|Kia EV6 GT Line S|
|The story: After the Soul and the fleet favourite e-Niro, this EV6 SUV is the third all-electric offering from Kia, with a range of up to 328 miles.|
|Key rival:||Skoda Enyaq|
|Price:||OTR price: £51,945|
Life, so the saying goes, begins at 30. That will certainly be the hope for Kia. You see, this year the Korean firm enjoys the start of its fourth decade in the UK, and while its progress might have started slowly, it’s now more than making up for lost time. Of its 1.2 million sales so far in the UK, an incredible 67 per cent have been in the past decade alone.
Where will it be at the end of its next decade? One look at this stunning new all-electric EV6 and its obvious that the sales line is only going to continue upwards; when many manufacturers are only just now producing their first EVs, this EV6 will be Kia’s third all-electric model. Better still, it has a range of up to 328 miles and a monthly lease rate from £442. Before it even arrives in showrooms, Kia is already sitting on 1500 pre-orders – a quarter of which are company car drivers (see panel).
Unlike the Ioniq 5 from its sister firm Hyundai, the Kia EV6 is only available with one battery option – a 77.4kWh affair. In fact, the only choices are either rear- or four-wheel drive and the three trim levels – Air, GT Line and GT Line S. There are only two real options – premium paint and a heat pump (the latter largely irrelevant for UK buyers). The final model in the EV6 line-up will be a sporty GT version with the equivalent of 577bhp and a 0 to 60mph time of just 3.5 seconds, which arrives at the end of 2022.
The issue of range is also covered, with every model capable of over 300 miles on a full charge. Even the least efficient model, the flagship GT Line S in all-wheel drive form driven here (which has been the fleet favourite so far), will officially do 302 miles. At an ultra-rapid 350kW charger, the EV6’s battery can also get from 10 to 80 per cent in just 18 minutes.
That positive impression continues on the road. Kia deliberately engineered the EV6 up to have a more dynamic feel to the Ioniq 5. No, you never really escape the feeling that this is a big car, but at the same time it has good feel through the steering and driver’s seat giving you plenty of confidence.
The regenerative braking has six settings operated via the steering wheel paddles, or there is also an iPedal mode which gives one-pedal driving and a strong level of lift-off braking. Finally there is an auto mode that uses the sat-nav and your speed to judge a suitable level of regen. Door mirror-mounted cameras also show the side view in the driver’s display when you indicate.
There’s certainly no complaints about the EV6’s interior, with its clear double-screen main dashboard and a thin multi-mode display below it, which can switch between showing either ventilation controls or shortcuts for the infotainment system. It’s clever and works well.
You won’t go short on space either, with a huge amount of head and legroom in the back and a decent-sized boot plus a 52-litre front cubby under the bonnet too.
It’s easy to see the EV6 being a commercial success. As EVs gather sales momentum and popularity and company car fleets increasingly look towards 2030 then 2035, a good real-world fully charged offering will become ever more important for business drivers. And a 300 mile-plus range across the whole EV6 line-up will do the prospects of this car no harm whatsoever, especially with Kia’s strong sales history and experience of the e-Niro to go on. As 30th birthday presents go, they don’t get much better than this.