2023 Kia EV6 AWD Long Range

It manages to charm by simply being a great commuter without fancy bells and whistles
It manages to charm by simply being a great commuter without fancy bells and whistles

by Ben So | October 28, 2022

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Despite what you may think, electric vehicles (EVs) are not nearly as mainstream as they are marketed to be. Many of the examples we see on the headlines are still either niche, high-performance, expensive, or a combination of some sort. In order for EVs to become a viable mainstream transportation option, they need to not only become more affordable but also less hopped up – and this 2023 Kia EV6 AWD Long Range (LR) might just be what we need to get there.

The 2023 Kia EV6 is a total head turner – the front end looks immensely focused and attractive, and its sculpted body lines did wonder to the overall allure. The rear end styling drew a bit of controversy amongst onlookers but there is no denying that the Kia EV6’s sharp design is a striking one and generates plenty of buzz everywhere we went during the week.

To match the futuristic exterior, Kia designers have taken steps to declutter inside and the end result is a driver-focused cockpit that is devoid of most non-essential buttons. We typically do not like this level of minimalism inside a cabin but in practice the EV6 was not as cumbersome as most thanks to the intuitive infotainment system and the row of capacitive shortcut keys that carries both climate and infotainment controls. The only drawback is that users are asked to pre-select whether they would like to use media or climate control and it led to a bit confusion while driving.

The Kia EV6 comes in several configurations – buyers can choose between the base rear-wheel drive (short and long-range model are available), all-wheel drive, and a range-topping 576-horsepower GT model that is slated to arrive next year. Our AWD LR sample pairs a 74-kilowatt motor in the front with the 165-kilowatt one at the back that combine to output 320 horsepower and 446 lb-ft. of torque.

Needless to say, acceleration is absolutely effortless on the EV6 AWD LR, with all that power readily available at any moment’s notice at any street-legal speeds. We love that the EV6’s acceleration profile is more gradual and linear unlike other EVs that send you to the back of the seat every time you touch the throttle. This moderate power is quite perfect for the fantastic daily driver that the EV6 aims to be.

Riding on a shared platform with Hyundai called the E-GMP, the EV6 features surprisingly nimble handling despite having the same wheelbase as the three-row Telluride SUV. Suspension is well tuned to absorb road bumps without losing responsiveness and the low centre of gravity afforded by having the big 77.4-kWh battery below the floor aids cornering stability tremendously. It is worth noting we are not suggesting sports car reflexes here, but the EV6 certainly handles better than most crossovers on market with accurate steering to boot.

Posted drive range on the Kia EV6 AWD LR is 441 kilometres and our onboard estimates from full charge was consistently higher than that. We noted that the estimated figure is quite close to real world usage too which is always a bonus when it comes to trip planning in an EV, and the battery can be charged from 10% to 80% in as little as 18 minutes using Level 3 DC fast charging. Those with a 240-volt Level 2 charger at home can achieve a full charge in as little as 7 hours.

Interior space is excellent in the EV6 – there is ample of head and legroom for all occupants and the windows are fairly large to allow for extra sunlight in cabin to make up for the lack of sunroof in our tester. Thanks to that silent operation and compliant ride quality, the EV6 is a good place to spend time in, though we found ourselves wishing for additional support from the front seats for longer trips. Cargo space is measured at 690 litres behind the second row with an additional small cargo box inside the frunk. The EV6 can even tow up to 2,300 pounds when properly equipped but it remains to be seen its effect on drive range when doing so.

The EV6 AWD LR is fairly equipped when it comes to driver assistance and safety features including Lane Keep Assist, Lane Follow Assist, Driver Attention Warning, Forward Collision Avoidance Assist, and Blind-spot Collision Avoidance Assist systems, and drivers who are looking for the full protection can opt for the GT-Line Package 1 for an additional $3,000 that adds Advanced Forward Collision Avoidance Assist and Surround View Monitor systems. We particularly liked the accuracy of the Lane Follow Assist system that keeps the EV6 in the center of the lane, effectively sharing the workload with the driver during road trips.

Starting at $44,995 for the rear-wheel drive standard range model, the EV6 All-Wheel Drive Long Range model that we tested rings in at $55,245 ($54,995 plus $250 for Deep Forest Green colour). Currently, there are not many that can compete with the EV6 in terms of overall package, drive range, and driving dynamics, except for its Hyundai IONIQ 5 twin.

The 2023 Kia EV6 AWD Long Range leads a new crop of mainstream electric crossovers that no longer try to show you what the future of electric transportation holds, but rather proves that the future is now. It manages to charm by simply being a great commuter without fancy bells and whistles, and we expect it to hold a lead in the mainstream EV space for a while – until the likes of the Toyota bZ4X, Subaru Solterra, and Nissan Ariya arrive within the next year.

See Also:

First Drive: 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line

2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5

2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT

Vehicle Specs
Segment
Compact Electric Crossover
Engine Size
Horsepower (at RPM)
320
Torque (lb-ft.)
446
Fuel Efficiency (L/100km, City/Highway/Combined)
2.0/2.5/2.2 (Le/100km)
Observed Fuel Efficiency (L/100km)
Cargo Capacity (in L)
690
Base Price (CAD)
$54,995
As-Tested Price (CAD)
$55,295
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About Ben So

Editor-in-Chief

Ben has been living and breathing car magazines, spec sheets, and touring auto shows for his entire life. As proud member of the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada, he keeps a close eye on the latest-and-greatest in the auto industry. When he isn't geeking out about the coolest new cars, he's probably heading to the next hidden-gem ice cream shop with his three quickly growing kids.

Current Toys: '97 Integra Type R, '07 LS 460 RWD, '08 Corvette Z06, '13 JX35 Tech

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