When Kia first launched the EV6 in 2021, it was the GT that stole the show as the sharpest looking, most rapid offering of the range. When the car reached New Zealand shores, the GT-Line carried the same baton locally. Yes, those two models threw caution to the wind, the Air was going about its business without drawing quite so much attention to itself.
As the entry point to the EV6 range, the Air offers those unique looks, generous space with a usable range and it goes like the wind too. The logical next step would be then to add more range to the crowd favourite. Enter the EV6 Air Long Range!
We at Tarmac Life are no strangers to the EV6, Dave went on the launch and we reviewed the EV6 GT-Line last year. The commonality from both of those events was our appreciation for the car’s looks especially. Full credit to Kia because they are really pushing the envelope when it comes to car designs, just take a look at the new EV9 or Niro for example!
While on the subject, the EV6 looks distinctive on the road and thanks to those unique LEDs, you could pick one out of a crowd from miles away. It’s sleek lines help it hide its large dimensions, considering that it measures just shy of 4.7m in length and 1.9m in width, it certainly doesn’t look it.
It’s not just the design where Kia have cooked up a storm but also in the range of colour options available. My review model came in Deep Forest Green and my word, what a shade it is! Some other favourites from the range include ‘Yacht Blue’ and ‘Runway Red’ but there’s no denying the appeal that this Green offered. Everywhere I went, it drew looks of admiration from bystanders. After all, green is the colour of intelligence, although I didn’t make the paint choice in this scenario!
What is intelligent though is the interior but before you get there, the EV6 will use a proximity key to reveal the door handles and light the way too when it senses the key nearby! Once you take the rather long step to get inside, you are greeted by oodles of space, particularly at the rear where occupants can really stretch their legs. The lack of a central transmission tunnel also means there is decent enough room for a sizable third rear passenger in the middle.
And it’s the middle where all the magic happens. That centre console features a device style on/off button, a gear selector, wireless charging pad and more buttons! Move up to the dashboard and you are greeted by a distinct lack of buttons. The lower screen switches briskly between climate and audio controls, while higher up, the infotainment screen takes care of the rest!
Admittedly, I did find that lower screen a bit troublesome to use while on the move, especially when I was trying to adjust climate settings but the addition of rotary knobs does help with the muscle memory. The infotainment unit however offered a lot more familiarity to those like me who have experienced recent Kia and Hyundai products before.
Yes, it looks good and yes, it is tech filled too but the driving experience is where the Air Long Range shines among the EV6 lineup. A small NZD $3,000 premium over the standard Air model sees the battery go from 58 kWh to 77.4 kWh while the rear wheels retain the drive. The result is a 134 km WLTP3 increase in range compared to the standard Air model, giving the Air Long Range a maximum range figure of 528 km. The real world translation of which means you can go significantly further between charges and thus enjoy more peace of mind when it comes to range anxiety, the EV6’s range estimation is accurate too so planning a long journey is a breeze!
Torque remains a respectable 350 Nm but power is upped from 125 kW to 168 kW and 0-100 kph time drops from 8.5s to 7.3s, enough to knock the wind out of someone’s sails! Keep in mind that all these performance increases cost a small premium of NZD $3,000 over the standard Air!
For a small price increase, the EV6 Air Long Range offers excellent value over the standard model, making it the range topper when it comes to usable WLTP range! Not to mention its distinctive looks, tech-filled interior and 5-star ANCAP safety rating. It offers everything that we love about the EV6 in a package that goes the distance, what’s not to like?!
2023 Kia EV6 Air Long Range: 4/5
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Car Courtesy of Kia Motors New Zealand. Words and photos by Matthew D’Souza.