Kia has started handing out the EV6 GT Line to reviewers, and Charlie Min from Asian Petrolhead shared his thoughts on what the drive is like. At the end of the segment, he gives us a verdict on whether the Kia EV6 GT Line is better than the Hyundai Ioniq 5.
For context, Min got to test the top-spec Kia EV6 GT Line Long Range model. This gets dual electric motors with a 77.4 kWh battery pack. In terms of range, this car is capable of a WLTP certified 314 miles.
Video: Asian Petrolhead/Youtube
However, the first thing that Min actually checks is the acceleration, and there is no hiding the smile on his face when he steps on the pedal.
Diving into the review, Min talks about visibility, saying the large windows allow for roughly the same visibility from the Ioniq 5. It also gets the blind-spot alert and monitoring system, with two windows show up on the instrument cluster when looking to change lanes or turn.
While the Ioniq 5 gets the digital side-view mirrors, the EV6 does not, and Min says it doesn’t bother him because it is a costly option. According to Min, a direct conversion would cost about $1,100, and he is satisfied with the blindspot monitoring system.
The two large panels that make up the 12.3-inch instrument cluster and infotainment system do well even in direct sunlight, and Min points out that Hyundai and Kia said a special film was used to block sunlight which seems to work quite effectively. Min says that the screens look more premium in black than with white in the Ioniq 5.
Next, Min played with the Active Sound design that puts a sound artificially into the cabin. It has three levels and an off level, which Min prefers because he didn’t like the generator-like sound.
According to Min, the interiors on the EV6 look better than the Ioniq 5, thanks to the vivid colours and patterns. However, it does miss out on the moving centre console. Additionally, EV6 has USB-C charging ports for both the first and second-row passengers.
Switching to the back seat, Min points out again that the EV6 does not come with motorised second-row seats but still feels very spacious. Min was able to fairly comfortably with the seat adjusted for his driving preference and decent headroom.
The door panels feature suede because it is the top-spec model. Pulling down the centre armrest, you see the storage area, which with the sliding cover extended becomes a cup holder instead. The flat floor adds to the comfort.
Min points out that the car he is testing comes with a powerful dual-motor setup. This produces 239 kW/325 PS of power and 605 Nm of torque. Switching into sports mode and stepping on the accelerator, Min says that the EV6 pulls linearly. And slowing down, comments, “Good brakes, good brakes.” Min does this again at a lower speed, and the 5.6-second 0-100 km/h time is felt a lot more, pinning him to the seat.
Min says that the motor in the front gives the car better balance adding that he would buy his Ioniq 5 or EV6 with the dual-motor system: Less range, but better performance.
Jumping into the handling capability, Min says the car is nicely balanced. Min says he would need to drive a little more to figure out if it handles better than the Ioniq 5, but it seems very similar for the moment. It does slide around, but the ESC catches the car for you while the all-wheel-drive system is very effective. Min says the EV6 is a lot of fun for an all-electric vehicle.
Remote parking assist
Min demonstrated the remote park assist, which can be used using the key fob. The car will not park itself, but Min says you can make the car come forward and then drive off when parked in a tight spot.
The EV6 takes 18 minutes for a 10-80 per cent charge using the 800-volt rapid charging system. In that time, you can use the heater, music, or the AC or simply press a button on the side of the seat for a relaxation posture to enjoy your 18 minutes.
Driving back, Min gives us a little more detail into the handling of the Kia EV6 GT Line, saying that the slightly shorter wheelbase than the Ioniq 5’s makes the EV6 just a little bit more bouncy, but not as much as the Tesla Model Y.
Min answers the question of Kia or Hyundai for the drive. Min seemed surprised, saying that the Ioniq 5 handles a little better than the EV6. According to Min, the ESC and suspension setup in the Ioniq 5 gives it the edge and feels more stable. However, the EV6 is still a lot of fun around the corners.
The paddles behind the steering wheel aren’t gear-shifters but instead act as regenerative braking level adjusters. There are a total of four levels, including none, and then there is i-Pedal which Min says you can theoretically use to drive the car with just one pedal. Another step on the accelerator snaps Min back into the seat. The Ioniq 5, however, seems a little quieter than the EV6 on the highway. Min says the double laminated windows on both the first and second row helps with that.
Min switched it on to demonstrate the adaptive cruise control and took his hands off the wheel, saying the system is delicate and works in conjunction with the Lane Keep assist to centre the car. Of course, the system does alert him to put his hands back on the steering wheel. The lane change assist will also change lanes for you by hitting the turn indicator lever.
Min also demonstrates the voice assistant system, which is specced for South Korea, so it’s in Korean. But he does manage to get navigation details in just one attempt. Min says the voice command system is easy and comfortable to use. The optional 14-speaker Meridian system, Min says, sounds very crisp and better than the Bose system in the Ioniq.
And finally, according to Min, the Kia EV6 is the better car. In terms of driving, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 is very similar, albeit just a smidge better. Still, Min prefers the interior design and the exterior design of the Kia EV6 GT Line.
Chosun Biz tests out the EV6
Korean publication Chosun Biz got to try out the EV6 GT-Line as well. And aside from the colour difference, the car was the same as the one Asian Petrolhead tested. Yeon Seon-ok of Chosun Biz did like the interiors of the EV6 but mentioned the headspace was a little narrow. However, thanks to the curved display of the EV6, the interiors look more luxurious when compared to the Ioniq 5.
Over to the driving side of the EV6 GT-Line, while the car weighs in at over 2,000 kg, acceleration feels effortless. But addressing the regenerative braking setup of the car, Yeon says that in the third level, the speed decreases too quickly, making the driving experience a little difficult. At the fourth level, the i-Pedal level of regenerative braking, the car slows down faster at slower speeds and slower when at higher speeds. This essentially allows for single-pedal driving.
The drive itself, Yeon says, is smooth. There is decent acceleration, and even at 100 km/h speeds, the car moved with agility when changing lanes and on curvy roads. Suspension is softer than the Ioniq 5, allowing for a plush ride. The highway driving assistance is also convenient, according to the report. However, Yeon did find few faults here. At toll plazas, for example, if there was no vehicle in front, the car doesn’t slow down sufficiently. Another annoyance was that the warning message displayed to keep hands on the steering wheel remained despite both hands being placed on the wheel.
Featured image source: Kia