THE Kia EV6 is one of those rare cars that seem to have it all, and by have it all we mean great looks, a spacious interior and technology that would make a Tesla seem outdated. So why don’t we see more of them on the road?
These days, you cannot take a short trip to the store without being bombarded with something or other about electric vehicles. Either your neighbour would have bought a new EV or someone on the radio will be talking about it.
But whether you believe in them or not, EV’s are all the rage these days, and it is going to be that way for some time.
So which EV is the best? Since EV’s are not exactly cheap, which should you be spending your money on in case you are interested in getting one.
In this writer’s opinion, the best EV is the one that has an official manufacturer’s presence in the country. Forget about Tesla’s and all the other EV’s that are available in the grey market.
Where are you going to go if something breaks down? The sales person might say that EV’s are a lot more reliable since there’s no engine. But what happens if a stone hits the windscreen and shatters it? Or a motorcyclists accidentally breaks your side mirror, which we all know happens a lot in KL. Or if you get rear ended?
There are many who will say that there are shops out there can get you parts. Fact of the matter is, anyone with an internet connection will be able to source parts for you, but it’s not backed by a manufacturer’s warranty or knowledge. So don’t bother getting an EV on the grey market.
So now that we have narrowed that down, let me then introduce you to the Kia EV6, one of the best looking and most capable EV’s currently in the market.
The size of the car is the first that gets you, it is a very big car. It rides on the Electric-Global Modular Platform, the same platform found on the Hyundai Ioniq 5. But though it is slightly bigger than the Hyundai, the EV6 curiously has a shorter wheelbase.
For reference, it is about the size of a Tesla Model 3, slightly taller in fact. And it wouldn’t be dwarfed next to a Ford Ranger. That’s saying something.
The design is the next thing that will impress because there’s nothing about the EV6 that is normal. The front and rear lights are LEDs but it is the taillights that are truly extraordinary and look like they came out of Tron.
But the futuristic touch does not just end there. The flap that conceals the charging ports open up simply by touching the edge of the flap. The door handles sit flush with the body like those of a Nissan GTR, but pop up to greet you as you approach the car.
Inside, the air-conditioning settings are located on the touch panel (shown below) that also switches to the audio controls at the touch of a button (shown further below). The digital panel switches between both controls as part of Kia’s infotainment/climate switchable controller technology. But I suspect that will confuse some of the elderly drivers or passengers. The nod to the advanced tech is everywhere, but that is what the EV6 is all about – technology.
The interior is spacious to say the least. There’s no way anyone can be uncomfortable in the EV6. Even the front seats have been specially designed to be slimmer and stronger than those of a regular car. They even recline to a near horizontal position at just the touch of a button as part of Kia’s Premium Relaxation feature.
The Kia EV6 is all about trick technology though and that starts with what lays underneath the car.
In Malaysia, the EV6 is only offered with the Long Range all-wheel-drive powertrain, and that means it comes with a bigger 77.4kWh battery which Kia claims is good for a range of 506km based on the WLTP standard.
The battery powers two electric motors, one each for the front and rear axle, and the motors produce a combined system output of 325PS and 605Nm of torque.
In terms of performance figures, Kia says the EV6 needs just 5.2 seconds to reach 100km/h from a standstill and maxes out at 185km/h.
As for charging, the EV6 is one of the most intelligent EVs around. Unlike most electric cars that can only receive a certain amount of voltage during charging, the EV6 is compatible with 400 and 800-volt DC fast chargers.
This means that it is able to support up to 350kW of DC charging. That amount of power will get the battery of the EV6 from 10% to 80% state of charge in just 18 minutes.
Admittedly though, there are not that many 800-volt DC chargers where else the 400-volt chargers are more common. But the EV6 has a trick up its sleeve. The inverter of the EV6 boosts incoming power up to 800-volts. So with that, it should take a little over an hour if you’re charging with a 50kW DC charger which are more readily available at most charging spots.
The EV6 boasts other party tricks as well, such as the Remote Smart Parking Assist System that lets you park the EV6 using just the remote. This is perfect when parking in and out of tight spaces. The tech is not new and was available in BMWs as far back as 2018, but it is still a handy feature to have especially in tight parking spots in Malaysia.
Other than that there is also the Vehicle to Load technology. This gives you 220V of AC current to power lifestyle devices. When the EV6 is fully charged, the Vehicle to Load feature offers 3.6kW of power, which more than enough to charge items like a scooter or an e-bike.
The EV6 offers plenty of talking points, such as the fact that you can even play sounds of nature or sounds of firewood crackling in case you are tired of listening to the radio.
But the biggest let down though is the fact that the EV6 is not readily available and you will have to wait quite a while to get yours. And perhaps that is why many flock to the grey market.
But should you be willing to wait, the Kia EV6 and all of its wonders can be yours for RM301,000, and as part of the package, you get a five-year or 150,000km warranty on the car while the battery is covered for seven years or 150,000km.