Kia EV6 First Drive Review: A massive power bank on wheels but a good EV?
The Kia EV6 has been in the news for the last few weeks as it will be the first electric car by Kia in India and will be the fifth product from the South Korean carmaker for the Indian market after Seltos, Sonet, Carnival and Carens.
We have now driven it in the Buddh International circuit and put it through our comprehensive tests to know how it performs in the real world. This review, however, is not going to be about how the car is in terms of value for money, what kind of things it offers and should you buy it or not because there are only 100 units on offer for the first lot, so this review particularly is going to be about the car and its capabilities.
Kia EV6: How is it on the outside?
Talking about the design of the car, the Kia EV6 looks good and futuristic. Some say it’s an SUV or a crossover but to me, it’s more like a sleek Crossover and if you look at the front it’s got a very sharp design. It’s got that Kia Tiger-nose design but it’s been re-done to represent the digital age. It looks a lot more futuristic and a lot more modern. Moving on to the side, there are a lot of lines, especially the line that goes from the door and rises right up to the tail lamps which makes it look sleeker.
Talking about the back, the tail lamps look amazing with very distinctive styling. It gets the sequential turn indicators along with that if you look at the bumper design and the overall silhouette of the car, the car just looks very good and looks sporty and at the same time despite the size it looks sleeker and fast.
Kia EV6: How is it on the inside?
Step inside the cabin of the EV6 and you’re instantly greeted to a modern yet luxurious cabin. The dashboard layout is very good, it looks futuristic and also it uses a lot of re-cycle-able materials and it kind of shows that without compromising on the luxury.
It gets a dual-screen setup which works brilliantly, the instrument cluster gives you loads of information about the Range, Power consumption, Battery information and many more. Moving on to the Center console screen, it gives you access to all the other functions inside the cabin with crisp resolution and fluid touch response.
Talking about the seats, they are very comfortable. The support and the cushioning are pretty much spot on and they also get ventilation function which makes it easier to live with. Moving on to the rear seats, the rear seat has a fully flat floor and the seat itself is very comfortable as a result of which you get a very nice comfortable seating position.
The overall feel, space inside the cabin and the kind of premium feeling you get inside are pretty good. It gets all bells and whistles that you would expect in the modern luxury car and it also gives you a lot of space and the luxury experience that you need.
Kia EV6: Electric motor, Battery and Performance
Talking about the Battery, the EV6 gets a massive 77.4 kWh battery pack and in India, Kia is offering EV6 in rear-wheel-drive, single-motor, and all-wheel-drive, dual-motor layouts. With this bigger battery pack, the rear-wheel-drive model produces 229hp and 350Nm, while the all-wheel-drive which we drove produces 325hp and 605Nm of torque. As a result of the good power numbers, off the line the EV6 is a very quick car to drive, it just accelerates in a very quick and exciting manner. Kia claims that the EV6 can do 0-100 in about 5.5 seconds.
Now let’s talk about the driving performance, like previously mentioned the EV6 of the line is very quick and it feels like a sports car in terms of acceleration. Even when you’re at cruising speed at around 100 kmph and if you pin the throttle hard it just goes to higher speeds at around 180-190 kmph in a very quick manner. The speed is restricted to 192 kmph and we were able to touch that speed in a fairly easy manner.
In terms of handling, we have been able to experience the handling abilities of the EV6 very well on the track and because of the lower centre of gravity due to the heavy battery pack, it just grips the road very well. The straight-line stability is just phenomenal and even around corners despite the kind of size that this car has it turns pretty much on a dime.
If you’re looking for an electric car that feels premium, at the same time is sporty and engaging to drive I think the EV6 just fulfils all the requirements in a pretty good manner.
Kia EV6: How far can it go on a single charge?
Talking about the Range, the EV6 gets a big 77.5 kWh battery pack as mentioned previously. Kia claims that the range is more than 500 kilometres on a single charge and we expect 400 kilometres in real-life road conditions.
The massive 77.5 kWh battery pack can not only be used to power the car, it can also be used to power up other electric vehicles which is a cool feature. The Kia EV6 can also power up to home appliances such as a Microwave, Toaster or a mixer if you’re going out camping.
The Kia EV6 is offered with two charger options in India – a 50kW charger that requires a claimed 73 minutes to charge from 10 per cent to 80 per cent, and a faster 350kW unit that can do 10 per cent to 80 per cent in a claimed 18 minutes.
Kia EV6: Safety
Taking about the safety of the Kia EV6, well the Kia EV6 has got that covered very well. It comes with a lot of ADAS features which helps you avoid situations such as collisions with other vehicles or a pedestrian. It also gets adaptive cruise control which makes driving easy. The car also comes with other ADAS features such as blind-spot detection, lane change assist, park assist and many more.
It also comes with a host of passive safety features such as 8-airbags, electronic stability control, brake assist, an anti-lock braking system, hill descent control, vehicle stability management and all-disc brakes.
Kia EV6: Conclusion
The prices for the Kia EV6 have not been announced yet but there’s no point in discussing what should be the right price for the car because there are only going to be 100 units on offer for the Indian market in the first lot. That said, I would be happy to see the RWD version being priced around Rs 55 lakh and the AWD version under Rs 65 lakh considering it’s going to be a direct import.
The real thing to see here is what does the Kia EV6 bring to the table. It showcases Kia’s capability in electrification and by doing that what you get to know is that the EV6 is definitely a very impressive electric car. If you’re looking to buy a premium electric car which has a good design, looks futuristic and unique, offers a good package, has a comfortable and a feature-loaded cabin, is safe and has a ton of features the Kia EV6 is the car you’re looking for. More importantly, the EV6 will act as a brand halo for Kia in the EV space and indicates that we can expect some interesting things fro. Kia India in the electric mobility space in the years to come.