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The 2022 Kia EV6 battery-electric is a visual blitz of aerodynamic origami for the electrified era

An exterior view of the EV6

Buyers of the battery-electric 2022 Kia EV6 will receive a charging credit of 1,000 kWh, useable over 3 years. (Photos courtesy of Kia America)

Table of Contents

Developing the Kia EV6
EV6 Exterior Design
5 Cool Things
Kia EV6 Pricing
Incentives and Rebates
Powertrain and Charging
Onboard Generator
EV6 Performance
Ride and Handling
Interior Function
Why Buy the Kia EV6?
2022 Kia EV6 Wind Specifications

BY MARK MAYNARD

The speedline styling of the 2022 Kia EV6 gives it a car-of-the-future mystique. But beneath its steel exterior and neural network of electrification, is the familiar function of a “normal” car. If you are comfortable navigating a smartphone, this car will be a quick study — but not all is simple with some of the electronic controls.

Developing the EV6

The battery-powered Kia EV6 crossover SUV signals the beginning of the brand’s transformative “Plan S” electrification strategy. Kia says it will deliver 11 new electrified models across the world by 2026.

Starting with the EV6, Kia’s EV lineup will have the “EV” designation followed by a number that indicates the car’s position in the lineup.

The E-GMP modular platform will allow multiple vehicle segments — sedans, CUVs, SUVs — with dual-motor options for all-wheel drive.

It is an adaptable foundation with a long wheelbase and wide stance, Kia says. The EV6 has the same 114.2-inch wheelbase as the full-size Kia Telluride SUV. And the liftback EV6 compares with the width of a Ford Mustang Mach E and the wheelbase and ground clearance of a Tesla Model Y.

The EV6 shares powertrain elements and some technologies with corporate partner Hyundai and its just-released IONIQ5, but the two EVs are distinct in styling and footprint. The EV6 is 1.8 inches longer than IONIQ5 and narrower by just .04 inch. The EV6 wheelbase is shorter by 3.9 inches, and the roofline is lower by 2.2 inches.

An overhead view of the Kia EV6

Features of the EV6 GT-Line include a sunroof and monochromatic paint.

EV6 Exterior Design

Exterior design of the EV6 was a collaborative effort between all three of Kia’s global studios: Namyang, Korea; Frankfurt, Germany; and Irvine, Calif.

The appearance is a visual blitz of aerodynamic origami for the electrified era.

  • A series of slash lines above and below the headlights are the daytime running lights. Kia says the treatment defines the car’s “Digital Tiger Face,” which carries over from Kia’s “Tiger Nose Grille.”
  • The smooth rise of the hood with fender-top bulges flows up and over the swept-back windshield to the slant of the rear tailgate.
  • Crossover-inspired side profile . A character line runs along the bottom of the doors and curves upward toward the rear wheel arches to visually elongate the profile of the car.
The 'Digital Tiger Face' of the Kia EV6

The ‘Digital Tiger Face.’

5 Cool Things About the EV6

  • Dual 12.3-inch-wide digital display screens for driver information and navigation-media.
  • 800-volt multicharging architecture allows ultra-fast DC charging from 10 percent to 80 percent charge (up to 210 miles range) in less than 18 minutes.
  • An upcoming high-performance EV6 GT will have 576 horsepower and is capable of 0-60 mph acceleration in less than 3.5 seconds, Kia says.
  • 21 standard active advanced driver assistance systems. Semi-autonomous driver capabilities include Highway Driving Assist 2.
  • Onboard power generator, known as Vehicle-to-load (V2L) functionality. Owners can use the EV6 battery as an emergency power source.
The power-opening charge door of the EV6.

The power-opening charge door.

 2022 Kia EV6 Pricing

The Kia EV6 is sold in three rear-wheel-drive trim levels of Light, Wind, and GT-Line; all-wheel drive is available for the Wind and GT-Line. The transmission is a single-speed reduction gear with drive modes of Eco, Normal, Sport, and Snow.

Starting prices range from $42,155 for Light, $48,750 for Wind RWD (add $3,900 for all-wheel drive), and $52,455 for the GT-Line RWD or $57,155 with AWD. Pricing includes the $1,255 freight charge from Hwasung, Korea.

Standard equipment on all EV6 trim levels is substantial to support the pricing. Among the features is smart-key entry with push-button ignition (and remote start). Navigation-based smart cruise control has stop-and-go function. And dual 12.3-inch-wide digital display screens (one screen is for driver information, the other for navigation-media) have a panoramic presence. There also are five USB ports (four USB-C charging ports and 1 USB-A media port) and a wireless phone charging pad. The front seats are heated and the driver has an eight-way power-adjustable seat with lumbar.

Also standard is Kia Connect smartphone connection via app. Users have access to lock or unlock the car, remote climate control for preheating or precooling, vehicle charging, Find My Car, and stolen vehicle recovery.

Check here for current Kia EV6 pricing.

The Kia EV6 GT-Line driver area

The EV6 GT-Line driver area with non-animal leather upholstery.

EV6 Trim-Level Details

The EV6 Light trim level has a smaller battery and a shorter driving distance. Inside, the black interior is dressed in recycled fabric and vegan leather (or pleather). Paint colors are limited to just two no-cost choices (Interstellar Gray and Gravity Blue) with a $495 option for Snow White Pearl.

EV6 Wind

For another $6,595, the Wind brings a significant boost of features. The big assets are a bigger battery, a bigger motor, and a 310-mile all-electric driving range, 78 miles farther than the base model.

The Wind also adds the onboard power generator (V2L), gloss-black exterior accents, ventilated front seats, vegan-leather upholstery, an eight-way power front passenger seat with lumbar support, 14-speaker Meridian audio system, smart power tailgate, park-distance warning forward and reverse, and tow-package wiring.

The rear-drive Wind tester was $48,750 with one option for Glacier paint (sort of a faint gray), $495.

EV6 GT-Line

As the top-line model, the GT-Line includes all the features of the Wind, plus exterior and interior upgrades for the price difference of $3,705.

Inside are such extras as a wide sunroof, non-animal leather, and suede seat upholstery, an eight-way power front passenger seat with two-way power lumbar. The “Chauffeur Seat” fore-aft adjustment switch (more of a limousine feature) allows rear passengers to move the front passenger seat forward for more footroom or easier exit).

The EV6 Augmented Reality (AR) Head-Up Display system is engaging for its large three-dimensional image that appears to hover over the hood of the car. Graphics are projected from the base of the windshield and include such functions as speed and driver assistance system alerts, lane guidance, and turn-by-turn navigation instructions.

The augmented head-up display in the EV6

The Augmented Reality Head-Up Display system, only on the EV6 GT-Line.

Unique to the GT-Line exterior are monochromatic paint with gloss black accents, 20-inch wheels, and the very desirable automatic extending door handles.

The GT-Line AWD adds 20-inch wheels (a 1-inch upgrade), heated rear seats, and a heat pump, which is more range-preserving than radiant cabin heating.

Kia EV6 Incentives and Rebates

In California and some other states, the 2022 Kia EV6 qualifies for up to $10,250 in federal and state rebates or incentives.

Federal Electric Vehicle Tax Credit: $7,500.  IRS tax forms are here.

California Clean Fuel Reward: $750. Available toward the purchase or lease of a new electric vehicle with a battery capacity greater than 5. The customer must register the vehicle in California and the customer must reside in California.

California Clean Vehicle Rebate: $2,000.  Participants are eligible based on gross annual income, as stated on their federal tax return.

Find federal and state laws or incentives here.

And the Kia EV6 qualifies for California’s High-Occupancy-Vehicle freeway access, $22, with the green DMV decal

EV6 tire and wheel sizes are 19 or 20 inches with a substantial footprint of 235/55.

Tire and wheel sizes are 19 or 20 inches with a substantial footprint of 235/55.

EV6 Powertrain and Charging

The lithium-ion polymer battery is packaged “skateboard” style under the floor. There are two sizes of high-voltage batteries: 58 kWh (only on the Light trim level) and 77.4 kWh, standard for Wind and GT-Line.

Rear Wheel Drive, Light: 58 kWh battery with a 125kW 167 horsepower rear motor. Estimated zero-to-60 performance in 8 seconds with 232 miles of driving range;

RWD, Wind and GT-Line: 77.4 kWh battery with a 168kW 225-hp rear motor. Estimated zero-to-60 performance in 7.2 seconds with 310 miles of driving range;

AWD, Wind and GT-Line: 77.4 kWh battery with a 70kW front motor and 239kW rear motor for 320-hp total. Estimated zero-to-60 performance in 5.1 seconds with 274 miles of driving range;

Ultra-Fast Charging

Kia says its “world’s first” patented multicharging system supports 400-volt and 800-volt DC charging. The system works on DC chargers with speeds ranging from 50kW to 350kW.

  • 50kW DC fast charging will take 73 minutes to charge from 10 percent to 80 percent.
  • 350-kW DC fast charging adds nearly 70 miles in less than 5 minutes. From a 10 percent to 80 percent charge, it takes fewer than 18 minutes to add up to 210-miles.
  • 11kW onboard charger for Level 2 home or public charging. It can boost the charge from 10 percent to 100 percent in 7 hours, 10 minutes (240-volt AC at 40-amps) for the 77.4 kWh battery.

Onboard Generator

The so-called Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) functionality, or onboard power generator, allows the EV6 to be a power-outage savior. A special adapter connects at the rear charging port to tap power from the high-energy battery.

The generator provides 1900 watts to power electrical appliances, devices, tools, and recreational gear. Or tap into it for tailgating and beach parties.

From a full charge, EV6 power can be drawn for 36 or more consecutive hours, Kia says. And the EV6 can charge vehicle-to-vehicle at 1.1 kW, equivalent to a 110-volt charger. (Charging will be verrry slow but it’s better than nothing in an emergency.)

The system also includes a household 110-volt power outlet at the second-row seat base. Owners could use it to recharge tools and devices or plug-in for video entertainment on the go.

The Kia EV6 has an onboard generator to use in emergency situations or to power appliances and more

Be the life of the outdoor party with the onboard generator.

EV6 Performance

I did the majority of my driving in Normal mode, but if I had a Level 2 home charger, I’d let it rip in Sport mode all the time. It’s not that performance in Normal is lacking. Acceleration from a start feels reserved as the curb weight gets rolling. But there is a fire hose of force with a heavier foot on the accelerator pedal.

Driving in Normal mode seemed miserly in how it conservatively, or efficiently, used the battery reserve. Depending on temp and terrain, a 5-mile jaunt can register 3 miles on the battery charge.

Flip the steering wheel drive mode tab to Sport and the EV6 sees red — the digital driver’s screen glows red. Plunge the accelerator and the performance feels blistering fast, but always controllable. There is no lag in moving away from the light.

A Quick Charge

For a 90-mile roundtrip to visit friends, I topped off the battery, which had a charge of 71 percent. At an EVgo public fast-charge station, it took just under 31 minutes for the charging to stop at 100 percent for 299 miles of range. I used 24.270 kWh of energy for a cost of $14.12. And that is without member discounts on charging. Charging at home on a Level 2 charger gives a greater member discount and a lower power company time-of-use cost to charge in off-hours.

The equivalent fuel cost for adding just over a quarter tank of 87 octane to a 15-gallon fuel tank would have been almost $20 at $5 a gallon.

When asked why my charge didn’t reach the expected 310 miles, the Kia rep explained that total range depends on a variety of factors, including driving style and past efficiency. “Your battery percentage and indicated range will not always be linear per charge, he wrote in an email. “That explains a significant portion of the variance, as you’ve probably experienced with other EVs.”

As with an ICE vehicle, “your mileage may vary.”

The front motor of the Kia EV6 AWD

AWD models add a front motor for a total of 320 hp and 274 miles of range.

EV6 Ride and Handling

The EV6 rides like a big luxury sedan. And the suspension is not elaborate, a steel multilink setup with MacPherson struts at the front and a rear five multilink. Shock absorbers front and rear have selective damping control.

With a curb weight of 4,017 pounds, the EV6 Wind is not a heavyweight among EVs, but the driver can sense the heft of motivating the tonnage.  Transitioning speed bumps and driveways will generate a waggle of head toss. And there will be occasional clunks and jolts as the suspension manages the weight over heaves in the road and busted pavement.

On the highway, the EV6 is a superliner of smoothness. The ride is sound-isolated from road or tire harshness and the cabin is a relaxed atmosphere from the clamor of the commute.

Driving in Sport mode noticeably boosts acceleration response and, somehow, makes the EV6 feel less weighty. With a home Level 2 charger, I’d drive in Sport mode all the time.

Dual 12.3-inch-wide digital display screens show driver information and navigation-media.

A dramatic presentation of dual 12.3-inch-wide digital display screens.

Interior Function

The EV6 cabin has the appearance of a crisply dry-cleaned and neatly pressed dress shirt. It is thoroughly modern and lined with eco-friendly materials. Recycled plastic is used extensively with non-animal leather surfaces on some trims. There is full LED lighting inside and out.

The joined 12-inch digital infotainment screens form a curved display extending 2 feet across the instrument panel. The combined span of screens has a dramatic presence and is easily viewed with filtered blue light.

There are just a few key physical buttons along the instrument panel.

The slim dashboard extends from the steering wheel across to the center of the car. Below the navigation screen are controls for heat, ventilation, and AC that have electronic haptic-touch buttons. There is a bi-modal function to access either the heat-AC-vent controls or the media-radio settings. At either end of the slim control panel is a small dial. One is for manually adjusting volume or fan speed, the other is for channel tuning or temp. But the touchpoints to switch modes is a small contact point that can sometimes be hit-and-miss while driving. Several times I cranked the fan speed when I want to blast the tunes. In time, a driver will adjust.

The center armrest is treated almost as a design statement. Its peninsula style anchors the start button, gear engagement selector, wireless charging pad, and switches for seat heating and ventilation. And there’s also a deep storage box.

The peninsula-style console in the Kia EV6 has open storage below.

The peninsula-style console has open storage below.

Below the console is open storage large enough for a purse or to-go bag. Door panels have generous bottle storage slots and the space is lined with some type of recycled fabric-like material.

The center shift console in the EV6

The multifunction center console makes a design statement.

EV6 Driver Sightlines

Sightlines for the driver are open across the hood. But over-the-shoulder views are somewhat complicated by the narrow back glass and upswept rear quarter. However, the standard surround-view monitor gives total parking views through four cameras.

My biggest complaint was the exterior door handles that do not automatically extend when walking up to the car with the key fob in pocket. Instead, opening the door is almost a two-handed exercise to push open the flush handle and pivot your hand to grab the lever. To get an automatically extending door handle, you’ll have to step up to the EV6 GT-Line.

Unfortunately, there is not a standalone option for automatic door handles on the Wind. And for that simple convenience, I’d opt for the GT-Line.

Back Seat and Cargo Area

All of the back-seat dimensions for the EV6 indicate executive-class transport: 38 inches of headroom, a flat floor, and thin front-seat frames that help maximize rear knee room. But there are complications. Passengers with large shoe sizes might comment on the narrow foot space for entry and exit. The 39 inches of max legroom is adult-class long unless there are tall people up front who don’t wish to move their seats forward a bit. And the seating position feels low because of the upswept rear-quarter panels. And the Wind has no option for a sunroof to help visually open the space.

Once seated, however, there are many assets. Among them are B-pillar vents that add welcome airflow, which is especially beneficial for those who are sensitive to motion. The seat bottoms have adult thigh support and there are a few clicks of seatback recline. And the handy USB port in the side of the front seatback is such a smart idea that it should be copied by others. The fold-down center armrest has a pair of can holders, and there is bottle storage in the doors.

The EV6 has 39 inches of max legroom and a flat floor.

39 inches of max legroom and a flat floor.

Cargo Space

The slant of the EV6 tailgate crops cargo space (24.4 cubic feet) behind the seatback for taller, boxy items. But fold the 60/40 seatback for about 6 1/2 feet in length. The tall floor height (because of the battery below) lowers the cargo entry height to 27 inches. Conveniences include seatback releases (left and right), a 12-volt plug, and a roller cover.

Cargo area of the Kia EV6

Space behind the back seat (24.4 cubic feet) limits taller, boxy items.

The folded seatback for more cargo space in the Kia EV6

But fold the 60/40 seatback for about 6 1/2 feet in length.

Why Buy the Kia EV6?

The Kia EV6 is the car of tomorrow for today. It is a proud statement of Kia’s attention to detail and engineering.

An on-road rear view of the Kia EV6

In California and some other states, the 2022 Kia EV6 qualifies for up to $10,250 in federal and state rebates or incentives.

 2022 Kia EV6 Wind Specifications

Body style: Compact-class 5-door crossover SUV; unibody construction of advanced high-strength and high tensile steels

Motors: AC Permanent-Magnet Synchronous

Battery: 77.4 kWh lithium-ion polymer, 697 volts; 253 kW output

Battery weight: 1,052 lbs.

Power: 168 kW 225 hp rear motor; 258 lb.-ft. torque

Transmission: Single-speed reduction gear with drive modes of Eco, Normal, Sport, and Snow); steering-wheel-button selectable

Top speed: 115 mph (117 mph AWD)

0-60 mph acceleration: 7.2 seconds, in Sport mode; (5.1 seconds AWD)

Driving range: 310 miles

MPGe: 136/100/117 mpg city/hwy/combined

CHARGING TIMES

400V Rapid DC 150kW: 73 minutes, estimated, to 100 percent charge

800V Rapid DC 250kW: 18 minutes, to 100 percent charge

Level 2 240-volt: 7 hours, 10 minutes

Onboard charger: 10.9kW

BY THE NUMBERS

Cargo space: 24.4-50.2 cubic feet

Front head/leg room: 39/42.4 inches *36.8 in. w/sunroof

Rear head/leg room: 38/39 inches

Length/wheelbase: 184.3/114.2 inches

Height/width: 60.8/74 inches

Curb weight: 4,299 pounds; AWD, 4,539

Turning circle: 38.2 feet

Max towing capacity: 2,300 pounds w/braked trailer

FEATURES

Standard equipment includes: smart-key entry with push-button ignition (and remote start), navigation-based smart cruise control with stop-and-go, dual panoramic 12.3-inch digital display screens with navigation-media combination, recycled fabric and vegan-leather seat materials, 5 USB ports (4 USB-C Charge Ports, 1 USB-A media port), Android Auto and Apple CarPlay infotainment, Kia Connect, wireless phone charging pad, Wi-Fi hot spot, heated front seats, 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar, 19-inch wheels

Wind RWD features: Onboard power generator (V2L), gloss-black exterior accents, ventilated front seats, vegan-leather upholstery, an 8-way power front passenger seat with lumbar support, Meridian premium audio system, smart power tailgate, park-distance warning forward and reverse, and tow package wiring

Safety features include: 7 air bags, forward collision avoidance assist and cyclist-junction turning assist; blind-spot collision avoidance; rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist; lane-keeping assist and lane-following assist; parking distance warning-reverse; highway-driving assist

PRICING

Wind base price: $48,255 including $1,255 freight charge; price as tested $48,750

Options on test vehicle: Glacier paint $495

Where assembled: Hwasung, Korea

Warranties: 10-years/100,000-miles electric-vehicle system (150,000 miles in California); 10-years/100,000-miles powertrain limited warranty; 5-years/60,000-miles new vehicle limited warranty and 7-year anti-perforation warranty