This Article

2023 Kia EV6 GT first drive review: Rendezvous then I’m through with you

Kia’s EV6 is one of the best new electric cars you can buy. It offers both a rear-drive, single motor setup, and a dual-motor all-wheel drive option. It’s quick. It’s comfortable. It has incredible fast charging tech. But we always knew there would be more.

That “more” comes in the form of the high-performance GT version. Recently we drove this car in Nevada through the Valley of Fire, and at the drag strip and racetrack at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to see if Kia’s first truly high-performance EV is up to snuff.

The EV6 GT makes 576 horsepower and 545 lb-ft of torque. The car will accelerate from a standstill to 60 miles-per-hour in an eye-watering, and verified, 3.4 seconds. It’s the most powerful Kia to date and usurps the Genesis GV60 Performance to be the most powerful E-GMP car you can buy.

The biggest exterior changes are a slightly revised front and rear fascia, 21-inch wheels, and acid green brake calipers. Inside there is green stitching, manual seats that appear like they were lifted straight from the Hyundai Elantra N, and an acid green GT button on the steering wheel to unlock the full performance.

There is an electronic locking rear differential to send rear power to the wheel with most traction, and a software-enabled drift mode allows for even more shenanigans.

On the highway, the EV6 GT behaves like the regular EV6. It’s quick in a straight line, it’s quiet, and it’s comfortable. The sports seats would benefit from power adjustment and ventilation, but they aren’t overly uncomfortable.

Highway Drive Assist 2.0 helps keep you between the lines, and as long as you’re paying attention with your hands on the steering wheel, helps you complete lane changes automatically.

The augmented reality heads up display helps articulate everything going on, and combined with the navigation system should make it difficult to miss an exit or a turn.

On twisty back roads, the EV6 GT handles better than other EV6s thanks to the adaptive suspension and stiffer springs. The brakes also inspire confidence.

This author’s favorite EV6 to sling around a back road is still the rear-drive GT-Line, because the front end feels lighter without the addition of the second motor up front, but the car is still entertaining.

Where the EV6 GT lacks is in feeling special. It’s quick and it handles great, but it’s missing a little something to make it feel more than it is. The compelling argument for an EV6 is that it drives very well. It still does. The EV6 GT just doesn’t feel significantly better (other than in horsepower) than the rest of the lineup.

The EV6 GT starts at $62,695 with delivery, making it a bargain compared to the Ford Mustang Mach-E GT with the Performance Pack. Compared to a Tesla Model Y Performance, the EV6 GT starts at nearly $10,000 more.

The biggest drawbacks are the reduced range and the lack of trip planning built into the car. While Kia says this car will likely live as a second car in many garages, it has the practicality of a small crossover and people will want to take it on trips.

The 10-80% fast charging, which we’ve verified on other models, is fantastic, but the reduced range that comes from those 21-inch wheels is a bit difficult to swallow. They do, however, look fantastic.

The Kia EV6 GT is a good car. We found it comfortable and extremely capable. But it doesn’t send a tingle down our spines in the way some sports cars do. It’s a great first effort at an affordable, high-performance EV, and there’s sparks of greatness there.

But if we were spending our own money, the less expensive GT-Line all-wheel drive is nearly as fun, has much better range, and has more than enough power to entertain on the commute to work. It’s also nearly as much of a hoot to drive.

Written by Chad Kirchner
Follow Author
Receive weekly updates on each of our electrifying articles.