Comparing the Sporty Electric SUVs

  • I drove the Tesla Model Y and the Kia EV6 to see how the two electric SUVs stacked up.
  • The Model Y has a large, minimalist interior and an iPad-like touchscreen.
  • The EV6 is sporty, cheaper and ideal for people who want a more traditional interior.

So you want to go electric and wondering which car to buy.

On the one hand, there is Tesla, the brand synonymous with electric vehicles in the US. On the other hand, there are electric up-and-comers like Kia.

The South Korean brand sells one of the most exciting and fast-selling EVs: the EV6 SUV. It is sporty, elegantly styled and excels in the all-important segment of the range.

But can Elon Musk’s wildly popular Model Y SUV hold up? I drove both to find out.

Which is cheaper?

The 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line.

The 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line.

Tim Levin/Insider



The Kia starts at $41,400, significantly less than the $65,990 Model Y. Equipping the EV6 with all-wheel drive raises its price by $10,000 and brings its capabilities and costs in line with the Model Y.

What about the range?

The Tesla Model Y.

The Tesla Model Y.

Tim Levin/Insider



Tesla sells some of the longest range EVs on the market. The base Model Y offers 330 miles — and that’s standard with excellent all-wheel drive.

Kia stands out with a robust 310-mile range in the EV6’s $47,500 Wind RWD trim. Base models have a range of 232 miles, while all-wheel-drive models have a range of 274, as rated by the Environmental Protection Agency.

How fast do they charge?

The Tesla Model Y electric SUV.

The Y model.

Tim Levin/Insider



The EV6 is one of the fastest charging electric cars you can buy. According to Kia, it can raise its battery level from 10% to 80% in 18 minutes when connected to a sufficiently high-powered station. This would take closer to 30 minutes for the Y.

However, while Kias rely on home charging or third-party fast charging stations, Tesla owners can plug into dedicated Supercharger stations, which are common and extremely simple to use.

How do they drive?

The 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line.

The EV6 GT-Line.

Tim Levin/Insider



Both cars offer quick steering that makes them more fun to drive than other SUVs. The Tesla is more agile, but sacrifices ride comfort.

The Model Y delivers beastly acceleration that throws you back into your seat. The EV6 is available with a powerful four-wheel drive setup, but I tested the rear-wheel drive model which trades acceleration for extra range.

What about the interior and cargo area?

The 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line.

The EV6 GT-Line.

Tim Levin/Insider



The vehicles are comparable in size, but the Tesla offers much more room for passengers and cargo. The Model Y’s interior is large and open, thanks in part to its large glass roof, and total storage is 76.2 cubic feet, including a front trunk.

The EV6 offers 50.2 cubic feet of storage space with the seats folded down and lacks a proper fort.

The Tesla Model Y.

The Y model.

Tim Levin/Insider



Some buyers may prefer Kia’s sporty and bold interior to Tesla’s minimalist and buttonless aesthetic. People who are repulsed by using a touchscreen to control everything should steer clear of the Model Y.

How does technology stack up?

The Tesla Model Y.

The Y model.

Tim Levin/Insider



The Model Y’s large touchscreen makes it a tech fan’s dream. It offers fun features like video games, along with more useful ones like the Sentry feature, which monitors passers-by using the car’s many exterior cameras. The system regularly receives software updates and new features.

The 2022 Kia EV6.

The EV6 GT-Line.

Tim Levin/Insider



While the Kia also has a flexible screen, it’s not an iPhone on wheels and has more conventional controls than the Tesla. But it has two outlets that provide enough electricity to power household appliances.

Verdict

The 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line.

The EV6 GT-Line.

Tim Levin/Insider



It’s a twist. Both are excellent electric options that satisfy different wants and prices.

I’d go with the Kia because it was fun to drive, charged super fast, and offered almost as much range as the Tesla with more analog controls and a more affordable price.

But if you prize a minimalist interior, tech features up the wazoo, and Supercharger comfort, go with the Model Y.

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