Hitting the EV for Six

by Petrol Mum
Kia EV6 GT-Line AWD Autumn leaves

The Kia EV6 is the first fully electric vehicle to go through Kia Australia’s Local Ride and Handling program. Clearly this has worked well, with the EV6 already receiving multiple awards in Australia, making it a desirable choice for those people who are looking to purchase an electric vehicle.

The EV6 is available in three grades, Air RWD single motor, GT-Line RWD single motor and GT-Line dual motors, all of which come with a 77.4kWh battery. The Air has the greatest claimed WLTP range at 528km, followed by the GT-Line single motor with 504km and the GT-Line dual motor with 484km.

The GT-Line AWD has a Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor front and rear with a 1 speed automatic transmission (Reduction Gear) and all-wheel drive. The combined system output is 239kW of power and 605Nm of torque. This can power the 2.5 tonne EV6 from 0-100km/h in approximately 5.2 seconds when you press down firmly on the accelerator, which amusingly has a positive symbol on it.

The charge port is located on the driver’s side at the rear tail light and includes a Type 2 AC (home charging) port. Using a 11KW home charger Kia estimates that a 10-100% charge would take approximately 7h 20m (at 230V / 16A). I used the portable AC charger that comes with the EV6 for my week and this charges at 2.2KW according to the EV6 dash display.

When you plug the charger in it makes a locking sound and the EV6 says “Start Charging” so that you can be in no doubt that you have correctly connected the charger. There are also lights adjacent to the charge port that light up and indicates the progress of the charging.

For DC (charging station) charging the EV6 has a CCS Type 2 port that supports 400V and 800V charging infrastructure without the need for additional adaptors. Kia estimates that a DC Fast Charge from 10-80% using a 50kW Charger would take approximately 73 minutes and going from 10-80% using a 350kW Charger would take approximately 18 minutes. The EV6 also comes with an external Vehicle to Load Exterior Adaptor (Type 2) enabling you to power items with an AUS/NZ Type Socket.

There are four drive modes available, Eco, Normal, Sport, Snow, and you can control the amount of regenerative braking the EV6 has via the paddle shifters (Levels 0-3) on the steering wheel. For my week in the GT-Line AWD I drove 470km predominantly driving in Normal mode, with only the odd flick to Sport mode, and consumed 89.01kWh giving me an average of 18.94kWh/100km and a real-world range, if the battery was fully run flat of 409km. In my opinion for an EV to be easy to live with on a daily basis you really need to be able to get 400km out of battery, which means that depending on how much you drive each day, you will most likely not have to charge your car every night.    

I found that the EV6 drives really nicely, no doubt a testament to all of that Australian on-road testing, and that it was a quiet EV inside the cabin and outside also. One thing I did note though, was on rough roads the head-up display bounced around on the windscreen.

The EV6 has Artificial Black Suede/Vegan White Leather, which is made from Polyurethane, with White Stitching trim and both front seats are heated, ventilated and have power adjustment for recline, forward/back, seat height front and rear and 2-way lumbar. The driver’s seat gets two memory positions as well. I liked that the controls for the heated and ventilated seats and the heated steering wheel were located on the centre console and not under a menu on the infotainment screen, making them easier to quickly select.

The curved display incorporates a 12.3″ digital driver cluster and a 12.3″touch screen infotainment system. The satellite navigation system comes with 10 years traffic information and map updates, handy so you will always know where the nearest charger is located. When the nearby charge stations are displayed the EV6 includes Chargefox, NRMA and True station, so you have multiple options to choose from. But in the outer suburbs of Sydney there are still only a limited number public chargers available. When you select the EV display on the infotainment system is gives you the percentage the battery is at, your projected range and the distance to your nearest charger.

Wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come as standard and include voice recognition, which only works when these are connected to the EV6, and is activated by pressing the button on the steering wheel with the masculine looking silhouette on it. Other media sources available include DAB/FM, AM, Bluetooth, USB music, USB video, and Sounds of Nature, The Lively Forest selection sounds particularly lovely on the 14 Speaker Meridian Premium Sound System.

I really liked the two-way display below the central air vents, which has the climate control information and with the touch of a button, displays your infotainment menu so you can select from map, radio, media, etc. I was less keen on the gloss black surrounding the rotary gear selector and near the start button as it quickly gets dusty and finger marks on it.

Kia EV6 GT-Line AWD steering wheel

Cabin storage within the EV6 is up there with other EV vehicles, with a large storage cubby under the arm rest and another large cubby below the centre console that would fit a slim handbag. Here there is one USB-C port and a 12V outlet and at the front of the firewall there is another USB-C port and a USB. Adjacent to the two cup holders in the centre console there is a wireless charge pad for compatible devices. The EV6 has a standard glove box design and I liked that the front doors cubbies fitted a large drink bottle and were felt lined to prevent rattles.

The rear seats have manual recline adjustment with ample head and leg room for two adults. It feels spacious thanks to the lack of a transmission tunnel, I also liked that there was a single floor mat that covered the entire rear footwell. Under the rear seat at the centre is an internal Vehicle to Load Adaptor with an AUS/NZ Type Socket and there are USB-C ports located on either side of the front seats.

The EV6 has two ISOFIX/three rear tether child seat restraint points, but most likely you would only fit two car seats in. The centre seat can be folded down as an arm rest with two rigid cup holders in it or you can slide the cup holder slot back and up to give you one rectangular shaped area. The air vents are located on the B-pillars with manual open/close and direction control. The drink bottle storage cubby in the rear doors would fit a medium sized bottle and are felt lined to prevent rattles.

At the front of the EV6 under the bonnet there is a small storage trunk, while the rear boot is a reasonable size and would fit the weekly shop or a pram and a small shop. If more space is required the rear seats have a 60:40 split fold mechanism with a manual release lever located in the boot. The boot has a power operated tailgate that can be open/closed from the button under the tailgate, on the key fob or the button in the cabin. There are four plastic tie down points, no hooks, one 12V outlet and a light in the boot and the portable AC charger is neatly stored in a bag. I found the cargo cover to be a bit annoying as you had to flip it up to reach all the way to the back of the boot and you only get a tyre repair kit under the boot floor.  

All grades in the Kia EV6 line-up have a 5-star ANCAP (2022) safety rating with Adult Occupant Protection score of 90% (34.48 out of 38) and a Child Occupant Protection of 87% (42.96 out of 49). Passive safety includes dual frontal, side chest-protecting and side head-protecting (curtain) airbags and a centre airbag which provides added protection to front seat occupants in side impact crashes is also standard on all variants.

Active safety measures that are standard on all EV6 grades include Autonomous Emergency Braking – Car, Pedestrian, Cyclist & Junction Turning, Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Following Assist, Blind Spot Collision Warning and Avoidance Assist with Rear Cross Traffic Collision Warning, High Beam Assist, Dusk-Sensing Automatic Head Lights, and Rain Sensing Wipers. There is a quiet bong emitted from the EV6 when you are reversing to alert nearby pedestrians that the vehicle is moving.

GT-Line models also get Parking Collision Avoidance Assist – Reverse, Surround View Monitor with 3D Mode and front and rear sensors, and Blind Spot View Monitor, which displays a camera image on the driver’s dash when you indicate left and right.

ANCAP tests of its Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) system showed GOOD performance, including AEB Junction Assist where the test vehicle can autonomously brake to avoid crashes when turning across the path of an oncoming vehicle or pedestrian. ANCAP tests of lane system support functionality showed GOOD performance in lane keep assist scenarios, and ADEQUATE performance in the more critical emergency lane keeping scenarios, with overall performance classified as GOOD. Overall, the ANCAP score for Safety Systems is 88%.

Kia Australia provides a seven year/150,000km (whichever occurs first) against defects arising in materials or manufacture for High Voltage Electrical Vehicle Systems Components which include but are not limited to: On Board Charger, Traction Motor, Electric Power Control Unit (EPCU & HPCU), High Voltage (HV) Battery System. The HV Lithium-Ion Polymer Battery is warranted for capacity loss below 70% of the original battery capacity.

There are three pre-paid service plans available for three years, five years or seven years, which currently cost $594, $1,089 and $1,584 respectively or you can still opt for pay as you go servicing with the service interval being 12 months or 15,000km, whichever occurs first. Each time you service your Kia at an authorised dealer you are automatically signed up for 12 months road side assistance as well.

The Kia EV6 strikes like a pinch-hitting all-rounder and is worthy of the accolades it has received. Prices for the Kia EV6 GT-Line AWD start at $82,990 excluding on-road costs and as tested with premium paint in Snow White Pearl ($520) the EV6 I drove is $83,510 excluding on-road costs. Visit the Kia Australia website or your preferred Kia dealer for more information about the Lia EV6.

Real-world range of 400km from the 77.4kWh batteryHead-up display bounced on rough roads
Not all controls are under the infotainment menusVoice control only works when Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are connected
Spacious rear seatsOnly comes with a tyre repair kit

Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.

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