2022 Kia EV6 Review: The Electric Crossover Worth Waiting For

2022 Kia EV6
The Kia EV6 is new to the company's lineup for the 2022 model year. Kia America

With the new-to-market 2022 EV6, Kia didn't just need to prove it could make a good electric vehicle. It needed to prove that it could accomplish the task better than it's Hyundai Motor Group rival, the Hyundai brand, and their 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5.

Mission accomplished. The 2022 Kia EV6 doesn't just rise above its relative competition, it rises above many other electric cars and crossovers, putting itself at the forefront of consideration.

The EV6's exterior styling doesn't vary from company themes and norms. The look is fierce up front and sleekly sophisticated at the rear. It's easily recognizable from face or tail, for all the right reasons.

Buyers can get the Kia with the same powertrain and drivetrain options as the Ioniq 5, at least for now. The move is strategic as the vehicles share a platform.

There are four grades: Light, Wind, GT-Line and GT. The EV6 base model (Light RWD) has rear-wheel drive (RWD), a 58-kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery and a rear motor that gets 167 horsepower. It has an estimated 232-mile all-electric range.

All other models come with a 77.4-kWh battery.

Upgraded RWD models (Wind RWD, GT-Line RWD) come with a 225-horsepower motor. The two crossovers are expected to get 310 miles out of a full charge.

Dual-motor e-AWD (electronic all-wheel drive) versions (Wind AWD, GT-Line AWD) have a 74-kilowatt (kW) front motor and 165-kW rear motor that combine to deliver 320 horsepower. These models have less range than their RWD counterparts, going just 274 miles when the battery is full.

2022 Kia EV6
A new light signature graces the back of the EV6. Kia America

Kia's top-tier EV6 GT is a dual-motor e-AWD unit that uses the combination of a 160-kW front motor and 270-kW rear motor to make 576 horsepower. Range estimates have not yet been released for this model.

When charging on a 350-kW charger, the Kia can 70 miles of range in less than five minutes and up to 217 miles in less than 30 minutes. However, at the moment, those types of chargers are few and far between in the U.S.

Using the car's 11-kW on-board charger, 77.4-kWh versions of the EV can charge from 10 to 100 percent in 7 hours, 10 minutes using a 240-volt plug.

The EV6 GT won't be available for sale until later this year. It wasn't available to drive during this first-time-on-the-road opportunity.

There are definite power differences between the models, with the mid-grade all-wheel drive models offering the best possibility for driving excitement. It's not in the power where the EV6 bests its competition. It's in the spirited dynamics and equipment setup.

Unlike the Ioniq 5, the EV6 doesn't feel like it's hunkering down to be go kart-like zippy (and underachieving). The EV6 doesn't have as much body lean as the Ford Mustang Mach-E or BMW iX. It's fun to drive, unlike the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Nissan Leaf. The EV6's ergonomics are far superior to the BMW i4's.

2022 Kia EV6
The rear seats of the Kia EV6 are stiff. Kia America

Steering is connected and accurate. The accelerator doesn't unleash a blast of power at a moment's notice, but rather allows power to quickly be delivered in a way that doesn't snap passengers back in their seats.

Those seats are comfortable and spacious up front. In the rear, space feels a bit tighter, and isn't helped by the firmness of the bench. Still, there's plenty of room for four adults in the cabin.

Cargo space and the car's infotainment system are perfectly fine. If you've been in a Kia or Hyundai model lately, you'll find that this EV6 follows suit. The screen isn't as responsive as the one in the Mustang Mach-E but there's nothing overtly wrong with its menus or setup.

2022 Kia EV6
The car's infotainment touch screen is perfectly suited for a vehicle at EV6's price point. Kia America

Unlike the Ioniq 5, the EV6 has seat heat and ventilation buttons, easy to reach at the front of the console. There's also a touch bar below the infotainment screen that changes from climate controls to infotainment features with a quick press. It eliminates the need for buttons, but does take eyes off the road longer than it would seem that traditional buttons would.

Aesthetically, the EV6's cabin isn't as quirky as the Ioniq 5. There's nothing wrong with that. Materials, textures, and fit and finish are right where they should be for the price.

Its driver assist tech seems more dialed in than its Hyundai competitor as well with the car's lane centering technology working in tandem with lane keeping assist to eliminate ping ponging between lane lines. The materials don't look as cost-effective as the ones that fill the cabin of some of the EV's more expensive competition.

Kia has priced the EV6 right. The 2022 Kia EV6 starts at $40,900. The EV6 GT-Line, the current top end of the model lineup, comes in at just $55,900.

2022 Kia EV6
The interior of the EV6 is well appointed. Kia America

The 2022 EV6 is competitive throughout the lineup. Its base model undercuts the base price of the Tesla Model Y by nearly $14,000, before incentives. The Kia is lower priced in the GT-Line trim than sportier editions of the Mustang Mach-E. Each EV6 model carries an additional $1,215 destination and delivery charge.

That's all well and good, but where the EV6 really wins is in the overall package. It's more comfortable, with better honed-in dynamics and easy-to-use tech that makes it the electric vehicle to put on your shopping list.

Demand is high and Kia is limited in production of the model for U.S. customers this year due to COVID-19-related manufacturing issues and allocation priorities. But, the Kia EV6 is worth waiting for.