Motor1 Thinks the Kia EV6 Is Ready to Compete With the Big Boys
It wasn’t long ago that giving up your gas-powered car for a zero-emissions electric vehicle meant giving up nearly everything we loved about driving to have a smaller carbon footprint. Over the last decade, modern EVs evolved with stylish exteriors, comfortable cabins, and driving ranges long enough to support a day’s commute. Still, until recently, EVs didn’t offer much driving excitement unless you could afford a six-figure sticker price. Kia’s newest member of the EV6 lineup, the 2023 Kia EV6 GT, adds another sporty EV option that is also affordable.
The 2023 Kia EV6 lineup
The entry-level Kia EV6 Wind starts at $48,700 for the rear-wheel drive (RWD) model and $52,600 for the all-wheel drive (AWD) version. The same drivetrain options exist for the GT-Line trim starting $52,900 for RWD and $57,600 for AWD. However, the new EV6 GT only comes with AWD and starts at $61,600, per Kia’s online trim comparison tool.
Although the GT-Line and GT variants are 0.5-inches longer and 0.4-inches wider than the EV6 Wind thanks to more aggressively styled body panels, the most notable difference is the wheels sizes on the various trim levels:
- 19 inches on the Wind and RWD GT-Line
- 20 inches on the AWD GT-Line
- 21 inches on the EV6 GT
The EV6 Wind has 2.2 inches of additional front seat headroom at 39.0 inches, thanks to the absence of the power sunroof included in the upper trims. The rear seat headroom is 38 inches in all trim levels.
All 2023 EV6 trims use the same 77.4 kWh Lithium Ion battery with 111.2 amp-hours of stored energy. The Wind and GT-Line RWD models produce 225 hp, and AWD models have 320 hp compared to the EV6 GT with 576 hp.
Charging times for all models range from as little as 18 minutes using a Level 3 DC Fast Charger at 350 kW, going from 10 to 80% to seven hours and 10 minutes from 10 to 100% with a 240-volt Level 2 charger at 11kw.
As expected, the EV6 GT’s power incurs a range penalty, dropping from 252 miles for the GT-Line AWD trim to 206 miles. For comparison, the RWD EV6 models get up to 310 miles on a full charge, and the EV6 Wind AWD goes 282 miles.
How does the 2023 Kia EV6 GT compare to the Tesla Model Y Performance and Mustang Mach-E GT?
Motor1 gave its $62,855 2023 Kia EV6 GT a 9.1-out-of-10 due to its straight-line speed demonstrated by a 3.4 second zero to 60 mph sprint. A sprint that’s 0.4 seconds faster than the $71,195 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT and a tenth quicker than the $69,990 Tesla Model Y Performance.
Motor1 reviewers also liked the overall exterior style of the EV6 and the neon green accents carried from the brake calipers to interior touches like seat stitching and GT badging on the steering wheel.
While the reviewers found the EV6 GT “planted and stable” in high-speed sweeping turns, aggressive driving through technical sections with tight turns didn’t inspire the most confidence. The GT drive mode delivers all 576 horsepower continuously, and Drift mode shifts power from the front to the rear wheels for some genuine tire-smoking fun.
However, in Eco or Normal drive modes, the EV6 GT becomes well-mannered enough for a quick trip across town or a road trip through the countryside.
Motor1 scored the Mustang Mach-E GT at 8.6 compared to the EV6 GT’s 9.1 but found the Mach-E GT more nimble in technical driving situations. The Tesla Model Y Performance is unrated for now, but at a glance, reviewers found the Kia’s “fit and finish” superior. However, the Kia EV6 GT’s driving range is its biggest drawback.