Kia has finally released pricing for its first electric car, the EV6. Compared to the rest of the compact four-door sedan-ish EV crowd, it seems pretty reasonable: The base EV6 Light starts at $40,900 before a $1,215 destination charge — a hair above the Volkswagen ID.4 ($40,760) but a considerable amount below the Mustang Mach-E ($43,895) and Tesla Model 3 ($46,490). That’s also before deducting the $7,500 federal EV tax credit, which all but Tesla in that group still benefit from.
The EV6 has a lot going for it, as David Tracy found when he drove one in Germany last year. A lot of its appeal can be attributed to its style, which isn’t meant to be a slight — it’s a funky-looking wedge but not offensively garish, and I reckon you’re more likely to notice it on the road than a Mach-E, ID.4 or Tesla. But the one thing the EV6 is missing — at least in that base Light trim — is power.
See, for $40,900, you’re getting 167 horsepower sent to the rear wheels from a 58-kWh battery pack in a car that weighs about 4,000 pounds. The aim here appears to be more range than performance, which is fair enough — not every EV needs to or should be skilled at whiplash. The EV6 Light is projected to travel 232 miles on a charge, right in line with that competitive set. But that’s not exactly going to make it fast.
The next step up the pecking order, the EV6 Wind, promises 225 HP and 310 miles of range, again in a rear-wheel drive configuration. Same goes for the GT-Line. Those trims cost $47,000 and $51,200, respectively. Beyond that are the all-wheel-drive, dual-motor versions of the Wind and GT-Line. Both provide a combined 320 HP and 274 miles of range, and they run $50,900 and $55,900.
It’s important not to confuse GT-Line with the much-talked about EV6 GT, the one with 576 HP that can supposedly go from 0-62 mph in 3.6 seconds. We still don’t have pricing on that one. Besides, it’ll come a bit later — whereas those more pedestrian models will be available soon, in “early 2022,” the GT is slated for a late-2022 launch.
The gulf in grunt between the 167 HP Light and 576 HP GT got me thinking — that’s one hell of a gap from the least to the most powerful version of a particular model. The EV6 isn’t alone, of course — plenty of modern electric cars exhibit sizable increases in power as you go up the range. The latest dual-motor Model S starts with 670 HP, but the Plaid has 1,020 HP; similarly, the Lucid Air goes from 480 HP to 1,111 HP. But those cars start fast and expensive. Imagine if Honda announced a 600 HP Civic above the Type R, and that’s basically what Kia’s done here. The base EV6 has 29 percent of the power of a fully-equipped one. That’s weird to think about.
Anyway, if the EV6 looks too daring for you and you’d prefer something a bit more... ’80s, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 is basically its sister car, underpinned by the same E-GMP platform. That one’s even cheaper than the Kia, at $39,700, with an identical 167 HP in standard-range trim. The Ioniq 5 is rolling off lots as we speak, while the EV6 will start hitting dealers in the next few weeks.