The Kia EV6 made its North American debut in Times Square, New York, on May 18, 2021. Kia America showrooms in all 50 states will sell the EV6 right from launch. The brand’s first dedicated electric crossover will go on sale in the United States in Q1 2022. The deliveries of the high-spec EV6 GT variant begin only in late 2022, though.
After conducting the U.S. debut in New York, Kia flew its next-generation electric car to the Chicago Auto Show in July 2021 for its American motorshow premiere. The marker lights confirm that it’s the U.S.-spec model. The video (below) from YouTube channel Raiti’s Rides presents the EV in detail:
Video Source: YouTube/Raiti’s Rides
Our story is a deep dive into the Kia EV6 (including the Kia EV6 GT), covering every aspect of the vehicle.
Kia EV6 Exterior
The EV6 is quite an attention grabber with a design that amalgamates a coupe and an SUV. In April 2021, Naver user pagani0101 had captured an uncamouflaged unit driving through traffic on a busy South Korean road, and from the pictures, the new generation Kia electric car is a real head-turner. The Naver user uploaded a video of the same Kia EV6 prowling the streets of South Korea.
The Kia EV6 is the first Kia influenced by its new design philosophy, ‘Opposites United.’ It brings together a coupe’s boldness and dynamism with the striking and athletic appearance of an SUV to form a swanky crossover.
At the front, the Kia EV6 features a low-set sloping hood with the new Kia logo and boomerang-shaped headlamps that have pixel-inspired daytime running lights inspired with ‘moving light pattern.’ The angled windshield glass is one of the many aerodynamics-focused design elements of the electric crossover.
On the sides, the DRLs of the headlamps end at the top of flared wheel arches. A shiny twin strip in the lower body runs almost parallel to the swiftly sloping beltline that has a kick at the C-pillar, and it’s a nice touch over the black rocker panels. The roofline drops in a way that headroom for the rear-seat passengers wouldn’t be compromised much. The flush door handles provide a neat touch to the futuristic crossover. 19-, 20-, and 21-inch are the confirmed alloy wheel size options in the U.S. market.
At the rear, the Kia EV6 has a dramatically inclined windscreen that makes the silhouette reminiscent of the Jaguar I-Pace. The concave shape of the smooth, uncluttered lower tailgate, which bears the new Kia logo in the center, complements the sportier styling created by that steeply raked glass.
The rear lights are thin C-shaped units connected via a narrow light strip running across the width. The narrow light strip extends all the way out, beyond the rear lights, and drops at an angle that gives the impression that they would’ve been connected to the decor strip on the sides if not for the rear wheel and black arch cover. A slim satin strip also connects the rear lights at the bottom, underscoring the electric crossover’s elegance.
In the USA, Kia has announced a standard-design variant and the GT variant. However, the standard-design variant looks the same as the global GT-Line variant pictured above.
Kia EV6 Interior
The interior of the Kia EV6 is a class above that of traditional Kia models but isn’t radically different. First-time EV buyers would still feel right at home, as the interior is not too stripped-out in the name of minimalism. The EV6 has a plethora of high-end technologies unavailable in old Kia electric cars.
A 12-inch virtual instrument cluster and a 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system are put together to create what looks like a seamless and wide single display. The central display is slightly tilted towards the driver to make viewing and accessing easy. The chic-style black and white two-spoke steering and the garnish on the floor console are among the several fashionable touches inside the cabin.
The screens of the EV6 are blue light-filtered to reduce strain on eyes and fatigue. Kia has equipped the EV6 with an augmented reality head-up display as well, which can project speed and ADAS alerts, lane guidance, vehicle information, and navigation directions. A Merdian sound system featuring 14 speakers with a titanium dome and Intelli Q speed-sensing (adaptive) volume adjustment is another interior highlight.
With UVO link, EV6 customers will be able to enjoy many connected vehicle functions, including but not limited to smart speaker integration (Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant-enabled smart speaker), vehicle notifications on paired Apple/Android smartwatch, stolen vehicle recovery, and Kia Pay for conducting commercial transactions (e.g. gas stations) digitally from inside the vehicle.
Kia EV6 Safety
The Kia EV6 packs 21 standard Advanced Driver Assistance Safety Systems. Below are some of the main systems:
- Blind-Spot Avoidance Assist (BCA)
- Driver Attention Warning (DAW)
- Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA)*
- High Beam Assist (HBA)
- Highway Driving Assist II (HDA 2)
- ISLA (Intelligent Speed Limit Assist)
- Navigation Based Smart Cruise Control-Curve (NSCC-C)
- Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist (RCCA)
360-degree camera system (Surround View Monitor), Rear Occupant Alert (ROA), Safety Exit Assist (SEA), Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist-Reverse (PCA-R), and Remote Smart Parking Assist are also some of the safety features Kia has confirmed for the American EV6. The company is yet to reveal which of these are standard.
*Includes FCA-Ped (Pedestrian), FCA-LS (Land-Change Side), FCA-LO (Lane-Change Oncoming), FCA-JC (Junction Crossing), FCA-JT (Junction Turning) as well
Kia EV6 GT specifications
Thanks to a long wheelbase measuring 114.2 inches, which is equivalent to that of the Kia Telluride, the EV6 offers 102 cubic feet of passenger room. Kia says that the width is comparable to that of the Ford Mustang Mach-E, which is a mid-size SUV, and that its wheelbase and ground clearance are similar to those of the Tesla Model Y, another mid-size SUV.
The Kia EV6 offers 27.7 cubic feet of cargo space, which drivers can increase to 53.5 cubic feet liters by folding down the second-row seats. Moreover, there’s also a front trunk or a frunk with an additional storage space of 20 liters (0.7 cubic feet) in both RWD and AWD configurations of the North American model.
|Dimension||EV6||EV6 GT-line||EV6 GT|
|Length||4,680 mm (184.3 in.)||4,695 mm (184.8 in.)||4,695 mm (184.8 in.)|
|Width||1,880 mm (74.0 in.)||1,890 mm (74.4 in.)||1,890 mm (74.4 in.)|
|Height||1,550 mm (61.0 in.)||1,550 mm (61.0 in.)||1,545 mm (60.8 in.)|
|Wheelbase||2,900 mm (114.2 in.)||2,900 mm (114.2 in.)||2,900 mm (114.2 in.)|
Performance & Range
Customers can choose from multiple powertrain configurations, including two battery pack options, two drivetrain layout choices, and four outputs selections.
The regular EV6 is available in a Standard Range variant with a 58 kWh battery pack and a Long Range variant with a 77.4 kWh battery pack. The Standard Range variant uses a 125 kW (168 hp) rear motor. Customers can order the Long Range variant either with a 225 hp rear motor or a combination of individual front and rear motors that provides 320 hp of combined power.
The Kia EV6 GT does 0-60 mph in less than 3.5 seconds, which is dead close to the Porsche Taycan Turbo’s 3.2 seconds and not very far from the Taycan Turbo S’ 2.8 seconds. The Kia EV6 GT can go as fast as the fastest Taycan variants, though – 260 km/h or 162 mph. This top speed figure applies to the global model, but we expect the North American model’s top speed to be the same.
|Aspect||EV6 SR RWD||EV6 LR RWD||EV6 LR AWD||EV6 GT LR AWD|
|Battery Pack Capacity||58 kWh||77.4 kWh||77.4 kWh||77.4 kWh|
|Power||168 hp||225 hp||320 hp||576 hp|
|Range (EPA est.)||232 miles||310 miles||274 miles||To Be Announced|
|Energy Consumption (EPA est.)||29 kWh/100 miles||29 kWh/100 miles||32 kWh/100 miles||To Be Announced|
|Charging Time (at 240V)||6.3 hours||8.7 hours||8.4 hours||To Be Announced|
In long-range EVs, 0-80% and 0-100% charging times often become the deciding factors during purchase than acceleration time or the top speed. Charging parameters hold a significantly higher weightage compared to performance in the mainstream segments. The VW ID.4 and the Nissan Ariya support charging at 400-volt charging points, and the peak power of their DC on-board charger is 125 kW and 130 kW, respectively.
The Kia EV6 offers Porsche Taycan standards of charging parameters, which make charging close to fueling experience, something that’s expected to bring the much-awaited breakout in the EV market.
The multi-charging system of the Kia EV6 supports 400V and 800V DC charging, which works on DC chargers with charging rates as low as 50 kW and as high as 350 kW. In less than five minutes, nearly 70 miles of range can be achieved. 10-80% rapid-charging or ultra-fast-charging takes less than 18 minutes and gives a range of up to 210 miles.
EPA data states that charging the regular EV6’s battery pack at 240V (using a Level 2 charger) takes 6.3 hours in the Standard Range RWD configuration, 8.7 hours in the Long Range RWD configuration, and 8.4 hours in the Long Range AWD configuration. It is yet to release the charging time of the EV6 GT, which Kia plans to sell in only a Long Range AWD configuration.
Autonomous driving capable
The Kia EV6 features autonomous driving capability. Kia has equipped the EV6 with HDA2 (Highway Driving Assist 2) technology, an evolution of the HDA (Highway Driving Assist). HDA provides the comfort of hands-free, autonomous driving on highways. Using information from the navigation system, HDA determines whether the vehicle is on a highway. If it is, it takes over the functions of controlling the steering, acceleration, and deceleration.
HDA 2 uses radars located around the EV6 and helps the driver maintain a set distance and speed from the vehicle ahead. Above a certain speed, which Kia hasn’t disclosed yet, the driver can change the lane with just a click of the indicator stalk. Drivers would need to have their hands on the steering wheel, though.
Another noteworthy driving assistance system the EV6 offers in this aspect is Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA). The driver can allocate the task of parking to the vehicle with this system in both perpendicular and parallel parking situations.
RSPA doesn’t require the driver to be in the vehicle. The system can understand the vehicle’s surroundings using surround-view cameras and ultrasonic sensors and decide the right parking spot for itself. Accelerating, braking, gear-shifting, and steering, everything happens automatically.
Kia EV6 First Edition
Kia started accepting EV6 reservations in the USA with a First Edition limited to 1,500 units on June 3, 2021. However, an unprecedented surge of traffic on the reservation website created technical difficulties. On June 8, 2021, the company re-opened pre-orders, and the same day, it completed receiving all 1,500 pre-orders.
The Kia EV6 First Edition, in addition to promising priority deliveries, offered customers a chance to specify their unit in an exclusive Urban Yellow exterior color. First Edition designation and numbered interior badge are two more distinctive features of the First Edition, which will carry the standard design, not the sportier design of the more GT variant.
The First Edition offered a unique opportunity to standard-design EV6 buyers to specify their unit in the Steel Gray Matte color. There was one more exterior color option for the special edition model, called Glacier. The units configured in Glacier will have dark green seats, and the other units will feature black seats. The Long-Range 77.4 kWh battery and 313 horsepower dual-motor powertrain will be standard in the EV6 First Edition.
Kia EV6 First Edition features
- Exclusive Urban Yellow exterior color option
- Exclusive dark green seat color option
- Illuminated door sills with “First Edition” designation
- Numbered interior badge highlighting the production count
- 20-inch wheels
- 14-speaker Meridian audio system
Kia offered a free gift to customers who reserved the EV6 First Edition. There was a choice of three gifts: an EV home charger, a 1000 kWh credit within a national charging network, or an Apple Watch. More than 81% of the reservers chose the EV home charger.
Kia has priced the EV6 First Edition in the U.S. at USD 58,500. It is yet to reveal the prices of the other EV6 configurations.
Video Source: youtube.com/Kia America
EV6 in Canada and other markets
The Kia EV6 will arrive in Canada in early 2022. Kia recently opened reservations of a limited number of initial production units, and it sold out within just 25 minutes. These customers will get a priority delivery in 2022, but customers reserving their EV6 in Canada now will also get keys to their EVs during the year, only later. Like other markets, the EV6 GT variant will see a phased launch.
On May 4, 2021, Kia said it opened factory orders for the EV6 after a successful European reservation phase. In Europe, Kia has received more than 7,300 pre-orders. More than 26,000 people in the Old Continent have shown interest in the EV6.
The EV6 is a part of the vehicle line-up of many EU countries, including Norway, where prices start at NOK 419,900 (USD 49,097) and go up to NOK 469,900 (USD 54,943). The first batch of the EV6 in Norway landed at the Drammen port on October 4, 2021. You can watch the unloading off the ship, the Morning Lily, below.
Video Source: YouTube/Kia Bil Norge
|Aspect||Kia EV6 Specification||Kia EV6 GT-line Specification||Kia EV6 GT Specification|
|Battery Pack Capacity||58 kWh (SR)/77.4 kWh (LR)||58 kWh (SR)/77.4 kWh (LR)||77.4 kWh (LR)|
|Power||125 kW (SR RWD)/168 kW (LR RWD)/173 kW (SR AWD)/239 kW (LR AWD)||125 kW (SR RWD)/168 kW (LR RWD)/173 kW (SR AWD)/239 kW (LR AWD)||430 kW|
|Torque||350 Nm (SR RWD & LR AWD)/605 Nm (SR AWD & LR AWD)||350 Nm (SR RWD & LR AWD)/605 Nm (SR AWD & LR AWD)||740 Nm|
Kia EV6 becomes the 2022 German Car of the Year
The Kia EV6 has won the 2022 German Car of the Year award in the ‘Premium’ category. It beat several popular models like the VW ID.4, Skoda Enyaq iV, and Hyundai’s Ioniq 5. Models from luxury automakers were among the contenders, such as Mercedes-Benz’s C-Class and Audi’s Q4 e-tron. All these cars had to have a base price of between EUR 25,000 and 50,000. In another category called ‘New Energies’, the Kia EV6 ranked second.
Kia initially received more than 1,000 orders for the EV6 in the United Kingdom, where the new electric crossover costs GBP 40,895 (USD 55,655) onwards. Deliveries of the EV6 in the UK started in October 2021. However, the top-of-the-line Kia EV6 GT will go on sale in October 2022.
In South Korea, the EV6 broke all previous pre-booking records (domestic) on day one for the brand – 21,016 units. Kia had started taking reservations for the EV6 in its home market on March 31, and by May 10, it had received more than 30,000 pre-bookings. The pre-orders received vastly exceeded the production target for this year, a mere 13,000 units. The company closed EV6 pre-orders early in response to overwhelming demand.
Kia says that of the four available EV6 variants in South Korea, Long Range was the most popular one during the pre-order period, with a share of 70%. 24% have been made in the GT-Line variant. The standard and GT variants account for 4% and 2% of the pre-orders, respectively.
Kia launched the EV6 in its home market on August 2, 2021, with prices starting at KRW 46.3 million (USD 38,865) after factoring in eco-car tax benefits. The company sold 1,910 units of the EV6 in the first month (August 2021), then 2,654 in September 2021, and 2,762 units in October 2021. The sales should pick up as supply normalizes in the coming months. The company hasn’t started the sales of the EV6 GT yet, and it plans to launch that performance variant only in H2 2022.
South Korea’s Ministry of Industry has certified the Kia EV6 with a maximum range of 475 km or 295 miles. The maximum range figure applies to a single-motor (RWD) Long Range configuration. Take a look at all the range of all the Kia EV6 configurations from the official certification:
|Kia EV6 Configuration||Combined Range||Urban Range||Highway Range|
|RWD Long Range 19-inch wheels (without built-in cam)||475 km (295 miles)||528 km (328 miles)||411 km (255 miles)|
|RWD Long Range 19-inch wheels (with built-in cam)||470 km (292 miles)||522 km (324 miles)||407 km (253 miles)|
|4WD Long Range 19-inch wheels||441 km (274 miles)||485 km (301 miles)||388 km (241 miles)|
|2WD Long Range 20-inch wheels||434 km (270 miles)||478 km (297 miles)||380 km (236 miles)|
|4WD Long Range 20-inch wheels||403 km (250 miles)||446 km (277 miles)||351 km (218 miles)|
|2WD Standard Range 19-inch wheels||370 km (230 miles)||415 km (258 miles)||316 km (196 miles)|
|4WD Standard Range 19-inch wheels||351 km (218 miles)||391 km (243 miles)||303 km (188 miles)|
Kia EV6 GT to replace the Stinger GT
The Kia Stinger GT won’t continue in the market for a second generation, and the Kia EV6 GT arriving in showrooms in 2022 will take its place. Karim Habib, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Design Center told Autocar at the 2021 LA Auto Show that the spirit of Stinger will remain (in the Kia brand) and the EV6 has its genes. The GT variant of the EV6 “has the Stinger in it,” Habib added. That’s not to say the Stinger GT will get withdrawn when the EV6 GT goes on sale in 2022. It should remain in showrooms for the foreseeable future.
Kia EV6 FAQs
Which cars are to-be Kia EV6 rivals in the U.S.?
What is the Kia EV6 release date & range?
The Kia EV6 U.S. release date is set in early 2022. As per Kia, the EV6 should offer a range (EPA) of 300 miles.
What would be the Kia EV6 price?
The Kia EV6 price in the U.S. is estimated to start at under $45,000.
Some images in the story are screen grabs from the official product presentation
Featured Image Source: Chicago Auto Show