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2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line RWD Highway Take a look at: When rear-drive is not the enjoyable alternative


Usually, after 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 means, you may count on 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 further 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 worth distinction accounts for that, with a premium of $4,700 as an alternative of the same old $1,500 or $2,000 in most AWD SUVs.

We have observed, nevertheless, that dealers will not be ordering these vehicles 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 every of 25 EV6s are rear-wheel drive. That is most likely fairly per buyer tendencies for regular, gas-powered SUVs, but it surely positive looks like of us in northern climates are probably paying some huge cash for further efficiency they might not need, whereas these in southern climates are lacking out on efficiency trigger they do not understand that AWD brings advantages past snowy climate traction they clearly do not want.

Efficiency for the RWD mannequin could also be down at 225 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, however vary is bolstered all the best way as much as 310 miles, which is a 36-mile improve over the dual-motor GT-Line. That’s additionally regular on the subject of EVs. An similar battery pack offering energy to 1 fewer motor is inherently going to be extra environment friendly. The important 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 an alternative, 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 remains to be prepared straight away as soon as shifting, but it surely’s by no means pin-you-back ranges of fast.

The above stated, Kia’s eco-friendly tires are nonetheless liable to squeak and slide sometimes in the event you get on the ability by means of a flip. There isn’t sufficient extra energy being despatched to the rear to induce smoky oversteer, however attempt arduous sufficient, and the EV6 provides you with just a little rotation. Its huge battery pack being evenly distributed within the automotive’s flooring implies that even the marginally tall EV6 feels planted and predictable while you ask it to be unruly. Unusually 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 could be despatched into a pleasant, arcing slide as you speed up from a cease whereas turning both left or proper. This rear-drive mannequin is rather 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 on the subject of dealing with, as each EV6s are comparatively heavy. And whereas the RWD one saves almost 300 kilos of weight versus the dual-motor, it nonetheless doesn’t really feel sprightly or gentle on its ft. The EV6, not like sportier EVs just like the BMW i4, Polestar 2 or Jaguar I-Pace, is not any sports activities sedan different. As an alternative, it prioritizes journey consolation above corner-carving prowess. That doesn’t imply it isn’t a reliable handler, however don’t count on greatness out of this chassis, even with this lighter rear-drive model.

One space the place the RWD mannequin performs identically to our long-term EV6 is in charging efficiency. No person at this worth level can presently contact the E-GMP platform on the subject of charging speeds. We plugged this EV6 into a pair Electrify America stations all through the week, and each instances the cost pace shortly ramped as much as and just a little past 230 kW. Because the state of cost will increase, the EV6 experiences a sluggish, gradual drop in cost pace that you just’d count on, 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 below 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). In fact, any such fast charging service is not any assure with as we speak’s spotty and often-malfunctioning charging networks. However when all is working because it ought to, the EV6 is downright peachy to cost, and must be extra future proof than different EVs as these charging networks inevitably or hopefully enhance.

In order for you the same 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 Model Y. In fact, the Model Y is nowhere close to the EV6 on the subject of worth, as its base MSRP is at the moment about $15,000 increased than this GT-Line mannequin. 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 consequence. Nonetheless, the EV6 has one huge draw back on the subject of 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 road trips, which is an actual bummer and an additional snag for first-time EV consumers that 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 ready to do that model out in a scorching, summer season local weather, so it’s powerful to say how properly it would 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 mandatory. The additional vary afforded by RWD is definitely tempting for winter climates, too, as low temperatures are typically an actual damper to EV vary. We’ve seen whole vary reduce by as a lot as 40% prior to now when testing electric cars right here in Michigan, so it’s comprehensible if you wish to reduce the blow by going with the RWD mannequin 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 may simply as simply be to your choice. No matter what number of motors it has, the GT-Line has the identical expertise and luxurious options. That features the snug and engaging 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 model components are additionally widespread between RWD and AWD. Which means shiny black exterior accents throughout, wheel arch molding in physique color 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 positive to get observed all over the place you drive.

At $53,405 as-tested, going rear-wheel-drive does symbolize important financial savings over the AWD mannequin, and it definitely is sensible why sellers and consumers in California and presumably different markets are selecting to save lots of $4,700 after they don’t want winter climate traction. The added vary is definitely 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 residence addresses led to CA fairly than MI. We gained’t be seeking to trade in our long-term dual-motor EV6 for a rear-drive model any time quickly.

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