Behind the Wheel

2022 Kia EV6 — Surprisingly Strong Performer

2022 Kia EV6Model tested: 2022 Kia EV6 Wind AWD

Engine: 166 KW electric motor

Battery: 77.4 kWh lithium ion battery

Horsepower: 225

Torque: 265 lb.-ft.

Range: 310 miles

Base price: $52,895

As tested: $54,110

Overview: The 2022 Kia EV6 is a small hatchback crossover and the first Kia designed and built from the ground up as an electric vehicle (EV) — unlike the Niro EV, an electrified version of the Niro hybrid. Without traditional components like an engine and transmission to worry about, Kia could give the EV6 sleek, distinctive styling coupled with a relatively roomy interior, considering its overall dimensions. The EV6 comes in four trim levels — Light, Wind, GT-Line and 1st Edition. Our test-driver was the AWD Wind and this review focuses on that vehicle.

Walkaround: The EV6 is basically a hatchback with smooth, distinctive lines. It’s “Digital Tiger” grille showcases Kia’s new tiger-nose design. The sleek headlamps offer a sequential dynamic light pattern, while flush exterior door handles and a sloping roof with a high rear deck that serves as a spoiler and a cross-car rear light cluster finish out the look.

2022 Kia EV6Interior: The attractively modern and functional interior of the EV6 is user-friendly, with a top-mounted central touchscreen that’s easy to read and switches between climate and audio functions. The front seats are comfortable and supportive and it’s easy to find a relaxed driving position. There’s plenty of room for rear-seat passengers, but they need to watch their heads when climbing in or out due to the rear-sloping roofline. Rear visibility isn’t great due to a small rear window and thick rear pillars creating large blind spots.

Behind the wheel: This is a fun electric SUV to drive. Sharp steering makes it responsive and easy to handle around curves. The EV6 is an easy daily driver thanks to its smooth power and adjustable brake regeneration. It’s also quick. Our all-wheel-drive Wind test-driver accelerated from 0 to 60 hastier than the Mustang Mach-E we recently test-drove. There’s a lot to like about the EV6 — acceleration is energetic enough to pin you to the seat without giving you whiplash. You feel small bumps, but even moderate potholes are kept to a minimum. The question of charging: Kia says you can reload 70 miles in under five minutes and go from 10 percent to 80 in under 18 using a 350-kW charger — which unfortunately is quite rare. We drove the EV6 a little over 500 miles and charged it three times at the local Electrify America outlet. The cost was comparable to a 16-gallon tank of $4 a gallon gas. However, with a home Level 2 charging unit, it would be less.

Bottom line: The 2022 EV6 offers more than a positive look into Kia’s electric future. It’s a legitimate challenger to other highly rated EVs like the Tesla Model 3 and Y, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Volkswagen ID.4 and sibling Hyundai Ioniq 5. If you’re seeking an electric SUV that offers power, sharp steering and well-balanced handling, check it out.