Kia's Plan S (Shift) will include 11 new electric vehicles by 2026, but it all starts with the 2022 Kia EV6 compact crossover. Based on the E-GMP platform that also underpins the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and upcoming Genesis GV60, this is the first Kia EV to be built as an all-electric model from the ground up. As it arrives on the market in 2022, the EV6 already faces some competition in the growing affordable EV space. Some indirect rivals include the Ford Mustang Mach-E, aforementioned Hyundai Ioniq, 5, Volkswagen ID.4, and to a lesser extent, the Tesla Model Y.
Battling the likes of Tesla for EV dominance while also taking on those other newcomers sounds like a tall order, but the EV6 is armed with some serious firepower. A $40,900 starting price, up to 310 miles of range, and horsepower ranging from 167 to 320 (and 576 in a future GT model) make the EV6 highly competitive in this booming segment. CarBuzz had the chance to sample the new Kia EV6 in two flavors to find out if it's a true game-changer for the Korean automaker and the EV market as a whole.
The 2022 Kia EV6 is an all-new EV model and is set to enter the American market in the first quarter of 2022. The new EV will be available in Light, Wind, and GT-Line configurations and will come in rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive configurations. Prices will start from $40,900, and the EV6 will have a range of up to 310 miles. The EV6 is the brand's first dedicated EV, built on the Hyundai Group's E-GMP platform, meaning the EV6 shares underpinnings with the Ioniq 5.
See trim levels and configurations:
Kia is no stranger to building comfortable commuter cars that are also surprisingly fun on a back road. The EV6 is no exception. With the batteries mounted low in the floor, the EV6 maintains its composure around the bends more than most conventional gas-powered crossovers. This isn't a purpose-built sports car, so there's still some body roll, but once the suspension setlles in, we felt supreme confidence in the EV6 on some of Northern California's serpentine back roads. We'd love some wider tires and more substantial brakes to truly take advantage of the well-balanced chassis, but those upgrades will come on the upcoming GT model.
Though it's slower off the line, the GT-Line RWD we switched into for our afternoon drive ended up as our favorite. With less weight up front and those wheels allowed to focus only on changing direction,, we felt the steering in this model was more natural without the secondary motor. The RWD EV6 loves to kick its rear end out a bit without feeling scary or sudden. This is no sports car, but for a "mainstream" crossover, it's astounding.
NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.
Is the 2022 Kia EV6 a good SUV? Let's answer that question as quickly as the car hits 60 mph; YES! Launching a new electric crossover in 2022 is pretty difficult, especially with the looming specter of the Tesla Model Y always haunting the conversation. The EV6 arrives sporting a competitive price, eye-catching styling, stellar technology, strong range, ultra-fast charging, and a premium interior. If you were cross-shopping a Ford Mustang Mach-E, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Tesla Model Y, or Volkswagen ID.4, we'd implore you to test drive an EV6.
Unlike Hyundai with the Ioniq 5, Kia plans to launch the EV6 in all 50 states, meaning you should be able to buy one no matter where you live. We think the EV6 has the potential to change buyers' opinions on the Kia brand and electric vehicle ownership. It's likely the most comprehensive affordable EV on the market.
|Kia EV6||225 hp||134/101 mpg||$48,700|
|Tesla Model Y||425 hp||127/117 mpg||$54,990|
|Hyundai Ioniq 5||168 hp||127/94 mpg||$41,450|
The Tesla Model Y is one of the best-selling compact crossover EVs globally and offers impressive range and blistering performance. This EV is offered exclusively with all-wheel-drive and dual electric motors. The Long Range model provides 449 hp. While the performance version delivers 480 hp. The EV6 thus offers a broader range of performance levels but is capable of matching the Model Y's range claims in the right configuration. And the forthcoming EV6 GT should be a superior performer, despite Tesla also claiming a 0-60 mph sprint of 3.5 seconds. The Tesla Model Y is the roomier car with a lot more cargo volume, a usable frunk, and the potential to seat seven, although we wouldn't wish the third row on our worst enemies. The EV6 has more legroom for occupants in the first two rows, though. The Kia is an unknown quantity as far as reliability goes, but a class-leading warranty bodes well for the newcomer. What swings the argument massively in the Kia's favor, however, is price. It's more affordable to get behind the wheel and is still eligible for up to $7,500 in federal tax rebates. Tesla is no longer eligible for this. It might be new, but we'd put our money on the EV6 as the better buy.
The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 is the first of three new EV models to be released by the Korean brand in the US under the Ioniq sub-brand. This attractive battery-electric five-door crossover rides on a new dedicated EV global platform which it shares with the EV6. In terms of styling, we prefer the retro look of the Hyundai, but looks boil down to personal preference. Inside, both these cars offer similar build quality and a vast array of digital displays. The standard feature list should also be closely related. The Ioniq 5 does, however, offer more cargo space. The Ioniq 5, in its most potent configuration, puts out 301 horsepower and 446 lb-ft of torque and will zoom to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds. Max range is pegged at 303 miles. That means that Kia has the upper hand when it comes to performance. The Hyundai has price in its favor, at several grand cheaper across the board. Both cars are similar, and we wouldn't begrudge the decision to buy either, but the Hyundai is the on-paper champion here.
The most popular competitors of 2022 Kia EV6:
Check out some informative Kia EV6 video reviews below.