If you’re dithering on the sidelines, pondering the pros, cons, pluses, and minuses of buying your first electric car, I have a simple suggestion: Go drive a new Kia EV6.
After a week and a bunch of miles driving this super-cool Kia, it checks all the electric-car boxes for me.
First and foremost, it’s a terrific EV. It’s built on Hyundai-Kia’s flexible EV platform—also used for Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 and Genesis GV60—and is available with either a 58 kWh or beefy 77.4 kWh battery pack.
Then there’s price. The starter EV6 Wind with a 310-mile range kicks off at $40,900, while the fancy dual-motor GT-Line tops out at $55,900. And that’s before Uncle Sam’s $7,500 tax credit.
I’m driving a $51,200 GT-Line with a 77.4kW battery and single 168kW/225hp electric motor. It can zap the Kia from rest to 60mph in around six seconds, while delivering that impressive 310-mile range.
Want more zap? Opt for the second motor for the front, and you get a combined 320 horseys and 0-to-60 acceleration in just 4.6 seconds, though the range will drop to 274 miles. That extra motor, however, does mean you get peace-of-mind all-wheel drive.
While still playing the numbers game, the EV6 comes with a DC fast-charge connector. Hook it up to a public fast-charger station and it can pump-in an 80 percent charge in just 18 minutes, or add 60 miles of range in less than five minutes.
Even with the single motor, the EV6 scoots off the line like a spooked gecko. I still get a huge kick out of any electric car’s rock-out-of-a-catapult acceleration, and the Kia offers the same kind of thrill ride.
Plus, there’s the eerie silence and lack of shifting gears. Step on the throttle and it just lunges forward. Kids in the back seat won’t be able to resist throwing up their arms like they’re on some Disney rollercoaster.
And with four driving modes—Normal, Eco, Sport, and Snow—you can modulate the performance to suit your mood. Sport is a blast, while Normal is the most balanced.
Naturally, with the Kia’s outdoor temperature readout showing 98 Florida degrees, I skipped trying the Snow setting.
With that big battery under the floor, the Kia’s center of gravity is somewhere down around Australia, making handling truly sportscar-like. It’s a blast to drive.
But for me what really sets the Kia apart is its head-rotating styling. This thing looks like some auto show concept car, with its swoopy curves, its huge, raked-back windshield, coupe-style roofline, and 20-inch saw blade-style alloys.
Step inside and the cabin is vast and far bigger than it looks from the outside. The wheelbase—that’s the distance between the front and rear axles—is the same as Kia’s Telluride eight-seat SUV. That means limo-like rear-seat legroom for the EV6.
Fold flat those rear seats and you get a cavernous 50 cubic feet of luggage space. There are U-Haul vans with less. And there’s an oversize tailgate to make leading a breeze.
And for lovers of non-animal materials, the Kia’s vegan leather seat upholstery with faux-suede inserts should get two thumbs up.
Two thumbs, too, for the fascia layout, with its two big 12.3-inch, side-by-side screens curved toward the driver. Throughout the cabin, the quality, fit and finish, and look and feel are sky-high. A Tesla Model 3 it’s not.
If there’s a downside, it’s that right now, demand for EV6s far outstrips supply, allowing some dealers to get a little creative with the prices.
But, as the saying goes, good things come to those who wait. And the EV6 is definitely worth the wait.