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In the months before my daughter’s birth, I heard the phrase, “Everything is about to change,” ad nauseum. Sure, I knew my life was about to be, to quote a Fresh Prince, “flipped-turned upside down,” but I didn’t think everything would change.

I was wrong.

I had to learn how to become a functioning adult while learning how to be responsible for a tiny human’s life, despite sleeping in blocks no longer than an NBA shot clock. My prior hobbies were replaced by things like finding different ways to relieve gas (my child’s, not mine) and all the various ways of removing excrement from clothing. I once took a bit of pride in my appearance, but in the initial stages of parenthood, I wouldn’t change my shirt before going out in public unless it had more than three spit-up stains on it.

Any new parent must deal with these lifestyle changes. For some automotive enthusiasts, their lives get even more dramatically upended because the sporty coupe or roadster they have in the garage simply can’t double as a dad mobile. Off to the used dealer’s lot it goes, replaced by something far more mundane. That is why my absolute favorite (unofficial) automotive segment is cars that deliver the double duty of being fast and fun to drive while remaining practical enough to transport a brood. Effectively then, family haulers that haul ass.

Therefore, I’m smitten with the 2023 Kia EV6 GT.

Kia’s performance EV pumps out an eyebrow-raising 576 horsepower, has a bevy of performance kit under its wildly styled body panels, it has loads of cargo space and a backseat that readily swallows a bulky, rear-facing car seat. To boot, it costs an agreeable $62,925, which can be considered a bargain for its performance and pragmaticism.

However, perhaps even more important, it’s the kind of car that is inspiring my daughter to be a future car enthusiast.

The Kia EV6 GT packs a serious punch

As both a “car guy” and a father, there are few phrases that warm my cockles quite like hearing “Go faster again!” from the back seat. That was my daughter’s chorus whenever we rode in the 2023 Kia EV6 GT.

Her requests for speed are understandable, given its dual electric motor setup develops a whopping 576 horsepower and 564 lb-ft of torque. It will zip from 0-60 mph in just 3.2 seconds and do so in near complete silence — if you don’t count the noise made by the back of your noggin being catapulted into the headrest. There won’t be any talking during a hard pull either because your lungs will be so hard-pressed into your ribcage that they’ll come out of the other side of things looking like they were sporting grill marks.

However, unlike some EVs, which can only go fast in a straight line, the EV6 GT isn’t flummoxed when the tarmac goes twisty.

It’s fitted with sportier suspension over the standard EV6 with electronically controlled dampers, an electronic limited-slip diff, Z-rated Goodyear Eagle F1 SUV tires, and ventilated front and rear disc brakes that are a sizeable 15 inches in the front and 14.2 in the rear. Additionally, a GT Drive mode, activated by a lime green button on the steering wheel, provides the sportiest settings available for the steering, brakes, and other performance elements. I pressed this button a lot.

The EV6 GT’s performance in the corner beguiles its large footprint and nearly three-ton gross weight. It delivers impressive grip, the steering provides generous feedback in its sportier setups, the brakes have impressive stopping power, and its stiff suspension keeps it planted through switchbacks.

Still, it’s not all business like some German sport sedan. The EV6 GT is fitted with a drift mode, but you don’t really need to turn the setting on to swing its backside out — it’ll do so happily with a quick flick of the wheel and a stab to the throttle in one of its sportier driving modes.

Overall, the experience behind the wheel of the EV6 GT can be simply described as “fun,” and that’s not a descriptor that typically applies to something that is also so practical.

The EV6 GT is still a pragmatic family hauler

When the Kia EV6 GT’s quick run to the horizon comes to an end, it settles down into a sensible brood-mover.

The GT trim provides room to stretch for both front and rear passengers, with those in the back offered nearly 40 inches of legroom. The stream of expletives I usually expel when installing my daughter’s bulky and difficult-to-mount car seat is enough to make a passerby consider calling an exorcist. Still, it was no great struggle in the EV6 GT. Additionally, the performance EV delivers a sizeable 24.4 cubic feet of storage space behind the rear seats and just over 50 cubes when folded away, plenty enough for the required 4,218 items needed for an overnight trip with a toddler.

Ride quality is a bit on the stiff side in everyday driving situations, but not enough to warrant many complaints. The cabin is also decked out with upmarket materials, quiet on the highway, and rich with tech and creature comforts.

The long list of standard features includes dual 12.3-inch displays, an augmented reality head-up display, heated seats throughout, a Wi-Fi hotspot, wireless charging, synthetic leather seats with suede trim, and more. The list of standard driver’s aids is seemingly a mile long, highlighted by smart cruise control with auto-lane change, remote smart parking assist, Hyundai/Kia’s blind spot view monitor, and just about every other modern safety feature one can expect in a top-trim crossover.

The GT trim offers less range but charges rapidly

With its 800V charging architecture, the EV6 GT can re-juice its batteries almost as fast as it can zip from 0-60 mph. With DC fast charging at 50kW, it can replenish its charge from 10 to 80% in 73 minutes, according to Kia, and at 350kW, it needs just 18 minutes. That makes the EV6 one of the fastest models on the road to re-energize its battery pack, and my brief charge of the GT showed Kia doesn’t seem to have inflated these figures.

Of course, its 576-hp output cuts the overall driving range. The GT is rated for 206 miles on a full charge, about 80 fewer miles than one can expect in the long-range AWD EV6 with 19-inch tires. Fortunately, its quick-charging abilities are stellar, and its eye-popping performance could easily be considered enough to justify the loss in range.

The Kia EV6 GT can create the next generation of gearheads

Over the last year, my daughter has missed out on the opportunity to ride in some fantastic performance machines because they simply can’t accommodate a small kid. The Mercedes-AMG SL 63, Jaguar F-Sport R, Nissan Z, and Supra 3.0 have all graced my driveway in recent months and are fantastic performance machines, but my daughter is unaware because she couldn’t join me on a ride. My attempts at fitting a large car seat in the back seats of the BMW M4 Competition were about as successful as BMW’s engineers’ attempts at subtlety with the 4-Series’ front grille.

However, in the 2023 Kia EV6 GT, I was able to introduce my daughter to legitimate automotive sportiness, and she was delighted. I happily obliged her requests to floor the throttle for quick bursts of speed because, with each one, she yelped and laughed at the Kia’s remarkable ability to accelerate. We even had a bit of (responsible) fun carving up some curvy roads, and she was enthralled.

The EV6 GT is the kind of car that can make her an enthusiast. She loved the thrill she felt from its power, she commented how she liked its striking looks and green brake calipers, and we enjoyed some fun outings as father and daughter with the GT serving as our chariot. These are the kind of foundations that create an enthusiast. I know, because, as a kid, those are the kind of experiences that formed my love of cars.

Like any good parent, I want her to find her own hobbies and passions, but like any parent, I’m pleased when my child shares my own. And we certainly agree on the 2023 Kia EV6 GT — it’s about the most fun you can have while transporting a family.

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