New Kia EV6 Horizon 2024 review: loads more kit for only a bit more money
Kia’s new Horizon trim adds plenty of extra features to the EV6, yet it only costs a little bit more than the entry-level model
This latest edition of Kia’s show-stopping all-electric family car offers the same premium-feeling and tech-filled cockpit, composed driving experience and impressive practicality as every other variant we’ve tested. However, the Kia EV6 Horizon piles on the kit, but costs barely a fraction more than the entry-level model, making it the current pick of the range.
The Kia EV6 is on the verge of being facelifted, with the refreshed version of the brand’s first bespoke electric car expected to sport a new look influenced by the unashamedly bold EV9 flagship SUV. It may also bring with it some significant technology upgrades – also carried over from its bigger brother.
However, the updated EV6 isn’t likely to be unveiled until later this year, and the outgoing model that launched in 2021 is still quite the show-stopper on the road. It’s an exceptional car, whether you’re talking specifically about EVs or not.
The Hyundai Ioniq 5’s sleek and sporty sister car is great to drive, spacious inside and crammed full of technology. But this new Kia EV6 ‘Horizon’ edition tested here sweetens the deal further by offering a wealth of luxuries for an almost imperceptible increase in the car’s base price.
Car group tests
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The entry-level EV6 Air already comes generously equipped with 19-inch alloy wheels, dual 12.3-inch displays, vegan leather upholstery, LED headlights, reversing camera and an assortment of driver assistance features from adaptive cruise control to ‘Forward Collision Avoidance Assist’.
However, for just £720 more, the Horizon adds adaptive headlights, front parking sensors, blind spot detection, safe exit assist, heated rear seats, a wireless phone charger, powered tailgate and an electrically-adjustable driver’s seat with memory function.
If that wasn’t enough, also included in the price is ‘premium paint’, which Kia normally charges £675 for. One slight catch is that the EV6 Horizon is only available in Midnight Black and Interstellar Grey, or the excellent Gravity Blue featured on this test car.
That small gripe aside, it’s a deal that seems almost too good to be true. But we have checked, and the EV6 Horizon is not some limited-run ‘one of just 150 examples’ kind of special edition. It’s simply a new specification that should help boost the outgoing EV6’s appeal, and see it through until the facelifted model arrives.
With that in mind, you’d now be a fool to go for the entry-level EV6 Air, with the Horizon’s extra goodies making it virtually redundant. So impressive is this new trim, we wouldn’t be at all surprised if its inclusion dissuaded some potential buyers from upgrading to the pricier GT-Line trim levels – although those higher-spec cars do get a sportier look and more options when it comes to powertrains.
You see, the EV6 Horizon is available exclusively with a 226bhp rear-wheel drive powertrain that offers a range of up to 328 miles from its 77.4kWh battery pack. It doesn’t feature the whiplash-inducing acceleration the 577bhp EV6 GT delivers, but the base motor is plenty potent enough for a family car in any situation, and is a blast on twisty British B-roads.
The ride is on the firm side, which is a common characteristic of modern Kias, but is still comfortable and ensures body roll is well controlled. Meanwhile, the steering has a pleasing weight to it, and you can feel the rear of the car pushing in a playful manner around tighter corners. Sport mode sharpens up the throttle response considerably, though to be fair it hardly feels lethargic in Eco or Normal mode.
The EV6 is an equally capable motorway cruiser, helped by Kia’s adaptive cruise control system and driver assistance tech. In town, the ‘i-Pedal’ driving mode makes stop-start traffic a cinch, even if you’re very aware of the EV6’s sheer size in congested city streets and tight car parks. At nearly 4.7 metres long, it’s not uncommon for the nose to stick out in shorter parking spaces.
Its size, not to mention the impressive 2.9-metre wheelbase, benefits rear passengers greatly, however. There’s acres of legroom available – even with six-foot-tall adults up front – and headroom to spare. Those with younger children will also appreciate the USB-C ports built into the sides of both front seats, so there should be no squabbling about who gets to charge their devices.
The EV6’s driver-focused cockpit still feels special, with the floating centre console and curved panel for the dual displays enveloping you, while all the touchpoints feel solid and premium. The ambient lighting across the dashboard and other parts of the cabin is a nice touch too. We just wish the EV6 got wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to go with the wireless charging pad, rather than having the latter go unused if you prefer using your smartphone’s apps through the infotainment display.
It’s also a shame that a heat pump isn’t offered on the EV6 Horizon, even as an optional extra. This would offer some improvement on the 3.4mi/kWh we did manage in chilly February weather, which equates to a real-world range of around 260 miles.
|Kia EV6 Horizon 77.4kWh RWD
|Price as tested:
|226bhp / 350Nm
|Single-speed auto, rear-wheel drive
|328 miles/350kW, 10-80% in 18 mins