Added batteries, a tweaked turbo four, and a more potent electric motor deliver more power while doubling all-electric capability and lowering emissions.
One of the distinct advantages of the auto industry's current moment of record profitability is the ability it gives carmakers to invest in truly worthwhile upgrades during mid-cycle refreshes. Witness Volvo's plug-in hybrids, specifically the latest version of the XC60 Recharge T8 Extended Range. Like its XC90 big brother and the company's refreshed S60, V60, and S90 hybrids, it sports a new-for-'22 powertrain that extracts more power from its electric motor, revised to loft its lusty (and also freshly tweaked) supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder to new heights, with additional battery cells delivering greater all-electric range.
Thanks to a new, third layer of cells, the T8 battery pack's capacity jumps from 9.1 kWh to 14.9, increasing its range in all-electric operation—what Volvo calls "Pure" mode—to 36 miles, up from 19, a not insignificant improvement. Volvo research suggests that customers spend fully half their time in all-electric mode. For those with charging capability at home or at work, Volvo proposes, most daily driving can be tackled in the new model on electric power alone. As a further benefit, buyers qualify for the federal government's full $7500 tax credit, as against the $5419 available for buyers of its predecessors with their skimpier range.
Revisions to the powertrain see its output skyrocket 55 horsepower to a whopping 455 total horsepower, with the upgraded electric motor chipping in 143 of those to go along with the 313 ponies that come courtesy of the tweaked gasoline mill. Up substantially from the outgoing model's 87 horsepower, electric motive force gets directed to the rear wheels, while the gas engine takes care of the fronts. With this much horsepower and a Brobdingnagian 523 pound-feet of torque, the refreshed mid-size SUV stands with its aforementioned brethren as the most powerful cars Volvo has ever brought to market. Such is the promise and pleasure of electrification.
With an EPA-estimated 63 MPGe, the economy potential is infeasibly high. In a random sampling of roads at a launch event in and around Palm Springs, California, helpless to resist the siren call of its massive power, we still managed to eke out a still creditable indicated average of 45 MPGe.
Volvo cites a 4.5-second 60-mph sprint for the Recharge T8 Extended Range (shaving half a second off the old model's best effort), and performance with both powerplants firing is predictably sparkling. As well it ought to be with that much torque to call on, even allowing for the XC60 hybrid's borderline portly claimed 4758-pound curb weight. But despite the extra juice, the power glut is not obtrusive as the vehicle's two diverse and generally harmonious powertrains got down to it, save a one-time, mild clunk from the rear. In Pure electric mode, pickup remained acceptably brisk but not neck-snapping.
One-pedal driving—where regenerative braking causes the car to slow when the driver lifts off the accelerator without applying the brakes—is a new and much appreciated feature for the hybrid model, one that was previously seen only on the firm's EV offerings. Those who've not experienced it will quickly get the hang of one-pedal operation and, in our experience, quickly grow to enjoy it, slowing down with a counterintuitive smoothness that quickly becomes second nature. Use of the feature is selected by double-clicking the gearshift into Drive after selecting the Pure driving mode on the central screen. It proved unexpectedly addictive while charging up this sure-footed chassis, then rapidly descending, winding mountain roads.
External updates are subtle for this refreshed and still quite handsome model, with a new grille and rear bumper its most noticeable external changes. Prices start at $55,845, so the XC60 Recharge T8 Extended Range is not cheap, though, in an era of rising car prices, surely reasonable. Nor is it as expensive as it feels, with quality fittings and distinctly good looks that amount to extraordinary style in an era where cheap plastics dominate and, with few exceptions, SUVs tend to toggle between ugly and boring. This XC60 Recharge is neither, and its revised, ultra-modern dash and uniquely stylish interior design help make it legitimate competition for models costing far more. Particularly appealing was our sample's fabric seating, a wool blend (available only in gray) that promises to be comfortable in extreme weather both hot and cold.
All in all, the XC60 Recharge T8 Extended Range provides proof that in car manufacture as in life, having the money to up one's game is preferable to not.
What's a Polestar? That was the follow-up question from a curious couple who asked us to identify the 2022 Polestar 2 we were driving in and around Santa Fe, New Mexico. To paraphrase, we explained that Polestar is an all-electric subsidiary of Volvo, and the squat Scandinavian-designed vehicle in question is currently the sole mass-produced model in its portfolio. Only the Volvo reference appeared to register, so we skipped the stuff about the Polestar 2 being the company's first EV, being built in China, and being sold directly to customers via the internet.
For 2022, new configuration choices and other notable improvements make the Polestar 2 more competitive in the premium-EV space, particularly versus the popular Tesla Model 3. Previously, the Polestar 2 was offered only as a feature-laden Launch Edition with dual motors and a $61,200 starting price. Now that many previously standard features are instead divided between the new $4000 Plus and $3200 Pilot packages, the starting point of the dual-motor powertrain configuration is $10,000 less. Making the '22 Polestar 2 even more accessible is the new single-motor, front-wheel-drive variant that went on sale in January. It starts at $47,200 (an amount that drops below $40K when you consider the available $7500 federal tax credit).
Since we've already tested a dual-motor 2 with the $5000 Performance package and Polestar says the 2022 alterations don't affect its driving behavior, we focused on the single-motor example. Its driving experience is less satisfying from an enthusiast perspective, but the differences are likely inconsequential to most shoppers. The single motor delivers 231 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels, producing the immediate thrust characteristic of electric vehicles. The sensation is available on demand from a dead stop or when passing on the interstate. The effect is simply amplified when two motors make a combined 408 ponies and 487 pound-feet, sending our dual-motor tester to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds. The single-motor model weighs 254 pounds less and is notably slower, taking 6.8 ticks to reach 60 mph. That 2.7-second delta is almost identical to the difference between the two powertrains at the drag strip, where the standard car completed the quarter-mile in 15.3 seconds at 93 mph versus the dual-motor's 12.7 seconds at 109 mph. The front-drive model's top speed is electronically limited to 101 mph; the extra electric motor feeding the rear axle ups that threshold to 125 mph.
The front-drive Polestar 2 also lacks the point-and-shoot dynamics that make its all-wheel-drive counterpart feel more playful. With the stability-control system set to ESC Sport, you can coax the AWD model's tail to step out in a controlled manner for maximum fun. For those less interested in such juvenile antics, the FWD version still feels athletic and refined. Even on the standard 19-inch wheels, it's remarkably planted and sure-footed, thanks in part to its standard summer tires—Michelin Primacy 4s, in the case of our test car. Skidpad grip amounts to 0.88 g, and stops from 70 mph happen in 161 feet, results that trail the dual-motor version's by a mere 0.02 g and four feet, respectively. The worst road imperfections are more pronounced on models with the optional 20-inch wheel-and-tire combo, but the cabin is impressively isolated from the outside world. The accurate steering includes three adjustable levels of effort—light, standard, and firm—but none generate any actual feedback. The most aggressive regenerative-braking setting provides 0.3 g of deceleration and enables true one-pedal driving. The brake pedal's firm action and short travel also feel more assuring than that of many other EVs.
Regardless of motor count, every Polestar 2 features a 75.0-kWh battery pack. While that net capacity is unchanged for 2022, Polestar credits increased range to "controller software and vehicle efficiency improvements." The EPA estimates that the single-motor model has a driving range of 270 miles per charge, which is only 21 miles more than the dual-motor's 249-mile rating (16 more than before). Plus, thanks to the magic of over-the-air updates, 2021 models can unlock that extra range too. The same applies to the car's maximum DC fast-charging speed, which rises from 150 to 155 kW (we saw a 154-kW peak at an Electrify America unit). Polestar says charging the battery from 10 to 80 percent at a 150-kW unit should take 33 minutes. In our 10 to 90 percent charge test, getting to 80 percent took slightly longer than claimed, at 39 minutes. And the charging rate drops off substantially above 80 percent; getting to 90 percent took 56 minutes, for an average rate of 75 kW, which is at the slow end of today's EVs.
The single-motor example we drove in New Mexico began the day with close to a full charge, and after two trips cruising back roads and highways between Santa Fe and Los Alamos (approximately 180 miles total), our battery's charge stood at about one-third. Back home on our 75-mph-range route, our front-drive test car traveled 220 miles on a full charge and averaged 89 MPGe. For comparison, the dual-motor Polestar 2 went 200 miles and averaged 84 MPGe in the same test.
Racking up those miles in the Polestar 2 is enjoyable thanks to an elevated seating position and a tall greenhouse with good forward visibility. The back seat is comfortable enough for two adults, and there's lots of cargo space between the rear hatch and a smaller underhood compartment. The 2's interior looks minimalistic, but the space has distinctive finishes and sturdy panel fitment. It feels like sitting in a Scandinavian coffeehouse–except there's only one easily accessible cupholder between the front seats; a second is hidden under the center-console lid. The centerpiece of the cockpit is the vertically mounted 11.2-inch touchscreen, which features an innovative Google-developed OS infotainment system meant to replicate the feel of a smartphone or a tablet.
While that's familiar to most folks, the Polestar brand and this high-riding hatchback aren't so much. Polestar acknowledges its lack of brand awareness and says increasing it was a top priority this year. After what can be considered a soft launch of the Polestar 2 more than a year ago, the company says it ramped up marketing in 2021. Likewise, it has been expanding its North American network of Polestar Spaces (a.k.a. dealer showrooms) from three in 2020 to around 30 today. The effort isn't expected to make Polestar the next Tesla, but it should improve sales and drum up interest for future models such as the forthcoming Polestar 3 SUV. Then maybe Polestar 2 early adopters won't have to answer so many questions.
- State of the art purpose-built electric car from BMW
- Impressive to drive with outstanding comfort and refinement
- Eye-catching interior, packed with user-friendly technology
- Exterior design takes some getting used to
- Not all of the driver assistance tech works flawlessly
- Cheaper, more conventional BMW electric cars on the way
It uses the same platform and engine as its predecessor, but the new Pathfinder looks like the brawny SUVs of old.
We already put the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder three-row SUV with all-wheel-drive through its instrumented paces. Now it's time to get the front-wheel-drive version of Nissan's latest Pathfinder in the hands of MotorTrend's test team so consumers know what to expect from the rest of the lineup.
The Pathfinder has had an interesting history and is unique in its path to reinvention, having flipped from body-on-frame to unibody repeatedly during its lifecycle. It started as a two-door SUV in 1986 on Nissan's compact truck body-on-frame platform and added a four-door in 1989, discontinuing the two-door a year later in North America. The second-gen Pathfinder went on sale in 1995 with unibody construction. Then the third-generation SUV made a surprising return to body-on-frame in 2004 for the '05 model year, only to pivot back to unibody for the fourth-generation Pathfinder in 2012, sharing a platform with the Nissan Altima, Maxima, and Murano, among others.
For this fifth generation, the Pathfinder actually stays unibody on the same platform, but it drops the milquetoast design in a return to the squared-off, brawny looks we've come to associate with this SUV, regardless of its underpinnings. The styling changes inside and out are in keeping with a resurgence in design among new Nissan offerings of late.
2022 Nissan Pathfinder Competitively Priced
The two-wheel-drive Pathfinder starts at $47,340, and at $49,865, our test model didn't ring in much higher. That price reflects the addition of $730 running boards, a $745 two-tone premium paint scheme, a $795 lighting package with illuminated kick plates and welcome lighting, and $255 carpeted floormats. A comparable 2021 Toyota Highlander Platinum trim FWD starts slightly higher at $48,755, and a 2022 Honda Pilot Elite costs about $2,000 more but only comes in AWD.
Nissan also carried over the previous Pathfinder's 3.5-liter V-6 engine, which generates 284 horsepower and 259 lb-ft of torque, but the previous model's CVT has been replaced with a new nine-speed automatic transmission with a meaty shifter. It can tow 6,000 pounds and comes with a tow hitch and harness as standard equipment.
Although the pleasant-sounding V-6 feels more powerful and the new transmission snappier at propelling the lighter FWD model, the test numbers don't bear out our seat-of-the-pants observations. The front-drive Pathfinder required 7.1 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph and 15.5 seconds to do the quarter mile. The Pathfinder with AWD was a shade quicker at 7.0 seconds to 60 mph, making it a strong performer in the segment. The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Limited powered by a 3.6-liter V-6 (293 hp/260 lb-ft) and AWD needed 7.3 seconds and 15.5 seconds, respectively.
Road test editor Erick Ayapana found the Pathfinder FWD "super-tricky to launch" because the engine easily overwhelms the tires. "With traction on, it'll cut power to reduce wheelspin. With traction off, any hint of wheelspin results in a 1-2 upshift. Manual mode isn't much of a manual mode because it'll upshift to second automatically. So getting the launch right is pretty much a guessing game."
Behind The Wheel
Ironically, the lighter, front-drive Pathfinder felt heavier to drive at times on our winding test track, and the stability control can often be too aggressive. However, tire squeal and head toss were kept to a minimum, even during hard cornering. The suspension provides a smooth ride over rough surfaces, and there is little body motion over bumps.
Out on the figure-eight course, the Pathfinder completed the loop in 28.4 seconds at an average of 0.59 g, performing better than road test editor Chris Walton expected, though he did find its steering to be unnecessarily heavy during his looping. "The chassis is quite good, but you can't go to the power early because the front-wheel-drive system doesn't have any sort of limited slip other than traction control, which kills the exit," Walton noted. The all-wheel-drive Pathfinder rounded the course a full second quicker at 27.4 seconds, and the Grand Cherokee L (also with AWD) essentially split the difference at 27.9 seconds. When it comes to stopping power, the FWD Pathfinder needed 130 feet to haul itself down from 60 mph to 0. That's slightly longer than the Grand Cherokee L at 127 feet but a ways off of the AWD Pathfinder's impressive 114 feet, which is difficult to explain with both Pathfinders using the same tires. Ayapana found the Pathfinder's brakes to have "adequate bite and good body control." Walton said the medium-firm brake pedal offers "good feel and easy modulation."
As far as fuel efficiency goes, the 2022 Pathfinder adds stop-start, which helps improve its EPA numbers slightly to 21/27/23 mpg city/highway/combined. The heavier Grand Cherokee L is predictably thirstier at 19/26/21 with RWD.
Nissan's ProPilot Assist (adaptive cruise, steering assist, traffic sign recognition) provides excellent lane-centering steering assist. Once adaptive cruise is engaged, simply press the ProPilot button for full capability. Rest your fingers lightly on the steering wheel and feel it make minor adjustments as you're speeding down the highway. With Navi-Link, the vehicle slows for freeway curves and exit ramps, and the system alerts the driver to changes in the speed limit. It's without question one of the best driver assist systems on the market.
More Upscale Interior
The 2022 Pathfinder's cabin feels premium for a vehicle that costs less than $50,000 and comes with a dose of industrial toughness: Everything is big and square and blocky. Our test model had great-looking saddle-brown seats and accents on the door and dashtop, which contrast well with the black interior; white and gold stitching help complete the upscale look. The Platinum trim comes with a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, a head-up display, an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a motion-activated power tailgate, and 20-inch alloy wheels.
Open the wider-opening rear doors and climb into the heated second-row captain's chairs fitted to this model (making it a seven-passenger family vehicle instead of eight), and you'll find them comfortable with ample thigh support. To get to the third row, there are buttons on the base of the second-row seat and the seat back. Press one, and the seat tilts and then flies forward—even with an empty car seat installed. It's easy enough for kids to use, but make sure they stand back while it performs its spring-loaded gymnastics. It creates a large opening for easy access to the third row, which now seats three. Space is decent in the third row, and the passengers have access to air vents and USB charging ports.
The third-row seats also fold completely flat, and the cargo area is augmented by a deep well under the floor. The rear cargo space also comes with tie-downs, bag hooks, and a 12-volt socket.
The Pathfinder faces a lot of competition, with stalwarts such as the Highlander, Pilot, and Ford Explorer, not to mention relative newcomers, including the Hyundai Palisade, the 2020 MotorTrend SUV of the Year Kia Telluride, and the newest entrant, the Jeep Grand Cherokee L. Nissan has reinvented the Pathfinder many times over the years in order to assert leadership in the segment. This time around Nissan kept the Pathfinder's carlike platform but returned it to a truckier look in an attempt to remix the best of its past efforts. The result, as summarized by Walton: "Not bad for a grocery getter and better than it probably needed to be."
|2022 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum Specifications|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$49,865|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front-engine, FWD, 7-pass, 4-door SUV|
|ENGINE||3.5L direct-injected DOHC 24-valve 60-degree V-6|
|POWER (SAE NET)||284 hp @ 6,400 rpm|
|TORQUE (SAE NET)||259 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm|
|CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)||4,536 lb (55/45%)|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||197.7 x 77.9 x 69.7 in|
|0-60 MPH||7.1 sec|
|QUARTER MILE||15.5 sec @ 92.3 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||130 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.76 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||28.4 sec @ 0.59 g (avg)|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON||21/27/23 mpg|
Brabus builds the most powerful superlux suv in the world. Based on the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600, the Brabus 800 develops 800 HP and 950 Nm from the 4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine.
The Brabus tuner builds the most powerful and luxurious Mercedes models in the world. Now, their attention has shifted to the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 superlux SUV, for which the 4-liter V8 engine has been substantially modified. It now develops 800 HP and 950 Nm, with 243 HP and 220 Nm more than the production model.
The huge torque is transmitted to all four wheels via the 9-speed automatic transmission and the gears can be changed manually or automatically. Top speed is limited to 300 km/h and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h takes only 4.5 seconds.
The exhaust system has active flaps that allow you to change the engine sound from a throaty V8 in ‘Sport’ mode and a subtle whisper in ‘Coming Home’ mode at the touch of a button.
Compared to the standard model running on 22-inch wheels, the Brabus 800 has huge 24-inch forged BRABUS Monoblock M “PLATINUM EDITION” rims. Although it runs on larger wheels, the ground clearance is 25 mm lower due to the air suspension modified by Brabus.
The Brabus 800 is equipped as standard with two individual multi-contour seats in the rear, electrically adjustable, with memory, ventilated and heated. Also, the interior is decorated with carbon fiber inserts, aluminum pedals, stainless-steel scuff plates complete with backlit Brabus logo, which changes color in sync with the ambient lighting.
"The Kia EV6 is one of the best electric cars on sale, with a great range and rapid charging"
- 300-mile+ range
- Fast charging
- Impressive tech
- Firm ride
- Rear headroom
- Smaller battery size not available in the UK
The Kia EV6 is a sporty electric hatchback with a range of over 300 miles, impressive 350kW rapid charging and a 577bhp performance version on the way. It's closely related to the Hyundai Ioniq 5, which is our Best Family Electric Car for 2022. All this makes it a potential favourite in the battle between the Skoda Enyaq iV, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Cupra Born and Tesla Model Y.
It's Kia's first purpose-built electric model that can’t be had with a petrol or plug-in hybrid powertrain. This gives it some key advantages, such as a low centre of gravity for better handling and a flat floor that improves passenger and luggage space.
There are currently two versions on offer in the UK, both of which come with a 77.4kWh battery. The more affordable option is rear-wheel drive and has a single motor with 226bhp, giving it a range of up to 328 miles. Spend around £4,000 more and you get an extra motor up front, increasing power to 321bhp and adding four-wheel drive but reducing range slightly to 314 miles.
We've now tried both, and the rear-wheel-drive version felt every bit as quick as its 7.3-second 0-62mph time suggests. It's very quiet, especially at town speeds, and feels slightly sharper than the Hyundai Ioniq 5. Not only does it look a bit more sporty thanks to its lower stance but its suspension is a notch firmer as well, improving body control but also transmitting a few more bumps into the seats.
Inside, your eyes will be drawn quickly to the curved dual-screen setup for the instruments and infotainment, which spans the dashboard in a graceful arc. Materials are of a good quality too, casting doubt on the assumption Volkswagen still makes the best-quality mass market interiors. There's ample space and lots of kneeroom even in the second row, although headroom does suffer somewhat because of the low roof. A 490-litre boot should come in handy, as will a 40-litre 'frunk' in the rear-wheel drive model.
As you'd imagine, it's close between the EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5 but even after we compare them back-to-back, the choice is likely to come down to personal taste. The Kia is more conventional and sporty looking than the quirky Hyundai, with a slightly more precise driving experience. The Hyundai is more striking and a bit more practical, with extra space in its back seats and boot. The Kia stacks up well in its own right, however, with a competitive range figure and interior for the money, making it one of the best EVs in the £40-50,000 price bracket.
Kia EV6 hatchback - Range, charging & running costs
With a range of over 300 miles and ultra-rapid charging, the EV6 ticks all the right boxes
Kia EV6 range and charging
In most markets there are 58kWh and 77.4kWh battery versions of the EV6 but UK customers are only being offered the bigger of the two for the foreseeable future. It's a shame a more affordable version isn't available but it seems likely the decision is based on demand.
The bigger battery offers that headline figure of a fraction less than 330 miles with the lower-powered motor and rear-wheel drive. Choose the GT-Line version with four-wheel drive and range slips to a still-impressive 314 miles, or 300 miles for the GT-Line S with larger 20-inch alloy wheels. For comparison, the Tesla Model Y Long Range has a range of up to 315 miles but costs around £8,000 more. The Cupra Born 77kWh has a range of up to 335 miles.
Kia and Hyundai both appear to be near the top of the class when it comes to EV efficiency, and during a varied test drive on UK roads, motorways, city streets and the occasional A- and B-road blast, our test car returned 4.2 miles per kWh. This would indicate a real-world range of 325 miles, which isn’t far off the official figure, despite using all its various driving modes. In the all-wheel-drive version, a range of around 290 miles is more realistic.
Charging is class-leading, with Kia's 800-volt electrical architecture (the same voltage you'll find in a Porsche Taycan) providing speeds of up to 350kW if you can find a potent enough public DC charger. Do so, and it'll take the battery from 0-80% in just 18 minutes, making long journeys no issue at all. Using a home 7kW wallbox charger will take just under 10 hours for a 0-100% charge.
The high performance and new technology found in EVs tends to see them placed in higher insurance groups than equivalent petrol or diesel models. The entry-level Air trim sits in group 34 out of 50, which is one band lower than the Hyundai Ioniq 5. With four-wheel drive and some extra power, the GT-Line sits in group 40. The Volkswagen ID.4 sits in groups 20-30, while the Ford Mustang Mach-E Extended Range is in group 37.
Kia is well-known for its seven-year/100,000-mile warranty, which is still one of the best in the industry and can even be transferred between owners. If there are any issues with the EV6, owners are unlikely to have to spend money getting them fixed.
Servicing should be much simpler for EV models because electric motors and batteries only require attention if anything goes wrong. Items like cabin air filters and brake fluid will still need attention, along with brakes, tyres and windscreen wipers.
Kia EV6 hatchback - Electric motor, drive & performance
It's no lightweight but you wouldn't know from behind the wheel
First impressions are also that the EV6 is slightly sharper to drive than the Hyundai, lending it a small edge if you fancy a sporty EV driving experience. It can cover ground quickly, with well-judged suspension keeping everything under control. The Kia's lower roofline also gives it a sportier feel than the slightly taller Hyundai.
We'd recommend against using Sport mode, however, because we found the increased throttle and steering response turn things up too much, making the car feel unruly.
Kia EV6 electric motor
There's currently a choice of a single-motor version with 226bhp and rear-wheel drive or a more potent model that has a front motor and four-wheel drive, helping deploy its 321bhp. We tried the entry-level version first, which is hardly slow, getting from 0-62mph in a respectable 7.3 seconds.
The dual-motor car cuts this to 5.2 seconds and the top speed of both cars is electronically limited to 114mph. There still isn't the crazy hit of power you'll experience in a Tesla Model 3 Performance or Porsche Taycan, but it feels urgent enough.
Like the Ioniq 5, the EV6 is a bigger (and heavier) car than it first appears in photos but it still gets up to the national speed limit in the UK with very little fuss and a sense of effortless performance. It also has instant punch if you put your foot down, providing plenty of confidence for overtaking slower traffic, even in Eco mode.
A four-wheel-drive GT version is also on the way, which can get from 0-62mph in just 3.5 seconds and carry on to a top speed of 162mph. With 577bhp, this will be the most powerful Kia model in its history, with performance to rival a Porsche Taycan or Tesla Model X. It will have a range of up to 251 miles.
Kia EV6 hatchback - Interior & comfort
Attractive and well-appointed
Kia EV6 dashboard
The dashboard is focused around a pair of 12.3-inch curved displays, both of which are easily legible thanks to sharp graphics. One houses the instrument displays, while the second is a touchscreen for media, settings and navigation, with a ledge beneath it that comes in useful for steadying your hand while interacting with the display. Below this, there's a neat touch-sensitive controller that can be switched between the climate control and audio system with a swipe.
Its design and materials also feel in keeping with a car costing more than £40,000. Fabrics, gloss-black trim and chrome all look the part and, in keeping with the environmentally friendly theme, the seat upholstery uses the equivalent recycled material of 111 plastic bottles per car. A large, augmented-reality head-up display is also available to project useful information ahead of the driver's line of sight.
Standard equipment levels are generous, with LED exterior lighting, 19-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, folding door mirrors and automatic wipers from the off. There's also artificial leather seats, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, ambient lighting and dual-zone climate control.
GT-Line adds front parking sensors, tinted glass, upgraded front seats which can fully recline, aluminium pedals and wireless smartphone charging. Upgrade to GT-Line S, and 20-inch wheels are added, as well as a powered tailgate, a panoramic sunroof, heated rear seats, a 14-speaker Meridian stereo and the head-up display.
Kia EV6 hatchback - Practicality & boot space
It's a good size and can even deliver power to other electrical devices
Kia EV6 interior space & storage
The electric Kia has a flat floor, with no transmission tunnel, helping make the interior spacious and uncluttered. There's lots of room in the front seats and you won't feel too hemmed in by a large centre console or towering dashboard, with plenty of forward visibility.
A smooth floor helps three passengers sit across the back seat too, and there's little chance of them banging their knees on the front seats. Headroom isn't quite as good as in the Ioniq 5, though, because of the lower roofline. If you regularly carry tall adults in the back, the EV6 might not be the best choice.
The boot is a useful shape and there's a variable-height floor, so you can decide if you want a smooth loading lip or maximum space. Its 490-litre volume should be more than enough for most owners but it's a shame there aren't more useful features like hooks and a set of cargo nets to help secure items as you drive.
Rear-wheel drive models also get a 52-litre 'frunk' storage area under the bonnet, which is perfect if you want to carry charging cables, a wet umbrella or muddy boots away from the interior. Pick a four-wheel-drive version and this space shrinks to a less-impressive 20 litres.
Kia EV6 hatchback - Reliability & safety
Kia scores highly with owners and the EV6 is loaded with safety kit
Kia EV6 reliability
Both Kia and Hyundai have built up solid reputations as some of the leading proponents of EV technology, and models have sold in large numbers around the world. Hopefully this knowledge will have helped inform lots of decisions to make Kia’s first ground-up electric car even better.
Kia is certainly flying high in our 2021 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey, placed only behind Porsche. It was near the top in every category, and boasts superb scores for reliability and build quality, along with the use of their infotainment. Not only that but owners also told us their Kias were fun to drive and stylish.
As something of a technology flagship for the brand, the EV6 is bristling with safety features. Even the standard version gets autonomous emergency braking, which looks out for cyclists and pedestrians, as well as other vehicles. It also has a navigation-based smart cruise control system that can assist with driving in heavy traffic. GT-Line cars add blind-spot warnings, supplemented by semi-autonomous parking, highway driving assist, an augmented reality head-up display and a system to help avoid collisions while parking.