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Driven: 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line S AWD. Image by Kia.

Driven: 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line S AWD
Does Kia’s all-wheel-drive family hatchback make more sense than the standard, less powerful rear-drive versions?


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2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line S AWD

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The Kia EV6 went straight to the top of the electric hatchback class with its futuristic design and plentiful range, but the range has grown to include all-wheel-drive options and a range-topping GT version. While the GT feels a bit too firm and performance-orientated – not to mention too expensive – will the cheaper, twin-motor, all-wheel-drive option prove more convincing?

Test Car Specifications

Model: 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line S AWD
Price: From £56,245
Motor: electric motor on each axle
Transmission: one-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
Battery: 77.4kWh lithium-ion
Power: 325hp
Torque: 605Nm
Emissions: 0g/km
Economy/Range: 300 miles
0-62mph: 5.2 seconds
Top speed: 114mph
Boot space: 490 litres


In essence, there's absolutely no difference in styling between the all-wheel-drive versions of the EV6 and the less powerful rear-wheel-drive versions. Which means you get the same futuristic design and the same sense of bulk. Like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 with which the EV6 shares so much, the EV6 is bigger in the metal than it looks in photographs.

However, because the EV6 AWD is only available in GT-Line and GT-Line S forms, it comes with sportier styling than the conventional, rear-driven Air model. You get sportier bumpers and side skirts, with a sleeker swathe of black trim down the flanks. Tinted rear windows feature as standard, too.


As with the exterior, the EV6 AWD's cabin is identical to that of the equivalent rear-driven version, which means you get the same touchscreen and instrument cluster, as well as the same touch-sensitive panel for the climate control and audio functions. That thin panel looks great, but it's a pain in the backside to use, with a fiddly switching system changing both the panel and the two integrated rotary controls from audio functions to heating and ventilation switches. Whichever one you want, you can almost guarantee the panel will be in the opposite configuration. As a result, we found ourselves warming or cooling the cabin whenever we wanted to change the volume on the radio.

That said, interior quality is largely good, with most components feeling solidly attached to their neighbours and all the buttons feeling pretty robust. However, the glossy black plastic Kia seems intent on using everywhere seems a bit cheap, and it's sure to attract grubby finger marks and scratches.

But because the AWD powertrain is only available with GT-Line and GT-Line S models, you get some lovely upholstery, which combines leather and suede to create a sporty but comfortable two-tone trim, while the dashboard appears to be upholstered in patterned vinyl. As you can see from the images below, it looks much better than it sounds, and it's in keeping with the car's modern exterior design.


The all-wheel-drive EV6 has much the same cabin as the standard rear-wheel-drive car, which means you get the same plentiful rear leg- and headroom. Carrying four adults won’t be a problem, and children will find the space back there palatial. Boot space is good, too, with 490 litres of capacity proving more than enough for the vast majority of customers. However, where the rear-drive EV6 has a 52-litre storage area under the bonnet, the all-wheel-drive cars have just 20 litres of capacity up front – enough for charging cables, but little else.


The AWD powertrain builds on the solid foundations of the rear-wheel-drive car by simply adding another motor. Whereas the RWD car comes with one electric motor under the boot floor, the AWD versions add another between the front wheels, offering a combined output of 325hp – almost 100 more than the conventional rear-drive EV6. That, in turn, means there’s a step up in performance, with the 0-62mph time down to just over five seconds. Of course, it isn’t as powerful as the daddy of the range – the EV6 GT – but the AWD car still offers plenty of poke, with figures that match those of much lighter, petrol-powered hot hatchbacks.

But for most, the appeal of the EV6 will be its range, and there the AWD car fares surprisingly well. Admittedly, it can’t match the 328-mile range of the basic rear-drive car, but with its 77.4kWh battery it can still cover 300 miles on a single charge, according to the official economy tests. In the real world, you’re probably looking at something in the region of 200-230 miles on a long motorway run, even if you keep the climate control switched on. Compared with other similarly sized electric cars, that isn’t bad going.

Ride & Handling

Although the all-wheel-drive EV6 is noticeably more powerful than its rear-drive sibling, it feels much the same on the road. The suspension is still quite soft, which makes it very comfortable when you're cruising on the motorway, but that softness and the weight of the battery pack combine to make low-speed comfort less impressive. The car just seems to flop into potholes and other jagged imperfections.

And because it's quite soft, it doesn't feel all that sporty, either. The steering feels a bit too light and there's noticeable body roll in corners, which doesn't inspire that much confidence. That said, there's plenty of grip, so the EV6 will cling on for longer than you might expect, and it feels more stable than the rear-drive versions.

The all-wheel-drive system also means it's surprisingly capable off-road. Yes, the ground clearance is no better than that of a conventional family hatchback, but with good all-season or winter tyres fitted, the EV6 will make fine progress even on snow and ice. And because it's so predictable and easy to drive, it's easy to control even when it does lose traction.


With all-wheel-drive GT-Line S models coming in at well over £50,000, this iteration of the EV6 is unquestionably expensive. But then you can pay similar money for a VW Golf with similar power and performance, so perhaps it isn't quite as costly as it seems. Certainly, the AWD powertrain only costs £3,500 more than the equivalent rear-wheel-drive version, and it gets the best part of 100hp more.

This GT-Line S trim level also comes with plenty of kit, including a head-up display, power tailgate and part-leather, part-suede upholstery. Satellite navigation, climate control and the digital instrument display are, naturally, included as standard. As is wireless phone charging, a heated steering wheel and heated front seats.


The EV6 is a great family car in any form, but the all-wheel-drive powertrain would be our choice. The extra power and traction are welcome, while there's no serious reduction in range or ride comfort. As a halfway house between the rear-drive EV6s and the top-of-the-range GT, this fulfills its brief perfectly.

James Fossdyke - 22 Mar 2023    - Kia road tests
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2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line S 77.4kWh AWD. Image by Kia.2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line S 77.4kWh AWD. Image by Kia.2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line S 77.4kWh AWD. Image by Kia.2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line S 77.4kWh AWD. Image by Kia.2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line S 77.4kWh AWD. Image by Kia.

2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line S 77.4kWh AWD. Image by Kia.2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line S 77.4kWh AWD. Image by Kia.2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line S 77.4kWh AWD. Image by Kia.2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line S 77.4kWh AWD. Image by Kia.


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