Kia EV6 Air is a whopping £11,900 cheaper than the top-spec GT-Line S with 321bhp
This softer-looking version of the lauded electric SUV is also the cheapest. Is it the pick of the range?
The Kia EV6 certainly hasn’t been short of plaudits since it arrived in 2021. But as ever with these things, those have all been in the toppier specs, sometimes with a bigger power output. What about in the (relatively) bargain basement version?
That’s what this EV6 Air is. At £44,195, it’s three grand cheaper than the next one up (the 226bhp GT-Line) and a whopping £11,900 less than the top spec GT-Line S with 321bhp. Or, if you take the EV6 range to the extremes, £17,400 cheaper than the EV6 GT. If nothing else, it demonstrates that in the electric era, there are myriad ways to spend your cash even once you’ve decided which car you want.
The key question, then, is whether the Air feels like the poor relation. Forgive the spec deep dive, but it’s important to work out where the sweet spot sits with the EV6 range. As standard, you’re not going to feel short-changed, because it gets decent-looking alloy wheels, LED headlights, the same-size dashboard screens as the GT-Line and GT-Line S, heated seats, a heated steering wheel and rear parking sensors.
Obviously the GT-Line gets more kit (the key items being electric seats, adaptive headlights and front parking sensors), but if it were my £3000, I’m sure those additions would be worth it.
As ever, though, there are further nuances. A heat pump isn’t even available as an option on the Air, while the GT-Line also gets vehicle-to-load functionality as standard. If you want to use your EV6 more to plug in laptops or power your home, you will need the upgrade.
In terms of quality, there are no issues. Long gone are the days of fake-feeling leather in Korean cars, and with no blanked-off switches (one advantage of touchscreens), the Air feels as quality a product as higher-spec EV6s.
Against rivals like the Skoda Enyaq iV and Ford Mustang Mach-E, the Air remains just as compelling as its siblings. The Air is only available with the lower-powered single-motor powertrain, but the battery size remains the same across the range, so you don’t gain any range by opting for the dual-motor 321bhp car. In fact, at 328 miles claimed (and 280 miles real-world), the Air is the longest-legged EV6.
Ride comfort is good, while pace from the rear-mounted motor is more than enough. As with a lot of these electric cars, the 0-62mph time doesn’t reflect how accessible the performance is. In 500 miles, I never once felt like I needed more power.
And that’s largely the same for the Air overall: less is more.