The inside of the Kia EV6 calls up similar conflicting feelings to the outside, mixing hatchback and SUV cues. Getting into the driver’s seat, you drop down, car-like, but you don’t sink down quite as low as you do in, say, a BMW 3 Series saloon or a hot hatchback. At the same time, you have a legs-out driving position as if you were sat down fully recumbently, because the whole floor is quite high.
The steering column comes at you at a steeper angle than you might expect, given how you’re sitting. But you look out at a short bonnet and over a seemingly low scuttle in a way that’s vaguely reminiscent of being in a mid-engined supercar. It’s slightly unusual – not unpleasant, just different.
Thanks to its architecture, the EV6 has a flat floor, but rather than making an MPV-like airy cabin with a minimal centre tunnel, Kia has chosen a very driver-focused cockpit with a tall centre console. It houses the drive selector, a wireless charging pad, controls for the heated seats and steering wheel, and more storage space than you could shake a Renault Espace at.
You could argue that not creating a completely open cabin is a missed opportunity, but the effect contrasts nicely with the Hyundai Ioniq 5, which goes all in on the airy lounge vibe. The result is that the Kia feels like the more low-slung sporty option, while the Hyundai is more upright and relaxed, neatly differentiating these mechanically similar models.
The detailed design and specification of the cabin is a more mixed success. Glossy black plastics abound, and while some of the other materials are interesting, none of them feels particularly premium. That floating centre console is not the most securely fixed and its sheer length means that items within it can rattle and jingle around as you drive.
In the eternal battle of switchgear versus touchscreens, Kia is refusing to take sides. Under the central air vents, there is a separate panel of virtual buttons and two physical knobs. Rather unusually, these double as both infotainment and HVAC controls and can be switched between the two. It’s a novel solution, but not always an intuitive one.
Space in the rear is generous, with limousine levels of leg room. However, because of the high floor, taller adult passengers will sit with their knees in mid-air and their thighs unsupported, which can be tiring over long distances, and there isn’t much room under the front seats for feet, either. As a result, the space isn’t quite as comfortable or usable as the raw numbers would suggest. It’s a similar story with the boot: there is plenty of floor space, but because of the battery, the floor itself is rather high, and outright loading space is restricted in some ways.
Kia EV6 Infotainment and sat-nav
Hyundai-Kia has one of the best touchscreen-only infotainment systems – not because it’s particularly flash or does anything unusual but simply because it’s clear, logically laid out and reliable and has all the functions you need. It’s also responsive and has useful shortcut buttons, so its usability is first class.
There’s still scope for improving it, though. The way the infotainment shortcuts and climate controls have to share a touch panel is a little awkward. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto phone mirroring are included, but neither is available wirelessly; and although there are countless USB-A and USB-C ports around the cabin (including in the seat backrests), only the USB-A port would fire up CarPlay during our test.
The navigation system can suggest chargers, but it’s not always clear which type they are and whether they are publicly accessible. So you still need to check ZapMap or similar to make sure you’re not en route to a dead end.