The Kia EV6 proves that electric cars are just getting better and better; still, a pity the UK’s charging infrastructure isn’t keeping up!
The cutting edge Kia EV6 range starts at more than £40,000. Phew, a lot of money, but that’s the way it is at the moment, although some manufacturers say they’re on the road to lower prices.
So: ‘range anxiety, the other bugbear — compared with the competition, is I am glad to say, significantly eliminated in the Kia EV6 range.
My 95-mile drive in a mid-range GT-line rear-wheel-drive version (£43,945) started off with the car 100% charged and an indicated available mileage of a very useful 320.
The drive took in most conditions, including a majority of motorway and dual-carriageway at speeds mainly between 60 and 74 mph (easy in this car to stray over the limit!), followed by 25 miles across rural Suffolk. The range at the end had reduced to 195 miles; had city driving been included, the range would probably have not reduced so much.
In all events, a very handy return that would not put off a family travelling a serious distance on holiday, for example, without having to worry about stopping to charge up en route — nor the associated angst over whether the charge points will in the first place be available and even working properly.
Driving the car itself was a pleasure.
The 226 bhp performance in acceleration is handy, with 62 mph coming up in 7.3 seconds, along with good overtaking capability.
The handling had a good test along some tight and undulating bends and passed with flying colours. The test car was rear-wheel-drive (beloved of drivers who feel they can, if they want, get a sportier type of drive) and never felt in any way as though its driver might have been risking it a bit!
Very hard braking stopped the car, which suddenly felt heavy, smoothly and safely, albeit with a final graunching noise that seemed to be something other than the ABS system at work.
The ride was nice and supple and forgiving and I found the driver’s seat particularly well-suited to the contours of my back.
With its wheel-at-each-corner design, there’s plenty of room inside, which itself is smartly finished in a variety of quality-feeling materials; this includes vegan leather.
Stowage for family stuff is well-thought-out and includes a central console with an upper and lower level, which incorporates the various charging sockets, very neat.
Kia has designed an attractive instrument facia that’s easy to follow. An owner might (not unusually) take a few days to become at home with the way it all works, but the logic is there.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder: this beholder considers the Kia EV6 to be a very attractive looker — the rear end particularly so.
Charge-time with a 7kw home charger is 7 hours and 20 minutes from 10% to 100%. If you can locate a 350kw point, then you’re full up 80%, off and running in less than 20 minutes.
There’s a good deal to like about the Kia EV6 and with the added assurance of the Kia 7 year warranty this EV is one to be excited about.
Tom Scanlan has written for a wide variety of magazines and newspapers, particularly the Reading Evening Post for ten years, having got into motoring journalism in 1973 via the somewhat unlikely back door of the British Forces Broadcasting Service. BFBS produced a weekly radio motoring show for the services overseas and Tom produced it, as well as interviewing experts and eventually reporting on cars.
He is into classic cars and has owned Porsche, Ferrari, pre-war Alvis and Rileys and currently owns his fifth old Alfa Romeo, a 1984 GTV 2.0.
In his spare time, Tom is a professional cricket coach.