Kia has started accepting bookings for their first-ever electric car for India – the EV6 crossover for a token amount of Rs 3 lakh. The EV6 is a radically styled crossover from Kia, which is based on the Hyundai group’s E-GMP electric architecture. Being a flagship EV model from Kia, the EV6 packs cutting-edge technology. With the help of tech experts from Stuff India, we bring you an in-depth review of all the tech on offer and how it works in the real world.
2022 Kia EV6: interior tech, infotainment screen and audio system
Step inside the well laid-out cabin and what strikes your attention instantly are a pair of 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment screens which are curved and angled towards the driver. Also interesting is the floating center console that frees up a lot of practical storage space. We also like how Kia has retained physical knobs for the HVAC and media volume.
The appeal of the cabin is further heightened by elements like 64-colour ambient lighting, a textured dashboard design and a superbly built drive selector dial. The EV6 uses recycled PET for much of the trim panels and vegan leather for the heated and cooled seats. Thus, the cabin is not only big on tech, but also high on the sustainability quotient.
One interesting bit we found was that the HVAC and infotainment system share a touch panel and you have to toggle between modes (HVAC-Infotainment) to access their functions. It’s innovative, but a bit unsafe and cumbersome to use as you have to take your eyes off the road to see what mode the panel is in, then toggle it if needed and then input your command.
The EV6’s heads-up display boasts of a little party trick – it features augmented reality with turn-by-turn navigation signs, traffic alerts and more. Like most premium EVs, Kia offers driving modes which are easy to access. In fact, the whole cabin feels ergonomically sorted, although Kia could have given charging ports on both sides of the car like the Audi e-tron.
Kia has ‘engineered’ sounds like Cyborg, Dynamic and Standard that are piped through the 14-speaker Meridian audio system inside the car, but none of them sound really special. They’re amusing at best, and better left turned off. The Meridian system is better utilised just as a sound system as the audio quality is brilliant with great depth, clarity and punch, all of which is customisable via the Meridian custom sound menu.
2022 Kia EV6: ADAS, charging and battery tech
The tech in the EV6 is not just limited to fancy screens. The car gets Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) features like front collision avoidance, lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control, keeping you safe even if you get slightly distracted. The surround view camera has an excellent resolution image and shows up on your Kia Connect phone app.
The crossover gets a full suite of USB C, USB A, a 12V socket and even a full-blown 16A 3-pin power outlet under the rear seat to charge your laptop or external devices like a projector, refrigerator or camping equipment! This Vehicle-to-Load capability is possible due to a larger 77.4kWh battery pack that has enough power to not only power other devices, but also top-up another EV in an emergency. Vehicle-to-Vehicle charging happens at a much slower rate and is only meant to get another EV out of a sticky situation. But with charging infrastructure still scarce and range anxiety still a thing, it could find some use.
The EV6 can be charged via a 350kW DC fast charger with Kia claiming it can charge from 10 to 80 percent in 18 minutes. A more realistic 50kWh fast charger delivers a claimed 10 to 80 percent charge in a respectable 75 minutes.
Its main rival, the XC40 Recharge will come with features like wireless charging, connected car tech, powered front seats with memory function and a full range of ADAS tech enabling Level 2 Autonomous driving. Volvo will also be offering a Harman Kardon sound system and Apple CarPlay.
In terms of tech, EVs on both ends of the spectrum (MG ZS EV and Audi e-tron) are well equipped. The ZS EV gets features like a 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a 360-degree camera, and drive assist features like lane change assist and rear cross traffic alert and MG’s i-Smart connected car tech. The e-tron gets features like a ‘Virtual Cockpit’ instrument cluster, adaptive air suspension, four-zone climate control system and a premium Bang & Olufsen sound system on higher variants.