The flagship model of Kia’s first-ever dedicated electric vehicle has arrived, the Kia EV6 GT.
With 430kW of power and a 0-100km/h time of 3.5 seconds, the EV6 GT boasts some impressive numbers. But what is it like to own? We put it through its paces from the track to the Brisbane roads to find out.
It is fair to say that the Kia EV6 GT stands out in a crowd. The aggressive body lines start at the all-new matrix LED headlights and elegantly slopes back to that impressively detailed tail light bar. When it comes to looks, EVs can often be polarising. However, the EV6 is undoubtedly one of the best-looking SUVs on the market. When you step inside you feel the two worlds of performance and technology colliding (in a good way).
The Kia EV6 GT is the fastest and most powerful car ever made by Kia. So the flagship GT variant is fitted with a set of tight-fitting bucket seats to hold you comfortably in place while you accelerate in a way you have probably never felt before. In front of you, the EV6 GT has two 12.3” displays, one for your infotainment and one for your digital dashboard. It really has the cockpit feeling to match the rocketship performance.
With 430kW of power and 740Nm of torque, we decided the race track was the best place to see what the EV6 GT was truly capable of. This Kia will reach 100km/h from a standstill in 3.5 seconds! More importantly, once you’ve run out of road it will also stop quickly thanks to the huge brakes. However, through the corners on the track, you are quickly reminded that this is an electric SUV. You feel all 2185kgs and the instant torque prevents you from setting any lap records, but this is not what the EV6 GT is about, it is a grand tourer, a performance car for everyday use.
So what is it like on the road? In the best way possible, it drives like a normal car. The Kia EV6 GT has four switchable driving modes. This means for those spirited drives you have a driving mode that uses the full power of the batteries and stiffens the suspension to provide less roll through the corners. But when you return to the daily commute you have several driving modes which reduce the throttle response and soften the adjustable dampers, making the car far more comfortable and manageable.
To enhance the driving experience, the Kia EV6 GT has a suite of driving assists including autonomous emergency braking, smart cruise control and blind spot collision avoidance. The space-age technology continues with these safety features being displayed on the heads-up display as well as speed, navigation guidance and lane safety information.
Reviewing the EV6 GT was my first experience with an electric vehicle, and like any EV first-timer, I was paranoid about battery range. The Kia EV6 GT has a range of 424 km, however, it is worth noting that like any car this does change depending on how you drive it. If you constantly have the car in GT mode and race every unsuspecting grandmother from the set of lights, understandably this range does decrease. Charging an EV is always one of the biggest perceived challenges from an EV sceptic like myself, but after reviewing the car I was pleasantly surprised by how easily it fits into real-world use.
While reviewing the EV6 GT I went out for dinner and noticed an EV fast charger in the car park. 45 minutes and one delicious Italian meal later and the car had another 200kms of range. Yes, the way you increase your driving range is different from a regular petrol engine, but if you live within a metropolitan area it is no less convenient. Rather than stopping out of your way for fuel, you are charging while at the shops, at dinner or even at home overnight.
To achieve a 0-100km/h time of 3.5 seconds in a car often means you have to sacrifice passengers and cargo space, but not with the EV6 GT. Despite the sloping roof line, the Kia EV6 GT is an SUV that can comfortably fit 5 people. Including adults in the back with enough leg and headroom for any long journey. The interior feels sporty with suede and leather throughout, as well as heated bucket seats up front to hold you tight during those spirited drives. The centrepiece of the interior is the two 12.3” displays. One acts as your dashboard with all your driving information such as speed, range and driving modes, while the second screen is a touchscreen and controls your infotainment. Below the touchscreen, there is a slimline dual-function touchscreen that toggles between climate controls and audio controls. The latest models from Kia, including the EV6 GT really do have all the latest technology to rival far more expensive models from their European counterparts.
The EV6 GT is Kia’s most powerful and fastest vehicle at the time of writing this but that also means it is Kia’s most expensive model. Kia’s flagship model starts at just over $111,000 driveaway however the one in this review came in the amazing Snow White Pearl which costs an extra $520 while the launch color, Moonscape costs an additional $3,295. At first, this seems steep until you compare it to the competitors and realise nothing offers the versatility for the same price. You can either keep the performance and practical size of the EV6 however you will need to spend considerably more money. Or you spend the same money but either sacrifice performance or practicality, reverting to a small hatchback. The Kia EV6 GT really is one of the best value-for-money performance family cars on the market.
So what does all this mean? To put it simply, if you are looking for a performance car that will embarrass supercars from a set of lights while carrying the entire family, then the Kia EV6 GT may just be the car for you. It definitely is the best value-for-money performance family car.
It offers out-of-this-world performance, the latest and greatest technology, and a cabin to keep the whole family comfortable, what more could you want? It really is an experience that you need to drive to fully understand it.