There is certainly a stubborn stigma in the automotive community, especially among automotive enthusiasts, against EVs and crossovers. As those with gasoline running through our veins, we love to pretend like we like our cars brutal, unreliable, loud, uncomfortable, uncompromising, and perpetually smelling like an old leather jacket someone left at an even older gas station. The convenient, roomy, accessible, and reliable Crossover is a natural enemy of the stubborn diehard “car people.” Make that Crossover an EV? Rage ensues!
So, it came as a surprise to our entire team that all of us, from the diehard gearheads to the modern automotive connoisseurs at Behind the Wheel absolutely fell in love with the Kia EV6! Over the past few years, Kia has absolutely been stepping up its product game, evolving its image from a last-resort discount brand for budget-challenged shoppers, to a desirable counter option for trusted economy brands. The EV6 is yet another hit in a star-studded Kia lineup that is full of excellent offerings punching above their weight class.
The exterior is not just well-balanced, but downright beautiful. The proportions and lines take all the awkwardness out of the Crossover Sedan/SUV middle child: the very chic and polished look is extenuated by the sweeping, contouring taillight bar, which is reminiscent of the exotic Aston Martin DBX, while the sloped coupe-like roof hints at the EV6’s athletic ability.
Playing around with the Kia car configurator online, there is a plethora of color options available across all model ranges, with select “special” colors available at a very reasonable up-charge of just under $500; two zeros short of what the aforementioned Aston Martin DBX would ask for. The interior is similarly well-designed with a futuristic and sporty look that features vegan leather upholstery for the eco-conscious driver and is extremely spacious for a group of average-sized adults despite not being a very large SUV. Interior design options are tasteful, though the best one by far is the black automotive suede with neon green piping that is available on the range-topping AWD GT.
Some of the great technology features included massive LCD screens, which added to the modern, high-tech feel, and contributed value to the 360-degree camera, which made for an experience similar to having a third-person overhead view in a racing video game. We often felt like there was a drone following us around based on the clear, real-time overhead footage to show the EV6 from all angles in 3D. Other great and futuristic features include the heads-up display (HUD), which provides route guidance and safety information, projected right onto the windshield. In our opinion, Kia’s HUD is superior to comparable heads-up display options for many higher-end vehicles like BMW and Cadillac.
The EV6 also did not disappoint when it came to smart driving features such as automatic emergency braking, and automatic assist. The feature that impressed us the most, however, is the Remote Parking Assist, which will automatically park the vehicle for you when you’re not inside it. This feature comes in handy when entering and exiting tight spaces like compact spots or cluttered garages.
Our test vehicle was the rear-wheel drive (RWD) version from the GT line, which offers a reasonable 225 horsepower and 258 lb-ft. of torque. Although 225 is plenty for city driving, the all-wheel-drive (AWD) versions of both the base and GT line trim levels bump up the power to 320 hp and 446 lb-ft. of torque, which we would recommend for a bit more fun when stomping on the right pedal. If stomping on the right pedal is your cup of tea, however, we recommend going for the range-topping GT AWD, which packs supercar-worthy 576 horsepower with 545 lb-ft. of torque, good for 0-60 in an eye-blinking 3.3 seconds.
With an estimated range of 310 miles on our test car, the GT-line RWD, is very convenient and comparable in range on a full tank of a similar gas-powered vehicle. The EV6 can also be used as a backup battery on camping trips or if the power goes out, which is a great perk for any adventurers who don’t want to risk being unreachable during their wilderness escapades, and need a place to plug in a laptop or other electronic device.
As far as EV Crossovers go, starting at $48,500, the Kia EV6 is a compelling option for any motorist. Even our hardcore automotive enthusiasts universally loved this new offering from Kia. Beautiful design, inside and out, excellent power in the higher ranges, and an impressive cost-to-value ratio make the Kia EV6 an excellent choice for the environmentally-conscious and diehard gasoline gearhead alike.