The 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line has made some sensational waves around the world, and we finally got our hands on one to experience what all the hullabaloo is all about.
With high demands and long waiting periods, there are many reasons why the Kia EV6 (plus a few more EVs) has been dubbed the "Tesla Killer". And what's not to love? Sexy looks? Check. Exhilarating performance? Check. Features that were initially thought to be 'gimmicks' but are actually impressively useful? Big-time check.
Exterior - Sporty, curvy, sexy
The test unit that we got from the good folks of Dinamikjaya Motors Sdn. Bhd, the official distributor for Kia here in Malaysia, was dressed in the Aurora Black Pearl colourway. In the bright sun, the Kia EV6 sparkled and dazzled in a way that truly highlights its sexy curves and muscular figures. Truly a head-turner, this car.
You might already think that this particular EV looks good in photos, but that feeling is further amplified upon seeing it in real life. The overall dimensions of the EV6 certainly portray a big presence on the road but without comprising its stature as a sleek yet eco-friendly SUV. In fact, it's not that much different from our colleague's Land Rover Disco II (apart from it being way taller).
Perhaps our favourite angle has to be from the rear where its curved LED tail lights with a duckbill-like figure elevate the sportiness and futuristic facade that sort of resembles the Aston Martin DBX. Everything sort of ties together from front to back, including the tail light lines that connect to the side skirts.
As for the 20-inch wheels, they looked great when we previously saw the Kia EV6 finished in the Moonscape grey colour option, but they still stand out in the best possible manner when paired with the Aurora Black Pearl. If we could only use one word to describe the Kia EV6's exterior, it's without a doubt "stunning".
Performance: Pulls like a rocket ship
The powertrain for the Kia EV6 GT-Line comes in the form of a dual-electric motor setup with an all-wheel-drive system that produces 320hp and 605Nm of torque. 0-100km/h on paper is said to be done in just 5.2 seconds. Top speed? Apparently limited to around 185km/h, but we've been told by a friend who also happens to own one that it'll do faster than that.
That's fast for a lot of modern-day sports cars, and we just had to find out for ourselves (just the acceleration part, no top-speed runs). Just make sure that the steering position is set to your liking before the start of the drive (obviously). For us, the best steering position seemed to be slightly blocking the top part of its beautiful 12.3-inch instrument cluster. Slightly annoying, this part.
In all honesty, we had so much fun testing out its acceleration off the line that we forgot to time any of the runs. Running it in Sport Mode can literally snap your head to the headrest. Luckily for us, the Kia EV6's Relaxion Seats had enough support to ensure that we didn't get whiplashed.
Considering that it is an EV with a decently-sized battery, it is a heavy thing weighing in at over two tonnes. To make up for it, the suspension has been set up to be more on the stiffer side which is great for highway use and the twisties, but it's a bit bumpy when you're going at a slower pace. Don't be fooled though, this thing was buttery smooth when going at highway speeds.
The braking is probably the one thing that future owners need to get used to due to its weight. For an EV with decent regen-braking capabilities, it doesn't feel remotely squishy. In fact, the braking feedback was quite decent. Getting acquainted with how the brake behaves and reacts together with the right level of regen-braking should take some of your time as a new owner, but you'll get accustomed to it relatively fast.
Got any range anxiety or not?
The range can supposedly go up to a max of 506km (WLTP cycle) but based on how the car has been driven prior to it being handed over to us for review, the EV6 calculated that we had about 420km to play with when the 77.4kWh battery pack was fully charged. To us, it was more than enough for our camping excursion outside of the hustling and bustling of the Klang Valley.
Range anxiety was never present during our time with the Kia EV6 because it felt like the battery percentage was trickling down at a very reasonable rate (almost too slow at some points) considering that we had a few 'spirited' drives and even an overnight stay by the beach.
After all that, we only ended up using around half of its battery capacity which also included extensively using its Vehicle-2-Load (V2L) function to power up or air fryer to cook dinner, hooked our visual entertainment setup to watch the World Cup live, and even slept in it with the AC blowing while the car was in Utility Mode. And mind you, these were all done on the beach and not plugged into any charging point or wall socket.
The charging part can be done using a maximum of 11kW AC charger which helps get it charged from 10-100% in 7 hours and 20 minutes. Since Malaysia is already starting to offer 350kW of DC charging (which the Kia EV6 definitely supports), 10-80% can be completed in just 18 minutes if you're connected to one. Laju? Laju.
V2L function - It's not a gimmick!
Speaking of the V2L function, the Kia EV6 comes with an adapter to mount on its charging port to power any electrical device with a maximum output of 3.6kW. We cooked up some lovely nuggets and fries for our dinner by the beach using the air fryer and even had our very own entertainment setup to watch the World Cup matches that night.
While all of these were running, the battery barely dropped its power and another cool thing about the V2L function is that if there's another EV in need of emergency charging power, you can also use the V2L adapter to help out. With more and more EVs hitting the open road today, we believe that this particular feature would be vital in emergency situations like the EV battery running out while driving. Sharing is caring, and the EV6 is open to sharing.
As for the Utility Mode which clearly stated that the Kia EV6 can be used to go on camping trips, you don't even need a tent to sleep in. Just turn the Utility Mode on which only power some vital features like lights, radio, and AC, lay down the Relaxion front seats to almost horizontal, and sleep the night away in comfort, even if it's in the middle of nowhere.
There's also a three-pin plug point located at bottom of the rear seats if you want to include a movie night into the whole experience (or football in our case). Netflix and chill in an RM300k EV? Oh so possible with the Kia EV6.
Interior - Big outside, 'cosy' inside
Those sitting at the front on those Relaxion Seats would feel like royalty in terms of space, support, and very decent infotainment setup thanks to the EV6's twin 12.3-inch displays and a 14-speaker Meridian premium sound system (amazing sound quality). Leg space is in abundance thanks to the floating centre console due to the Shift-by-Wire tech, which was also a huge plus.
It's a bit of a mixed review for the ones sitting at the back, though. For those who are under the 170cm height limit, sitting in the rear seats is likely to be quite comfortable with its flat floors but since the battery packs are also at the bottom, the floor levels are a bit higher than what most folks are used to.
It's still pleasant for the normal Asian height, but anyone who's beyond the 170cm mark might find a slight lack of support behind the thighs. Two very tall adults instead of three sitting at the back might be more suitable as they can stretch out their legs on those flat floors. For kids? Heavenly.
Conclusion - Worth the RM300k price tag?
Priced at RM300,866 (on-the-road excluding insurance), the 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line is indeed a huge sum to pay for most folks. However, there are a lot of savings that you may uncover from not spending any money on fuel in the long run. The initial setup like a home charger might be needed since it's a fully-electric car, but it's a small price to pay for a car of this calibre.
As I've said in the past, the current EV ecosystem in Malaysia is only suitable for those with money and time to spare, but that will no longer be the case in the near future. For now, the Kia EV6 is certainly at the top of the EV wishlist. In my personal opinion, it's either this or the Hyundai Ioniq 5 within the RM350,000 mark. Both are winners in our book.
The problem now is that I've fallen head over heels for the Kia EV6 and I don't have RM300k to actually buy one. If there's ever a way to convert an ICE purist over to an EV, the Kia EV6 GT-Line is a powerful tool that can be used to seal the deal successfully. Beauty paired with strength and a whole lot of intelligence mixed in between. Nothing in the world is perfect, but this? Almost. And that's one hell of a compliment.
For more info on things like specs and safety features of the Kia EV6, CLICK HERE. Better yet, watch our own experience camping with the lovely EV in the video, below!