With the launch of the Kia EV6 approaching the market, how does its elegant performance and performance platform stack up against the likes of the Tesla Model 3, the most popular electric car in the domestic market (and this is the case in many overseas markets)?
A Victorian car enthusiast had the opportunity to share his thoughts on the matter, having recently taken a test drive of a Kia EV6 at a Victorian dealership.
His assessment is also a good follow-up to Bryce Gaton’s article looking at whether people should wait for the Tesla Model Y, whose arrival has apparently been indefinitely delayed, or dive straight in with the Kia EV6.
While comparing the Model Y and the EV6 is apt because both are electric transmissions with a slot-style entry at the rear, the Model 3 versus the Kia EV6 is also important just because both are now available (or at least, can be ordered now — there are now Five to seven months for the Model 3 and limited availability only on the EV6).
In an electric car group on Facebook, Andrew Thomas – who told The Driven that he owns a 2019 Mustang GT, 2020 Kia Stinger, 2021 Mercedes AMG a45s, 2021 Hyundai N-Line Premium, the new Kia Stinger awaits, the Kia EV6 GT – it just did it.
He selected his EV6 GT-Line RWD test drive (a level above the air intake), and compared it to both the performance of the Tesla Model 3 and its partner Standard Range Plus Model 3.
First, Thomas says he liked the spacious cabin (although the EV6’s rear can be difficult to reach) but said visibility was better on the Model 3.
He said, “(The interior) is nice, as is (the display) and the heads-up display. In terms of visibility, the Tesla is much better than the EV6 with the front display.”
But he said, “The huge factor is ease of use. The Speedo etc. on the EV6 is a lot better than what Tesla does. When you change lanes, you can actually see the side cams…because they’re dead in front of you.”
“Tesla cars are a waste of space. It also has android auto and apple carplay, again, much better than Tesla shows (you can use Spotify, Tidal, Youtube Music etc…)”
He added, “The seats are in a much better position… I no longer have back pain… My legs can bend down, not straight… The seats have cooled and the air conditioning works amazing.”
Living in Australia we have to say the addition of cooled seats is a plus (word is that Tesla is looking into adding this to future models). In addition, the Tesla Model 3 withstood criticism for its noisy air conditioning, so it is not difficult for Kia to improve this.
“Leadership?” Thomas said. But he said acceleration in the EV6 was required. While the range-topping EV6 averages 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds, entry-level options sprint to 100 km/h in 7.3 seconds.
“Both are great to drive. I drove the rear wheel drive version (lower model Kia EV6 engine) and it’s ssslllllooooooooooooooowww!”
By comparison, he says, “My wife’s Tesla M3 SR+ is about mid-five and you can really feel the difference. The EV6 comes with a dual-motor (0-100 in 5.2) and GT (0-100 in 3.5) so it will be interesting to see what It looks like them when they go out.”
His rule on the RWD EV6? “I couldn’t buy a rear-wheel drive version. It would drive me crazy.”
And in terms of exterior design he said: “Look? I much prefer the EV6. I’ve never liked the front of the M3…it looks like a duck. The EV6 looks elegant and sporty.”
The downsides came in connectivity, interior design and performance. “What is bothering me about either car?” He said.
EV6 – no wireless android auto, piano black in a lot of interior, hard to get back seat, base model too slow.
“Tesla M3 – Terrible seating position (especially for a bad back), no cooled seats, bad air conditioning, terrible windshield wipers, lack of ambient light,” he said.
Finally: Which is the best value for money? According to Thomas, between the Tesla Model 3 SR+, which is $59,990 before road driving, and the EV6 Air, which starts at $67,800, would have gone to Tesla.
However, as for the performance of the Tesla Model 3 versus the EV6 GT, he says, “Which would be better versus the buck? … I’m sure it’s going to be the EV6 GT. Once you get a fast EV6, it’s a bit ahead of the Tesla.”
See full specifications for the Kia EV6, Tesla Model 3 (formerly SR+), and Tesla Model 3 Performance here. And please note that The Driven Editor Giles Parkinson reports on his experience driving the EV6 later next week.
Brady Schmidt is an associate editor at The Driven, the sister site to Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role zero-emissions transportation should play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is a co-organizer of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 which is available for rental at evee.com.au.
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