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Kia EV6 Dual Motor Long Range GT-Line Review: Ready for the World

Kia's first dedicated BEV model shows a glimpse of a very promising future.
James Wong
James Wong
06 Feb 2023
Driven sensibly, I think the GT-Line would be able to give a usable range exceeding 400 km.
What we like:
Standout looks
Good range and power
Classy interior design
What we dislike:
Interior material quality falls a little short

The EV6 is a big deal for Kia. It’s the first of 11 BEV model line-ups to come from the brand, and it’s built on the Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), which will be used in various forms for future BEV models from Kia. Unlike, for example, the Niro BEV which is also available as a Niro Hybrid, the EV6 is built exclusively as a BEV. So, the EV6 will be a taster of the best that Kia can offer in the BEV arena.

There’s an air of confidence that comes with the EV6, which I think stands proudly as a design trendsetter amongst its competitors. Apparently, others think so too: it’s recognised at the 2022 Red Dot Design Awards as ‘Red Dot: Best of the Best’.

Its capsule-like looks are probably one of the best examples of crossover design. There’s a hint of a fastback, but also a highly practical car like an SUV. But I think it would be unkind to call the EV6 an SUV - it’s far more attractive and avant garde than that. There are some cool detailing like concealed puddle lights, a subtle rear spoiler, matt grey paint and flushed door handles. On the last point, they look slick but unfortunately aren’t as intuitive to use compared to a conventional handle. But I guess I am nitpicking. Short of a Ferrari Purosangue, I think the EV6 is one of the most attractive high-riding cars I’ve seen.

To be fair, it isn’t all that high - at 1.55 metres tall it is shorter than the Hyundai Ioniq 5 by 55 mm, which shares the same chassis. The EV6 appeals to a younger audience with a sportier outlook, a more cosy interior and lower slung stance.

There’s a decently sized boot (1,300 litres with seats folded) that can conveniently stow away its very own tonneau cover, as well as storage space underneath the frunk which conceals itself very well. I thought it was just a cover for drivetrain ancillaries until I popped it open. On AWD models like this GT-Line, it has 20 litres of space, but on 2WD models it expands to 52 litres. Clever.

On the inside, everything feels familiar with just a sprinkling of magic dust added. There’s fancier ambient lighting and interesting textures, but the overall architecture is not unlike what you find in the Niro. It’s no bad thing - it’s clean, functional and logically designed. Rear legroom space is generous especially with a flat floor. The EV6 sets the bar very high with build quality, but material quality falls slightly short for something that’s priced within striking distance of luxury brands. You only notice this if you really look for it, though.

The GT-Line has a dual motor (as opposed to the ‘standard’ car’s single) and long range setup (larger batteries, 77.4 kWh versus 58 kWh). So despite having a faster 0-100 km/h time of 5.2 seconds (versus 8.5 seconds), the GT-Line can go further by 112 km for a total range of 506 km.

All these statistics are quite impressive for its segment, and I’m happy to report that it excels in the real world too. Driven sensibly, I think the GT-Line would be able to give a usable range exceeding 400 km. Power on tap will definitely see off most cars (including sports cars) at the lights, although one would not be predisposed to drive fast in the EV6 with its lazy, relaxed steering no matter which mode one is in. The weight of the car can always be felt as well, as is the case with all BEVs due to their batteries, so it never really feels truly sporty. This also plays out with its ride - mostly compliant but noticeably having to deal with the weight.

Regeneration can be adjusted via ‘paddle shifters’ behind the wheel, and allows almost ICE-like driving with little regeneration to one pedal driving. I like the adjustability offered and it is mostly good.

Expectations were high with the EV6 and I think it has mostly met them. Had it been priced more competitively I can see the car being quite a hit; at $285,000 it faces stiff competition, with Tesla being the value driver while the premium brands are nipping at its toes. It certainly has its work cut out.

Photos by Horizon Drivers' Club


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