My Long Distance Test Drive to Turin with the Kia EV6
Monday
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26
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02
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2024
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Let’s take a first look at the electric Kia EV 6 - its Design and Interior are somewhat futuristic and familiar at the same time. The design ethos is evident in every curve and line of the EV6, presenting a sleek, aerodynamic silhouette that commands attention on the road. The vehicle's coupe-like roofline and low profile aren't just aesthetically pleasing; they're a nod to the EV6's aerodynamic efficiency, reducing drag and enhancing its electric range. One cannot discuss the exterior of the EV6 without mentioning its distinctive daytime running lights. Dubbed the "Digital Tiger Face," this design feature reimagines KIA's iconic tiger-nose grille for the electric age, integrating technology and tradition in a striking visual statement.

Moving inside the Kia EV6, the interior design is as groundbreaking as its exterior, offering a sanctuary of high-tech luxury and comfort. Upon entering the cabin, one is greeted by a spacious, minimalist dashboard that emphasizes the EV6’s commitment to a futuristic driving experience. The dual integrated screens, serving as both the instrument cluster and infotainment system, are seamlessly designed to provide drivers with easy access to vehicle information and connectivity features, without overwhelming the senses. The use of sustainable materials within the interior not only reflects Kia's dedication to environmental stewardship but also adds a touch of eco-conscious luxury.

Kia has struck a balance between tactile and virtual controls in the EV6. The center console cleverly combines climate and audio controls, with a button to switch between the two and clear visual feedback. This design decision keeps the interior sleek while maintaining functionality. Additionally, the EV6 features an augmented reality heads-up display that projects essential driving information into my field of view, allowing for a more focused driving experience. The EV6 offers ample storage space, considering its classification as a smaller SUV. The lack of a transmission tunnel, a common feature in other electric vehicles, allows for increased rear legroom and additional storage space between the front seats and under the center armrest. The trunk of the EV6 is spacious, and its capacity can be expanded thanks to the 60/40 split rear seat, making it ideal for longer trips or carrying larger items.

Let our journey with the Kia EV6 begin

We are embarking on a journey from Bad Tölz in Southern Germany, through the breathtaking vistas of the Alps, to the historic city of Turin in our Kia EV6. Its trunk is filled with our luggage, the early morning take-off promises spectacular views of the sunrise when on our way. The EV6's whisper-quiet electric powertrain with its long-range 77.4 kWh battery, faces the challenge of this alpine passage and we are a little excited too. The anticipation builds as we approach the majestic Alps, where the roads twist and turn, presenting the perfect backdrop to test the EV6's dynamic performance. We chose the slightly longer route to Bregenz in Austria, as there is a IONITY charger close to Hohenems which promises fast charging times with the Kia’s 800 volt technology on board. And the charging speed is indeed impressive. We are charging the batteries with more than 170 kw/h to above the 60% filling mark and are back on the road in under 16 minutes.

When approaching the San Bernardino Pass from the Swiss side, the first snow on the road allows our all-wheel drive configuration to shine here, providing confidence-inspiring grip and stability as we ascend. As we traverse the scenic routes, the EV6's regenerative braking system becomes an unsung hero, capturing energy during descents and slowing, ensuring that not a joule of precious electric power is wasted. This efficiency is a testament to the EV6's design philosophy, which places a strong emphasis on sustainability without compromising on performance or comfort.

Our second stop at Bellinzona allows for a quick coffee break, again the charge is done with ease. Not even half of the chargers are occupied, some fast chargers from local Italian providers add to the feeling that long distance travels today allow for a whole series of options to take. We pass Lugano with its scenic lake, we leave Como and its lake on the left hand side and a quick third refill at an IONITY charger about 40 km from Turin secures not only a safe arrival in the industrial city but also gives me peace of mind in case we wouldn’t find a charger there.

The City of Turin - Home of italian craftsmanship and of FIAT and Stellantis

The city's rich history and forward-looking stance on environmental issues make it the perfect destination to conclude our journey. About 650 kilometers of easy travel with a few nice stops on the way. The combination of performance, long range and ultra-fast charging makes the EV6 a truly exciting and capable vehicle for the electric age. In the city itself we are surprised by the number of AC chargers, some offer 11 kw, some 22kw - and there is always an empty charger to be found. Unfortunately every third charger didn’t work or was damaged, here the City of Turin has some work to do. 

Nevertheless, the breathtaking views from the Basilica di Supergo across the city and to the Italian Alps indulge us. My personal highlight: the Lingotto building and its iconic rooftop test track. The former FIAT Factory today is home to La PISTA FIAT 500 with an art collection from the Agnelli family and the largest hanging garden in Europe with 7,000 square meters of greenery growing under the Torino sun. Interesting finding here on the roof: several charging stations and a sign from FIAT owners Stellantis, that this space showcases the importance of testing electric cars for future clients of the group. Well if this is what Stellantis has in mind with the roof test track, guess who will be back here in no time!

For those of you waiting for a more detailed description of the Kia EV6 - I have a summary of the technical specs of our electric car below. During our trip, the Kia EV6 needed an average of 24-26 kw on 100 kilometers which sounds a lot but can be explained by cold temperatures (in the Alps) and the up and down of our drive. I had expected a higher thirst of energy, after all, the SUV has an unladen weight of 2.2 tons. Needless to say, our drive back to Bad Tölz was trouble-free too, the charging speed and comfort of this vehicle make long distance travel in an electric vehicle a breeze.

Kia EV6 Test-Drive Vehicle’s Technical Specifications

Battery and Range
  • Long-range 77.4 kWh battery.
  • Up to 500 km (300 miles) range on a single charge for the long-range version.
Powertrain and Performance
  • All-wheel drive (AWD) configurations.
  • Instant torque and rapid acceleration.
Charging Capabilities
  • Ultra-fast charging: 10% to 80% in just 18 minutes with a 350 kW charger.
  • Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) functionality, supplying up to 3.6 kW of power.
Advanced Technology and Safety Features
  • High-definition infotainment system.
  • Augmented reality head-up display.
  • Comprehensive suite of driver-assistance technologies, including forward collision avoidance, lane-keeping assist, and blind-spot detection

Additional Test Vehicle Information

Model EV6 77,4 kWh AWD (GT-line)
Colour - Snow White Pearl (Metallic Paint Finish)
Seats with vegan leather-look cover (white) and side bolsters with vegan suede-look cover (black)
Assist+ package
Design package
Sound package
Heat pump

Disclaimer: the test vehicle for our trip from Munich to Turin was provided by Kia Germany, they also partially paid for the electricity used during this trip. Many thanks.

Photos courtesy of Michael Brecht.

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