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2022 Kia EV6 first drive review: An EV defying expectations


2022 Kia EV6 first drive review: An EV defying expectations

“Whoa.” That’s the actual word that escaped my lips when I first engaged Sport mode on the EV6. It could be used to describe most of my experience with the vehicle during a first drive event, though.

Kia’s move from entry-level car maker to mid-market darling with the help of the Telluride SUV continues with its latest offering. The EV6 showcases the evolution of not only the brand, but its EV offerings. The EV6 is a larger-than-you-expect vehicle that Kia calls a CUV (Crossover Utility Vehicle) with the space of an SUV and the driving stance of a sedan. Everything about it is more than you anticipate.

Roberto Baldwin/Digital Trends

While other automakers have been crowing about their move to EVs with their first vehicles over the past few years, Kia has been in the game for a few generations. From an electric version of the Soul to the Niro EV, the Korean automaker has been busy. Recently, the Hyundai Motor Group (the parent company of Kia) introduced an EV architecture dubbed the E-GMP (Electric Global Modular Platform). The EV6 is the inaugural Kia on that battery and powertrain system, while Hyundai has its own Ioniq 5.

In photos, both vehicles look smaller than what you experience in real life. The reality is that the EV6 has the exact same wheelbase as the Telluride at 114.2 inches. The illusion is pulled off thanks to the wheels being pushed to the edge of the vehicle. So while it might look like a compact hatchback, it’s actually closer in dimensions to a mid-sized sedan, with a length of 184.3 inches — only an inch and a half shorter than a BMW 3 Series.

Everything about it is more than you anticipate.

Its real-life size isn’t the only surprise. Frankly, the EV6 delivers likely far more than most people expect from Kia. While driving the all-wheel-drive and rear-wheel-drive versions of the GT trim level in Northern California, it’s clear that the Korean automaker is ready to take on both the automotive upstarts and traditional OEMs.

At the core of this performance is powertrain technology that in many ways has evolved above and beyond that of automakers like Mercedes. The most…

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