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First review Kia EV6: differences with the Hyundai Ioniq 5 are bigger than you think

What is striking about the Kia EV6?

Although the wheelbase (2.90 m) of the Kia EV6 is optically enormous, the front and rear wheels are 10 centimeters less far apart than with the Ioniq 5 (3.00 m). The Kia is also about 10 centimeters lower and slightly longer, but the big external difference between these two is in the appearance.

While the Hyundai Ioniq 5 looks like an outgrown hatchback – and we mean that positively – the EV6 is somewhere between a liftback and an SUV. The sloping rear window suggests dynamism and frivolity, while the Ioniq 5 mainly creates a sober and practical impression. For example, take a look at the door sill guards of the Kia. At the height of the rear wheels, they look for a connection with the voluptuous, vehicle-wide rear light. It also acts as a rear spoiler.

The interior is at least as futuristic as the exterior. The digital instrumentation forms one whole with the central touchscreen, and is slightly bent towards the driver. In the EV6, the man or woman behind the wheel clearly plays the leading role. The fact that Kia wants to take a sportier course than Hyundai is most evident from the 585 hp top version of the EV6, the GT. It sprints faster than the dreamed love baby of Daphne Schippers and Usain Bolt; in 3.5 seconds it is at 100. And then we are not talking about meters, but about kilometers per hour.

What’s good about the Kia EV6?

As an electric car, the EV6, together with its Hyundai brother, sets new standards in its class. In fact, he overtakes the Ioniq 5 on the right. The battery pack of the test car delivers 77.4 kWh, while the Hyundai 72.4 kWh is the maximum. This results in a WLTP range of 528 kilometers. And thanks to a charging capacity of 240 kW, a battery pack discharged to 10 percent is back at 80 percent in 18 minutes.

Although the Kia EV6 is less spacious on the inside than its brother, we have no complaints about the space. Only people who are eligible for membership of the Association of Tall People can kneel with the backrests of the front seats or participate in the NK headlining heads. At least, as long as the car does not have a panoramic roof, because that eats up headroom.

The standard version of the Kia EV6 has 170 hp, but our test car delivers 229. That is more than enough for pleasant performance. Only if you choose the Eco mode, it seems as if a turtle is hibernating under the power pedal. Wake the animal with Normal or Sport, and you are one of the faster road users. A 100th sprint of 7.3 seconds is not sensational, but the ease with which it goes is fascinating. The low center of gravity and the specially constructed rear axle ensure rock-solid road holding of the rear-wheel drive. He manages to disguise his high weight (1885 kg) nicely, so that a winding route is quite fun with the EV6.

What could be better about the Kia EV6?

For such a large car, a luggage space of 511 liters (480 in the four-wheel drive EV6 Plus) is not impressive, although there is also a storage space of 50 liters in the nose (20 liters in EV6 Plus). Another downside is that taller drivers have trouble finding a comfortable driving position. If the steering wheel is in the correct position, the seat is actually still too high.

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Our third point of criticism also concerns the interior. Kia has used a nice mix of soft and hard materials in the front, but plastic soup is very prominent on the menu in the back. We would also wish the car, given its fairly tight handling, a slightly more communicative and direct steering. The power consumption on the highway (approx. 21.4 kWh/100 km) does not seem to be easy during our first encounter in Spain. We will soon test how representative this figure is in our own country.

When will the Kia EV6 come to the Netherlands and what is the price?

Are you excited about this first review? Then you can already set course for the Kia dealer. Because if all goes well, the EV6 is already in the showroom. For the 170 hp basic version with a 58 kWh battery pack (range 394 km), you pay 44,595 euros. To maintain the range in the winter, it is best to invest 995 euros extra in a heat pump. In the other versions it is included in the price.

A selection from the price list:

  • EV6 Plus, RWD, 77.4 kWh, 229 hp, range 528 km 52,095 euros
  • EV6 Plus, AWD, 77.4 kWh, 325 hp, range 506 km 54,595 euros
  • EV6 GT, AWD, 77.4 kWh, 585 hp, range approx. 400 km 63,595 euros

Incidentally, the top version will not be available until the end of 2022. So the Porsche Taycan bullying will have to wait a little longer…

What do I think of the Kia EV6?

No one can ignore it: after years of being a brand of ‘followers’, Kia has emerged as ‘the leader of the pack’ with the EV6. The car belongs to the technical cream of the EV salmon, it smells good, drives excellently, is spacious and offers quite a complete equipment.

In terms of material use I do have some criticism and the menu with all kinds of fake sounds is not for me. I had to get used to the soft-touch operation of, among other things, the seat heating and ventilation. While driving, you quickly turn it too hard or too soft, and it is not always clearly visible whether the systems are switched on or not. I also wonder whether the changing function of the button panel (for climate control or sound system) in the center console is so handy. But those are actually nails at low tide.

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