Kia EV6 GT review: Fast, furious and family friendly

Damien O'Carroll
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Photos / Damien O'Carroll


Base price
Maximum power kW
Range (km)
Maximum torque Nm
0-100 km/h
  • Mind-meltingly fast
  • Seriously composed handling
  • Roomy, comfortable and practical as well
  • Bright green highlights may not appeal to everyone
  • Huge wheels affect ride quality a bit
  • Fake engine noises are naff

Several years ago Hyundai launched what was then called the ‘Hyundai Genesis’ into New Zealand. This has, of course, since been spun off in to a separate brand (Genesis) with multiple models that we don’t get here for several reasons that make sense to Hyundai.

At the time, though, the main response to this truly excellent large luxury car was the genuine horror of the idea of a Korean car costing $100,000, even though it was easily the equivalent of anything of a similar ilk for the same money, if not even better in a lot of cases.

Since then, cars from both Hyundai and Kia have quite easily sold between the $80k and $100k mark with barely anyone blinking an eye. But now we have the Kia EV6 GT that not only sells for a healthy chunk more than $100k, but also offers honest-to-God supercar performance for that money. Does that make it incredible value for money, or an even higher price hurdle for a Korean car to justify?

Well, it’s really both. After all, $139,900 is a very hefty chunk of money, but then savage performance and a 0 to 100 time of 3.5 seconds is something you generally have to pay at least that much for. If not considerably more.

But on the other hand, with the dawn of EVs, that sort of performance is becoming increasingly attainable for far less that the cost of admission to the supercar club that it used to require. And this, remember, is ostensibly a family SUV. Or at least an SUV-type thing.

Either way though, it really isn’t the straight 0 to 100 performance you are paying for with the EV6 GT – after all, any manufacturer with access to a big enough battery and powerful enough electric motors can knock off a pretty seriously fast sprint time to the open road speed limit – I mean, GM now makes a 4500kg Hummer that can smash to 100km/h in 3.5 seconds.

No, what you are actually paying for with the EV6 is the talent for ably translating that sheer straight-line violence into an engaging (and slightly Bogan-y) driving experience that can be tailored to how engaged (or Bogan-y) you want to be.

The fact that the EV6 GT packs a 77.4kWh battery and a pair of electric motors won’t surprise, as that is what the top-spec standard EV6s pack anyway – what may be a bit more surprising is the fact that the motors pump out a colossal combined total of 430kW and 740Nm.

This means it is superbly capable of all those spectacular big skids and burnouts you see it doing in promo videos Kia released – but the most impressive part is how it is also capable of being incredibly docile when you prefer a gentler form of progress.

In fact, leaving the EV6 GT in Eco, Normal or Sport drive modes sees it behaving like any of the standard EV6 models, with Sport being quick, but not startlingly so.
Drop it into GT mode, however, and it absolutely lights things up, in both a metaphorical and literal sense.

The throttle response becomes incredibly aggressive, while acceleration is simply other worldly, with the same kind of internal organ-rearrangingly angry punch as a Tesla Performance model.

If you have chosen to loosen up the electronic restraints, then the rear wheels will happily light up for the full Bogan experience, or if they are left in place (as, of course, they always should be on a public road), then the acceleration is simply relentless.

But come to the first corner and the Kia will show a Tesla how it should be done, with a wonderfully stable and accomplished feeling of poise and balance, along with some nicely sharp and accurate steering, although it does lack a bit in feel.

Importantly, the GT’s brakes are utterly spectacular as well, hauling the 2400kg car up with authority, with repeated unfading regularity.

All of this seriously accomplished performance is wrapped up in a striking and purposeful package, with the standard EV6’s good looks embellished with some nice GT touches in the form of more aggressive intakes, an extended rear roof spoiler, big 21-inch wheels and those massive brake discs and equally massive bright green calipers.

The interior is modern and impressively spacious, making it a suitably high-tech family carrier, with minimal, but effective green accents just to remind you that you are in something rather more special than a bog-standard EV6.

As you would expect for the price, the GT comes fully-stocked with equipment and all Kia’s latest driver assist and safety tech, as well as the expected fake noise gimmicks – but while you will play around with the various fake noises before deciding fairly quickly that they are a fun, but essentially pointless, that blistering performance and mature handling will always entertain.

BATTERY: 77.4kWh lithium-ion with dual electric motors
POWER: 430kW/740Nm
GEARBOX: Single-speed automatic, AWD
0-100KM/H: 3.5 seconds
CONSUMPTION: 20.6kWh per 100km, range 424km (WLTP)
PRICE: $139,990


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