Kia EV6 wins European Car of the Year 2022

01 March 2022

European Car of the Year

The title of the European Car of the Year 2022 has been awarded to the Kia EV6. The electrically-chargeable car faced close competition from six other cars, five of which were also battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and the other available as a plug-in hybrid (PHEV), showing the impact of electrification on the automotive market.

The European Car of the Year 2022 jury made up of 61 journalists from 23 countries awarded a total of 279 points to the Kia EV6, with the Renault Megane E-Tech Electric in second (265 points) and the Hyundai Ioniq 5 in third (261 points). Before the results were announced, there was some concern that the Kia and Hyundai models may take points away from each other, both being based on the Hyundai Electric Global-Modular Platform (E-GMP).

However, while the results were close throughout, it was only ever a three-horse race for the title. The other contenders, the Peugeot 308, Skoda Enyaq iV, Mustang Mach-e and Cupra Born, scored well but were not in contention for the title.

‘It is a great honour to have won the 2022 European Car of the Year with the EV6, the first-ever Kia to win this prestigious award,’ commented Jason Jeong, President at Kia Europe. ‘The EV6 is truly a landmark development that has been designed from the outset to make electric mobility fun, convenient and accessible by combining a highly impressive real-world driving range, ultra-fast charging capabilities, a spacious high-tech interior, and a truly rewarding driving experience. The EV6 is an exciting sign of what’s still to come in our evolving electrified line-up.’

New design architecture

The EV6 is the first dedicated BEV produced by Kia and forms the first part of the Korean company’s transition to a new era of vehicle electrification. The carmaker aims to launch another 10 BEV models by 2026, six on the new platform and four based on existing models.

The car is offered with a choice of powertrain configurations and an 800V charging capability. This means that in just 18 minutes it can go from 10% to 80% battery charge. The GT version of the Kia EV6 can accelerate from 0-100kph in 3.5 seconds, with a top speed of 260kpm. A long-range 77.4KWh battery model can travel over 510km on a single charge.

Kia has launched a new car design philosophy with the EV6. The crossover SUV features a coupe-like sweeping roofline with high-sided doors and a swooping bonnet giving the car an aggressive stance. It also appears high-tech, thanks to its sleek daytime running lights, which display a ‘sequential’ dynamic lighting pattern. At the back of the vehicle, lights sweep around the boot and rear three-quarter panels to give a new signature lighting strip.

Inside, the car features a minimalist dashboard with a curved digital display, giving an open feel in the cockpit. The EV6 also makes use of sustainable materials, with vegan leather, and recycled plastics used to good effect.

‘The Kia EV6 has a sporty and attractive look, although it lacks a bit of family identity compared to other recently launched Kia models,’ commented Guillermo Iniguez, senior market analyst with Autovista Group’s Car To Market team. Iniguez drove a top-spec model at an event hosted by the carmaker. ‘Nevertheless, it is very dynamic and provides a strong stance on the road. As with most BEVs in the power range tested, the EV6 feels fast and reactive, a real pleasure to drive, both on mountain roads and highways. 

‘The interior is very modern and appealing with a nice selection of materials giving a near-premium touch. Operation is intuitive and easy to get used to, with the most important buttons still in physical form. There are plenty of storage areas too, with some useful space under the central console, where the gear stick traditionally is. It was roomy, both in front and also in the rear,’ he added.

‘The EV6 design is extravagant and expressive and features a lot of unique cues and especially the rear is emphasised by the descending roofline and special light signature,’ added Sonja Nehls, principal analyst, Launch Intelligence, Autovista24. ‘The charging technology is outstanding too. The combination of the 800V battery system and super-fast DC charging takes the edge off long-distance travel and lets you forget about range or charging anxiety. The long wheelbase and 1.55-metre height puts the Kia EV6 between the Polestar 2 and Volkswagen ID.4 in terms of size.’

Return for GIMS

The European Car of the Year finals was once again livestreamed on digital platforms with only the jury and presenters in attendance. The event is usually hosted alongside the Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS), which was cancelled for the third year in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, during the virtual ceremony, Sandro Mesquita, CEO of GIMS, gave an update on the future of the event. ‘We are working hard to ensure that the next edition of the Geneva International Motor Show can take place in 2023,’ he said. ‘The “Car of the Year” ceremony will regain its role as the opening event of the GIMS press days, especially as it will celebrate its 60th winner next year.’

Mesquita also suggested that when GIMS does return, it will do so in a new format. ‘[The show] will have more impact, more reach and be more immersive for visitors, with a new experience,’ he stated.

Automotive shows have been reorganising themselves in recent years, with visitor numbers dwindling. In today’s interactive world, there is little appetite for static display stands and immobile vehicles. Instead, events are now looking to include the audience, with test drives and live displays. The Tokyo Motor Show increased visitor numbers in 2019 by implementing these changes, while last year saw the IAA Mobility automotive event moved from its traditional home in Frankfurt to the exhibition halls and streets of Munich. This show was, however, scaled down from the original plans due to the pandemic.

GIMS was sold to Palexpo SA, owners of the conference and exhibition centre where the European Car of the Year event is staged, in 2020 following cancellation of that year’s automotive show and the financial implications caused by the situation. A loan was offered by the Canton of Geneva to cover costs, but with terms the original organisers found unacceptable.

Transcript – Kia EV6 wins European Car of the Year 2022

The Kia EV6 has won the title of European car of the year for 2022. Beating off competition from six other rivals, five of which were full batteryelectric versions and one of which available as a plug-in hybrid. A field that really embraced the electrification of the automotive industry this year.

So, the winner is, the winner is the Kia EV6 with 279 points wow.

Voting was closed throughout the competition with the Kia EV6 and the Renault Megane E-Tech Electric trading places throughout, points being awarded by a 61-member jury made up of automotive journalists from 23 countries. It was only ever a three-horse race with the Hyundai Ioniq 5 also scoring highly. The EV6 is the first battery electric vehicle or BEV launched under the new Kia design philosophy ‘Opposite United’. It features an 800-volt charging capability, meaning it can go from 10 to 80 percent battery charge in just 18 minutes.

There are multiple powertrain options available. The GT version accelerating from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in 3.5 seconds with a top speed of 260 kilometers per hour. Front passengers are greeted by a lean minimalist dashboard architecture with a striking seamless high-tech curved infotainment screen. Inside, sustainable materials have been used from vegan leather trims to seat fabrics and floor carpet made using recycled plastics equivalent to 111 plastic 500 milliliter water bottles. The model is the first dedicated BEV designed and developed by Kia based on the all new electric global modular platform ‘EGMP’. A platform it also shares with its sister car the Hyundai Ioniq 5. It forms the first part of Kia’s transition to a new era of electrification and begins the mid to long term strategy for BEVs, plug-in hybrids and hybrid electric vehicles to make up 40% of Kia’s total sales by 2030 with an annual sales target of 1.6 million units for these eco-friendly models.

As part of this Kia aims to grow its BEV sales to 920,000 units in 2030 and become a top global seller of the technology. The EV6 will be joined by 10 other BEV models by 2026. Of these, another six will be built on the EGMP architecture and four will be derivative EVs based on existing models.

‘When driving the Kia EV6 you will attract attention, there’s no way around it. The extravagant and expressive design features a lot of unique cues and especially the rear gets emphasized by the descending roof line and the special light signature. The charging technology of the EV6 is outstanding. The combination of the 800-volt battery system and the super-fast DC charging with up to 220 kilowatts really take the edge of long-distance travel and let you forget about range or charging anxiety. It combines that long wheelbase with a height of 1 meter 55 which puts it right in the middle between the likes of pole star 2 or Tesla model 3 on one side and the taller Volkswagen ID4 or the Tesla model y on the other side. So, while the design certainly does not keep a low profile, the roofline of the EV6 somehow does.’

It was also announced during this year’s European car of the year finals that the Geneva International Motor Show would be making a comeback for 2023. Organizers have promised this new event will be more impactful, have more reach and be more immersive for visitors. Although no further details were given. It should also be noted that this year’s voting did not include any representation from Russia. Their jury members were expelled and our points discounted in the final tallies due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

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