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In-depth reviews

Kia EV6 - Electric motor, drive and performance

The Kia EV6 is great for blasting down a twisty B-Road, plus there’s plenty of straight line speed on tap

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

Electric motor, drive and performance Rating

4.2 out of 5

Price
£45,275 to £62,675
  • Excellent range
  • Sporty drive
  • Generous standard kit
  • Smaller boot than rivals
  • Expensive AWD model
  • Low roofline impacts on headroom
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​Although it sits on the same E-GMP electric car platform as the Hyundai Ioniq 5, the Kia EV6 has a sportier feel. There’s MacPherson strut front suspension and a multi-link rear end, which helps to keep things nicely controlled. The EV6 has a slightly stiffer setup than its boxier, retro-inspired cousin, and it isn’t as tall, either, so it benefits from a lower centre of gravity.

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The ride in the EV6 is firmer as a result, but it’s still comfortable. It does tend to fidget around town and on bumpy roads, but it settles down if you’re cruising on the motorway. Kia’s autonomous driving tech – essentially a fancy adaptive cruise control system – also helps on longer trips, and we found it easy to use. 

Kia’s excellent i-Pedal regenerative braking setup also features. It comes with paddles behind the steering wheel, allowing you switch between several levels of braking strength on the fly, including a one-pedal driving mode. We wish all EVs had a one-pedal mode, as it’s especially great for stop-start traffic. However, you are very conscious of just how long the EV6 is when driving in tight urban streets. At close to 4.7 metres long, it’s nearly the same length as Kia’s seven-seat SUV, the Sorento

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So, the EV6 is not ideal as an urban runabout, but unlike some other family EVs, the Kia is a lot of fun to drive on twisty roads. In fact, it’s among the most enjoyable electric cars we’ve driven. As well as being controlled, there’s not much body roll in corners, and the electric motors are really responsive to your inputs. 

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Leaving the drive mode selector either in Eco or Normal doesn’t overly mute performance, which is good because Sport mode can be a bit too frenetic for everyday driving. Given the EV6 weighs up to 2,090kg in dual-motor guise (the single-motor version is 1,985kg), the sharper throttle and steering responses are a bit too intense in this Sportiest setting, and it all becomes a little unbalanced and overexcitable, particularly when travelling on twisty B-roads.

All-wheel drive models provide a decent boost to straight-line speed compared to the base rear-drive versions, but it’s best delivered on smooth, straight sections of tarmac, as the EV6 isn’t at its happiest through bends and tighter turns. The 577bhp GT model, however, comes with electronically controlled suspension and a limited-slip differential, which helps make it feel more agile.

0-62mph acceleration and top speed 

There’s no difference in maximum speed between the rear- and all-wheel-drive models, because both top out at 114mph. The difference between the two when covering the 0-62mph benchmark is more stark, with the 226bhp rear-drive cars managing a 7.3-second sprint time, thanks to their 350Nm of torque. Plenty for a family car, we’d say. The single motor still gives you the immediate response you’d expect from an EV, and there’s enough poke in reserve for motorway overtakes.

The 321bhp AWD version is more than two seconds quicker to 62mph at 5.2 seconds. Of course, the jump in power is significant, but the hike in torque to 605Nm helps deliver the extra punch from a standing start. 

If you’re in a hurry, the 577bhp EV6 GT will launch from 0-62mph in a mere 3.5 seconds, then go on to a top speed of 162mph. Flooring the accelerator pins you to your seat while the numbers on the speedo climb at an alarming rate. 

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