28 July 2022

Kia's new EV is actually the perfect car for Canberra's winter

| James Coleman
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Kia EV6

The 2022 Kia EV6 is the South Korean brand’s first dabble in electricity. Photo: James Coleman.

To find out the worst thing about an internal-combustion car, drive one in winter.

You’ve already summoned the courage to break out of bed, out of your pyjamas, and then out of the door, only to spend several more minutes sitting in an esky, at least until the engine warms up and the heater starts pumping. By which time, you’re at work and getting out into the cold again.

READ ALSO Full charge ahead! ACT overhauls rego system to drive EV take-up

But in an electric vehicle, there is no purgatory. Punch the start button and the heater is breathing life into the 10 fleshy icicles on your hands within seconds.

It’s even better in the new Kia EV6 because the steering wheel is heated too.

The only trouble is, this drains the battery. After all, there is no internal-combustion generator on board.

Fortunately, there’s plenty of range to play with in the EV6, up to 528 km to be (more or less) precise.

It can also (technically) charge from 10 to 80 per cent in 18 minutes, although there’s hardly a charger in Australia than can deliver that much power that quickly.

READ ALSO New petrol cars to be banned from 2035 as ACT waves goodbye to fossil fuels

Admit it, there was a time when you would not dream of driving anything with a Kia badge that far. Mainly because you worried it wouldn’t make it out of the driveway in one piece. Those days are long gone.

Kia, and its stablemate, Hyundai, have come a long way, and we know this because they’re offering market-leading seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranties. They wouldn’t do that if their cars weren’t up to it.

The EV6 is the brand’s first dabble in electric vehicles, but in a way, they’ve cheated by pinching everything from the Hyundai IONIQ 5. So you get suspension expertly tuned for Australia’s shoddy roads, a sweeping infotainment screen, and a regenerative braking system with four levels from ‘off’ to ‘really very on’.

The designers were just told to make EV6 look different, and they certainly have. I’m not sure the result is pretty, but people can’t stop looking at it.

Much like the IONIQ 5, you expect a hatchback from the pictures, but it turns into an SUV very fast when you approach it in the metal. It also isn’t small.

READ MORE Isn’t it IONIQ? Getting lost in Canberra’s ‘Garden City’ a joy in new electric Hyundai

This, and the lack of a transmission tunnel, means it’s very roomy inside. It’s also very pleasing to see yet another car manufacturer moving away from your accountant’s trousers for inspiration, although I have doubts about the piano black trim – I had it for a week and there were already scratches.

In this top-of-the-range GT-Line, motors on both axles give it all-wheel drive and a 0-100 km/h time of 5.2 seconds. The acceleration doesn’t quite snap your spleen and liver the way a Tesla does, but it’s urgent nonetheless.

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This model comes in at $87,590, but a cheaper rear-wheel-drive EV6 Air starts at $72,590.

Under normal circumstances, you would tell me I’m dreaming and go off to buy something with a badge worth that much. And under normal circumstances, I would not argue. But the Kia EV6 is legitimately good.

It’s quiet, smooth, refined and … okay, really quite cool-looking.

The only bad news is that you can’t buy one. A microchip shortage has slammed electric vehicle production and the wait time for the EV6 has blown out to nigh on two years. Even the local John McGrath dealerships are only accepting expressions of interest rather than risk holding deposits for more than one financial year.

While we wait, the new Kia Sportage GT-Line offers all of the space of the EV6 for $54,990. There is a petrol option, but I’ve been driving the 2-litre turbo-diesel (in a very fetching dark green-blue) up and down Canberra Avenue for a week now and the range has refused to budge from 600 km.

Must be the lack of a heating steering wheel.

These cars were provided for testing by Kia Australia. Region has no commercial arrangement with Kia Australia.

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Hard to tell what i like about EVs.
BMW offering a subscription service for seat warming or Telsa removing 1/3 of the range of a 2nd hand Telsa because the smaller battery was out of stock for a warranty claim, they used a bigger model and years down the track an 2 owners later decided to lock out the battery to 2/3 capacity remotely then smsing the customer telling them they fixed a ‘configuration’ issue.

Best of luck if anyone tries to hack the cars of the future. EV stands for Endless Vulnerabilities.

FYI, lithium batteries hate the cold, and degrades thier capacity. And canberra is plenty cold, so to claim its a perfect car for canberra….?

My Dodge Ram has auto start.
On cold mornings I can just fire it up and leave the Diesel engine running for 5-10 minutes before I get in, it’s always nice and warm.
It’s the perfect commuter vehicle in winter.

A large amount of fossil fuels are still required for the expanded mining and and processing of ithium, cobalt and manganese, not to mention charging every night…

Out of sight, put of mind though when it comes virtue signalling you’re green…

Sure, and plenty of fossil fuels are required to make the engine and transmission of a new internal combustion vehicle too. The difference is that with an EV you don’t have to keep tipping _more_ fossil fuels in every time you fill it up. Especially with Canberra’s net-zero electricity!

Capital Retro5:52 pm 04 Aug 22

Wrong!

A ‘recycling rate’ for end-of-life vehicles typically refers to the total weight of recoverable weight, out of the total weight of a vehicle. According to the American Iron and Steel Institute, the recycling rate for the steel materials in the United States is anywhere between high-80% to low-90%. The recycling rate of steel used in packaging such as cans is around 70%, but the recycling rate for automotive steel reaches up to 100%.

How much of a clapped out EV can be used again?

Stephen Marshall6:58 pm 31 Jul 22

This is pretty lazy journalism. For starters, its not Kia’s first venture into EVs. Has the writer never heard of the Niro or the Soul? Both were available as pure EV.Secondly to refer to it as a “dabble” into EVs” shows a profound lack understanding as to how much R&D has gone into this vehicle, and the fact that both the EV6 and its Hyundai Ioniq 5 twin have won mutliple prestigeous awards around the world, clearly shows this exercise was hardly a dabble. Finally, the writers claim that Kia was told to just make it look different from the Ionique 5 is highly questionable. What is his source? Kia and Hyundai are fiercely competitive among themselves and do plenty of their own inhouse design and development.

SigmaOctantis5:22 pm 31 Jul 22

I’m in the UK right now for a holiday and EVs are everywhere and all car ads are for EVs too, charging stations in supermarket car parks etc. The comments here show just how backward Australia is and how far it still has to go to catch up with progress elsewhere. If you don’t want one, don’t buy one and take the bus you bunch of Neanderthals.

Good way to make friends by calling some neanderthals. So far, there is no balance. Everyone is being brainwashed that the only choice is an EV.
However, there should be alternatives like biofuels.
EVs aren’t the answer for everyone and every situation.

UK is a small country with hardly any distance between places. In the last couple of months I have driven over 10,000 kms often with long distances in three figures between places. Then when I come upon a place, it might only be a Roadhouse; basically a petrol station (which is likely to be running on a diesel generator) and infrastructure attached to that. It’s not a town. If the car were to run out of power, it’s not as though a power plant can be brought to it; at maybe 100kms, or more, from anywhere; unlike a petrol car which can have a jerrycan brought to it, if it isn’t already carrying one or more itself, as many do.
People often have big distances to drive, and if lots of cars go electric, they don’t want to queue for a charger, as they often do at a petrol station now in the outback, and then wait ages for the car to charge, so they can drive a few more 100 kms that day. Then many travellers camp where there is no power or other facilities.
You are comparing apples with oranges.

Yup, and those of us educated “neanderthals” ( Engineer ) call EVs as pointless urban toys for a good reason. And as the greenists keep shutting down your reliable coal power to save a poompteenth of a percent of plant food from helping feed you, how will you charge your wind up toy cars?

Give me a reliable diesel any day, and best hope your EV never catches fire, because they are dropped into a dumpster filled with water until they burn themselves out – the Danish fire brigades have special bins for this purpose.

Petrol cars are safer, at least you can put thier fires out.

Tell me, can your EV safely traverse a slightly flooded creek with water up to the bottom of the front window sill with a 1 ton load on the back? My fiends diesel land cruiser can, all while towing a 3 ton trailer across the murray river at Tom Groggins crossing. And with long range tanks, it can cover up to 1000km. Can your EV do that?

Ive lived in the UK, they love thier cars, but as another poster said, the place is thick with people and a 10 mile trip requires a cut lunch and having to pace yourself….

Nice bit of whimsy having + and – on accelerator and brake.

Pretty pointless reviewing a car that you can’t have in your garage for 2 years…….or that most people could afford.

Capital Retro5:24 pm 04 Aug 22

It’s part of “the EV vision”.

The “perfect car” is unavailable and unaffordable. Try reviewing a car model relevant to Riotact readers.

Capital Retro5:25 pm 04 Aug 22

White Commodores were frequently talked about on RiotACT a few years ago.

Capital Retro10:55 am 31 Jul 22

It’s a bit disingenuous to say “This, and the lack of a transmission tunnel, means it’s very roomy inside.” as most ICE cars these days have front wheel drive which obviates the need for a “transmission” tunnel.

Gee petrol is expensive. I know, I’ll rush out and pay $85 grand. That’ll fix the cost of living for the worker

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