The Kia EV6 crossover is on sale in Australia with three trim levels, two powertrains and one long range battery pack.
However, only 600 units have been earmarked for Australia in 2022 via its nationwide Kia dealer network – which have all been sold out with the waiting list stretching from one- to two-years long due to supply shortages and little allocation for Australia.
The current three-prong EV6 range is also set to be joined by a flagship, powerful GT variant by the end of this year or early 2023.
UPDATE 25/5/22: The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) has given all Kia EV6 variants a five-star safety rating under the 2022 criteria. The safety section of this story has been updated accordingly.
Size and design
The Kia EV6 is the first vehicle to be based on the firm’s dedicated Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) platform.
This allows the EV to have the interior space of a large SUV, with an identical wheelbase length to the Hyundai Pallisaide, while featuring the footprint of a mid-sized SUV length like the Kia Sportage.
It’s also the first Kia to feature its new ‘Digital Tiger Face’ design, which essentially removes the traditional ‘Tiger Nose Grille’ in favour of a tiger-like LED daytime running light.
The wagon-like crossover also has a full-width LED taillight that serves as the rear spoiler, along with flush door handles (auto folding on GT-Line models) to aid in aerodynamic efficiency.
The entry-level Air has 19-inch alloy wheels with plastic wheel arch mouldings, black cloth and artificial leather seats, light grey headliner, silver metallic finish interior trim and fabric look dashboard.
Meanwhile, GT-Line models gain larger 20-inch alloy wheels with a sportier exterior body kit, artificial black suede/vegan white leather seats, black cloth headliner, gloss black interior trims and unique dashboard garnish.
While both interiors aren’t completely animal-free, Kia says sections of the dashboard and centre console are made from recycled plastics, equivalent to 107 500ml plastic water bottles. Notably, GT-Line seats combine suede with vegan leather, whereas the entry-level Air model employs cloth and artificial leather.
The rear seats split fold in a 60/40 configuration with spring levers from the boot and there are two ISOFIX child seat anchor points and three top tethers.
GT-Line variants also have 10-litres less boot space than the base Air due to the Meridian subwoofer taking up space underneath. The EV6 also offers a frunk (or froot), though all-wheel drive variants cut its capacity by more than half due to the added front electric motor.
Kia hasn’t detailed its drag coefficient.
Range and powertrain
The most affordable Air variant is only offered in rear-wheel drive, while GT-Line can be had in rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive – with $8000 separating the two.
Unique to the Kia EV6, it has been subject to the company’s local ride and handling tune program to better comply with Australian roads and reduce vertical body movements at highway speeds using ZF Sachs shock absorbers to mask its 477kg battery.
The base EV6 Air has the longest driving range and is the most efficient model in the line-up with up to 528km combined (WLTP) range on a single charge.
Interestingly, while the GT-Line rear-wheel drive is the same set up as the Air, it is less efficient and therefore has 24km less driving range at 504km (WLTP). Meanwhile, the GT-Line all-wheel drive is the least efficient with 484km of range (WLTP) due to the added rear electric motor.
A Kia Australia spokesperson told zecar that there are no plans at this stage to introduce the smaller 58kWh battery sold overseas.
The EV6 can also tow up to a claimed 1600kg on a braked trailer or 750kg unbraked and has a 100kg downball weight on all variants.
Kia’s halo electric car is capable of charging at up to 10.5kW AC/240kW DC on a 800-volt architecture, meaning it can achieve high speeds on compatible ultra-rapid chargers, while not requiring as many amps that generates excessive heat for the battery.
On 400-volt based fast chargers, the automaker uses a variable inverter at the rear motors to convert to 800-volts for optimal charging speeds.
Kia claims a 10 to 100 per cent charge on a 11 kW Level 2 AC wallbox takes around seven hours and 20 minutes. From 10 to 80 per cent on a 350kW, 800-volt Level 3 DC ultra-rapid charger, the EV6 can top up in a claimed 18 minutes, while on the more common 50kW DC chargers it takes around 73 minutes.
Based on the data we've observed globally, it is one of the fast charging mainstream electric cars in the world.
The crossover EV uses a standard Type2/CCS2 connector and features vehicle-to-load (V2L) capabilities for powering any device that uses a standard three-prong power socket like fridges, drones or laptops.
It’s worth noting that the base Air trim only has an interior V2L socket underneath the rear passenger seats, while GT-Line variants gain an included Type 2 to domestic socket adapter for exterior V2L.
All EV6 models come with a Type 2 to domestic three-pin plug trickle charger cable.
Currently, the EV6 doesn’t offer battery preconditioning. It does, however, have six different regenerative braking settings from off, to ‘i-Pedal’ one-pedal driving and auto which are toggled via the steering wheel paddles.
Safety and technology
The Kia EV6 has received the maximum five-star ANCAP safety score under the 2022 testing criteria.
Active safety assistance technologies all come standard on EV6 models. This includes auto emergency braking (AEB) with car/pedestrian/cyclist/junction turning detection, lane following and keeping assist, blind-spot collision alert and avoidance assist, rear-cross traffic alert and avoidance assist, and adaptive cruise control with stop and go.
All variants also feature safe exit warning (which prevents you opening the doors in the path of an oncoming vehicle or cyclist), driver attention alert, lead vehicle departure alert, and intelligent speed limit assist.
Stepping up to GT-Line guises net rear AEB when parking, a blind-spot view monitor camera displayed in the instrument screen while indicating, a 360-degree surround view camera with multiple angle views, and auto powered child rear door locks (instead of manual on the Air).
Furthermore, all EV6’s feature the South Korean company’s largest dual 12.3-inch infotainment and driver’s instrument displays combined on a curved concave panel.
On the former, it has wired Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto via the single USB-A port in the cabin, along with built-in satellite navigation, AM/FM/DAB digital radio, Bluetooth and ‘Sounds of Nature’ ambient noises.
Zecar understands the Kia Connect mobile app and over-the-air software updates available overseas aren’t slated for Australian-bound EV6’s anytime soon.
There’s also four USB-C charging ports, two 12-volt power outlets, a 15-watt Qi wireless charging pad with cooling fans, and GT-Line variants offer an augmented reality head-up display (AR HUD) that projects information like speed, safety alerts and three-dimensional navigation directions in front of the driver’s eyeline on the windscreen.
Price and models
The Hwasung, South Korean made EV6 is offered in two trim levels at launch, Air and GT-Line, and two drivetrain configurations on the latter – a single motor rear-wheel drive (RWD) and dual motor all-wheel drive (AWD).
The range is priced from $67,990 to $82,990 before on-road costs. As a result, the Kia EV6 isn’t eligible for many Australian state incentives.
Customers can pre-order Kia’s first ground-up electric car via its nationwide dealer network. However, only 600 units are slated for Australia this year, despite already building up around 1500 orders at the end of February.
The constrained supply is blamed on the semiconductor crisis crippling factory production and little allocation of stock from Kia’s South Korean head office compared to other continents.
EV6 Air RWD – $67,990 before on-road costs
The Air model comes with as standard:
- 77.4kWh (usable) battery
- Black cloth/artificial leather seats, light grey headliner, silver metallic finish interior trim and fabric look soft touch dashboard
- Leatherette two-spoke steering wheel with paddle shifters for regenerative braking control
- 19-inch machined alloy wheels (Kumho/Nexen 235/55 R19 tyres)
- Matte plastic wheel arch mouldings and gloss black exterior trim
- Active safety assistance suite (details above)
- Reversing camera
- Front and rear parking sensors
- 12.3-inch curved infotainment system with wired Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto, built-in maps and DAB digital radio
- 12.3-inch curved driver’s digital instrument display
- Multi-function HVAC/infotainment control panel
- Six-speaker sound system (two tweeters)
- USB-A, USB-C and 12-volt power outlets
- Qi wireless charging pad
- Interior vehicle-to-load (V2L) socket
- Automatic LED headlights with high beam assist, daytime running lights, and full-width taillight
- Smart key with push button start
- Flush exterior door handles
- Rain sensing wipers
- Solar glass
- Acoustic film windscreen
- Aero blade wipers
- Electronic park brake with auto hold function
- Dual zone climate control with auto windscreen defog and air filter
- Driver and passenger auto up/down windows
- Six-way manually adjustable driver's seat with two-way power lumbar support and six-way manually adjustable passenger’s seat
- Reclining second-row seat backs
- Manual child-proof rear door locks
- LED interior lamps
EV6 GT-Line RWD – $74,990 before on-road costs
The GT-Line rear-wheel drive adds:
- Artificial black suede/vegan white leather with white stitching seats, black cloth headliner, gloss black interior trims and GT-Line design dashboard
- 20-inch machined alloy wheels (Continental 255/45 R20 tyres)
- GT-Line exterior body kit with body coloured wheel arch mouldings
- Auto pop-out/folding flush door handles
- Reverse AEB
- 360-degree surround view camera
- Blind spot view camera
- 14-speaker Meridian premium sound system (four tweeters, four woofers and one subwoofer)
- Augmented reality head up display (AR HUD)
- Remote Smart Park Assist with parallel and perpendicular auto parking function
- Handsfree electric tailgate
- Laminated front door glass
- Privacy glass (rear windows and tailgate)
- Eight-way adjustable power driver's seat with two-way power lumbar support and two-position memory
- Eight-way power adjustable passenger seat with two-way power lumbar support
- Front premium relaxation mode seats
- Heated and ventilated front seats
- Heated steering wheel
- 64-colour front and rear ambient mood lighting
- Metal door scuff panels and luggage sill plate
- Alloy sports pedals
- Luggage net
- Active sound design (artificial EV driving noises)
- V2L exterior with Type 2 to AUS/NZ type adapter
- Powered auto child-proof rear door locks
EV6 GT-Line AWD – $82,990 before on-road costs
The GT-Line all-wheel drive adds:
- Wide sunroof
Read our detailed review of the Kia EV6 GT-Line AWD here.
- Standard paint – no cost: Runway Red
- Premium paint – $520: Yacht Blue, Snow White Pearl, Aurora Black Pearl, Glacier (Air only), Steel Grey (Air only)
- Matte paint (GT-Line only) – $3295: Moonscape with Kia Car Care Paint Protection kit
- Type 2 to Type 2 cable – $492.91: Single phase (32A, 7kW), five-metre cable
Warranty and servicing
The EV6 is backed by a seven-year, unlimited kilometre warranty. The battery, electric motors and onboard charger is covered by a seven-year/150,000km warranty.
As with all Kia’s, there’s also up to eight-years of roadside assistance coverage when serviced with authorised Kia dealers nationwide.
The company offers a seven-year/105,000km ‘pay as you go’ capped price servicing scheme, averaging $226 per year as at publication.
Alternatively, the carmaker offers prepaid servicing plans. Interestingly, it doesn’t save money for owners in the first three-years and is more expensive in later years compared to ‘pay as you go’ capped price servicing.
How does it compare to other EVs?
Below is a comparison between the base (RWD) EV6 such as the Model Y, Ioniq 5 and Volvo XC40. As you can see it compares favourably across a number of fronts.
Is it cheaper than a petrol car?
The table shows the comparative cost of ownership between the Kia Ev6 and a similarly sized and popular Kia Sorento. Despite costing ~$12,000+ more than a similarly equipped Kia Sorento, the EV6 will be cost less to own based on a five year ownership period.
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