Kia EV6 first drive review

from ₹ 59,95,000

Like a rookie smashing every record on the way to superstardom, Kia’s entry into India is rapidly becoming a case study of how to get the product mix right. Right from the Seltos, Sonet, Carnival, Carens and now, the perfectly timed EV6 all-electric, Kia has been giving Indians just what they need, exactly when needed! 

The grounds-up design of the EV6 on a dedicated platform for electric cars has helped Kia shape it into an instant object of desire. And, it comes at a ripe time when EVs are getting all the buzz, but they’re either at the top-end of the luxury segment or at the bottom of the pile. This leaves the middle of the pyramid free to attack and Kia has just the weapon.


From any angle, it’s hard to dislike the Kia EV6. You either love it or like it. That’s big praise for any automotive design that isn’t of Italian pedigree, but the design team at Kia has done a stellar job of giving the EV6 a sinuous yet sharp look that ignites the imagination. 

Most EVs suffer from a bland or blanked out nose since they’re either derivatives of their ICE-powered siblings or the result of a quick, slap-on job, but on the EV6, the “digital” interpretation of its Tiger-nose grille takes on a purposeful look that extends beautifully into the full LED headlights giving it a sharp, aggressive look. Helped by the chiselled bonnet and large 19in wheels, it signals the arrival of the future of Kia design.

Perhaps the most striking angle is the rear three-quarters where the full-span LED tail lights meet the opposing turn indicators in an interplay of lines, angles, patterns and colours that really is fresh. 

Stepping in the cabin is equally rejuvenating and you find yourself greeted by a duo of 12.3in displays, curved and angled towards the driver, a floating centre console that frees up huge amounts of practical storage space and behold…physical knobs for HVAC and media volume!


Carrying the sustainable theme to the materials as well, the EV6 uses recycled PET for large parts of the trim panels and even vegan leather for the cooled/heated seats. 64-colour ambient lighting, textured dashboard and a drive selector dial keep things appropriately futuristic on the inside. But of course, it’s under the floor of the car where all the electric details hide. To be made available in both the RWD and AWD variants in India, we only had the AWD GT-line variants for experience at the Buddh International Circuit where the EV6 media drive was planned. 

But the tech assault of the EV6 doesn’t just stop there. It has ADAS features like front collision avoidance, lane follow and keep and smart cruise control to ensure no matter how distracted you are, you won’t get into an insurance claim easily. The surround view cam serves up a great resolution image which is well stitched together and you just don’t get it on the infotainment screen, but even on your Kia Connect phone app! So you know just how close cars are parked around your EV6 before using it as a getaway car. Do not try this at home. 

Even the usual boring head-up display gets a dose of augmented reality with turn-by-turn navigation signs and traffic alerts and more. There are drive modes to choose from too, which can be easily accessed by a steering mounted button. Ergonomically, the EV6 feels sorted and there are no glaring omissions. Maybe, charging ports on both sides of the car (like on the Audi e-Tron) would have added to its practicality.

Like many other EVs, Kia has “engineered” sounds like Cyborg, Dynamic and Standard that are piped through the 14-speaker Meridian audio system inside the car, but none of them manage to conjure up a rousing reaction typically associated with high speed. They’re amusing at best and best to leave them off. The sound quality for audio, on the other hand, is absolutely fantastic, with great depth, clarity and punch, all of which can be customised too with the Meridian Horizon custom sound menu.

Elsewhere, you also get a full complement of USB-C, USB-A, 12V socket and wait for it..a full blown 16A 3-pin power outlet under the rear seat to charge your laptop or even power external devices like a projector, TV, refrigerator or any kind of camping equipment! This Vehicle-to-Load capability is made possible due to the large 77.4kWh battery pack that has enough juice to not just power other devices, but even an emergency top-up to another EV. Vehicle-to Vehicle charging happens at a much slower rate, but it’s meant to get the other vehicle out of a sticky situation, nothing more.


With specs that could rival a sports car, the EV6 AWD boasts a whopping 325hp and 605Nm, sent via two motors to all the four wheels. Although there is an obvious front bias, with Launch Control, you’d never be able to tell with its ridiculously fast time of 5.2secs to sprint to 100km/hr! 

Even the brakes have a sport mode to give better pedal feel under hard driving conditions, but within the city, the i-Pedal (single-pedal driving) mode works brilliantly by offering you three steps of regenerative braking. The most aggressive brings the car to a complete standstill when you lift off the throttle, making it ideal for stop-go traffic situations.

Out on the racetrack, it’s hard to judge everyday driving characteristics like suspension comfort, ground clearance or say…horn quality! But what I can attest to is that the EV6 has proper go, with steering that weighs up nicely and the tiniest amount of body roll, again comparable to many sports cars. The low centre of gravity afforded by installing the battery pack in the floor of the car definitely has its upsides with regards to physics. The only thing I would've wished for is a lower seating position. Even at its lowest position, it never got into a truly “sporty” driving position. But this isn’t a sportscar and Kia calls it a CUV, so it may look like a coupe or a sportscar but is still designed for a family. 

The biggest claim to fame here has to be the ultra-fast charging time of 18 minutes for a 10-80% charge, but this magic number is possible only via a 350kW DC fast charger, which is rarer than a unicorn at the moment. A more realistic 50kWh fast charger gives you a 10-80% charge in a respectable 75 minutes though. More details will be available during the official launch of the EV6 early next month, and we will be updating this story with the exact charger supplied with the car.


As a statement piece about the brand’s engineering prowess, the EV6 does Kia proud, and will give any owner serious bragging rights and pride of ownership as well. There are only 100 units being brought to India initially via the CBU route so they’ll be gone faster than you can say “can I take it to the nearest hill station without a charging break”. 

Sure, with a claimed range in excess of 500kms, it is also the first EV under a crore to offer this kind of driving range! It genuinely offers a fun driving experience with brutal acceleration, weighty steering feel and all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a flagship Kia. Another masterstroke from the Korean player then.

Stuff Says

Phenomenal car inside and out, with tech that is usable, practical and a genuine range extender.
Good stuff
Bad stuff
  1. Styling is its biggest weapon

  1. Comfort and space in the cabin

  1. Performance of the AWD is breathtaking

  1. Only 100 units coming to India for now

  1. Won’t be cheap

  1. Needs supporting ultra fast chargers

Battery: 77.4kWh
Power: 325hp/605Nm
Wheels: 235/55 R19