Kia has introduced a new electric vehicle and it’s a good one.
Meet the 2022 Kia EV6, a compact crossover SUV that made its U.S. debut this February in all 50 states. A second version of the EV6, the more powerful GT, arrives later this year.
Kia previously introduced the Niro, which can be purchased as a traditional gas-powered vehicle, a plug-in hybrid or an all-electric.
The South Korean automaker has ambitious plans for the future. Kia is part of the Hyundai Motor Group (Hyundai is the parent company) and has announced a strategy for producing 11 all-electric vehicles by 2026.
Although the EV6 shares the same platform as the Hyundai Ioniq 5 EV, that’s where the similarities mostly end. The EV6 is far more stylish, thanks in part to its sleek roofline that has one pondering whether it’s a hatchback or an SUV.
Kia demonstrated little imagination in naming the EV6, yet it did produce a stylish SUV that can accommodate five passengers. It has low-mounted headlights and taillights that go the width of the body, giving it a sporty, athletic appearance that the Ioniq 5 can’t match. It also has a sharply raked windshield and distinctive retractable door handles.
There are two battery pack options with the EV6 – a 58-kWh and 77-kWh battery. The larger battery gives the SUV an estimated range of 300 miles, roughly 25 miles more than the smaller version. An 800-volt charger can get the EV6 from 10 to 80-percent battery capacity in approximately 18 minutes. Using a Level 2 home outlet takes about seven hours for a full charge.
The standard EV6 is rear-wheel drive and has the 58-kWh battery, a single motor, and delivers a modest 167 horsepower. If equipped with the larger battery it hikes to 218 horsepower.
The dual-motor, all-wheel-drive EV6 configuration employs the large battery and generates 313 horsepower. As one would expect, the larger battery makes it much faster – capable of going 0-60 mph in 5.1 seconds.
And the GT model will up the performance even more, thanks to more powerful front and rear electric motors that give it a whopping 576 horsepower. Kia says it goes 0-60 mph in Tesla-like 3.5 seconds and has a top speed of 161 mph.
Like all EVs, the Kia EV6 uses a regenerative braking system. It has six different braking modes for the driver to select that are conveniently operated on the steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
The standard driver safety features include smart cruise control, highway driving assist, blind-spot monitoring, blind spot avoidance assist, high beam assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-keeping assist. Remote parking assist is an option.
The EV6 cabin is deceiving; it’s spacious and more like a midsize SUV than a compact. Kia claims its wheelbase is as long as the three-row, gas-powered Kia Telluride, a midsize SUV.
AT A GLANCE – 2022 KIA EV6
- Performance: single motor, 58.0-kWh battery, 167 horsepower; dual motors, 77-kWh battery, 313 horsepower
- Mileage estimate: 117 mpge
- Price estimate: $40,900 to $55,900
- Warranty: 5 years/60,000 miles; Drivetrain: 10-year/100,000-mile; Battery: 10 years, unlimited. Roadside assistance: 5 years/60,000; Corrosion: 5 years/100,000 miles
Kia veered away from its typical interior styling and designed the EV6 with a somewhat futuristic look and a good amount of high-tech content that includes standard Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, wireless smartphone charging, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. There’s vegan leather on some trim models and the door panels and dashboard are made of recycled plastics.
The Kia SUV has a floating center console and two 12.0-inch displays, a touchscreen and digital gauge cluster. Cool features include the start button conveniently located on the center console and a two-tone, two-spoke steering wheel.
The cargo area is 24.4 cubic feet and extends to 54 cubes with the rear seatbacks folded flat. There’s also a small front storage area (frunk) under the hood.
A well-designed compact SUV with lots of upside, the 2022 Kia EV6 has much to offer for anyone looking to purchase an electrified compact SUV.
Weidel on Wheels is featured regularly on www.tahoeskiworld.com. Auto writer Jeffrey Weidel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @jeffweidel.