Following the success of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 EV, we were eager to put its corporate sibling, the Kia EV6, to the test. Both vehicles share Hyundai's Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), batteries, and motors, but the EV6 has some distinct features that set it apart. While the Ioniq 5's futuristic design stands out for its unconventional appearance, the Kia EV6 is a head-turner known for its sporty sheet metal and sleek yet subtle interior. It's a formidable compact electric crossover that competes well with other EVs in the market, such as the Ford Mustang Mach E, the Volkswagen ID.4, and even the Hyundai Kona Electric.
The Kia EV6 is available in four trim levels and offers either rear-wheel-drive (RWD) single-motor or all-wheel-drive (AWD) dual-motor configurations. The entry-level Light model comes with a 58kWh battery, while the rest of the trims are equipped with a larger 77.4kWh battery pack. Like the Ioniq 5, the EV6 supports both 400- and 800-volt rapid charging. Using an 800-volt DC fast charger, the EV6's battery can go from 10% to 80% charge in just around 18 minutes, and it takes about 73 minutes with a 400-volt charger. For Level 2 charging with a 240-volt charger, it takes just over seven hours to top up the battery from 10% to 100%. However, with the standard 120-volt charging cable that comes with the car, the charging time jumps to around 68 hours.
The base Light model starts at $42,600 and features a 125kW rear motor that generates 167 horsepower (hp). Its EPA-estimated range is 232 miles, and it boasts fuel economy numbers totaling 117 combined MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent), 136 city MPGe, and 100 highway MPGe. Apart from the battery and motor differences, the Light shares most features with the Wind, the second model in the lineup. The Wind starts at $48,700 and comes with a more powerful 168kW rear motor, producing 225hp and offering a longer range of 310 miles. The fuel economy rating for the Wind is 117 combined MPGe, 134 city MPGe, and 101 highway MPGe.
Both the Light and Wind trims in RWD configuration come standard with 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and taillights, heated front seats, an eight-way power driver's seat, keyless entry and ignition with remote start, and dual-zone automatic climate control. Tech-savvy drivers will appreciate the dual 12.3-inch dashboard displays, Kia Connect telematics with navigation, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, wireless phone charging, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and five USB ports (four USB-C charge-only ports and a USB-A media port). On the safety front, the EV6 is well-equipped with standard driver assists, including lane centering, blind-spot monitoring, front-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, intersection and cyclist detection, rear cross-traffic alert and crash avoidance, lane-keeping assist with auto lane changing, safe-exit assist, navigation-based adaptive cruise control, and reverse parking sensors.
For those seeking more power and all-wheel-drive capability, the AWD Wind trim is available for $52,600, which adds a 74kW front motor and a 165kW rear motor, producing a total of 320hp and offering a range of 282 miles. This trim also includes 19-inch black-finish alloy wheels, vegan leather seating, ventilated front seats, an eight-way power front passenger seat, a heated steering wheel, a 14-speaker Meridian premium audio system, a hands-free power tailgate, forward and reverse parking sensors, and Kia's Vehicle-to-Load feature, allowing you to power small portable electronics directly from the vehicle.
While the Kia EV6 is undoubtedly a sporty and stylish electric crossover, it faces tough competition in the EV market. Although it slightly surpasses its corporate twin, the Ioniq 5, in range and performance, it is $1,100 more expensive. Therefore, for those looking for a perfect balance of performance and price, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 remains our top recommendation. However, the Kia EV6 offers an enticing option for those seeking a stylish and cutting-edge compact EV crossover that doesn't compromise on performance or features.