2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line RWD Road Test: When rear-drive isn’t the fun choice

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Usually, once we discuss including all-wheel-drive to a sporty automotive, it means including weight and shedding some driving enjoyable. It additionally means gaining traction for faster launches and extra all-weather assurance. Both method, you may anticipate the very same energy coming from the engine no matter what number of wheels are pushed. Electrical autos are totally different. With uncommon exception, choosing all-wheel drive provides a second electrical motor to the axle that usually doesn’t have one as commonplace. That invariably provides additional efficiency along with the traction advantages of all-wheel drive. Within the Kia EV6, the distinction between rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive is 95 horsepower and 188 pound-feet of torque. That is immense, equaling a 0-60-sprint time distinction of seven.2 seconds with RWD and 4.6 with AWD. The value distinction accounts for that, with a premium of $4,700 as an alternative of the standard $1,500 or $2,000 in most AWD SUVs.

We have seen, nonetheless, that sellers will not be ordering these automobiles with this efficiency angle in thoughts. In Detroit and Portland, Ore., for example, each EV6 in stock is all-wheel-drive. In Los Angeles, all however one in all 25 EV6s are rear-wheel drive. That is most likely fairly in keeping with buyer tendencies for regular, gas-powered SUVs, but it surely certain looks like of us in northern climates are doubtless paying some huge cash for additional efficiency they might not need, whereas these in southern climates are lacking out on efficiency trigger they do not notice that AWD brings advantages past snowy climate traction they clearly do not want.

Efficiency for the RWD model could also be down at 225 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, however vary is bolstered all the way in which as much as 310 miles, which is a 36-mile improve over the dual-motor GT-Line. That’s additionally regular relating to EVs. An equivalent battery pack offering energy to 1 fewer motor is inherently going to be extra environment friendly. The essential quantity for the RWD automotive is 117 MPGe, which is notably higher than the 105 MPGe from the dual-motor AWD model.

Punching it from a cease doesn’t yield the neck-snapping acceleration of faster EVs, together with our long-term EV6 AWD model. As a substitute, the RWD EV6 GT-Line pulls away from lights in a much more relaxed method indicative of its official 7.2-second 0-60 time. That 258 pound-feet of torque continues to be prepared straight away as soon as shifting, but it surely’s by no means pin-you-back ranges of fast.

The above mentioned, Kia’s eco-friendly tires are nonetheless liable to squeak and slide every now and then in the event you get on the facility by a flip. There isn’t sufficient extra energy being despatched to the rear to induce smoky oversteer, however attempt laborious sufficient, and the EV6 provides you with a bit of rotation. Its huge battery pack being evenly distributed within the automotive’s ground implies that even the marginally tall EV6 feels planted and predictable if you ask it to be unruly. Surprisingly sufficient, although, the AWD model of the EV6 is even simpler to impress oversteer from regardless of having a comparably sized rear motor. With traction management off, the rear finish will be despatched into a pleasant, arcing slide as you speed up from a cease whereas turning both left or proper. This rear-drive model is way more docile and happier to simply gently apply its energy to the pavement with out main provocation.

It doesn’t matter which drive format you select relating to dealing with, as each EV6s are comparatively heavy. And whereas the RWD one saves practically 300 kilos of weight versus the dual-motor, it nonetheless doesn’t really feel sprightly or mild on its ft. The EV6, not like sportier EVs just like the BMW i4, Polestar 2 or Jaguar I-Tempo, isn’t any sports activities sedan different. As a substitute, it prioritizes experience consolation above corner-carving prowess. That doesn’t imply it isn’t a reliable handler, however don’t anticipate greatness out of this chassis, even with this lighter rear-drive model.

One space the place the RWD model performs identically to our long-term EV6 is in charging efficiency. No person at this worth level can presently contact the E-GMP platform relating to charging speeds. We plugged this EV6 into a pair Electrify America stations all through the week, and each occasions the cost pace shortly ramped as much as and a bit of past 230 kW. Because the state of cost will increase, the EV6 experiences a sluggish, gradual drop in cost pace that you just’d anticipate, however solely falls off to be notably sluggish when you get past 90%. This leads to cost stops the place the EV6 goes from round 10-80% cost in beneath 20 minutes. Our greatest cease noticed the EV6 go from 16-84% in solely 16 minutes. This leaves you simply sufficient time to run into Crumbl Cookies, snag a field for the week, then come again out to a automotive that’s able to go (ask us how we all know). After all, any such fast charging service isn’t any assure with right now’s spotty and often-malfunctioning charging networks. However when all is working because it ought to, the EV6 is downright peachy to cost, and ought to be extra future proof than different EVs as these charging networks inevitably or hopefully enhance.

If you would like an analogous charging expertise in a similarly-sized automobile, the choices are restricted to the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Genesis GV60 (the EV6’s siblings), and the Tesla Mannequin Y. After all, the Mannequin Y is nowhere close to the EV6 relating to worth, as its base MSRP is presently about $15,000 greater than this GT-Line model. Different opponents, together with the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Volkswagen ID.4, cost considerably slower than the EV6, leaving you ready round for much longer for the same vary final result. Nevertheless, the EV6 has one huge draw back relating to charging now, and that’s the dearth of an built-in navigation route planner. Kia forces you to make use of third-party apps to plan out street journeys, which is an actual bummer and an additional snag for first-time EV patrons which may profit from a seamless system.

One other snag could possibly be winter use of the RWD EV6 – assuming you may even discover one in a northern dealership. We’ve solely been in a position to do that model out in a scorching, summer time local weather, so it’s powerful to say how nicely it should deal with the snow at this level. If previous expertise with eco-minded all-season tires is something to go off, although, we suspect {that a} strong set of winter tires will likely be essential. The additional vary afforded by RWD is actually tempting for winter climates, too, as low temperatures are usually an actual damper to EV vary. We’ve seen whole vary lower by as a lot as 40% previously when testing electrical automobiles right here in Michigan, so it’s comprehensible if you wish to reduce the blow by going with the RWD model as an alternative of the dual-motor model.

As for the main points outdoors of powertrain efficiency, the RWD EV6 acts identical to the AWD one. We like its inside format and spaciousness lots, however the Ioniq 5 might simply as simply be to your desire. No matter what number of motors it has, the GT-Line has the identical know-how and luxurious options. That features the comfy and enticing two-tone “vegan” leather-based seats, a flat-bottom steering wheel that provides a touch of sportiness to the cabin, and options like cooled seats and a heated steering wheel. The GT-Line’s distinctive type components are additionally frequent between RWD and AWD. Meaning shiny black exterior accents throughout, wheel arch molding in physique colour and a few slick 19-inch alloy wheels. All of it makes for a way more good-looking EV6 than the non-GT-Line fashions. Add our check automotive’s Metal Matte Grey paint — a GT-Line unique — and also you’re certain to get seen all over the place you drive.

At $53,405 as-tested, going rear-wheel-drive does characterize vital financial savings over the AWD model, and it actually is sensible why sellers and patrons in California and presumably different markets are selecting to save lots of $4,700 once they don’t want winter climate traction. The added vary is actually a bonus. Sadly, they’re going to be lacking out on an considerable quantity of additional efficiency – each on paper, and as we found, in precise driving enjoyable. We’d have a tough time saying no to the AWD GT-Line even when our house addresses resulted in CA fairly than MI. We gained’t be seeking to commerce in our long-term dual-motor EV6 for a rear-drive model any time quickly.

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