2022 Kia EV6 GT RWD

June 3rd, 2022 at 3:52pm

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The Kia EV6 is not a Tesla killer. But it is going to make Tesla and every other EV startup squirm in its shoes. And that’s because it’s a very compelling EV from a traditional automaker.

First off, the EV6 is a real head turner. It’s a futuristic-looking 4-door sedan that, to my eye, looks a lot better than Tesla’s Model 3 or Y. The model I drove came with the $695 optional grey matte paint. And once you see it, I’ll bet that it proves to be irresistibly arresting to your eyes.

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The interior is far more enticing than Tesla’s minimalist approach, with a richer use of materials and a greater variety of different surfaces. No, it doesn’t have that giant center screen that is so appealing in every Tesla. But its 12.3 inch display is competitive with most cars, at least at this snapshot in time.

While its display screen may not be the largest, the EV6 itself is a big car. It sits on a 114.2 inch wheelbase, which is the same as Kia’s big SUV, the Telluride. That provides plenty legroom and cargo space.

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I drove the rear-drive GT model that comes with 320 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. In other words, plenty of ‘git up and go. I also appreciated the steering wheel paddles that can provide increasingly aggressive regen. In fact, for most of the week I spent with the EV6, I used the paddles instead of the brake pedal to slow the car down or bring it to a stop.

The base EV6 comes with a relatively small 58 kWh battery pack, but fortunately the GT comes with a bigger 77.4 kWh pack that delivers a decent 310 miles of range—at least in warmer weather. And thanks to its 800 volt architecture, you can use the fastest chargers to juice up the battery quickly.

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The model I drove cost $53,405, but Kia still qualifies for the US EV tax credit, so that allows most buyers to knock $7,500 off the price. That means it’s about $1,000 less than a Tesla Model 3 and $17,000 cheaper than a Model Y. That kind of price advantage on such a compelling car is going to have all the EV startups looking over their shoulder in the race to capture customers.

By: John McElroy

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