On the face of it, there’s no way you can compare these two cars. The EV6 is bigger, faster, more expensive, built on a dedicated EV architecture. But! But! Is this not a dilemma we all face? Is it worth stretching to get the car I want?
So we’re going to dive into some of the details, but we’ll need your help deciding. Is it worth the extra money?!
Design & Styling
As always in these videos, we’ll dive into design and styling before we get to the good stuff like batteries, range and charging.
Now, the older Niro was getting a little long in the tooth, it had been out for a few years and wasn’t exactly the best looking car on the road. Don’t get me wrong…I liked it! It wasn’t bad, but I just felt a refresh would be good. And Kia has delivered on that! Now, I know a lot of people don’t like the aero c-pillar as it stands out too much, but it’s grown on me. Otherwise, the car is a lot sharper than its predecessor. Inside it’s really gotten a lift also. I love the curving screen. The materials have gotten a nice refresh and look a lot more modern.
But I have to say that the EV6 is a cut above. I just think that their design is so on point. Love the bulge above the wheel arches at the front, and that character line that sweeps up at the back and wraps the car in a continuous light bar….class! It’s a sleeker designer than many of its SUV counterparts and belies its size.
But we need more than styling to decide here. What about practicality, and space inside the car? The new Niro sits on the third generation ‘K’ platform. So it’s slightly bigger with a longer wheelbase also. But it’s still a compromise platform. There’s a little more space for rear passenger legroom which is welcome. Storage space inside is up to 475 litres, with another 20 litres available in the frunk.
The EV6 as you probably know is built upon a dedicated EV platform called the eGMP. This allows Kia to do more with the same footprint of the vehicle. But it doesn’t beat the new Niro EV by as much as you might think. Now it will feel more spacious inside, more airy and roomy. But the boot is only 5 litres bigger. The frunk, if you opt for the 2WD is larger at 52 litres.
So it’s not as much a victory for the EV6 there as we would have thought.
Battery & Range & Charging
Let’s move on to batteries, range and charging…and we’ll start with batteries. What goes into these two cars?
Let’s look at the Niro EV and its 64.8 kWh battery. Efficiency is at least matched with the older model, so WLTP is up to the 290-mile mark, which is absolutely fantastic. And we’re sure that in summer in favourable circumstances you’ll clear the 300-mile range. Obviously less on the motorway, and we think the Niro will be about 250 miles in the real world. The EV6 can be had with two different batteries, depending on your market though. The Standard Range has a 54 kWh usable battery that will be good for nearly 200 miles in the real world.
But you do get a nice boost when you step up to the larger 72.5 kWh Long Range variant. In 2WD format, that’ll get you a solid 250 miles in the real world. Maybe as much as 350 miles if you’re careful in summer.
So all in all, the EV6 can go a little further if you spend the extra money for the larger battery, but it is worth it for you?
Well, let’s have a quick chat about charging, because this may very well swing it for you! You see, the EV6 is built on a dedicated 800-volt architecture. So Kia can do a lot when it comes to charging. You’ll see peak rates of around 230 kW on DC. On AC, you’ll get up to 11 kW, which we feel is just about adequate in 2022.
On the other hand, the new Niro EV doesn’t fare as well. And we’re going to criticise it a little. Now, they haven’t gone backwards for the 2023 version. They’ve altered the battery chemistry to give better and more consistent cold weather charging. They’ve also added preconditioning when navigating to a charger. But the speeds haven’t changed as much as we would like. We feel they should have at least hit 100 kW. But having said that, we’re still a few years away from having ubiquitous 150 kW and 350 kW chargers.
So the new Niro EV will still max out all of the 50 kW DC chargers we see around. On AC, we haven’t heard that the optional 11 kW will be upgraded any higher, and we seriously doubt it will be.
And now it’s on to the good stuff…Performance! Because it’s here that the EV6 will start to shine for many people.
Let’s take the pedestrian pace of the Niro EV first. And I say that tongue-in-cheek because a 150 kW motor with 255 Nm torque is plenty for anyone! 7.8 seconds 0-62 mph is enough! But the EV6 will still thrash it.
Well, having said that, the Standard Range 2WD EV6 is actually a smidge slower than the Niro EV. But not many will opt for that version. The Long Range AWD drive EV6 gets 239 kW of motors and a 0-62 mph sprint of 5.2 seconds. Now that is fast! For a 2 tonne car….whoa! And if you’re willing to splash out and wait a while…the GT version is coming! Yeah…430 kW combined motors with 740 Nm of twist! Get this: 0-62 mph in 3.5 seconds. Wow, that’s Model 3 Performance territory!
Let’s mention the price. But it’s really difficult to compare these on prices because the amount of money you will pay will be so different in various countries and regions around the world! Also, there’s a different weight of expectation on these two vehicles. We also don’t have detailed pricing for the new Niro EV yet.
But where I am in the UK, the older Niro started around £35,000 for the 64 kWh battery. It’ll be interesting to see if Kia put some downwards pressure on that price to separate it from the more premium EV6, which currently kicks off at around £41,000 for the Long Range 2WD models. Having said that, if you want to go for the Long Range AWD, then you’re looking at £50,000 by the time you get a couple of options.
Obviously, this’ll change all over the world with the cars fitting into certain incentives brackets in different countries.
So what separates the two cars? And why would you buy one over the other? We’re a little torn in the office here. On the one hand, the new Niro has made some great strides forward by adding design flair, V2L capability, battery preconditioning, more space, and so on. So if you don’t need some of the extras that the EV6 affords, then it’ll be hard to justify the premium. On the other hand, the EV6 is built on that dedicated eGMP platform, and is a truly excellent example of what EVs are becoming! The bottom line, it’s a better vehicle and deserves to cost a good bit more.
But people don’t always buy cars based on comparing a few stats. The heart comes into it. Is the car truly desirable for you?
For me, if I was looking to save a bit of money then I’d just buy a used e-Niro..still a great EV. But if I was in the market for something new and I had a bit of money, I’d be going for the EV6 Long Range 2WD. That’s the sweet spot for me. I just love the styling, bit of power there when you want. Interior comfort and layout just give you that bit more on the dedicated platform.
But what about you?!
Has Kia done enough with the new Niro?
Which would you go for?
How much cheaper will the Niro have to be to swing you?
Or maybe neither floats your boat, and you’d go for an Enyaq, iD.4 or Ariya?
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