The roads north of Sonoma, California are a wonderful place to test pretty much any vehicle. It’s a greener part of California as the hills look healthy with growth. You are surrounded by some of the best wineries on the planet. The people seem happy. And the roads twist and turn around gorgeous hills that never seem to relent. And it doesn’t matter what you’re testing, because this is a great place to drive anything, even a vehicle that doesn’t sound thrilling on paper like the new 2022 Kia EV6. Paper stats though can be deceiving.
The Kia EV6 is the automaker’s first shot fired from its Plan S. This is a goal by Kia to have 11 new electric vehicles sold globally by 2026. And Kia wants to be 100% EV by 2040. It’s ambitious, to be sure, but the EV6 is a hell of a start to this journey.
This is a car with great style on the outside. A well laid out and comfortable interior. And a driving experience that’s far more entertaining than I expected. There’s not a ton of power, but it’s put down well and the chassis is wonderfully tuned without being too aggressive for what the EV6 really is… and that’s a day-to-day commuter machine that just happens to look pretty sweet and be fun when it needs to be fun.
The base Light model is rear-wheel-drive only. It features a 58-kWh battery pack and a rear-mounted motor that delivers 167 horsepower and 230 miles of range. The more common versions you’ll see are the Wind and GT-Line, which are offered as either rear or all-wheel-drive. These both utilize a larger 77.4-kWh pack. Rear-drive models feature a 168-kW rear motor that produces 225 hp and returns 310 miles of range. On the e-AWD versions, you add in a front 74-kW motor and the combined power output is 320 hp and 446 lb-ft of torque. Range drops to 274 miles, but the fun definitely ramps way up.
And charging speeds are great too. The EV6 can handle 350-kW DC Fast Charging. This will see an EV6 receive 217 miles of range in just 18 minutes.
The price spread is fair here, as EVs are still premium machines with premium pricetags. A base Light starts at $42,115. The Wind is $48,215 and $52,115 for RWD and AWD respectively. The top-spec GT-Line runs $52,415 and $57,115 for RWD or AWD. And these prices are before the available $7,500 federal tax incentive or any additional state rebates that might be offered up.