2022 SUMMER OF EV LOVE: Politicians’ predictions for a summer full of urban brotherly love were overly optimistic. What they didn’t predict were astronomical gasoline [and diesel] prices which fueled a 2022 Summer of Love for battery electric vehicles.
TAKING IT E-SAV TO THE PONY: The overwhelming success of last year’s heresy of applying a heritage pony car emblem to Ford’s first volume EV laid down the gauntlet for the establishment to take on Ford’s Mustang Mach-E. Though lacking a storied prancing animal for a hood ornament, Korean automaker KIA has risen to the challenge with its own new electric grand touring crossover vehicle, the all-new 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line BEV.
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WHAT: 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line AWD plug-in battery electric passenger automobile. This 5-door crossover sport activity vehicle shares its Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) foundation with the Hyundai Ioniq 5. Since there is no gas hybrid variant the Kia EV6 has little commonality with the brand’s first BEV, the Niro EV.
ELECTRIC MOTORS: 360V synchronous AC traction & reverse polarity regenerative charging motor
RWD E-Motor x 1 Standard Power (Net): 167 hp (127 kW) @3800 – 8000 rpm / 258 lb-ft @ 0-3600 rpm
RWD E-Motor x 1 Optional Power (Net): 225 hp (168 kW) @3800 – 8000 rpm / 258 lb-ft @ 0-3600 rpm
AWD E-Motors x 2 Optional Power (Net): 320 hp (239 kW) @3800 – 8000 rpm / 446 lb-ft @ 0-3600 rpm
E-Motor 1 (rear axle): 221 hp (165 kW), E-Motor 2 (front axle): 99 hp (74 kW)
DRIVE UNIT: 1 x Mobis Motor Gear Drive Unit single (1) speed gear reduction drive per E-Motor
- battery – standard range: 288 Lithium Ion Polymer cells, 523V, 180 amp hr, 58 kWh
- battery – extended range: 376 Lithium Ion Polymer cells, 697V, 180 amp hr, 77.4 kWh
onboard charging port: SAE J17772 10.9 kW Mennekes (AC, Levels 1, 2) + 240 kW CCS Combo 2 (DC, Level 3)
- Level 1 110V AC 6 ampere charge = 68 hours 95% charge (from 80% discharge)
- Level 2 240V AC 48 ampere charge = 7.1 hours 95% charge
- Level 3 480V 125A – 800V 200A DC charge
- 50 kW = 1.6 hours to 80% charge
- 100 kW = 45 minutes to 80% charge
- 150 kW = 28 minutes to 80% charge
- 240 kW = 18 minutes to 80% charge
WHAT (A) STYLING DIFFERENCE: Smaller program budgets, owing to limited technology acceptance, afflicted the first generation of battery electric vehicles with outlier deviating designs. This second wave of electrics, rides a wave of expected dominance in a not too distant automotive future. For their part heritage ICE automakers are now developing their newer platforms first and foremost for BEVs.
Familial Look for Cordial EV: Take a Kia K5 front clip with a dark lateral character crease replacing a grille. Include the “Z” boomerang headlamps. Then graft a new Kia Sportage aft -wards. The supplemental front motor on AWD models doesn’t take up nearly the space of a gas or gas hybrid electric set up. so shorten the nose, while making more wheelbase available for occupants and cargo. Rake the roofline sharply and curve-free as in a now departed Hyundai Veloster. Make the D-pillar thin to impart a “floating roof.” Imbue a beltline which rises just as sharply with a D pillar kink, traced by a 2nd row door crease rising to the top of the rear deck lid. Overall the longer wheelbase and short overhangs impart sportback sedan, a la Nissan Maxima, more than crossover activity vehicle, and that is a good thing.
Other Styling Notables: √ Bow tie upper front fascia darkened pseudo center grille; √ Mirror upper directionals and lower DRL segmented LEDs; √ Upwards canted lower front spoiler w/ dark chain link gloss black lower center fascia flanked by laterally folded gloss black corner bezels Sides Ways: √ Vented body color roof spoiler; √ Fully recessed blade style door handles; √ Kammback liftgate terminates high; Mid rear quarter panel fold out crease arches to liftgate deck Around Back: √ Raceway LED light bar beneath rear deck connects inverted boomerang corner taillamps; √ Gloss black accented bow tie bumper cover, deep recess above for license plate bowl; √ Gloss black linked segments with back-up lighting at center of lower rear diffuser.
WHY: First all-wheel drive KIA battery electric crossover takes game to established icons.
WHEN: On-Sale (in the U.S.) since Winter 2021-2022
WHERE: Kia new vehicle dealers (designated KIA EV)
WHERE MADE: Hwasung, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea
WHERE TO: Drive mode dependent front and rear axle independent dual motor torque distribution locks the EV6 GT-Line‘s all-wheel drive for smooth launches whether on dry or slick pavement.
HOW ROADWORTHY: With the front drive Niro battery electric urban active compact in the portfolio the EV6 GT-Line showcases KIA’s earnestness in a rear-drive derived premium mid size crossover electric vehicle. Neither conceived as penance nor riding on coat-tails of heritage ICE muscle car name, the Kia EV6 GT-Line delivers a one…two satisfying grand touring driving punch.
The dual motor EV6 GT-Line is fleet on all four feet, with ample pedal travel for judging direct drive speed. In Sport drive mode it outpaces the VW ID.4 Pro with a noticeable shove in the gut. For a second punch three degrees of regenerative slowing are dispatched by the twin steering wheel dorsal paddles. Variable on the fly, single-pedal driving adapts to virtually all traffic conditions, an improvement over the dual motor Mustang Mach-E‘s traffic crawl one trick pony. Flipping those paddles rings darn close to simulating shifting gears of a conventional multi-ratio transmission. Synthesize low speed pedestrian alerting whine is authoritatively sporty, then pleasingly subdued as speed builds. Exemplary cabin isolation is on par with the ID.4 Pro, surpassing the Mach-E’s mirror buffeting, but amplifying some 2nd Row seat rattles.
- Three (3) drive modes = Eco, Normal, Sport: the latter for testing occupant G-Force tolerance.
- Variable Regenerative Slowing: 3 levels, with 3 being most aggressive, accessible via steering wheel dorsal paddles
- One pedal driving: “I-Pedal” about the easiest to master.
As a confirmed grand tourer, Kia EV6 GT-Line damping leans towards plushly taut, with ample wheel travel to cushion blows. As expected floor pan battery mass allays most tipping sensation while a 30:70% front:rear power split staves tail out tendency. Steering helm firmness amps up in Sport, but communicates little. Equipped touring rubber, intended for all-weather traction and relative quiet, surrenders graciously before the EV6 GT-Line‘s limits and limiting turn in sharpness. Small dinner plate discs on EV6 GT-Line gets by with Kia characteristic lengthy pedal travel. However, as a point of advice, in I(ntelligent)-Pedal rgenerative slowing mode, depressing the brake pedal will replicate a top fuel dragster chute, testing the strength of occupant shoulder safety belts.
HOW FAR (EV Range):
- 3 miles per kWh
- 105 MPG-e electric equivalent to combined miles per gallon fuel economy
- 230 highway miles range per 95% full battery charge
HOW IT CHARGES: Kia Connect app Charge Pass account (available on either Android or Apple IOS) syncs with an established Electrify America public charging network account (w/ bank credit card for overage); Non- Electrify America public charging requires proprietary app accounts; Native GPS navigation includes dedicated public charging location search in vicinity; Native in-vehicle at-home charge scheduling with remote Kia Connect control; Charge depletion level re-charge notification settings.
-1 Kia Charge Pass lists less accurate charging station information than PlugShare application.
- DC Electrical charging cost (metro Chicago)
- Electrify America CCSAO 50-350 kW DC = $0.43 / kWh on location guest usage ($0.31 / kWh pricing w/ $4 monthly fee)
- VOLTA CCSAO 50 kw = 28 minutes FREE (w/ app confirmation & credit card payment method)
- AC Electrical charging cost (metro Chicago)
- VOLTA Mennekes 2, 6 kW AC E = 2 hrs. free (no app. required)
- Household supply Mennekes 1 & 2, 3 kW – 10.9 kW = $0.14 / kWh
- Peak (observed) charging speeds from 150 / 350 kW CCS-2 DC chargers:
- 113 kW @ 51% charge status
- 88 kW @ 71% charge
- 43 kW beyond 80% charge
HOW BIG/ LITTLE: √ 5 Occupant 2+3 seating; +1 Entirely flat 2nd Row floor; -1 Front buckets come across as narrow and a sloping roof shaves rear confine scalp space.
– For 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line Comparison’s Sake:
- 117.1″-inch Wheelbase: 0.8″ < Ford Mach-E Premium; 0.8″ < VW ID.4
- 2nd Row legroom: 0.8″ < Ford Mach-E Premium; 2.9″ > VW ID.4
- Nominal, expanded cargo capacity: -10%, -0.5% vs. Ford Mach-E Premium; -0.5% vs. VW ID.4
HOW USEFUL: √ Hatchback cargo bay; √ 60/40% split, near flat folding 2nd Row seat backs, with cargo bay cable releases; √ Row 2 110 VAC V2L* capable outlet; √ Variable height power liftgate w/ proximity activation; √ Cargo bay privacy shade; √ Carpeted hard cargo floor lid; √ Sub cargo floor management & home 110V charging cable; √ Cargo-area 12V outlet; √ Split-level glove box w/ damped lid; √ Center console bin with aft hinged lid; √ Under-hood bay bin
- +1 *Vehicle to Load (V2L) 1900 Watts available through 110V AC outlet at base of 2nd Row seats or via external charging port
- Continues outbound feed for 36 hours
- 1.1 kW supply to another vehicle = 110V charge supply
- +1 Low load liftover; Floating center console with floor storage tray; Dual height cargo floor lid
- -1 “Frunk” = really a small covered tray under-hood
HOW SAFE: 2022 IIHS “Not yet tested.” However, fraternal twin, Hyundai Ioniq 5 = Top Safety Pick Plus status
STANDARD: √ 7 airbags; √ Rear camera w/ predictive grid; √ Audible rear park assist; √ Roll mitigation; √ Kia Connect restrictive access & geo-fencing; √ Auto high beam LED headlamps; √ Rear occupant alert + sensor + mobile device app notification; √ Traffic street side driver’s door alert + 2nd Row door lock-in; √ Rain sensing interval windshield wipers
INCLUDED ADAS: √ Blind Spot & Rear cross traffic warning + avoidance braking; √ Blind Spot View adjacent lane monitor; √ Post collision S.O.S. alert; √ Lane Departure Warning & Steer Prevention; √ Forward collision, pedestrian detection warning w/ avoidance braking; Intersection left turn oncoming traffic avoidance braking; √ full Adaptive Cruise control, curve speed control, w/ lead vehicle lane follow notice; √ Sonar fore & aft park collision warning w/ avoidance auto-braking.
+/- Remote Smart Parking Assist limited to moving the EV6 directly forwards or backwards in a straight line where convenient where there is limited space to open doors, while stopping for obstructions in the path.
AVAILABLE ADAS: (included in tester)
- Surround View camera w/ sonar proximity warning
- Heads Up Display – w/ dimension Augmented Reality depth (HUD)
HOW PEOPLE FRIENDLY: On the inside the 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line, manages EV simplicity without going volume EV spartan. Conventional door panel releases and power controls are reassuring rather than mystifying. Massive dual panoramic displays mimic the latest luxury German car. Pliable materials are found where occupants reach and contrast dashboard print schemes dare to be the barest artwork. Otherwise cohesive control arrangement, low distraction precision mechanism controls and a just enough piano black accenting managing a premium business casual finish, the kind one would find in a Kia Telluride.
Dueling Big Screens: dual 12.3 landscape displays, with a binnacle filling TFT unit as instrument panel, have the acreage to disseminate power, charge/ discharge, maps, road signs, ADAS systems, media & comm in a story book way. The Kia Connect infortainment screen contains the expected corporate swipe menu screens to touch set up, with absolutely logical menu flow. Variable size font script is welcome. MFI displays, usefully including ADAS settings, are selected via a ribbed metallic steering wheel spoke toggle.
• -1 Audio fine tune settings contained under SETUP sub-menu
ICE Non-traditional, EV Conventional: Power ejecting, retracting blade style exterior door handles; Floating center console; Center console knurled metallic rotary drive position twist knob
√ Microsuede, vegan leatherette seating – heated Row 1; √ Wide berth, sport bolstered front bucket seats; √ 8-way power front seats, w/ 3-setting driver memory; √ Push button start; √ Thick rimmed, flat bottom heated leather tilt + telescoping steering wheel with spoke integrated tactile redundant controls; √ Automatic 2-zone climate control; √ 2nd Row climate vents; √ 2nd Row outboard heated seats; √ Large center console ribbed rotary metallic transmission position dial; √ Overhead console retracting sunglasses bin; √ Power folding side mirrors.
Cool Gizmo(s): √ Augmented reality 3-D Heads Up Display; √ 12.3″ drive mode variable TFT instrument cluster w/ navigation map; √ Blind Spot View gauge cluster display; √ Tinted panoramic moonroof, front power open & venting; √ Variable color foot well, center console & striated door panel ambient lighting;
Details Done Right: √ Microsuede seating; √ Recycled cabin plastics; √ Segment printed soft touch dash and center armrest; √ Piano black switches and bezels; √ Matte black soft touch center stack climate controls; √ Segmented mid dashboard accent printing; √ Aluminum trimmed pedals; √ Brushed aluminum “Meridian” sail panel and door audio loudspeaker covers.
Nearly Non-Descript: -1 Coarse grain below waist-height, pillar, aft cabin wall plastic cabin trim & omission of center console knee padding; seats low on lateral torso support.
HOW “APP” -LICABLE: √ Kia Connect center dash top pod mount 12.3″-inch landscape oriented, capacitive touch LCD infotainment screen; √ Bluetooth & voice command hands-free communications; √ GPS HDD OTA Navigation w/ 3-D map, voice guidance w/ connected weather at destination app; √ SMS messaging + pre-defined replies; √ Android Auto / Apple Car Play smart phone projection; √ Kia Connect Apps (formerly UVO) mobile device app vehicle and services remote control; √ USB-A x 2, USB-C x 2, 110 VAC (Row2), 12V x 2 (incl., cargo);
♦ Audibly: √ 14-speaker, 480 watt DTS 5.1 Meridian audio shrills the highs
- +1 Extensive Kia Connect voice commands for climate, audio, and navigation inputs; Traditional Kia Connect system + simple decipher menus
- “Last Mile” pedestrian walking destinations from between 0.1 and 1.2 miles distance
- -1 “Navigation Charging POIs” lacks real time charger status and electricity cost (in contrast to phone projection charging apps)
By Subscription: √ Sirius XM (90 days included); √ Kia Connect (formerly UVO-e telematics – 5 years included); Navigation maps OTA updated (3 years incl.) √ Wi-Fi hot spot (by Verizon Wireless – 90 days or 2 GB included)
HOW MUCH: $57,410 = as tested 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line AWD suggested retail price. Final assembly outside in Korea = INELIGIBILITY for the Clean Vehicle federal tax Credit per Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 amendment, effective August 17, 2022, (though eligibility remains for state by state purchase rebates).
WHAT’S MISSING: Lighter weight; More tightly grained cabin walls; Fewer 2nd Row seat creaks; DC charging which comes close to 350 kW speed; Rear backlight wiper.
FINAL WORD: One half of high value proposition Koreans brings serious EV sportback sedan game.
Contributing Editor: T. Paluch