Mercury (Hobart) - Motoring

FAST FORWARD

Car makers are accelerati­ng their efforts to bring zero-emissions vehicles to market

- DOM TRIPOLONE

The EV6 also has the advantage of a slightly larger 77.4kWh battery that delivers more range and slightly more performanc­e than the Hyundai.

Kia claims the EV6 will travel up to 504km on a single charge, while its 168kW and 350Nm rear-mounted electric motor provides plenty of oomph. A generous serving of torque delivered from the get-go helps shift the two-tonne machine with ease, sprinting to 100km/h in a claimed 7.3 seconds. For the revheads, a more expensive dual-motor version completes the trip in a brisk 5.2 seconds. Despite its bulk, the EV6 is engaging to drive, with well weighted steering and impressive grip and balance through corners.

The Kia’s shock absorbers do a great job of taming bigger, high-speed bumps, delivering excellent body control when the road surface isn’t ideal.

HYUNDAI IONIQ 5 RWD

The Ioniq 5 RWD is $77,000 drive-away, about $4000 cheaper than the EV6, which is a fair chunk of change for a car with an almost identical list of standard equipment.

It has a shorter five-year/unlimited km warranty and is more expensive to service – $1684 over five years – but it has a longer battery warranty.

It also turns more heads with its futuristic styling cues that aren’t matched by anything else on the road.

The Hyundai’s big windows and standard panoramic glass roof – not available on our Kia – give the cabin a light and airy feeling compared with the darker Kia. The boot is bigger and more functional, thanks to a rear seat that can slide forward to liberate more load space. Its smaller 72.6kWh battery delivers a claimed driving range of 451km and its single electric motor puts out 8kW less than the EV6.

Both cars are equipped with 800-volt charging capacity that allows them to accept a charge rate of up to 350kWh. That means the battery can be charged from 10 to 80 per cent in about 18 minutes. A regular power point will take more than a day, while a home wallbox charger should get it done overnight.

Both cars are packed with the same safety tech that includes automatic emergency braking, blind-spot assistance and rear crosstraff­ic alert. A bird’s-eye view camera makes negotiatin­g tight spaces easier and a safe exit warning will warn you if a car is coming as you open the door.

On the road the Ioniq is enjoyable to drive, with perky performanc­e and reassuring balance and grip through corners. It is quieter than the Kia on the open road and its softer suspension makes for a smoother commute. It isn’t as content over pockmarked roads, where it tends to skip across corrugatio­ns and take time to settle over bigger bumps taken at speed.

VERDICT

There is very little separating this pair of excellent EVs, but the Kia’s longer range, longer warranty and marginally better driving feel give it the slightest of edges over the better packaged Hyundai

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