Kia EV6 in winter test: 1,900 km in an electric car – my experience

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With the EV6, Kia has brought an electric car onto the market that not only looks good, but also enables lightning-fast charging on fast chargers with 800-volt technology. I did the test on the long haul, replaced my diesel with it and chose the most demanding season for it in winter. I've seen that.

With the EV6, Kia has brought an electric car onto the market that not only looks good, but also enables lightning-fast charging on fast chargers with 800-volt technology. I did the test on the long haul, replaced my diesel with it and chose the most demanding season for it in winter. I've seen that.

Kia EV6 in the test: conclusion

The Kia EV6 convinced me. It's the best car I've ever driven – and not just among the electric cars. The many assistance systems made the long journey a lot easier for me, even if it took me some time to trust them. The all-wheel drive with the two electric motors not only ensures incredible acceleration, but also creates safety. In combination with the high weight and low center of gravity of the vehicle, I also felt safe on a snow-covered road.

The high expectations of the charging speed of the 800-volt system were not met in winter . Sometimes the charging speed with a cold battery was only 60 kW, although I navigated to the fast charger. Preconditioning actually has to take place here. That shouldn't be a problem in summer, of course, but in Germany we don't always have warm temperatures.

The consumption of an average of 25.3 kWh per 100 km is okay for me in winter, because you can go far enough with the large battery. On the highway it was a little more at higher speeds with up to 35 kWh, in the city when you drive slower with less than 20 kWh noticeably less. I could drive like with my diesel and had absolutely no problems finding a fast charger. If you still have a charging station at the house, that's even better.

The Kia EV6 is the first electric car that I was allowed to test intensively. Before that, there were only short test drives. It encouraged me to part with my diesel in the foreseeable future. Driving in the city is no problem with an electric car anyway and it works for me even on long journeys. The “compulsory breaks” for loading are not a disadvantage for me, they are actually an advantage. The price of our test car is of course very high at just over 63,000 euros, but the base price is 44,990 euros. The environmental bonus is deducted from this again.

Benefits:

Design Comfort Space Assistance systems 360 degree camera Adaptive headlights Charging speed (when the battery is warm) Loudspeakers

Disadvantage:

Head-up display battery is not preconditioned

The test vehicle

Kia made the EV6 available to me in the following configuration:

EV6 77.4 kWh AWD GT Line Runway Red Met. Assist + Package Design Package Sound Package Heat Pump

The recommended retail price for this equipment line is 63,070 euros before the subsidy is deducted. I charged with the KiaCharge card.

Design attracts attention

Even when the Kia EV6 was introduced, I was impressed by the design. Sure, I'm also a fan of the retro design of the Ioniq 5, but the sporty look of the Kia appeals to me even more. And not only do I like the design. You stand out with this e-car . The curves of the body really come into their own in the “Runway Red Metallic” color.

No matter whether I drove through our city, stopped at a supermarket or at a charging station. The Kia EV6 was carefully examined everywhere . Strangers speak to you about the vehicle and ask which manufacturer it came from. Then when I say Kia, the surprise is great. Such a beautiful car from Kia Anyone who wants to attract attention is well served with this electric car.

It's also the highest quality Kia I've ever driven . Sure you can expect that from a 60,000 euro car, but compared to other models, we're on a whole new level here. If this quality impression should also become the standard for the upcoming electric cars from Kia, it will be a big step in the right direction.

Generous space

The sporty design of the Kia EV6 ensures that the vehicle looks small in itself. Only when it's next to other cars do you notice how big it is. The space available on all seats is very generous. The driver basically feels like in the cockpit of an airplane . Everything is geared towards him. All that's missing is a throttle to take off. It's just a shame that Android Auto or Apple CarPlay only work via cable and not wirelessly.

The front passenger has even more space – especially when nobody is sitting in the back. Then you can really spread out. I am 1.81 meters tall and can sit very well behind myself. I have more than one fist forward.

There is also enough space in the trunk to basically take everything with you. If you then fold down the rear seats, a bike can easily fit in. Only the sloping roof edge can become a problem if the load is too high. It is a pity that the charging cables cannot be stowed away anywhere. There is no space under the cover and there is hardly any space in the trunk (trunk under the bonnet) in the model with all-wheel drive. If you choose the rear-wheel drive version, significantly more fits in at the front.

Vehicle drives by itself

Now the Kia EV6 has all kinds of assistance systems that I was able to try out well over the many kilometers. Ideally, the e-car drives by itself on the autobahn. You just have to show every few seconds that you are still there and touch the steering wheel. Otherwise you can cover long distances in a relaxed manner.

The “blind spot warning” in particular has proven to be a very useful function . Depending on the speed at which another vehicle is approaching from behind, the warning is displayed sooner or later. If you set the indicator while someone is in the blind spot, you will be clearly warned that you should not change lanes now.

The adaptive cruise control also works reliably. When driving faster on the autobahn, I always chose a distance of one bar. That is enough for the Kia EV6 to recognize vehicles ahead early enough and adjust the speed. If we drove under 100 km / h, I increased it to two bars, including three.

In tight bends it happened that the radar recognized a truck as an obstacle and braked it sharply. This can be a problem if other cars are coming too close. Overall, however, I only had such unforeseen stops twice. Otherwise, I really enjoyed just being driven.

The HDA (Highway Drive Assist), which basically combines all systems for driving on the motorway , can be easily switched on on the steering wheel. When the car was steering, the only thing that irritated me was that the steering wheel was constantly moving back and forth. You get used to it after a while, but especially at the beginning it didn't convey a feeling of security.

The automatic lane change is more of a gimmick. It works, but you can only touch the steering wheel very lightly after the indicator has been activated. As soon as you only make a minimal steering movement, the process stops.

The Kia EV6 adopts the current speed limits by camera . You only have to confirm this once, then the pace will be adjusted. That works well, but a bit too slow for me. For example, I arrive at 150 km / h, it is reduced to 120, 100 and 80 km / h. The 120 sign is recognized approx. 1-2 seconds after driving through, then you confirm and only then is the speed reduced. It all takes too long for me. In the end, I simply reduced the speed myself beforehand.

Head-up display: a blessing and a curse

The head-up display of the Kia EV6 shows me a lot of information right in my field of vision, so I don't have to lower my head on the lower display. This is also absolutely helpful in most situations, even if I find that the representation is a little too high. The head-up display becomes a problem at night when the road surface is wet or, as shown above, in a snow storm. Since Kia has installed an LC screen here, it has to be completely illuminated. As a result , the large head-up display on the windshield is reflected directly in the field of vision and makes it somewhat difficult to see.

I haven't found a way to decrease the brightness of the head-up display. That might have solved the problem, even if the display would have been a bit worse. In two situations I had to turn off the head-up display. Once in this blizzard and then again in the night when it rained heavily. You don't see the problem during the day.

Adaptive headlights are convincing

The Kia EV6 I tested is equipped with adaptive LED headlights . So you can always drive with high beam on the highway and the car masks oncoming traffic or vehicles in front so that they are not dazzled by my headlights. That worked really well and apart from a flasher from a truck coming towards me, I didn't get any negative feedback.

I would like to see cornering lights. I also have the subjective impression that the LED headlights in a modern Volvo are a bit brighter. Otherwise I only know xenon and that is better in my eyes, especially on wet roads. But I couldn't directly compare them, so I'm only going back to my memory here.

Everything at a glance with the 360-degree camera

The Kia EV6 has a total of four cameras . At the front, the rear and in the side mirrors. As long as the cameras are clean, you can really see a lot.

The cameras in the mirrors are particularly helpful, because as soon as you turn on the indicator, the camera in the mirrors is activated in the display and you can see the blind spot .

The 360-degree camera is also a real blessing when parking. Kia has integrated a really bright taillight at the rear under the camera so that you can see a lot when parking in the dark. This is particularly useful on poorly lit charging stations.

Range and charging speed in winter

A temperature of -1 to +3 degrees prevailed during the entire test period. For e-cars, of course, uncomfortable temperatures, as the range is reduced and charging takes longer. The Kia EV6 is actually supposed to charge the 77.4 kWh battery from 10 to 80 percent in 18 minutes with 800-volt technology. I never managed that with several loads . Usually the 80 percent charging process took around 30 minutes. Sometimes more sometimes less.

For the endurance test, I chose two destinations that I usually drive with a diesel . Either the Renault Megane 4 or a Volvo XC40 Cross Country. Once to the Polish border, which is a little over 600 km in one direction, and once to Hanover, which is 220 km from Wilhelmshaven. So I can see the difference right away. I drove as usual. A maximum of 150 km / h cruise control, if the weather, the speed limit and the traffic have allowed it. Since it was cold, the ventilation initially ran to 23 degrees, later to 21 degrees. The seat and steering wheel heating was partly on. The winter mode was of course activated.

1,200 km to Poland and back

So I drove from Wilhelmshaven to Kostrzyn in Poland on a Saturday. A 600-km-distance that I can do with my diesel without stopping in about 5.5 hours, if the traffic allows it. I drive a maximum of 150 km / h if allowed. With the Kia EV6 it took me 7 hours on the way there . Due to heavy rain and a lot of traffic, however, I was never able to drive more than 130 km / h, and it tended to be even less.

I loaded up shortly after Hanover at Ionity Lehrter See. Then before Magdeburg at Ionity Hohenwarsleben and the last stop was at Berlin at Ionity Am Fichtenplan. Short stops of 20 to 30 minutes each in order to get back to 80 percent, as I always arrived with a little too much remaining range.

On the way back, I changed my charging behavior and trusted the car more. I only charged as much as I really needed to get to the next fast charger – with a buffer of around 50 km. It only took me 6.5 hours to get back .

On the way back to Hanover, I was hit by a heavy snow storm . I could drive a maximum of 80-100 km / h. The radar was completely snowed in and could no longer be used. I then drove the Kia EV6 “manually” over 200 km. Of course it wasn't a problem, but it was unnecessarily exhausting due to the extremely poor visibility. After all, I had been on the road for 1,000 km.

After a stretch of the motorway, the charging speed was usually between 80 kW and, for a short time, a maximum of 200 kW . You really noticed how long the battery needs to reach the temperature it needs to be able to charge really quickly. I had winter mode active and always navigated directly to Ionity. I actually expected the battery to be preconditioned then. Unfortunately, this electric car doesn't do that. The more charging processes you carry out in a row, the faster the Kia EV6 charges.

440 km to Hanover and back

The second tour that I regularly take with my diesel is from Wilhelmshaven to Hanover with about 220 km, which is child's play even in winter with the large battery of the Kia EV6. The range is easily enough to arrive at a comfortable speed . I charged right after the ride because I thought the battery would still be warm. It was okay, but started again at 79 kW and reached a maximum of 156 kW. So I had to stand for about 30 minutes so that I could get enough range to get home.

If you drive to the fast charger with a completely cold battery, regardless of whether it is Ionity, EnBW or Allego, the charging power is only 40 to 60 kW for a long time and increases slowly. I stood once for 30 minutes and only charged 31 kW. That took me a little too long.

If you know all that, you can adapt your driving style to it. Driving around with an electric car is certainly not as carefree as with a diesel , but it worked and I had absolutely no problems charging.

Once, an Ionity charging station refused to stop the charging process. It was one of the pillars with the small display. I then had to call service briefly and have them unlocked remotely. But it only cost me 2 minutes and wasn't a problem with the car. The touchscreen of the charging station just wasn't working and I didn't know how to stop charging the car.

Conclusion on the range

In winter with a lot of rain, some snow, but also longer dry stretches of road, most of which I drove on the autobahn, the consumption was over 1,900 km in a few days, according to the on-board computer, at 25.3 kWh per 100 km . The range is around 280 km in winter if you charge up to 100 percent. I drove like I did with my diesel. If I had driven a little more cautiously, I would certainly have achieved lower consumption. But it was important to me to have a realistic comparison.

The range should of course be better in summer. The streets are mostly dry, the temperatures are higher and the battery feels more comfortable. But I find such a test in winter more interesting because I had really bad weather conditions on the long-distance rides and still managed to get there. It took a little longer, but the breaks also ensured relaxation. Driving 1,200 km in one day and arriving so relaxed – that has never worked with the diesel before. Basically you don't take any breaks, you just want to get there quickly.

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