Kia announced in early 2022 that it would expand its electric vehicle (EV) lineup to 14 vehicles by 2027. Some of Kia’s gas-powered models, such as the Niro, Sorento, and Sportage, are already available in hybrid electric vehicle (HEV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), and EV variants. However, a plan to make dedicated EVs opens plenty of possibilities for Kia to capture the hearts and minds of drivers and gain market share.
Kia’s dedicated EV lineup will essentially be new models, not the straight evolution of their current lineup. Therefore, we anticipate a signature style with each new car, truck, and SUV. So, we asked our EV experts to review the Kia 2023 offerings.
2023 Kia EV6
Kia’s first dedicated EV, the EV6, debuted in late 2021 as a 2022 model year. As a result, we don’t expect any significant updates to the base model. However, Kia has added new high-performance GT-Line and GT trims. The EV6 sport crossover offers exceptional exterior style with an aggressive front fascia featuring LED headlights surrounded by daytime running lights and a front air dam. Sleek lines and lower body side cladding run between 21-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Summer Goodyear Eagle F1 tires. A rear roofline spoiler and LED taillights finish off the rear fascia with a modern style.
The tech-laden cabin has dual panoramic displays, one for driver information and the other for infotainment with SiriusXM and navigation built in. A Meridian premium audio system comes standard along with Kia’s Augmented Reality Head-Up Display that projects critical driving data to the windshield. You also get an onboard power generator to power everything from air pumps to home devices, camping equipment, and more.
Heated and ventilated front seats come standard, and you can add heated rear seats as an option. Kia uses 100% sustainable materials, such as vegan leather, and LED lighting to craft a premium cabin. A wireless charging tray keeps your smartphone powered up and ready. Downloading the Kia Connect app allows you to control your vehicle’s operations remotely and get real-time information, such as driving range and nearby charging options. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth technologies are pre-installed for wireless functions, such as making calls, sending texts, and accessing your favorite apps.
Kia makes the EV6 with a single electric motor and rear-wheel drive or dual electric motors and all-wheel drive. The EV6 Wind and GT-Line rear-wheel-drive models have a 168 kW electric motor and a 77.4 kWh lithium-ion battery capable of 225 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. In addition, these trims have a 310-mile driving range, max out at 134 MPGe, and come with a towing capacity of up to 2,300 pounds.
Adding dual electric motors to the Wind and GT-Line trims gives you all-wheel-drive capability. This powertrain makes 320 horsepower and 446 lb-ft of torque. The increased power output results in a lower 252-mile range and 106 MPGe rating but delivers a more thrilling driving experience. Opting for the new top-of-the-range GT model gives you a significant power upgrade. This high-performance dual-electric-motor powertrain pumps out 576 horsepower and 545 lb-ft of torque and goes from zero to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds. DC fast charging lets you charge from 10-80% in 18 minutes.
2023 Kia Niro EV
Born from Kia’s gas-powered crossover SUV, the Kia Niro EV has larger dimensions than the previous model and offers crossover versatility with zero emissions. The new exterior has LED headlights and a signature contrasting aero blade available in select colors for a truly unique design. Inside, you have dual panoramic displays with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth ready for syncing your smartphone. Wireless charging, a head-up display, and voice recognition software round out the in-vehicle tech.
Kia powers the Niro EV’s front-wheel-drive platform with a powertrain that produces 201 horsepower and 188 lb-ft of torque. The Niro EV can travel 253 miles on a full charge, gets a 113 MPGe rating, and recharges from 10-80% in 43 minutes.
Kia HEV, PHEV, and EV Explained
This relatively new segment started over 20 years ago and has undergone significant changes over the years. As EV technology evolves, questions persist regarding EVs. In the early years, the term EV encapsulated vehicles with any electrified powertrain. However, we’ve seen the technology grow and, as a result, cause confusion among some drivers.
For example, an HEV uses an electric motor powered by a separate battery to help propel the car. This hybrid addition works with the gas engine, not separately. The gas engine recharges the electric motor’s battery as it runs, just like how it keeps the engine’s battery charged. HEVs offer improved efficiency over their gas-only counterparts.
A PHEV has a larger electric motor and a higher-capacity battery. There are two significant differences between the PHEV and the HEV. First, with the PHEV, you need to plug in the battery to recharge it, as the gas engine doesn’t produce enough electricity to keep it charged while driving. Second, the electric motor and battery work in tandem or separately from the gas powertrain. As a result, you get more efficiency in propelling the vehicle using only electricity. Typically, PHEVs can drive 30-40 miles on electric-only power.
An EV uses one or more electric motors and a much larger battery pack to propel the car and doesn’t have a gas engine. Instead of a bulky six- to 12-speed transmission, EVs only need a single gearbox to manage the power generated by the electric motor. As little as 10 years ago, EVs averaged around 100 miles on a full charge. Today, the average has more than doubled, addressing one of the most significant consumer concerns, driving range.
Test-Drive a Kia EV Today
If you’re ready to elevate your Corinth commute and lower your carbon footprint with a capable EV, we invite you to shop our inventory online. Huffines Kia Corinth has an expansive inventory of HEVs, PHEVs, and EVs at competitive prices. If we don’t have what you want, we can order it from the factory. Once you find a Kia EV you like, you can visit our dealership on South Interstate 35E, and one of our EV experts will answer all your questions and let you take your favorite for a test drive.