A bit came to a set of traffic lights and it was red. So i stopped obviously but right in front of me – was a first generation kia seed sw and i can remember driving that seed sw the little estate version of the first generation seed when it was brand new and thinking wow key has come a long way. Kias, come from being this, you know resolutely bargain bucket brand that only produces fairly cheap and fairly crappy cars. To be honest back then, to making this – and this is, this is a really good car, and this is really solid, and this, you know competes with the golf and the focus and okay, its not quite as good as either of them, but its decent and its Reasonable and its you know its a big step forward and then to come from. You know, having driven that csw and being stopped behind it in this in the ev6, and this is a car that you know it. Doesnt just compete with stuff from ford and volkswagen and uh, and even audi and bmw mercedes. This in some ways actually competes with porsche well get to that in a minute. But you see the the journey that kia has gone on from from that from those bargain bucket beginnings to making a car as sophisticated and as well to be honest as brilliant as this ev6. This is a very significant car in a lot of ways, not just because uh its its a big leap forward for kia in electric terms, although kia, along with its sister brand hyundai, has obviously been uh absolutely at the forefront of the electric car revolution.

Cars like the e nero and the esol. Those are really really good evs. But this is a big step forward because it uses a dedicated uh electric car platform, its called the egmp platform and in the way of such things, its scalable and stretchable and shrinkable. And you can make lots and lots of different cars off it, and kia and hyundai together are going to make lots and lots of different cars off it. And, of course there is a direct sister vehicle to this ev6 at the moment and its the hyundai ioniq. 5, which weve driven and been really impressed by so underneath this has got a 76 kilowatt hour battery its got a 229 horsepower electric motor driving the rear wheels. There is an all wheel, drive option, doesnt come trial, and just yet it may not in the longer run ever come to ireland um, and there will be an incredibly high performance gt version. Uh, which uses two electric motors, has four wheel: drive oodles of power and torque and will do a sub four second uh zero to 100 kilometer per hour run. This wont do that this. Does it in a much more uh, reasonable, sub uh eight seconds um? Still pretty quick, though, and still feels like uh well, maybe not potent being quite the right word, but certainly its not slow. This ev6 uh. What it mostly is, though, is incredibly smooth. It is so relaxing to drive. Youve got really comfortable seats that you sit a bit oddly high and actually one of the big differences between the kia and the hyundai is that the hyundai is kind of tall and square and almost a bit boxy um, whereas kia has gone for lower significantly lower.

The roof line, this car is 100 millimeters lower than the hyundais uh much more overtly sporting um, the consequence of which is that the fairly high set driving system means you do feel like youre sitting in the roof, somewhat um, which is a bit odd. But, to be honest, you do get used to it and and the overall comfort and quality of the cabin more than make up for that, and it is a fantastic cabin. I mean just look around you theres tons and tons of space. Everything is really really high. Quality youve got these two big 12.3 inch screens here in front of you one for the instruments. One for the infotainment youve got a clever little touch panel down here, which doubles as either media control or um, heating ventilation and air conditioning control. Its not quite as simple as having physical controls for the heating event, but its its still pretty good. Its still pretty easy to use. Youve got a circular gear, selector here heated and cooled seat buttons here. This is a gt line spec. So this is the most expensive ev6 you can buy at the moment its 55 000 euro. There is a cheaper earth model which is just a hair under 50 000 euro. To be honest with you, i dont think theres a lot of point in upgrading to this gt line for a couple of reasons: um, the only really major bits of extra equipment you get are bigger wheels which knock a little chunk off the electric range.

Incidentally, you get a heads up display, which is kind of handy, but its its. Not the best heads up display its a little bit, blurry its not as sharp and as clear as some rival systems, and you get well, you get what kia calls a panoramic glass roof, but which is really a glorified sunroof uh and personally, i just wouldnt – be Bothered also, the earth gets a slightly more interesting looking interior trim uh here on the dash and here on the center console um. This the gt line setup looks a little bit plainer, its not quite as nice, but to be honest, theres, not an awful lot between the two cars. The the only real difference is, as i said, the range on the smaller 19 inch reels. The earth will take. You for a claimed kilometers on a full charge. You should get at least 490 out of it, even if youre doing a bit of motorway work like i am today um. This gt line a little bit less 504 kilometers on a full charge, and i reckon youll get about 470 460, maybe uh, if youre in mixed driving conditions, theres a very efficient heat pump heating system, incidentally, which keeps the cabin nice and warm without overly draining the Battery you do get very good heated seats and a heated steering wheel, room which is absolutely volcanic to the touch at times its really really nice. If its a slightly chilly morning like weve got this morning, space in the back is absolutely enormous.

The boot is decent, its more than 500 liters, but its a little bit on the shallow side, so its not quite as practical as it looks from the outside and again its not quite as practical as you get in the hyundai, which again is taller and boxier. In shape so its a bit easier to load up with larger items to drive, though the kia is definitely better when we drove there, the ioniq two things really stood out. One is that its a very, very big car, and you feel that you feel the width of it. You feel the height of it. You feel the bulk of it as you drive it, even though its a very nice car to drive the ev6 feels very, very different. Well, maybe not very, very different, but it certainly feels different. It certainly doesnt feel like the hyundai drive. It feels tighter and taller. You can genuinely feel that lack of extra height in the car it doesnt feel as big and bulky, even though its the same width, the slightly more precise steering, allows you to guide it that bit that bit night more nicely between corners and between other vehicles in Traffic, it just feels tighter of tighter fitting around you uh and much more engaging and enjoyable to drive as a result, its not sporty. I would never quite describe it as sporty its too languid for that its too laid back for that its too comfort oriented for that its a wonderful ride, quality even on these big wheels, its got a very smooth ride, very quiet ride, quality too, even when it Is dealing with bumps and you feel the up and down motion the suspension, isnt noisy at all its really really good.

In that respect, now, remember, i said it competes with porsche. Let me tell you how this battery and the way this car charges copies the system that porsche uses for the take hand and uh the take and turismo in that it has an 800 volt ultra rapid charging system. So if you can hook this up to a fast enough charger, uh and really you need one of the 350 kilowatt ionity chargers that thankfully we have at least a few of now around the place. It will inhale a charge at an absolutely dramatic rate, to go from 10 to 80 charge on a 350 kilowatt charger in this car takes just 18 minutes. It charges super super fast uh, and that is a big big step forward in ev terms, particularly at a time when we dont have a particularly good charging network around the country. The ability to take in a truly rapid charge really really makes a difference to the overall performance of the car um. To be honest, i think ive only driven one other car this year, thats as genuinely impressive as this ev6 and thats the skoda, enyak and im in a real real toss up now between this and the enyak as my favorite cars of the year, i definitely prefer It to the hyundai i love love, love, the hyundais, more avant garde styling and its slightly airier, more open plan interior, the ev6, the kia, its a little bit more conventional in its styling, its a little bit more sporty in the way it drives, and i really Really like both of those things, its still a very striking looking car mind you, you really do see people stopping and looking and pointing at this as you drive it around, and indeed that highly uh curved up window line is said to be inspired by the classic Lancia stratos rally car in the 1970s and frankly.

Well i mean it might be a bit fanciful, but thats, a good connection for me um. It is a truly impressive car, though yes, its a bit expensive, yes, its very expensive by kia standards, its astronomically expensive, compared to what you would have spent on that original seed estate all those years ago um. But in terms of a signpost, a marker point of how kia is doing and how far both hyundai and kia are really than most car makers in the electric car race.