The 2023 Kia EV6 maintains a balance between performance and effectiveness, as well as value and features better than most electric crossovers. The EV6 electric crossover shares a powertrain and chassis with the Hyundai Ioniq 5, but it rides lower and edges into sportier territory in contrast to competitors from the Tesla Model Y to the Ford Mustang Mach-E. It is one of our top-rated electric crossovers priced for the mass market because it does not compromise performance for effectiveness or value for loaded features.
A mixture of sport wagon and dream machine, the EV6 fundamentally reshapes the crossover mold. It possesses the rounded, aerodynamic elements of other electric crossovers but stretched over a sportier body with a low roof like a European touring wagon. It’s muscular without being bulky and wheel sizes spanning from 19-21 inches fill wheel wells that are pushed to the corners. Up front the snub nose dives, and along the side a rocker garnish rises up through the rear wheel to a light bar that embraces the tailgate. An integrated rear roof spoiler and raked rear windshield cut into the tail, and from the rear, it appears as if the greenhouse rides on the broad shoulders of the body.
The visual and functional aesthetics of the 2023 Kia EV6 scream electric sport crossover. With only the large 77.4-kwh battery pack offered for 2023, and a new GT performance variant, the Kia EV6 offers swift to staggering acceleration, well-balanced handling for its size, and comfortable cruising.
The base Wind and GT-Line models are equipped with a single motor rated at 168 kw and rear-wheel drive. The permanent magnet motor yields 225 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. A second permanent magnet motor comes on most EV6 models and is standard on GT-Line and GT models. That smaller front motor is rated at 74 kw, and together, the output increases to 320 hp and 446 lb-ft of torque. The GT model relocates the large rear motor to the front, and substitutes it with a 270-kw rear motor that combine to produce 576 hp and 545 lb-ft of torque.
The rear-wheel-drive Wind exhibits a 0-60 mph time of 7.2 seconds. Then the pace picks up. The dual-motor Wind and GT-Line models reach 60 mph in 5.1 seconds, according to Kia, and a top speed of 117 mph. The low profile and relatively low ground clearance of 6.1 inches bolster Kia’s sport mission and dissuade any off-road considerations.
The light and drab steering feel deviates from the sports car pursuit, and despite the fact that the EV6 can maneuver through corners with more agility than other electric crossovers, there’s a gap between the road and the ride, as if it’s attempting to satisfy two objectives. It does, for the most part. The EV6 rides on a front strut, rear five-link suspension tuned to the firm side, but even with 20-inch wheels on AWD models, the cabin is still tranquil, hushed, and largely cozy while cruising.
The larger motors in the EV6 result in a 0-60 mph time of 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 161 mph. It’s quicker than a Mustang Mach-E GT or Tesla Model Y Performance, and creeps into the rarefied space or the Porsche Taycan. Unlike the Porsche, it doesn’t pin in your seat and jeopardize your lunch at launch, but from 20-50 mph, there’s a sudden burst, in a manner the Kia Stinger GT couldn’t replicate. Three additional modes, including a GT mode access by a lime-green steering wheel button, intensify the thrill, but Kia conceals the most thrilling Drift mode deep in a series of awkward maneuvers.
Kia equips the GT with a sport-tuned suspension with adjustable dampers, but it never fully eradicates the softness from corners. The monoblock calipers grab larger 15.0-inch rotors up front but they could use even more bite. That’s understandable for a car weighing 4,795 pounds. Once in the corner, the EV6 GT shines, with an electronic limited-slip differential that helps maintain grip (and speeds) on the 21-inch Goodyear Eagle F1 summer tires, then a rear-drive bias that whips the tail. It self-corrects without ever dampening the fun.
In all but the GT model, the Kia EV6 deploys electrons efficiently. The Kia EV6 averages nearly 3.6 miles per kwh (117 MPGe) and the single-motor RWD models have a range of up to 310 miles. Constructed on an 800-volt architecture and with a sole 77.4-kwh battery pack for 2023, the Kia EV6 extracts more miles out of each kilowatt-hour compared to other electric crossovers except for the Model Y.
The dual-motor AWD models demand more power and offer less range; the Wind lasts for 282 miles at about 3.2 miles per kwh (109 MPGe). The GT-Line sizes up from 19-inch to 20-inch wheels and more rubber, lowering its range to 252 miles and its efficiency to 2.9 miles per kwh (96 MPGe). On its 21-inch wheels with summer tires, the GT model prioritizes performance over efficiency with 206 miles of range and an efficiency rating of 2.4 miles per kwh (79 MPGe).
All-wheel-drive models include a heat pump and up to four regen brake settings that transfer energy back to the pack. Eco mode disconnects the front motor in most scenarios, so it’s possible to drive further and with greater efficiency than the EPA ratings.
The 800-volt architecture enables the quickest DC fast-charging of any mainstream electric, alongside the related Hyundai Ioniq 5. At a 350-kw CCS-format connector, the EV6 charges from 10% to 80% in 18 minutes. In our testing, it peaks at about 240 kw in mild temperatures. On Level 2 (240V) home charging, the 2023 EV6 charges from 10% to full in about seven hours thanks to an onboard converter that can accept 10.9 kw.
The 2023 Kia EV6 achieved a Top Safety Pick+ from the IIHS. Two years in, the NHTSA still hasn’t tested the Kia EV6, but the other factors add up to a high safety ratings for the electric crossover. Once the NHTSA gets up to speed, the EV6 should get a five-star rating. The IIHS gave it a Top Safety Pick+ for withstanding crash tests as well as avoiding collisions with other vehicles and pedestrians at speeds of up to 25 mph.
Standard driver-assist features that include automatic emergency braking, active lane control, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, a driver attention system, and blind-spot monitors. Options such as navigation-based adaptive cruise control that enables minutes of hands-free driving, remote automatic parking, a surround-view camera system, and rear automatic braking also earn a point.
The 2023 Kia EV6 optimizes interior space in spite of its long, low profile. The EV6 might look more like a sport wagon than a crossover, but the interior opens up to a roomy cabin with plenty of passenger and cargo space with calm and quiet cabin. The long, low dash stretches horizontally, with a band of vents separating a dynamic climate control panel that doubles as an infotainment menu; press a button and the temperature dials become volume and tuning knobs. Neat. The GT performance model trims the steering wheel, upholstery, and dash with lime green cross-stitching and related accents.
At up to 184.8 inches long and 74.4 inches wide (GT-Line and GT models), the Kia EV6 measures up to the Volkswagen ID.4 and Tesla Model Y. But at 60.8 inches tall, it’s at least three inches shorter than rivals. Yet the only compromise comes from getting in and out. Otherwise, once seated in the well-bolstered, 8-way power front seats, the EV6 stretches out like a crossover. The first Kia with sport bucket seats, the GT’s manually adjustable seats bear-hug riders. The sunroof in GT-Line and GT models trims front headroom, but not enough to crimp taller riders.
With the cowl starting above the front wheels and the windshield raked back,
the seating pose feels somewhat different from traditional crossovers in the beginning. The seats in Kia’s vehicle are covered in synthetic leather that feels sufficiently soft. The standard heated and cooled front seats contrast with all the plastic trim pieces, giving it a premium feel even if it doesn’t appear so.
With at least 39.0 inches of legroom in the rear seats, there is enough space for four adults. Utilize the middle seat as an armrest. By folding down the 60/40-split rear seats, the cargo room expands from 24.4 cubic feet to 50.2 cubic feet. While smaller than rivals, most of the lost space is vertical. A pocket under the load floor could store the charging cord, or there’s enough space under the hood, but for nothing more. Inside the cabin, an open console and deep storage bin, along with deep door pockets, provide ample storage to keep things out of the way.
Well-equipped at just under $50,000, and with a great warranty, the 2023 Kia EV6 comes fully loaded. Each EV6 comes with a 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, featuring a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain and battery warranty. The base Wind model with rear-wheel drive includes 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, power-folding side mirrors, heated and cooled front seats, synthetic leather upholstery, a hands-free tailgate, a Meridian sound system, the twin 12.3-inch screens, a wifi hotspot, and a wireless smartphone charger. The warranty, base content, intuitive but layered infotainment system, and overall value earn it a point each to a 9. It only misses a point for a lack of luxurious options, although the Vehicle to Load (V2L) connector option provides 1,900 watts to power gear and appliances.
Similar to other electric vehicles, the price discrepancies of the EV6 are dependent on the powertrain. The Wind, priced at $49,795, offers the best value and range. However, adding the second motor for more power, additional AWD grip, and a heat pump increases the price to $53,695. The heart-pounding GT tops the EV6 charts at $62,695, and the modest price increase includes significant performance upgrades such as larger motors, standard AWD, three more drive modes, adjustable dampers, a rear limited-slip differential, 21-inch alloy wheels, and performance tires.
The word “revolutionary” rarely comes to mind when new vehicles are introduced. However, the Kia EV6 might actually live up to that hype. With striking looks, an efficient powertrain, fast charging, and top-notch technology, it’s easy to see how the new Kia EV6 excels. For individuals seeking something new and aiming to break out of the current mid-size CUV mold, the EV6 is definitely worth considering.
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