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Gareth Butterfield tests the impressive new Kia EV6

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I RECENTLY tested the Hyundai Ioniq 5, which boasts a revolutionary new platform designed from the ground up to underpin an electric car. Fellow Koreans Kia has now blagged themselves this same clever platform and this, the Ev6, is their first effort.
It’s a stunning thing to look at. Officially an SUV, and deceptively large in the flesh, it looks fresh and innovative from every angle, and it really turns heads.
Inside it’s appropriately different, too. Similarly to the Hyundai there’s a futuristic floating centre console in between the two front seats, and a flat, empty floor between the driver and passenger.
So the Kia immediately feels spacious. Perhaps less so than the minimalist’s wet dream interior of the Hyundai, because the EV6 has a flight deck-style panel offering up the rotary gear selector and controls for the heated seats and steering wheel.GB_TEM_240322_kia_04_result
That gear selector, incidentally, might be slightly unconventional, but it’s nowhere near as whacky as the Hyundai’s column-mounted ‘stick, which I never properly got my head around. Jaguar Land Rover and even MG drivers will be familiar with a rotary nob, and it’s arguably a great way to switch between stop, go and backwards.
There’s a smart and clever touch panel controlling two different sets of functions, depending on which you’ve selected, and it’s much, much simpler than I’ve made it sound, and above that is the large central touch screen sat next to the driver’s information panel.
So it’s a modern interior, without being too unconventional and weird. It works really well.
Rear space is good, helped by the completely flat floor gifted by this new platform, and although the boot is shallow, it’s a decent size. A tad smaller than the Hyundai but not problematically so.
And then there’s the range. That pips the Hyundai. WLTP ratings suggest 328 miles, but expect about 270 in the real world. And that’s quite impressive.
Even more impressive is the 800v charging system which means you can make the most of the growing network of super-fast chargers.GB_TEM_240322_kia_02_result
Even the base model of the EV6 comes with a healthy 225bhp, and we’re told there’s a nutty 584bhp GT version on its way, which will be enough to worry a few Tesla owners.
For now, an all-wheel-drive version can be had with 321bhp but don’t expect any startling road manners. The steering is nicely weighted and there’s minimal roll, but this is a heavy car. And that becomes apparent when you press on.
Prices start at £41,000 for the base “Air” version, and there’s an array of options to pick from as you start to climb up the spec ladder.
So it is more expensive than the Ioniq 5, but I think it’s actually more attractive. It’s going to age better, I suspect, and the interior is by far the nicer of the two.
It’s worth remembering that a Jaguar i-Pace starts at around £65,000 and it’s not outlandish to compare it to the Kia EV6. Sure the Jaguar has a more premium feel and badge, but the range is going to be similar, if not slightly worse, and the Kia is arguably more attractive.
Tesla’s Model X, incidentally, only has a marginally better range, but it costs north of a reasonably frightening £80,000.
So there we have it. An electric car by Kia which could genuinely give big-budget EV buyers second thoughts.
I really can’t praise it any more highly, it’s terrific.
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