With the electric car situation in India slowly but surely heating up, there is a lot for customers to be excited about. Latest developments in the electric two-wheeler market have sent a positive signal for EV adoption in India. However, the situation has been a little different with electric cars. With limited model options available in the market, customers have not had much in terms of options. While the Hyundai Kona, the MG ZS EV, and the newly-launched Tata Nexon EV Max have received good reviews and provided utility for those looking for mid-range options, there has been a lack of a truly premium EV option in India.
That lack has now been sorted out with the launch of the premium Kia EV6, a real Tesla alternative that will now grace the streets of India with aplomb. With no real clarity on when real international players like Tesla will finally come to the Indian market, the Kia EV6 is set to fulfill a very important need. With premium build quality, excellent features, and a super-long range, the EV6 can surely be a great option for customers looking to make the switch to electric vehicles and are willing to spend premium money.
Let us take a look at the Kia EV6 and understand how it truly fulfills the potential of being the first real premium Tesla alternative in the Indian market.
Design and Build Quality
For many who associate truly radical design and futuristic looks with premium EVs, the Kia EV6 will not disappoint. It sits higher than most hatchbacks and sedans and features a design that is sure to turn heads. The large wheelbase, super-stubby bonnet, and massive 19-inch wheels provide the EV6 with an imposing, interesting look. The gloss black garnishes sweep through the lower body and provide a flowing, swooping design element.
The front grill is actually blanked out and the air intakes are further lower down, providing cooling and aerodynamics to the car. The EV6 has one of the lowest drag coefficients you will find in the premium EV market – 0.28. Enthusiasts will surely appreciate how such a low drag coefficient can make a huge difference in performance and range. The flush door handles and large, futuristic DRLs add further charm to this sci-fi-inspired design.
Once you step inside the Kia EV6, you end up in a cabin that is sufficiently tech-laden and futuristic for such a vehicle, and yet surprisingly practical. Supreme comfort is on offer, along with a host of tech features that can keep most enthusiasts happy. There is enough space in the cabin, with the seats and trims being made out of environmentally friendly recycled material. The soft-touch material feels premium and gives the cabin a degree of class.
The seating up front provides an exciting view out, with great visibility and a host of electronic assists helping you while reversing or parking. The front seats have all manners of electronic adjustability and also support a one-button recline. At the back, the knee room is huge while headroom is adequate for most passengers. However, due to the massive battery being situated under the floor, the floor is a bit raised and the seating posture for rear passengers is somewhat knees-up. Still, under-thigh support is adequate and the seats are large and comfortable.
In the EV6, passengers in both the front and rear have access to climate control and USB charging points. The EV6 also comes with luxurious 64-color ambient lighting, a large sunroof, a 360-degree camera, wireless charging, and a full-sized 3-pin electrical outlet in the rear seat. A 14-speaker surround audio system from Meridian handles sound duties while the front dash contains the standout feature of the car – two continuous curved displays, each spanning 12.3 inches.
This infotainment system is certainly the flagship feature of the car, providing a range of valuable information and controls. There is also support for wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The displays are customizable and the driver can also make use of a clear and vibrant HUD. In terms of tech, the EV6 comes with one of the most prized features currently in the Indian market – ADAS. With ADAS, you have access to features like smart cruise control, lane-keeping assist, emergency braking, and more. The EV6 has eight airbags for superior safety.
Here, we come to the main internal components of the EV6. While you can get the EV6 in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive flavors, both versions contain a massive 77.4kWh lithium-ion battery. With this huge battery, the EV6 boasts a WLTP range of a maximum of 528km. While the range has not yet been ARAI certified and real-world range is certain to be less, it is still a huge leap over all the other electric vehicles currently available in India.
The battery can accept charge at a maximum rate of 350kW DC, through which customers can fill up the car battery from 10% to 80% in just under twenty minutes with 800V ultra-high-speed charging capability, provided they can find an appropriate fast charger. When using a more standard 50kW charger, the same charge will take almost 75 minutes. For home charging, the EV6 comes standard with a 22kW home wall box charger.
The EV6 is spectacularly fast and responsive, with a 0-100KMPH time of just over five seconds. This is due to the massive torque the drivetrain can produce, with the all-wheel-drive version going up to a max torque of 605Nm. The handling is sporty and solid, the brakes are well calibrated, and the regen system is intuitive.
If the Kia EV6 impresses you, you need to be prepared to shell out about Rs. 60 lacs (ex-showroom) for the rear-wheel-drive version and Rs. 65 lacs (ex-showroom) for the all-wheel-drive version. However, for the price, you would be getting your hands on the first truly premium and high-performance electric vehicle to be available in India. This will provide a fun electric driving experience to enthusiasts while also promising luxury to those looking to be drivers around. Overall, this is a great candidate if you want to get into the premium EV market in India.