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KIA’s EV6 is a stunner – and for the record, yes, I’d buy it

Looks exceptional, but really scores on practicality and range for families 

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The Kia EV6. In the dim and distant past I admit I reported and nodded support for the contention that EVs would be boring in performance and design. I was wrong

The Kia EV6. In the dim and distant past I admit I reported and nodded support for the contention that EVs would be boring in performance and design. I was wrong

The Kia EV6. In the dim and distant past I admit I reported and nodded support for the contention that EVs would be boring in performance and design. I was wrong

Sometimes I conveniently forget things. Don’t we all?

The only difference between us is that, even if I consign something to the discarded corner of shady memory, inevitably it reappears or is resurrected by an avid reader.

So before you can shout “Gotcha”, I hold my hand up.

Yes, I admit that I (and many others) may have at one stage in the dim and distant past, before electric vehicles were truly an item on the motoring register, reported and nodded support for the contention that EVs would be boring in performance and design.

In other words, the joy of driving and owning something truly smart would be inexorably extinguished in the EV era.

The few electric vehicles that were around at that stage were seen as templates of things to come and if that was the extent of endeavour to make them anything other than computers on wheels then heaven help us all, we gloomed.

Thankfully, I didn’t overdo the dire stuff too much and left enough wriggle room to nearly always attribute such sentiments to ‘experts’.

Because the fact of the matter is that they (subtle shift of the blame there) got it spectacularly wrong.

OK, not every new EV is a dazzler but we are being treated to some cars of enormously varied design and performance alongside increased practicality on range. And these are early days in the EV calendar.

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All of this is by way of me suggesting that you can add yet another dashing new arrival to your list of ‘desirable’ EVs.

It’s the KIA EV6 (what an appropriate name) and it has just gone on sale here this week.

I thought it was a stunning looking car when first I saw it in the flesh in Dublin and the more I used and drove it, the more I liked the look of it inside and out.

Those looks are exceptional, with powerful super-car flowing lines to the front, especially, hinting at dynamism.

Style is one thing – and it has it in abundance – but class is another and I have to say the two fuse in this. It’s all about smooth outside; even the door handles snuggle flush and only pop out when you approach the car (I know, I know Tesla do it too).

On 20-inch wheels (19-inch is standard) my version almost looked like it floated, due in no small measure to the dramatically sloped profile to dovetailing effect to at the rear.

Inside is a revelation. The two info screens also appear to ‘float’ on the dash.

The interactive system is extensive and intuitive though I wasn’t that impressed with the voice control. Nor the location of USB points down in the throat of the cabin.

And I would have liked more adjustability on the steering wheel. But that is quibbling in the extreme with something quite special as modern interiors go (vegan seats, mind you). There is a clear logic to where stuff should be and I felt totally in command within a couple of minutes of foostering around. It’s an ultra-modern cabin, smart in design and in styling.

Liked it a lot. By the way I also loved, and used, the rear parking bird’s eye view many times – I can’t imagine life without one now.

I spent a lot of time in this EV6 over a few days; a single one-way journey involved 90 minutes in M50 gridlock; so all we could do was sit tight in our comfortable surroundings and tut-tut at the mess around us. There was loads of room in the back for the third passenger too.

In contrast with that slow-mo, I managed, separately, a spurt of nippy driving that showed how quickly this car can hit top legal limits when you put the foot down. My (different) passengers were impressed/scared.

Dynamically it had a nice balance to it (I used ‘sport’ mode a good deal), never requiring much input from what was a true steering feedback. An excellent package.

They claim the long range 77.4kWH battery (plus 229ps electric motor) gets you up to 528km (Earth version) while the car on test (GT-Line) can manage 506km.

All I know is that what you get is largely determined by how you drive. M50 gridlock? It’s perfect, if unwelcome, for this sort of power-source and the ‘needle’ barely moved. It stands to reason that my energetic cameo had the remaining charge percentage dwindling at a fair rate of knots.

But in both cases, with average driving and the help of the on-board heat pump to take some load off the system, you should expect around 450km/460km. I’d settle for that.

It’s hard to believe but more than 200 Irish people ordered one without seeing the car in the flesh. I wouldn’t do that. But for the record, in case anyone digs out this piece in a few years: Yes, I would buy it.

Fact file

KIA EV6 electric vehicle. From €50,000 (Earth model); GT Line €54,345.
77.4kWH battery (plus 229ps electric motor).
Earth spec includes: 19ins alloys, LED headlamps, smart power tailgate, dual 12.3ins curved driver display screens, UVO Connect, charcoal grey vegan leather upholstery.
GT Line adds GT Line styling, 20ins alloys, blind-spot view monitors, heads up display, panoramic sun-roof, front ventilated seats.


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