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2022 Kia EV6 International First Drive

The electric car game is a rapidly changing scenario with legacy players finding it tough to battle out the newbies along with changing the concept of what a modern-day car should be like. Fewer components, a greater focus on technology and a level playing field in terms of battery plus range mean that luxury brands find themselves having rivals from every corner of the market. The Kia EV6 is a perfect example of disruption since it battles head-on with the Mercedes EQA or the Volvo XC40 Recharge.

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The EV6 also looks and feels different but embraces electricity as a license to throw caution to the wind. Sibling to the Ioniq 5, the EV6 makes use of the E-GMP architecture with its sci-fi looks. It isn’t small but seems more like a large-ish crossover while looking unlike anything else that the carmaker has done before.

It’s swoopy, edgy and very much in-your-face. There is a new ‘Digital Tiger grille’, fancy ‘sequential’ lights pattern and a sloping rear C-pillar which blends in so well within the rear-end. The classic EV attributes of short overhangs and a long wheelbase further make the EV6 a striking-looking car.

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We also warmed up to the interiors as while it comes finished in a sombre black colour, the quality levels on offer are more than enough to worry Tesla while the dashboard layout is clean too. Twin massive displays along with haptic touch buttons add the necessary drama while the top-end version even comes with an augmented reality head-up display.

The floating centre console, flat floor and massive space further get brownie points as does the upholstery is made with recycled materials/vegan leather. You also get 490 litres of boot space and the door pockets are huge too. Overall, it’s a nice mix between practicality and futuristic detailing.

Like the Hyundai, cheaper versions would be RWD only with a single motor but it would be enough for 170bhp and roughly 378km range. However, we’d tell you, that the GT performance dual-motor version makes more sense with its bigger battery and more performance. The numbers are slightly worrying for your license since it claims to do 0-100 km/h in just 3.5 seconds with 576 bhp. Yes, a Kia SUV that is more powerful than some sports cars! That said, there are saner versions of the dual-motor AWD with a smaller 70kW front motor and a 160kW rear motor.

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The EV6 supports 400v and 800v DC charging, which works on DC chargers with speeds ranging from 50kW to 350kW while standard with the car is an 11kW on-board charger (OBC) for Level 2 recharging from 10-to-100 per cent in 7 hours.

All in all, the EV6 happens to be the sportier cousin of the Ioniq 5 albeit with also a naughtier streak. That said, the basics are impressive in terms of the space, features or even the range while the design or performance is similar to higher-priced EVs from the Germans. If anything, the new EV6 proves that the Koreans are serious about dominating the EV space. Australia-specific versions and pricing would be revealed later when the car debuts here in early 2022.

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Somnath Chatterjee

Somnath Chatterjee

Somnath Chatterjee is an experience car journalist and automotive expert. His supercar reviews, interviews and industry features have appeared in global publications such as Upscale living, Robb Report and Yahoo Lifestyle Asia. Somnath specialises in luxury and lifestyle-oriented features with a focus on automobiles, aviation and luxury. He also holds a Post Graduate in International Business from the University of Dehli.