Luxury Feel, Long Range

By Derek Price

After years of anticipation, electric car sales are finally starting to explode this year.
A big reason for that is because a slew of new cars like this, the Kia EV6, are hitting the market after massive investments from some of the biggest and smartest car companies in the world.
The EV6, like a lot of these new products, isn’t a niche car for early technology adopters or a luxurious splurge for people who wear monocles and top hats. It’s a darn good car on its own merits, no matter the power plant that underlies it.
It’s smooth. It’s quiet. It’s ridiculously fast off the line. And most of all, it’s usable for the kind of tasks everyday American families need from a solid car.
With an SUV-like layout and roomy cargo area, it offers the same kind of practicality and style that have made crossovers such big sellers in the past decade.
More importantly, it has a big enough battery to ease worries for long trips.

The new Kia EV6 is a good-looking, powerful, quiet electric car with a range up to 310 miles.

The base model sends 167 horsepower to the rear wheels for a range of 232 miles. Buyers can also upgrade to a bigger battery that delivers more power (225 hp) and extends the range up to 310 miles with rear-wheel drive.
If you want a balance of power and range, along with better all-weather grip, an all-wheel-drive version with dual motors is available. That’s the version I tested, and I had a blast pushing the limits of range and power in this 320-horsepower EV.
Called the GT-Line AWD, this flavor of the EV6 comes with a big motor in back and smaller motor in front to deliver power to all four wheels. It’s impressively balanced, even sporty, when you push it hard in corners.
It’s handsome, too, with a body that looks more sleek than most crossovers. Matte gray paint on my tester gave it a show-car vibe, a nice way to differentiate a family car without looking too ostentatious.
Driving it immediately after a Dodge Challenger Hellcat, one of the most powerful gas-powered cars for sale today, was eye-opening for several reasons.
One, the EV6 didn’t feel that much slower than the Hellcat, at least in the first two or three seconds of acceleration. With 320 horsepower, lots of grip and a light structure, this particular version of the EV6 takes off like a rocket — albeit a silent one.

Large digital screens dominate the dash in the EV6. Among its many high-tech features are onboard cameras that show what’s outside the vehicle from any angle.

Seriously, it makes almost no noise, which is eerie when you press on the “gas” pedal after getting used to the rumble of a supercharged V8 the previous week and feel all the sensations of speed but none of the sound.
The silence makes it feel somewhat like a luxury car over the road.
The only downside of my weeklong test drive wasn’t about the car itself but the charging infrastructure to keep it going on long trips.
The EV6 is designed to use ultra-fast, 350-kilowatt DC chargers that can boost it from 20-80 percent of its range in a matter of minutes. But these chargers are in increasingly high demand, meaning drivers sometimes have to wait for a charging spot to open up.
That happens with gasoline cars at peak times, too, but I’ve noticed it more often with EVs lately. As electric vehicle sales continue to climb, America will need a whole lot more chargers — and more robust generation and delivery systems — to meet the increased demand for electron juice.
Pricing starts at $40,900 for the rear-wheel-drive EV6 Light. The AWD version with dramatically more power starts $10,000 higher, topping out with the sporty GT-Line at $55,900.
Later this year, Kia is expected to release an even faster GT version with 576 horsepower and an estimated 0-60 mph time of 3.5 seconds. Pricing for the GT has not been announced.

At A Glance

What was tested? 2022 Hyundai EV6 GT-Line AWD ($55,900). Options: Matte gray paint ($695), GT-Line guide seat package ($295).  Price as tested (including $1,215 destination charge): $58,105
Wheelbase: 114.2 in.
Length: 184.8 in.
Width: 74.4 in.
Height: 60.8 in.
Motors: 74 kW front and 168 kW rear (320 combined horsepower)
Range: 274 miles

Style: 8
Performance: 8
Price: 7
Handling: 8
Ride: 8
Comfort: 9
Quality: 7
Overall: 8

Why buy it?
It’s a fantastic car that happens to come with an electric powertrain. The EV6 has a smooth ride, comfortable cabin and enough range for most families.

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