In Palm Beach County, Where So Much Is The Same, It’s Fun To Be Different.
EV6 REVIEW: Kia’s Long Range Electric SUV Changes The Game.
BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2022 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — Anyone who has lived in South Palm Beach County for a while knows this to be true: there’s always an “official” car. In the early 2000’s, it was the Lexus ES300, unless you’re a Realtor in which case it was the RX400 SUV.
For a brief while, the BMW 3 and 5 series became the official South Palm Beach County cars. It seemed everyone had one or the other. Then, Elon Musk launched Tesla, and — to this day — the Tesla 3 Series and Model Y continue where the Lexus and BMW left off. A bank robber escaping police could easily go undetected for weeks if they drove a black or white Tesla and hid in a Boca Raton or Delray Beach gated community.
But for those, like me, with a TV news background, you’ll understand this analogy: the Tesla is the equivalent of the blond-haired young anchorwoman-wanna-be wearing a French-blue shirt in the late 90s. The cars look good, but get old fast. There’s flash, but not necessarily a whole lot of substance.
Much like a French blue shirt, Tesla’s fine for some, but the brand has become somewhat utilitarian in the Palm Beach County market.
KIA? YES. KIA.
Then came Kia. Yes, Kia, the company that most of us who call South Palm Beach County “home” would never be caught dead driving. It just doesn’t sync with the Boca Raton or Delray Beach image. The much-loved Kia Stinger, we reasoned, was an anomaly that would never be repeated. There’s just no way that Kia could make another cool car.
But then seven things happened:
- My beloved Ford Explorer ST was worth significantly more than I paid (welcome to 2022).
- Jason Bateman’s commercial for the Hyundai Ioniq 5 during the Super Bowl got lots of attention.
- There was lots of press and promotion for the Kia EV6 — a sleeker version of the Ioniq 5 that looked unlike anything on the road today.
- Kia’s new logo suddenly started looking tolerable.
- Kia’s $7500 Tax Credit for EVs was brand new and completely available.
- The official range for the EV6 passed 300 miles.
- The Kia wasn’t a Tesla.
I test drove the EV6 expecting to hate it. I didn’t. It drove exceptionally well on both the Sawgrass and regular streets. I spent a few weeks researching what other people were saying about the EV6 — it’s telling when forums are not full of complaints. While friends and family told me I’m too snobby to buy a Kia, I started negotiating with dealers — ultimately having the best car buying experience that I have ever had. My dealer: Rick Case Kia in Sunrise. My sales guy: Ryan Williams. He is an expert on this vehicle. Jimy Contreras is the most professional General Manager that I have ever dealt with.
IMPRESSIONS AFTER A FEW WEEKS.
I’ve now had the EV6 GT-Line RWD for a few weeks. It drives better than any BMW, Lexus, Audi, Mercedes, or Ford that I’ve ever driven. It is the perfect mix of SUV bulk but car-like control, and the tech is overwhelming. Instead of repeating what others have written, consider this as an example of what a car can do: the EV6 knows when you’re driving by the landfill in Deerfield Beach or the dump near Southern Boulevard on the Turnpike, and automatically turns cabin air to “recirculate.” Seriously. While the car does not have fully autonomous driving — something I truly would never want — it does take curves and will lane change pretty much on its own. I think that’s a great compromise, especially as someone who has covered decapitations when truly autonomous cars have driven under tractor-trailers.
There is a ton of space inside the vehicle, which still seems mathematically impossible when you look at it. It’s quiet. And the steering wheel just feels really good. I’ve used two FP&L Fast Chargers on the turnpike, and they proved Kia’s claim: the car goes from 20 percent to 80 percent in under 20 minutes. My Chargepoint home charger — installed by the pros at Global Power in Boca Raton — fills it up in six hours. Home chargers are always slower than high-speed chargers on the Turnpike or other public locations.
Kia, and presumably its sister Hyundai, made one major error that I hope will be corrected with software. The official range of the vehicle is 310 miles on a full charge. But just like a gas-operated vehicle that claims 28 miles to the gallon, it really all depends on how you drive. For an electric car, however, when you say 310, you expect the range computer to show 310 once you “fill it up.” Tesla takes the psychologically correct approach of resetting to its maximum range after a charge, and then reducing the range depending on how you drive. The EV6, however, computes your driving over the past few hundred miles and sets your range based on that calculation. So after a charge, you may see that 100 percent actually means 250 miles instead of 310. The end result is the same — how you drive relates to how much power you use which relates to how far you go. But many posting to EV forums all agree: the range should always be reset to the maximum number, then decrease appropriately as you drive, use air conditioning, or take other actions that use the car’s energy. The EV6 may decrease one mile for every 5 driven, but it’s that total range estimate that stands out. We think Kia’s choice is wrong. Start high, then reduce based on use. If you’re going to market 310, let a reset show 310.
I love this car. I really love this car. It is a joy to drive. It is exceptionally fast (just kidding PBSO Deputies on 441), the pickup in Sport mode is nuts, and the interior really feels great. As a neighbor said to me, “if you took off the Kia logo and replaced it with BMW, everyone would want one.” My opinion: I think anyone open to an EV that doesn’t say Tesla will want one as soon as they test drive. The EV6 actually proves the old saying: “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” There’s a whole new world under that new Kia logo.
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