Kia EV6 GT First Drive: Shorter Ranger, More Speed

The EV6 GT is still a heavy car, and its 2,185-kilogram curb weight is felt through the corners when driven quickly. If truly let loose, we suspect physics would soon overcome the efforts of Kia’s engineers. Plainly, and despite its huge power, this is not a car designed for track use. Kia says as much itself, conceding that, while the GT was tested on the Nürburbring Nordschleife, it “has been developed very specifically for road use.”

As such, you probably don’t need to know that a “secret” drift mode switches off the front motor, tells the traction control to take a few minutes out, and lets you slide the Kia with a prod of the accelerator. Fun for a couple of minutes on private land, but somewhat pointless for the other 99.9 percent of the time.

Photograph: Kia

Inside, the GT shares a very similar cabin to a regular EV6 equipped with the GT-Line options pack. It is comfortable and fairly quiet at low speed just like any other EV. However, wind noise generated by the wing mirrors (a hangover issue from the standard EV6) is louder than we’d like from a car costing a little over £60,000.

The cabin is attractive and the GT-exclusive semibucket seats provide extra support, but aren’t as comfortable as the softer, squishier chairs fitted to the standard car.

The dual 12.2-inch curved dashboard displays are the same as in the regular EV6, and so too are the touch-sensitive controls below them, showing icons for media and climate but not at the same time. Kia has tried to reduce clutter here, but in doing so has a system that frustratingly doesn’t show any climate controls at all unless you prod at a touch-sensitive button to switch from Media and Navigation to Temperature. It then returns to the former after a few seconds instead of leaving the heating and cooling controls in place.

Kia’s wireless phone charger is grippier and more reliable than some others we’ve seen, but the lack of wireless Apple CarPlay, a glaring omission in the existing vanilla EV6, remains unfortunate. Practicality is on par with its siblings, with the same cabin and storage space as the regular dual-motor variant, meaning just 20 liters of storage under the hood.

Kia says it set out to produce a grand tourer reminiscent of comfortable, big-engined cars of the 1970s. The EV6 GT certainly has plenty of performance, and the suspension and differential changes show the company has put real effort into driving dynamics as well as straight-line pace. But the 262-mile range fails to live up to the GT billing.

And while superfast charging via the car’s 800-volt tech will go some way to alleviate range anxiety, we wish Kia had held back on outright performance and instead opted for a more long-legged blend of speed and range.

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