The Kia EV6 is worth a look if you’re looking for an electric SUV that prioritizes driving enjoyment. It’s got plenty of power, sharp steering and well-balanced handling. But there are better options out there if you’re after a cushy ride or lots of cargo space.
The electric vehicle revolution is well underway and there are plenty of great choices out there. Among all-wheel-drive-capable electric SUVs, the 2023 Kia EV6 has you covered if you’re looking for style and performance. It benefits from a sleek exterior and sharp handling and delivers as much as 310 miles on a single charge, according to EPA estimates.
For 2023, the much-anticipated high-performance GT model debuts at the top of the EV6 lineup. With 576 horsepower, it’s the most powerful production vehicle Kia has ever made, and it should accelerate to 60 mph in a mere 3.4 seconds. Meanwhile, at the bottom of the lineup, last year’s base Light trim has been discontinued. That’s fine by us since the previous midrange Wind trim is our pick for most people.
Among all-electric SUVs in the class, the 2023 Kia EV6 remains one of our favorites. Notably, it’s related to the Hyundai Ioniq 5. Both models share much of the same EV hardware, so your choice will probably come down to your styling preference. The Audi Q4 e-tron, Chevrolet Bolt EUV, Ford Mustang Mach-E and Tesla Model Y are also worth checking out. The EV6 has its own set of advantages and drawbacks compared to these alternatives, as highlighted in our Expert Rating below. It’s one of the sportier choices of the bunch and is an excellent pick if your tastes trend toward excitement.
The ballistically quick GT model takes its place atop the EV6 lineup this year, complete with 576 horsepower and an adaptive suspension. A green button on the steering wheel unlocks the propulsion system’s maximum potency, which we estimate will be enough to blast the EV6 to 60 mph in as little as 3.2 seconds in our testing. To go along with its enhanced performance, Kia has also added racier interior elements to the GT’s cabin, including sport seats and neon green trim.
Unfortunately, the additional juice needed to pump out the extra horsepower cuts the GT’s driving range estimate to just 206 miles per charge, a significant drop from the maximum 310-mile range of the most efficient model. The entry-level Light trim has been dropped for 2023, making the rear-wheel-drive Wind model the cheapest EV6, raising the SUV’s base price by $7100.
EV Motor, Power, and Performance
The EV6 is available with a single electric motor mounted on the rear axle that gives it rear-wheel drive or with electric motors on both front and rear that enable all-wheel drive. While all-wheel-drive models have a larger battery pack and either 320 or 576 total horsepower, the base rear-drive example has a smaller battery and just 167 horses. Opting for the bigger battery boosts the rear-drive EV6’s total system output to 225 horses. We drove a GT-Line AWD in Europe and enjoyed its satisfying acceleration, agile handling, and adjustable regenerative brake settings. At our test track, that 320-hp GT-Line model managed a brisk 4.5-second zero-to-60-mph time. Going for the rear-wheel drive model provides more range, but it needed 6.7 seconds to reach 60 mph in our testing.
If you prioritize maximum straight-line performance, the 576-hp GT has you covered; in our testing, it hit 60 mph in 3.2 seconds. The performance model sits at the top of the lineup and comes with enhancements such as an electronic limited-slip differential, firmer chassis tuning, an adaptive suspension, and stouter brakes.
Range, Charging, and Battery Life
The Kia EV6 offers two battery sizes: a 58.0-kWh and a 77.4-kWh pack. Obviously, the larger of those will provide a longer driving range. The smaller, standard battery has an EPA-rated range of 232 miles; the larger, long-range battery is EPA-rated at up to 310 miles. Opt for the performance-oriented GT model and the range drops to a measly 206 miles per charge, even though it comes with the larger of the two batteries. We took an all-wheel-drive Wind model, which has the larger battery pack standard, on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route and measured 230 miles of real-world highway driving range before the battery needed to be recharged; the most powerful GT model provided a highway range of 190 miles.
Along with an operating voltage of 800, Kia says its battery can be charged from 10 to 80 percent in under 18 minutes when plugged into a 350-kW fast-charger. We tested this claim and were pleased with the result. This same setup is also said to add 70 miles in less than 5 minutes. The 11-kW onboard charger is expected to refill the battery from 10 to 100 percent in 7 hours when hooked up to a Level 2 outlet.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPGe
Every single-motor EV6 has a combined EPA rating of up to 117 MPGe; the dual-motor variant is rated at 109 MPGe combined with the standard 19-inch wheels and 96 MPGe combined with the optional 2os. Go for the high-performance GT model, and the combined estimate drops to 79 MPGe. For more information on the EV6’s fuel economy, visit the EPA website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The EV6’s design and layout are not as daring on the inside as the outside, but the configuration and features look more attractive and futuristic than any other current Kia model. Although the center console doesn’t slide back and forth and there are no front-seat footrests like there are on the Ioniq 5, the EV6 mixes high-tech content such as a digitized dashboard with practical elements such as a floating center console with copious storage solutions and a large bin underneath it. Other touches that stand out are the two-tone, two-spoke steering wheel, the prominent start button on the center console, and the tastefully placed gold accents throughout the cockpit.
The EV6 has a flat floor and a wheelbase as long as the three-row, mid-size Kia Telluride, so passenger space is generous. There are also 28 cubic feet of cargo space behind the back seat and 54 cubes total with the rear seatbacks folded flat. There’s more storage space under the front trunk too, but it’s not as big as expected.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The infotainment system runs through a 12.0-inch touchscreen that’s an extension of the EV6’s 12.0-inch digital gauge cluster. However, the design and performance of the menu structure and navigation are unimpressive.
Along with the ability to accept over-the-air updates and respond to myriad voice commands, the system includes popular features such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, wireless smartphone charging, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. Additionally, the stereo can be upgraded to the available Meridian unit with 14 speakers.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Kia packs the EV6 with a variety of standard driver-assistance technology that includes automated emergency braking and automatic high beams. Several other optional assists can be added for an even safer experience.
For more information about the EV6’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites.
Key safety features include:
Standard blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
Standard adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist
Available remote parking assist
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Kia provides one of the best warranty plans in the industry. Unfortunately, unlike Hyundai, it doesn’t come with any complimentary scheduled maintenance.
Limited warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
Powertrain warranty covers 10 years or 100,000 miles
No complimentary scheduled maintenance