Find a suitably fast charger – such as the new 350kW units popping up at service stations and charging hubs - and it means it will zap from 10 to 80 percent in 18 minutes and the power for 60 miles in less than five minutes. That will seem more important than any 0-60 time when you are on a long journey with your kids in the car.
The EV6 also follows a new design language which is purposely distant from the Hyundai. Where the IONIQ 5 looks retro and angular, the 4.68-metre-long Kia is much sportier and difficult to pigeonhole. Is it a coupe? An SUV? A hatchback? Like the Polestar 2, it seems to be a mix of all these genres.
Inside there is reasonable space for people and luggage, though that exciting styling compromises things a little. The EV6’s boot holds 490 litres with an additional small frunk under the sloping bonnet to store cables or muddy walking boots. Its size varies depending on whether you have rear- or all-wheel drive.
Unlike the Hyundai there’s also a conventional centre console and plenty of other pockets and places to lose your sunglasses and mobile phone. The cabin even promises a clear conscience: over 100 plastic bottles per car are recycled to weave into thread for the seat covers.
As the swoopy looks suggest, this is a sportier-feeling car than the Hyundai, with tauter suspension and less body roll in corners. There’s also plenty of performance, even in the more affordable versions.
Kia is offering the EV6 in multiple configurations with rear or all-wheel drive, all with a 77.4 kWh battery. This results in power outputs ranging from a reasonable 226bhp for the entry-level single motor model to a 321bhp dual motor version. Above the standard EV6 line-up is the GT version, too, which packs up to 577bhp.
Depending on the motor and battery package, the Kia can travel up to 328 miles in the official WLTP lab tests, and the use of intelligent brake energy recuperation ensures that the discrepancy in the real world is not too great.
You can use paddles on the steering wheel and three driving profiles if you want to change the amount of energy the car uses and retrieves as you slow down, but it’s easier and more efficient to let the EV6 work it out for you. The car will take into account the distance to other vehicles, your speed, hills and curves before making a decision about the best way to use energy. It is so sensitive that it will make drivers who have never driven an electric car feel instantly comfortable.
If you are feeling generous with the power you’ve saved, you can even donate it to another electric car. Put a gadget in the charging socket and you can charge any electrical device from the car's battery, albeit at a rate of 3.6kW - which is only a bit faster than you get from a normal domestic three-pin socket. Even so, besides charging another car, it could charge the lawn mower at the allotment, the sound system at a campsite festival or give your e-bike a top-up.
That’s not the only fun to be had, as driving pleasure is not neglected – and not only because the EV6 is sportier and more tightly tuned than the IONIQ 5. The 321bhp, all-wheel drive EV6 accelerates to 62mph in 5.2 seconds, which is plenty and would have put it into supercar territory a couple of decades ago. It certainly feels fast enough, with a smooth delivery of power right up to motorway speeds.
The steering doesn’t have quite the sharpness of a BMW and you can still sense that this is a heavy car is some bends, but it is certainly easier to drive quickly than the Hyundai. Where the IONIQ 5 seems to encourage you to take a more relaxed attitude to getting through bends, the EV6 feels more at home on a twisty road. That said, it isn't quite as polished as it could be in some areas.
In general driving, the Kia is comfortable and easy to live with thanks to its instantaneous acceleration and decent suspension set-up. However, things aren't so impressive in Sport mode which feels a little artificial and makes the EV6 feel jerky and harsh to drive. It's not a huge problem as Kia isn't selling the EV6 as an outright sports car, but it's not the most relaxing car to drive if you leave it in Sport.
Ultimately, with the Kia EV6 and the Hyundai IONIQ 5, the Koreans now have a pair of cars that will once again make rivals look obsolete, with impressive technology which makes life better for electric car owners. Not only that, but they both feel distinctly different to anything else, with the EV6 being one of the sportier options in the class, complete with distinctive fastback styling that brings a compelling blend of useful practicality and sleek, executive style. Between the tech, the drive, the style and the range, the EV6 is one of the most complete, and most likeable cars that you can buy in this price range.