We all have our 15 minutes of fame and mine happened two weeks back when I drove home from the Continental Irish Car of the Year awards in the winning car, the Kia EV6.
No, I didn’t win it in the raffle, it just happened to be my test car in the days leading up the motoring awards which were held at the Aviva Stadium. They were the first Car of the Year awards since November 2019.
I had driven the EV6 at its Irish launch in Castleknock last November and at a refresher day in Mondello Park in January.
Going into the event I had written that the winner was likely to be the EV6 or the Ioniq 5 and the 30 jury members voted Kia’s electric car as their number one.
At launch three months back, Aidan Doyle, Head of Marketing in Kia, said that over 200 Irish people had ordered one of their EV6 crossover electric cars without seeing the car in the flesh. That’s some confidence and I can see why they were so impressed.
Kia then revised their forecast of sales for the EV6 in 2022 up to 750 units, provided they can get enough of them into the country. Now I’m sure the forecast is up again.
It’s a really impressive motor. There are two versions available, the GT-line and the Earth model.
Normally cars with the GT moniker are top of the range, but in this case the range for the Earth model is around 520Km, while the GT version should get you 390Km. Both models are the long-range, 77.4 kWh/ battery pack paired with a 168kW electric motor.
Externally the car looks really classy, and I think the red version looks best. Up to now most electric cars are unlike regular petrol or diesel cars, but the EV6 is like a regular saloon. The EV6 is the Korean manufacturer’s first BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) built on a new dedicated EV platform.
The interior of most electric cars I have driven in recent years have been minimalistic, but again this is where the EV6 impresses. I liked the ‘mosaic’ effect on the dash which is similar to a regular petrol or diesel car. Overall the interior is very bright and spacious and there is plenty of room for three well-built adults in the back seat.
If you indicate to turn right or left, you get a small screen on the dash showing you what’s coming up on your right or left. And I noticed that the brakes are applied if there is something coming into the space behind the car as you reverse.
The boot has decent space, but no spare wheel. You also get a ‘Frunk’ in the front where the engine would normally be in a regular car, and there is neat space there for the charging leads. The reversing camera with the bird’s eye look is brilliant.
In their recently-launched Climate Action Plan, the Government said they expect to have one million electric cars on the road by 2030. Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said that people will not be forced into buying an electric car and that low-cost loans and scrappage schemes will be introduced to convince drivers to switch to electric.
Prices start at €50,000 for the Earth model, while the GT Line starts at €54,345. Road tax is €120.