The much-anticipated Kia EV6 SUV has now arrived in Australia. It’s the Korean
carmaker’s first dedicated electric vehicle.
Kia EV6 is built on the Hyundai Motor Group’s Electric-Global Modular Platform and joins
the Hyundai Ioniq 5 which has been on sale here since June 2021. Other Kia, Hyundai
and Genesis models will follow, including Kia EV4 and EV9.
Like the Stinger sports sedan before it, the EV6 marks a significant step in the expansion
of Kia from its traditional relatively conservative base into more adventurous territory.
EV6 comes in three variants. The entry-level Air has a single-motor and rear-wheel drive
while the higher-spec GT-Line comes with the choice of RWD also with a single motor or
an AWD with dual motors, one at each axle.
A performance version, the EV6 eGT, will be added to the range either late this year or
early in 2023.
With its sleek profile it’s easy to overlook the fact that EV6 is a medium-to-large SUV. It’s
around 4.7 metres long, sitting it alongside vehicles such as the Toyota RAV4, Subaru
Forester and Mazda CX-5 but with a longer (2.9-metre) wheelbase than any of them.
Comparisons between EV6 and IONIQ5 are inevitable and the two Korean cousins will no
doubt be serious sales competitors for some time to come. While their overall shape is
similar there are plenty of styling differences, most notably at the rear where the EV6 has a
taller rear hatch topped by a strip of LED brake lights that loops right along the back of the
car then merges into the turn indicators.
The Air comes with 19-inch machined alloy wheels and GT-Line with 20-inch ones.
The two RWD models have combined system output of 168 kW and 350 Nm with zero to
100 km/h in 7.3 seconds. The Air has a claimed range of 528 kilometres and the GT-Line
The GT-Line AWD has 230 kW and 605 Nm and 0-100 km/h in just 5.2 seconds. Range is
A Disconnector Actuator System (DAS) can switch between 2WD and AWD in just 04
Standard safety features include seven airbags; enhanced ABS brakes; multi collision
braking; lane keep assist; lane following assist; blind spot collision warning and avoidance;
rear cross traffic warning and avoidance; safe exit warning; driver inattention alert;
intelligent speed limit assist; safe exit warning; and autonomous emergency braking
including with cyclists and pedestrians.
GT-Line adds reverse parking collision avoidance; surround view monitor; blind spot view
monitor; and automatic powered child-proof rear door locks.
The Type 2 charge port is located at the driver’s side rear of the car. The fastest charge
time (10-80 kW), through a 350 kW DC Fast Charger, is listed at 18 minutes with a 50 kW
DC unit getting the same charge in 73 minutes.
With our recently installed a 7.4 kW 230-volt AC Jet Charge Wallbox at our NSW
home/office. We’ll be testing the EV6 in a month or so and expect to be able to charge
from 10% to 100% in around 11 hours, or a third of the time that it would take when
plugged into a standard power point.
The EV6 comes with an innovative Vehicle to Load (V2L) feature which allows the
vehicle’s battery to be used as a high-capacity external power bank. We were able to
watch the system in action during the EV6 launch drive program with a mobile coffee
machine ensuring the participants were fully charged.
The V2L can even be used to provide emergency charge to stranded EVs and there’s also
a charging port located beneath the rear seats.
To ensure that the car’s battery doesn’t get drained the V2L automatically cuts out when
the battery level drops to 20 per cent.
Two 12.3-inch screens within a single case occupy the top of the dashboard with the left-
hand one a touchscreen containing a range of infotainment features and the right-hand
screen, in front of the driver, being the digital instrument cluster.
There’s wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in all models together with satellite
navigation, and DAB digital radio.
The Air comes with a six-speaker sound system, the GT-Line graduates to a 14-speaker
Meridian Premium unit. Likewise, only the GT-Line gets a head up display.
We were able to test each of the three EV6 variants during the media launch in and
around Canberra in good mixture of city and rural conditions.
Apart from the obvious environmental benefits of owning an electric vehicle the drive
experience runs a close second. We love the silent running and the overall luxury feeling
which the EV6 provides in spades. Then there’s the instant torque when you hit the
‘throttle’ and feel your back pressed against the seat.
One bonus feature for the EV6 was that it was able to be put through the Australian Ride
and Handling Program, albeit without the physical presence of the usual Korean
engineers, unable to travel because of COVID restrictions but in regular communication
throughout with their Australian counterparts.
The test drive route included several excellent sections of undulating and winding road
which the car handled without any problems. However, with a kerb weight of either 2000
kg (RWD) and 2105 kg (AWD), of which the battery contributes 477 kg, it is quite a heavy
vehicle and so, despite its sporty lines, it needs to be treated appropriately.
As is the norm in electric vehicles the EV6 uses regenerative braking to contribute to
battery charging. Two modes are available, Normal during routine driving and Sport for
more dynamic use.
The degree of intervention can be controlled through steering wheel paddles and including
the option of an Intelligent Pedal, or i-Pedal, mode which allows the vehicle to slow to a
stop without applying the foot brake. Another feature is Smart Regenerative Braking which
adjusts the braking level depending upon forward traffic flow.
Potential EV6 GT-Line AWD buyers in particular should be aware that there is no spare
wheel in any EV6 variant, relying instead on a tyre mobility kit. Worth bearing in mind if
they are planning any off-road excursions.
Towing capacity with either RWD and AWD is 1600 kg.
EV6 gets the industry-leading Kia seven-year, unlimited kilometre warranty. The battery is
covered for the same period rather than the eight years provided by most of its
We’re scheduled to do our usual week-long test in a GT-Line AWD in Queensland next
month and do an extended report at that time.
EV6 Air RWD: $67,990
EV6 GT-Line RWD: $74,990
EV6 Gt-Line AWD: $82,990
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your
local Kia dealer for drive-away prices.