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Kia EV6 shows that South Korea is now a major competitor for electric vehicles

The electric vehicle revolution is proving to be an extremely disruptive moment in automotive engineering. Everyone is talking about how Tesla changed the market and increasingly about the new Chinese or reborn European brands that are coming from China. But there is another player who sees EVs as a clear opportunity to get a bigger chunk of the vehicle sales pie – South Korea.

The Kia EV6 GT offers performance and range that challenge Tesla’s Model 3 and Y.

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I’ve already talked about how Hyundai clearly sees a great opportunity in electric vehicles, but Hyundai developed the E-GMP electric platform for its Ioniq 5 in collaboration with the other major South Korean car brand: Kia. The Ioniq 5 looks good, but the Kia EV6 looks just as good, or even better in my opinion. It’s extremely easy to fall into the trap of referring to any new EV as a “Tesla Thug” or “Tesla Challenger,” but with the EV6, new car buyers might think twice about buying a Model 3 or Y.

First, let’s get the heading specs out of the way. The EV6 is in the popular “Crossover Utility Vehicle” (CUV) segment, which is essentially between SUVs and regular cars and drives slightly higher than the latter, but (in most cases) does not have any off-road vehicle requirements. With CUVs, however, the look looks much closer to a normal car. Where the Ioniq 5 had a vague look and feel of the AMC Pacer, the EV6 is much slimmer and has even been compared to the Jaguar I-Pace, one of the best-looking EVs to date.

Kia EV6 interior

The interior of the Kia EV6 also looks promising.

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The most meaningful specifications are the performance and range. Kia offers a variety of powertrain configurations – rear-mounted engines with two different power levels and three different all-wheel drive levels. There are battery options for 58 kWh and 77.4 kWh. These are divided into three different equipment variants, including the basic EV6, an EV6 GT-Line and the top-class EV6 GT. The latter is the headline since it has 430 kW (577 hp) twin engines and the larger battery that Kia claims has a range of “over 510 km”.

The performance data is also delicious, with a sprint from 0 to 62 mph in 3.5 seconds and an estimated top speed of 260 km / h. A Tesla Model 3 performance is a bit faster, but the more direct competitor is the Tesla Model Y, which is a bit slower. The palette also looks even better than the Model Y Performance. Kia also promises an 800V charge that can get 10 to 80% of the battery capacity in just 18 minutes or 100 km in less than 4.5 minutes.

Cargo space will also be good with 520 liters as standard and 1,300 liters with the rear seats folded down. This is quite a bit less than a Tesla Model Y, but quite a bit more than a Model 3. There’s also a little frunk on the front of the car, and the EV6 will be rated to tow up to 1,600 kg. Perhaps the most innovative practical feature, however, is that the Kia EV6, like the Ioniq 5, has external power output that can deliver up to 3.6 kW. This means that you can easily power devices while camping.

Kia EV6 side

The Kia EV6 bears an eerie resemblance to a Jaguar I-Pace – but maybe it’s even more beautiful.

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So in terms of specs, the EV6 looks like a competitor, although the less powerful models aren’t nearly as fast as the GT. No US pricing has been announced yet, but UK pricing is available and very promising. The base EV6 costs £ 40,895 (USD 56,500), the GT Line costs £ 43,895 (USD 60,650), and the GT costs £ 58,295 (USD 80,500). Those prices start at £ 2,595 ($ 3,600) cheaper than the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus, and even the GT is £ 1,695 ($ 2,300) cheaper than the Tesla Model 3 Performance.

If you look at Tesla prices in the UK compared to the US, it’s very likely that the EV6 is relatively cheaper than our US dollar conversions across the Atlantic. The Tesla Model Y, which is perhaps the closer competitor, is also $ 5,000 more expensive than the Model 3. Although we don’t yet know all the technical data for the models under the Kia EV6 GT, the Kia EV6 should come along Tesla’s Model 3 and Y are extremely competitive in terms of range and performance.

Kia EV6 GT rear

Although the EV6 is located in the crossover area, it still sits quite low like a normal car.

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At this point (and before the reactions on Twitter), some readers will likely argue that you would never buy a Kia over a Tesla. It should be noted, however, that Kia has the opposite reputation of Tesla when it comes to quality control and is so confident about its manufacturing that its vehicles typically come with a 7 year warranty. The fact that Kia can pull off a car with comparable performance and range as Tesla for less money is therefore very encouraging.

I’m not going to roll out the “Tesla killer” cliché at this point. But it’s clear that the Kia EV6 and Ioniq 5 go way beyond second-rate electric vehicles that should only be considered when you can’t afford anything better. The Kia e-Niro is already one of the best electric vehicles you can buy in its price range, and it wasn’t even made on any dedicated electric vehicle platform. The EV6 and the Ioniq 5 are. Both cars put South Korea firmly on the map as a manufacturer of first-class, uncompromising electric vehicles. This is incredibly positive for the future of sustainable car transportation.

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