Kia EV6 GT road test: An electrifying newcomer from the unlikely brand which rules the roost

Kia is adding the EV6 GT to its existing EV6 – and it’s an electrifying newcomer for the company that joined the rechargeable marketonly six years ago. Steve Teale was impressed by its performance.

What a transformation. Kia was hardly a force in the electric vehicle market a few years ago but now it is one of the brands which seems to rule the roost.

It was only in 2018 when it launched its first EV, the e-Niro. This was a decent enough offering at the time but how times have changed. Six short years later and we have this model, the EV6, which has been joined the bigger EV9, a stunning vehicle for a new age.

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The EV3, which will have more appeal for those on a budget, will soon silently follow.

The Kia EV6 GTThe Kia EV6 GT
The Kia EV6 GT

Soon after e-Niro, Kia began introducing its first bespoke electric model, with the EV6 launching in 2021 on a specific architecture that brought some major advancements in the electric car world.

This is a dashing sporty version of the EV6 called the GT. And while the car is quick (0 to 60mph in 3.5 seconds) it’s the rapid charging which will be of more practical appeal.

Only 18 minutes is needed to get the battery from 10 to 80 per cent with a fast charger. Remember when slow charging was an issue? Well, at this rate it really won’t be long before we charge faster than we can full up a traditional car with petrol.

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A vehicle-to-load function also means that the EV6 can provide power to external devices and even charge up another electric vehicle if required.

Kia EV6 GTKia EV6 GT
Kia EV6 GT

This car is a joy to behold. A powerful front motor delivers 215bhp while the rear motor manages 362bhp. The two motors combined deliver 80 per cent more power than the next most powerful EV6.

Many people view electric models as safe, almost dull, models. But there is nothing dull about the way this car progresses. The 0 to 60mph time is more akin to a sports car than a family motor.

The price is the elephant in the room. More than £60,000 for a Kia sounds like a lot of money but very few if any will buy the car outright. The running costs including leasing are more important these days.

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There’s a lot to like about the way the EV6 drives. Starting with its exceptional refinement, as even at motorway speeds there’s minimal road noise, and the combination of this, the EV6’s long range and fast charging speeds make it ideal for long trips. Range anxiety should be eased.

It is a fairly large crossover, as many EVs seem to be. Well, that’s the body style which best suits this mode of power with its heavy batteries and power plants.

Despite being a large crossover, the EV6 drives and handles keenly.

It has some astonishing technology. Take the all-new Electronic Limited Slip Differential (e-LSD) which enhances traction and stability when cornering by automatically moving torque to the wheels with most grip.

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Or the Electronically Controlled Suspension (ECS) which delivers agility and comfort through continuous management of the semiactive High-Performance Dampers; new springs are nine per cent softer at the front and 11 per cent stiffer at the rear.

No wonder the EV6 GT was announced as the winner of World Performance Car of the Year.

The GT is more than just a title. It also incorporates a new ‘GT’ driving mode which, when activated via a steering wheel-mounted button, optimises components such as the motors and suspension to deliver a more dynamic drive.

A Drift Mode enables more sideways action, should you be so inclined.

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Like other Hyundai and Genesis models that also use the same platform, the Kia EV6 is a deceptively big car, particularly when it comes to its width as it will take up most of a typical car park space. But other than when parking it doesn’t feel its size.

Even a few years after its launch, the design is still as striking, especially around the back where it gets a cool LED light bar that stretches right across the rear of the car. The design is quite different to anything else on sale, and isn’t the most obvious ‘SUV’.

The main feeling inside the EV6 is the sheer level of space. The use of a platform designed purely for electric cars gives Kia more freedom, with far more floor area in the front and rear than a typical petrol model. There’s loads of room in the rear for adults, while the boot measures a handy 480 litres, though it’s a bit shallower than those of rivals.

The cabin is also dominated by a huge curved display that incorporates a touchscreen and digital dial display, both of which are great to use. Another cool touch is a strip of buttons beneath the touchscreen that have two uses – varying between climate settings and traditional audio functions at the press of a button.

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Even the standard EV6 is well equipped. Even the entry-level Air trim comes with vegan leather seats, heated front seats, adaptive cruise control and the impressive curved display.

EV6 proved a ground-breaking electric car when it launched two years ago and even now it continues to stand out in an increasingly competitive market.

A long electric range and extremely quick charging speeds make it suitable for long-distance runs, while its spacious interior and a good all-round driving experience add to the appeal. The Kia EV6 continues to sit right at the very top of the electric SUV market.

Meanwhile, Kia EV3 will soon be here. This will be a compact SUV and it promises a bold, progressive exterior with innovative, practical interior that maximises space, functionality, and comfort.

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It will have best-in-class 370-mile driving range and 10-80 per cent battery charging in 31 mins.

The EV3 will be introduced first in Korea in July, followed by its European launch in the second half of the year.

Kia EV6 GT: £62,645; A 577bhp electric motor generating power via all four wheels; Top speed 162mph and 0 to 60mph in 3.5 seconds; Combined range 262 miles. City range 339 miles; Seven years warranty, 100,000 miles. Anti-perforation warranty (12 years/unlimited mileage). Paint warranty (five years/100,000 miles)

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