Kia EV6: First test impressions of the new electric crossover

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Kyle Conner from site shares his impressions in the video

Kia EV6: First test impressions of the new electric crossover-test

Kyle Conner of our partner site site has to be something of a celebrity in US auto journalism. In any case, Kyle already got his hands on a pre-production version of the Kia EV6 and was able to drive and test it for a few hours – while we won't be driving the car until October.

Kyle's impressions are so interesting that we summarize them here.

Kyle recently visited us in Munich for the IAA and tried to test as many electric cars as possible. So also the pre-production version of a Kia EV6 Long Range AWD. The car is based on the same platform (E-GMP) as the Hyundai Ioniq 5. According to Kia, the EV6 should have a different (apparently sportier) character and different driving dynamics – including the shorter wheelbase.

Kia EV6: First test impressions of the new electric crossover-test

At 2.90 meters, the wheelbase of the EV6 is ten centimeters shorter than that of the Hyundai Ioniq 5

Kyle doesn't like the look as much as the Hyundai, but the car looks better in black (we agree with him). Kyle first shows the small trunk under the front hood, in which there is not much more space than the charging cables. In the RWD versions, the Frunk should be significantly larger, but in the tested all-wheel drive version, the power electronics and the front electric motor are already visible under the loading floor of the Frunk.

Kia EV6: First test impressions of the new electric crossover-crossover

Kia EV6: The frunk of the RWD models (picture) is significantly lower than that of the AWD models

Otherwise, the Frunk still contains the adapter for bidirectional charging, which Kyle will use later in the video to charge a Porsche Taycan. A little anticipation: It actually works, even if only with 2.48 kilowatts.

Kia EV6: First test impressions of the new electric crossover-electric

The adapter for bidirectional charging

The tested German GT-Line version has a 20-inch model. Kyle shows off the flush door handles that appear to function similarly to the Hyundai Ioniq 5 we tested: They extend mechanically as soon as you approach with the key in your pocket. The 1.83 meter tall colleague has plenty of space in the rear. The backs of the front seats, over which you can apparently hang a jacket, are interesting:

Kia EV6: First test impressions of the new electric crossover-test

If you fold down the rear seats, the result is a reasonably level (but not completely flat) loading floor. An optional subwoofer comes to light on the test car one floor lower under a shelf, which takes up a not inconsiderable part of the space under the storage compartment.

In the cockpit, Kyle admires that the Alcantara-like seat covers are compatible with the apparently excellent seat air conditioning – real air conditioning, not just ventilation, as Kyle emphasizes. The wide-format display looks similar to that of the Ioniq 5 (by the way, also similar to the curved display of the BMW i4); The head-up display with augmented reality function and the round inserts with images of the blind spot that appear on the display as soon as you turn on the indicator are also from the sister model.

What Kyle likes is that you can turn on the lane guidance without activating the cruise control, so the car just does the steering. It is also interesting that you have to activate the auto-hold function by pressing a button so that the car does not go into crawl gear after stopping.

As with the Ioniq 5, the four levels of recuperation are activated using a steering wheel paddle: 0 means sailing, 3 means one-pedal driving. It is recuperated with an astonishing power of over 220 kW. With an engine output of 239 kW, this is indeed impressive – the recuperation output is usually significantly lower than the drive output.

Apparently there are physical dials in the EV6 for radio volume and temperature. Whether they regulate the volume or the temperature, however, is changed at the touch of a finger: You either tap on a climate symbol or a navigation arrow, and the assignment changes – as far as we know, this is not available anywhere else.

Kia EV6: First test impressions of the new electric crossover-electric

The assignment of the control bar can be switched at the touch of a finger. Here we are in navigation mode (yellow arrow symbol)

Kyle also goes through the menus quickly, whereby we find the detailed display for the power consumption of air conditioning, displays and battery preheating interesting here.

According to Kia, the route guidance with the installation of suitable charging stations should only work properly after a software update, which Kyle criticizes as well as the lack of support for Plug and Charge. A curiosity on the side are the Sounds of Nature: Among other things, you can use them to listen to what it sounds like when you walk through crunching snow or what the noises sound like in a coffee house.

The driven long-range AWD version has a 77 kWh battery and sprints to 100 in 5.2 seconds.Kyle is enthusiastic about the sprint from a standing start, although this is not yet the GT version with a sprint time of 3, 5 seconds is. To get full acceleration, Kyle chooses Sport mode. There is also an eco and normal mode.

It is noteworthy that in Eco mode the front-wheel drive is physically decoupled with a clutch. This is also the only way to shut down the front electric motor, because the front and rear are permanent magnet motors (PSM) that cannot simply be switched off electrically.

Kia EV6: First test impressions of the new electric crossover-impressions

On the left in the picture you can see how hard the two electric motors are currently working (here we are, however, at a standstill)

In eco mode, the car is only driven by the rear wheels – even when you open the throttle at full throttle. This would make the EV6 the only electric car that behaves like this; we will check this on our own test drive; you can see in the instrument display how hard the two electric motors are working.

In normal mode, the car usually becomes a rear-wheel drive too; if you give full throttle, it takes a fraction of a second, then the front axle is engaged. Similarly, the front electric motor also comes into action for recuperation. Both engines are always used in sport mode. The last mode is the winter mode, in which only weak recuperation (up to level 1) and little acceleration is possible.

Picture gallery: Kia EV6 (pictures from the test by Kyle Conner)

Kia EV6: First test impressions of the new electric crossover-impressions

Kia EV6: First test impressions of the new electric crossover-test Kia EV6: First test impressions of the new electric crossover-impressions Kia EV6: First test impressions of the new electric crossover-impressions Kia EV6: First test impressions of the new electric crossover-impressions Kia EV6: First test impressions of the new electric crossover-electric Kia EV6: First test impressions of the new electric crossover-crossover

When it comes to driving dynamics, Kyle says there is an improvement over previous Kia and Hyundai models, which often came to an emergency stop when cornering dynamically. When driving straight ahead, Kyle gets to 192 km / h very quickly.

When it comes to assistance systems, the EV6 offers the option of always adhering to the current speed limit – we know that from premium brands like Audi and BMW, but not yet from Kia. The car also supports automatic lane changes. The distance cruise control can even learn the driver's preferred distance to the vehicle in front.

Overall, Kyle is impressed with the car, especially considering the price. In Germany, the tested engine should cost 52,850 euros. That is cheap indeed. A BMW i4 eDrive with 250 kW rear-wheel drive costs over 58,000 euros.

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