to it
  • customizable driving sounds ranging from racy to spacy
  • an augmented reality head-up display that appears to hover over the hood of the car
  • and the ability to use the EV6’s on-board power generator to plug-in items such as computers and tailgating paraphernalia either through the outlet under the rear seats or via the provided adapter that turns the charge port into another 110-volt outlet - also capable of charging a fellow EV.

The entire package is emblematic of a company building upon its electric car experience and honing its EV craft. It’s clearly evident that this isn’t Kia’s first rodeo.

UNDERSTANDING THE CHARGING PROCESS

2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line Review: Proof Electric Cars Should be Embraced
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Getting a fast-charge at my local Electrify America station took 37 minutes to replenish the EV6’s battery from 30% to 80% which brought the car to 210 miles of driving range. It would have been much faster than that if the station had been operating at its advertised 350 kW throughput but it maxed out at roughly a quarter of that - an issue that occasionally plagues these types of public chargers. But the Electrify America app is a good one so I was able to check both the availability of the charger and the rate of power delivery beforehand so there were no surprises when I arrived on the scene. Kia gives EV6 owners 3 years of free charging at Electrify America but, for me, it cost $17 which works out to $0.43 per kWh. And if you equate the battery to a gas tank this one can hold 77 kWh of electricity resulting in a $33 charge to completely fill the EV6’s “tank.” For some comparison it costs nearly 3-times that much to pump gas into all-wheel drive Kia Stinger.

2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line Review: Proof Electric Cars Should be Embraced
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At a true 350 kW fast charger it takes only take 18 minutes to refill the battery from 10% to 80%. An older, slower 50 kW fast charger takes 73 minutes to do the same job. But remember; you don’t have to fast charge at all. As a matter of fact, the only times these level 3 chargers tend to become necessary is when traveling out of town. So, if you own an EV6 having a level 2 charger installed at your home is the way to go. The wall boxes themselves aren’t that expensive – it’s the run of wire from the electrical box to the garage that hits you in the wallet, likely costing $1000 or more. But at 240-volts this car will charge to 100% in under 12 hours – in other words overnight. It’s like having a gas station in your garage but a lot less costly to operate. In keeping with the Stinger analogy, putting 15k miles per year on the EV6 costs about $600 in electricity as opposed to $4,300 per year in gas for the Stinger. And, yes; it can be plugged-in to a standard household outlet if time isn’t of the essence…that’ll take 68 hours.

And all of the tools are here to help boost EV confidence and squash range anxiety:

  • quick access to a list of nearby chargers with navigation, if necessary
  • a visual depiction of the geographical driving range
  • how range is affected by the use of climate controls
  • and the ability to schedule charging during times of reduced electricity rates.

EVS JUST HIT DIFFERENT

2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line Review: Proof Electric Cars Should be Embraced
- image 1092937

Because of a technology called regenerative braking EVs can be programmed to drive in a much different way. Using steering wheel paddles, adjustments can be made to the amount of braking initiated as soon as your foot lifts off the accelerator - from zero all the way to one-pedal drive which is exactly as it sounds; no brake pedal required. The EV6 is quick, quiet and comforting - all of the traits of a good EV. It’s extremely well-conceived exemplifying yet again why Hyundai and Kia are leading the way.

Put it in Sport and floor it and the EV6 uses its meaty rubber and all-wheel drive grip to assuredly dig-in and shove you into your seat. A mere 4.6-seconds later and 60 mph is achieved through a combined 320 horsepower and 446 pound-feet of on-demand torque. The low center of gravity makes it a blast to drive with handling attributes akin to a rear-drive sports sedan though the weight of this 20” tire and wheel package is felt through the body when the road gets bumpy. A more sophisticated suspension tune could take this GT-Line into rarefied air and perhaps that’s in the works for the upcoming 576 horsepower 2023 EV6 GT. This one weighs about 4,600 pounds – the battery contributes a 1,000 of those - which really isn’t heavy for an EV like this. It can tow 2,300 pounds.

2022 Kia EV6 specifications
Battery 77.4 kWh
Power 320 HP (Front & Rear combined)
Torque 446 LB-FT (Front & Rear combined)
0 to 60 mph 5.2 seconds

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT

2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line Review: Proof Electric Cars Should be Embraced
- image 1092934

Some final tidbits: as we’re well aware at this point there’s no wireless phone projection with Kia’s best screen so a USB cable is required for connection (though there is wire management and a wireless charge pad,) changing from climate controls to audio controls is accomplished by touching a finger on the digital bar below the center screen – an unusual approach that can lead to inadvertently cranking up the cabin temperature when intending to crank up the tunes and lastly, when it comes to public charging, companies like Mercedes get it right in that their EVs are plug and play – no app or credit card needed. Kia should do the same here.

With this many features including Highway Driving Assist 2 which can take over some of the driving and assist in lane changes, the price of this GT-Line seems like a bargain staying true to Kia’s Power to Surprise. Along with its corporate cousin the IONIQ 5, it’s a pair that puts its competitors on notice that Hyundai-Kia will not be denied.

Steven Hammes
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