The EV6, Kia’s first dedicated battery electric vehicle (BEV) built on the company’s EV platform (Electric-Global Modular Platform or E-GMP), has arrived in Australian showrooms.
The EV6 is the first of seven dedicated BEVs to be built on the E-GMP Platform and displays a future-oriented EV design characterised by high-tech details. It is powered exclusively by electric energy and brings a long-range, zero-emissions powertrain to the Large SUV market.
The EV6 is available in two grades; the range focused EV6 Air in rear-wheel drive only (RWD) and top trim GT-Line with RWD or all-wheel drive (AWD) options.
The performance EV6 eGT with follow in late 2022 or early 2023.
The RWD single motor EV6 entry-level Air starts the range off at $67,990 (RRP), producing 168kW power and 350Nm of torque and a single charge driving range of 528km, with 0-100 acceleration being reached in approximately 7.3 seconds on 19” alloy wheels.
The RWD single motor is also available as a choice in the GT-Line line-up with 20” alloys as standard, a driving range of 504km and priced at $74,990. The optional AWD dual motor really lifts the bar in the GT-Line range, producing 239kW/605 Nm and hitting 0-100 in approximately 5.2 seconds. The AWD comes with 20” alloy wheels, a range of 484km and a RRP of $82,990.
500 units of the EV6 (Air and GT-Line trims) have been earmarked for Australia during 2022 and will be sold through the Kia dealer network. Like all Kia models, the allocation will be staggered throughout the year. Kia Australia is in continuous dialogue with head office about this number with hopes of increasing it albeit not substantially, due to its popularity and high demand globally.
“The Kia EV6 is about to make its mark on the local electric vehicle offering in Australia and has already proven itself as the new halo for the Kia brand, attracting a remarkable level of interest leading up to its arrival,” said Kia’s Chief Operating Officer, Damien Meredith.
“Based on this unprecedented consumer interest, we are confident we could find an Australian home for more EV6’s than the 500 units allocated to our market in 2022.
“Like all models, we are in constant dialogue with headquarters about accessing more EV6 stock, all of which will be sold through the Kia dealer network and will arrive gradually throughout the year.”
No matter which EV6 model is chosen, it comes with a long list of standard equipment, generous interior space and premium levels of refinement.
The EV6 Air features 19” alloy wheels, LED headlights with daytime running lights, electrically folding, adjustable and heated door mirrors with integrated LED indicator lights, automatic headlight control, LED tail lights with rear fog light, rain sensing wipers and an innovative rear spoiler. Body coloured exterior flush door handles feature alongside a high gloss black A-pillar garnish, wing mirrors and beltline.
The seats on Air models are trimmed in black cloth and artificial leather upholstery, with power adjustment for the driver’s lumbar support. There’s an engine start/stop button with smart entry, all-round electric windows with driver and front passenger auto up and down functionality and an automatic windscreen defog system.
To get that perfect driving position, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel is provided, along with other comfort-oriented equipment, such as an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, dual zone climate control air conditioning, electronic park brake (EPB) with auto hold function, smart cruise control with stop and go functionality, paddle shifters with brake regen control, and steering wheel mounted Bluetooth/audio controls.
All EV6 models come with five seats, feature remote-folding 60:40 split rear seats, and include a luggage area load cover, luggage board, luggage net hooks and sliding cupholder integrated into the rear centre armrest. Two USB-C charge ports are provided up front, along with two additional USB-C ports located in the front seat backs for the rear passengers. One 12-volt accessory socket is located in the front tray with another integrated into the boot, along with LED lights for the front and rear luggage areas. LED interior lighting is standard for both the front and rear cabins. Storage features include front seatback pockets, front and rear door storage, and a glovebox with illumination.
A suite of safety devices feature on the EV6, including Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) with car, pedestrian, cyclist detection with junction turning assist, a drive mode select system, Hill-start assist control (HAC), Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA), Lane Follow Assist (LFA), Lane Keep Assist (LKA), Driver Attention Warning with lead vehicle departure alert (DAW+), Multi-Collision Brake (MCB), Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and a Tyre Mobility Kit (TMK).
A comprehensive infotainment system consists of a dual 12.3-inch driver display and touchscreen navigation system, together with wired Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay®. The EV6 Air features six speakers and a separate USB port for media connection. To aid maneuverability, front & rear parking sensors are provided, along with a reversing camera system with dynamic guidelines.
All models include a full suite of airbags including driver and front passenger, centre side, front side and curtain airbags. There are also two child seat ISOFIX anchor points and three top tether anchor points for the rear seats. Headrests are all individually adjustable.
The GT-Line models feature larger 20” alloy wheels, automatic folding door handles, heated & ventilated front seats, and a smart power tailgate. A Meridian premium sound system with 14 speakers and active sound design (ASD) is also standard, alongside an augmented reality HUD, Remote Smart Park Assist (RSPA), a 360-degree around view camera system with 3D mode, and Blind-Spot View Monitor.
The GT-Line AWD option comes with a wide sunroof with tilting and sliding functionality.
The Kia EV6 Air is available in six colours with Glacier White being new to the Kia pallet. EV6 GT-Line is available in five colours, including the striking Moonscape matte paint exclusive to the GT-Line trim, also new to the Kia range.
All EV6 models come with a Type 2-to-domestic three-pin plug trickle charger. When using a 350kW charger, the 800V charging capability means the EV6 can go from 10-to-80 per cent battery charge in just 18 minutes.
The range also comes with the EV6’s interior vehicle-to-load (V2L) function that drastically improves charging flexibility. An Integrated Charging Control Unit (ICCU) enables up to 3.6kW of power to be discharged from the vehicle’s battery. Inside the cabin, a handy charging port located under the rear seats allows passengers to charge devices from the vehicle’s battery without the need for additional adapters. The EV6’s own battery is preserved by ensuring state of charge does not fall below 20 per cent, at which point V2L is disabled.
GT-Line models come with the EV6’s exterior vehicle-to-load (V2L) function. The adapter plug enables the EV6 to charge anything from external domestic appliances to other EVs (with a trickle charger).
Ride & Handling
The Kia EV6 has been put through Kia Australia’s rigorous Ride and Handling Program around regional Victoria, reinforcing Kia’s commitment to an activity which is now somewhat expected by Australian car buyers.
Kia Australia’s local tuning program is an important process for its product range and once again, despite the constraints posed by COVID, the EV6 has been tailored as much as possible to best suit Australian roads.
EV6 incorporates an advanced frequency dependent damper technology by ZF Sachs’ termed Selective Damping Control 3 (SDC3). Kia is the first mainstream brand to utilise this technology following on from prestigious makes AMG and Maserati. SDC3 is able to optimise damping forces dependent on frequency to offer both comfortable ride comfort and excellent body control.
EV6 is compliant with absorbent rough road ride, with rounded feel in urban environments. Handling is balanced and flat with excellent grip and mid corner response. Excellent power delivery with confident and engaging driving dynamics.
The EV6 with the 77.4kWh battery pack is designed to tow up to 1,600kg with trailer brakes in RWD and AWD configurations, 750kg unbraked and has a 100kg downball weight.
When it comes to exterior design, characteristic front daytime running lights display a sleek, modern appearance. They form part of the car’s ‘Digital Tiger Face’, a design progression evoking the spirit of Kia’s ‘Tiger Nose Grille’ for the electrified era. Below this, a low air intake visually widens the front of the car, accentuating its high-tech image. Part of the optimisation of air flow from the front, the air is channeled through and under the car’s flat floor for optimum aerodynamics.
The side profile displays a crossover-inspired design aesthetic, which is modern, sleek, and aerodynamic. This contrasts with sharp lines and high-tech details to create a sense of tension in the design. A swept-back windshield provides dynamism and purpose, while bold rear haunches add volume. A character line runs along the bottom of the doors curving upwards towards the rear wheel arches, visually elongating the profile of the car.
Designed in part to realise ultimate aerodynamic performance, the rear displays a sloping C-pillar with an integrated black glossy insert, which visually widens the window glass. Above this sits a prominent roof spoiler that channels air down towards a raised lower spoiler that sits atop the car’s unique rear light cluster.
Sound absorbent materials in the floor, wheel arches, doors, boot lid and tyres reduce road and wind noise, creating a quiet and serene space for all occupants. Acoustic windshield and door glass further on GT-line models improve the on-board experience giving the EV6 a sound rating equal to higher-class premium models.
EV6 is the result of a collaborative effort between all three studios in Kia’s global design network in Namyang (Korea), Frankfurt (Germany), and Irvine (California, US).
Moving to the interior, the cabin packaging provides impressive interior space and functionality, thanks to the flat battery under the floor, and minimal front and rear overhangs. Passengers are greeted by a lean, minimalist dashboard architecture that emphasises the cabin’s remarkable sense of space. The EV6’s flat floor provides rear seat occupants with 990mm of legroom for exceptional space and comfort. For those sitting up front, there is a roomy 1,078mm of legroom on offer.
One of the most striking elements of the new interior is a seamless high-tech curved high-definition audio visual and navigation (AVN) screen. The simple form language of the wide curved screen and the slim dashboard give the space an open feel. Extending from the steering wheel across to the centre of the car, it displays an instrument cluster in front of the driver, with infotainment and navigation above the centre console. The width of the screen creates an immersive experience for the driver, while a minimal number of physical buttons creates an uncluttered and soothing driving experience.
Below the AVN screen sits the car’s new multi-mode display. This replaces physical buttons with a dedicated capacitive touchscreen, providing easily accessible shortcuts to control HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) and the infotainment and navigation system. Instead of delving into sub-menus, the multi-mode display allows quicker access to the car’s most often used features, such as changing the temperature or adjusting the audio volume.
Premium relaxation seats, on the GT-Line models, enable the driver and front passenger to relax in supreme comfort and luxury while the EV6 is parked or charging. At the touch of a button, the seats can lift and recline, optimising posture and body pressure distribution and the seats’ lightweight, slim-line design further enhances the interior space.
Premium materials are used throughout the EV6 cabin for a welcoming feel and durability. The cabin is trimmed in a range of sustainable materials, with seats that are slim, lightweight and contemporary. Sections of the dashboard and centre console are clad in recycled plastics, equivalent to 107 plastic 500ml water bottles per car.
All of the EV6’s primary controls are located within easy reach of the driver for an intuitive driving experience. The vehicle’s space-saving Shift-By-Wire selector is conveniently placed alongside the EV6’s starter button on the centre console, while the sleek steering wheel integrates key ADAS switches for maximum operability. Control switches for the EV6’s heated steering wheel and ventilated and heated seats are also within easy reach for convenience.
The EV6’s clever storage solutions cater for all needs. A sizeable centre storage tray provides a convenient space for small bags and tablets, and an integrated wireless charging pad on all models enables users to charge their smartphones with ease. The glovebox is larger and longer than normal thanks to the split HVAC architecture, delivering 10.5 litres of space. Handy front and rear drinks holders provide added storage potential.
Generous boot space afforded by the E-GMP architecture means the EV6 is ready for the next adventure, providing up to 490 litres (VDA) of boot space with the second-row seats in place (480 litres for GT-Line models, due to the space taken up by the Meridian audio system subwoofer). The EV6 also features extra storage under the front bonnet providing an additional 52 litres of storage space for RWD models and 20 litres for AWD models.