Driving report electric car Kia EV6: Hyundai’s next fast charger

The Hyundai Group follows the tried and tested recipe for success of offering the same platforms in different packaging. For electric cars, the technical basis is called E-GMP, and Hyundai distributes it across three brands. The Ioniq 5 is already on the market, followed by the Kia EV6 as well as models from the Genesis offshoot, which has become a luxury brand. Obviously, different tastes and demands are served. The Ioniq 5 polarizes more than the rounded Kia EV6. The latter was available to us for a first trip.

If you press the start button, you think you’re sitting in the forest. The twittering of birds can be heard from all sides, and a gentle breeze makes leaves rustle. The Kia EV6 provides background noises of your choice and mood: the sound of the sea, pattering rain, bar murmurs, boots crunching in the snow. What does that say about the quality of an electric vehicle? Quite something, because it reveals how much imagination its developers have put to work.

The start murmur is of course only a tiny detail. The group boldly praises the above-average loading capacity, which is no empty marketing gossip here. The larger of two batteries with an energy content of 77.4 kWh was installed in the test car. In the WLTP this should be sufficient for up to 528 km. Thanks to the 800 volt operating voltage, the charging power is high without tending to extremes in terms of current intensity. Converted to P (power) = U (voltage) x I (current) in this case means that a maximum of 281.25 amperes flow. For the same charging power of 225 kW, a 400 volt architecture would therefore have to process 561.5 amps.

With such charging capacities, the duration of the compulsory breaks is of course reduced enormously over long distances. Waiting for hours to get power back into the battery for a few hundred kilometers? That was once upon a time, at least when the conditions are as ideal as on this first trip and the infrastructure allows for it. With a 28 percent SoC, we connected an EV6 with a 77.4 kWh battery to a fast charging station in the Spanish hinterland. About 17 minutes later the column showed 87 percent. According to Kia, enough electricity for 100 kilometers is bunkered after just four minutes.

For this test lap, we chose the model with 168 kW and rear-wheel drive. Despite a curb weight of more than two tons, the performance is excellent and much faster than the 7.3 seconds that Kia promises in the standard sprint indicate. Above all, however, the full ability to accelerate is immediately available at any time. A slight movement of the foot in the direction of the accelerator pedal is enough to confidently handle practically almost all requirements in normal road traffic. The end is only at 185 km / h.

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The exterior of the Kia EV6 is a little less …

The handling of the EV6 is also “sovereign”. Leaning is not an issue even in brisk curves, thanks to the low center of gravity with the weighty batteries. It pulls around corners with precision and agility, and is there immediately when accelerating out. The positive impression is only tarnished a bit by the occasional rather bumpy suspension. The steering provides sufficient feedback from the road, but could be a little more precise.

With the focus on the electric drive, proportions shift. After all, the drive components take up much less space in an electric car. In the Kia EV6, the wheelbase is 2.9 m, about as much as in a current Mercedes E-Class. With a total of 4.68 m, however, it is a few centimeters shorter than a C-Class. The space available in the EV6 is accordingly generous. Despite the coupé line, the headroom is sufficient even for tall people. The comfortable seats can be adjusted widely. The trunk has a capacity of 520 liters.

There are hardly any buttons on the dashboard for direct control of functions. Nevertheless, the operation of the most important functions is relatively easy and largely intuitive. However, that does not mean that Kia has nothing more to do in this zone: The navigation system does not appear to be fully developed in this form. Announcements come too late, always lead astray and the optical route display itself is rather poor.

The number and quality of the assistance systems that Kia has given the EV6 is remarkable. In this way, the car finds parking spaces independently and parks automatically, even if you don’t want to be in the car. The emergency braking assistant stops in good time before an obstacle, and an energetic, active lane departure warning system can be ordered. The recuperation system can calculate the optimal deceleration from navigation data and traffic events, which in practice succeeds with an astonishingly high hit rate.

With at least 44,990 euros, the Kia EV6 is not a bargain, on the other hand, the basic equipment is already quite extensive. However, requests that this line does not meet quickly become extremely expensive due to the pricing policy. Extras are only available in packages that are quite fair overall, but if you want the sunroof, for example, you have to put a few thousand euros on top. After all, it can also be opened in the EV6, unlike in the Ioniq 5. Here, the group does indeed make differences. Amazingly, these are also available from competitor Volkswagen in exactly this area.

Kia should have a good chance of meeting the taste of many customers with the EV6. The powerful drive in combination with the quick charging option shows the current state of the art, which currently hardly any competitor can match. Space and workmanship are excellent, and comfort is high. Kia has to improve the navigation system. The prices are a confident statement. Kia can afford it because the car is so competitive. But with requests that are not included in the basic model, the EV6 becomes considerably more expensive very quickly.


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