KIA EV6 AWD - Several Cars in One Package
I will explain the title "Several Cars in One Package" right away. With its nearly 240 kW power and 605 Nm torque, the AWD version of the EV6 model is a very fun car that easily ranks among the top 5 percent in terms of road performance when you want or need to.
For most of the test drive, I drove very calmly, but when I decided to try out the dynamic capabilities of the EV6 AWD for a little while, I was very pleased. Despite its higher weight, it can push you nicely into the seat and turn overtaking maneuvers into a split-second affair on both local and highway roads at higher speeds. But the EV6 AWD is not just a "straight road" car, it can also handle corners excellently, as evidenced by the excellent time of my YouTube channel colleagues Topspeed.sk on their circuit where they compare times of all faster cars.
On the other hand, the EV6 can also be an excellent mileage gobbler when you need to move to the other end of the country - no problem. You will get there comfortably and if charging is necessary, it can do so very quickly. I also describe the excellent charging speeds with specific data in my review of the EV6 with rear-wheel drive, which has the same top 800V battery and charging technology.
And the third "car in one package" is the EV6 as a spacious family SUV or oversized hatchback, depending on how you look at the body shapes of this EV... By the way, although the design masterfully conceals this, except for the height the EV6 is larger than the Škoda Enyaq in all dimensions (length, width and wheelbase)! In my last review I may not have emphasized this enough, but the door opening / size of the rear doors is really large, which is great when installing a child seat and overall getting in and out of the rear.
I got the car for testing over the Christmas period, so I was able to test it in temperatures around freezing. As you probably know/suspect, electric cars have a rather significant difference in range between summer and winter. The EV6 is no different. If you heat the cabin, this energy must be taken from somewhere. The tested vehicle had a heat pump, which clearly improves the winter balance. In the depths of the on-board computer menu you can monitor precise data. The supplied electrical energy for heating the cabin ranged between 0.6 - 1.5 kWh, over 1.5 kWh in the first minutes of cabin heating. This means that compared to summer driving, overall consumption is partially increased, especially on short trips. In such cases, it is advisable to use pre-heating of the interior via the app when connected to an AC outlet in the garage, so that the energy needed for the "initial" heating of the interior is not consumed from the battery while driving. However, there is one clear advantage here - the EV6 heats up practically instantly (if you forget to preheat it via the app beforehand), which many combustion cars have a problem with, only warming up slightly after 10-15 minutes of driving, when your short city drive is often already behind you.
Battery Preconditioning, the Basis of Fast Charging in Winter
The 2023 models have newly added the ability to preheat the battery before DC charging. This is good because the older models did suffer from slower charging in winter, although not as bad as many competitors. Now you need to enter the charging station into the built-in navigation as your destination and if several other conditions are met, the battery will be preheated. I managed this when I arrived at the Ionity and thanks to this, even at a temperature of around freezing, I was able to charge part of the session at up to 200 kW. But even with preheating, charging (let's say in the 10-80% SOC range) is still a few minutes slower than in warm weather. Still, EV6 charging remains one of the fastest compared to the competition, both in winter and summer. So if you're considering an EV and want to often travel longer distances with DC charging, the 800V-platform KIA EV6 is an ideal purchase candidate. Detailed technical data can be found here.
In winter, while waiting for the battery to charge, I appreciated the car's ability to heat the cabin to "any" temperature, of course including the seats, including the rear ones, which the passengers always appreciate.
Controlling the heating/cooling of the seats and steering wheel heating has separate touch buttons on the center console, which is excellent - easily accessible. However, it has a minor flaw in that you sometimes turn on seat heating or cooling accidentally when operating something on the display and your hand unconsciously touches these sensitive touch "buttons".
The Matrix lights shine nicely evenly and reliably "cut out" oncoming vehicles, so no oncoming drivers flashed their lights at me. However, I would expect the high beams to reach just slightly further on long straights. The difference between the strong low beams and high beams did not seem very large to me.
The vehicle was also equipped with a "tow hitch" with which the EV6 can tow up to 1,600 kg of braked trailer / 750 kg unbraked.
Unexpected Use of Vehicle To Load Function
Just before Christmas there was a power outage in many places in the Czech Republic, and one of the main problems is the "defrosting" and thus spoiling of preserved food in freezers. Thanks to an extension cord to the lawn mower and V 2 I capability that EV 6 has, this time I kept the freezer running for 6 hours during the outage. And yet the state of charge in the EV6 barely changed, because the freezer's daily consumption is less than 1 kWh.
Reliable on the Highway
On the highway, the combination of adaptive cruise control and lane keeping works great. I drove almost the entire D1 highway this way, which significantly reduces fatigue from long drives. The system can also change lanes automatically when you signal with the turn signal, it checks the surroundings with sensors and the car performs the maneuver itself. It's slower than an experienced driver of course, but I still enjoyed trying it out and it's sometimes more convenient and safer to let the car handle the maneuver during long drives or at night.
An excellent feature is monitoring the surroundings when reversing out of a perpendicular parking space onto the road. If a car/cars approaches, the KIA first vibrates the steering wheel and beeps, and if you continue reversing, it will even brake automatically.
In this second test of the EV6, I confirm that this car deserved to win the European Car of the Year award. It is a very well executed electric vehicle that will remain fully competitive with market newcomers, many of whose technologies are still struggling to catch up, for several more years.