New Car :O
I bought a new car in March 2022. Well, technically I ordered it 5 months before that but with the global chip (not fish and chips) shortage, it took some time to arrive! The new car is a Kia EV6 GT-Line S, single motor, no heat pump in yacht blue with mats (total cost, just over £49k 😬).
It’s got just over 1500 miles on the clock now so it’s time to post a review.
After a 3 month wait for the demonstrator cars to turn up in the UK, I got the opportunity to test drive the EV6 in Cambridge as well as sit in the showroom car. First impressions were it’s a monster of a car, size wise! The demonstrator car was a yacht blue and it looked stunning compared to the red one in the showroom (in my opinion)! Unfortunately, the chip shortage meant there were no deals to be haggled… I’ve never bought a car at list price so this was a bit galling.
Initially I wasn’t convinced I’d done the right thing – heck, spending nearly £50k on a car is a crazy thing to do! But I had such problems with the Leaf driver’s seat hurting my leg that I was at the point where I wasn’t driving the Leaf a lot as I didn’t enjoy going out in it. Kia had just announced the new EV6 and the specs looked ideal – 200+ mile range and ultra-rapid charging capability + gadget packed.
Despite the problems I had with the Leaf, when it came to checking over the EV6 demonstrator car, my mind went blank* and I completely forgot to check:
- Extendable sun visor – yes
- Comfortable front seat – yes
Even after picking up the car and putting a little over 200 miles on the clock I still thought I’d done the wrong thing and spent a shed load of money, haha! I was having problems with the heating seeming to blow only cold air in the cabin halfway on a long journey, the nav unit didn’t have the latest updates despite the garage assuring the car was on the latest updates, I couldn’t work out if the car was or wasn’t registered for any breakdown service, getting the car to charge during the off-peak electricity period of 00:30 to 04:30 seemed a dark art and the ride isn’t quite as smooth as the Leaf. The good news is that the heating issue isn’t a problem if you crank the heat up to 24+C, the nav unit can be updated without a visit to the garage via a usb stick (although it takes 2 hours!!!), the breakdown cover paperwork came through the post a few weeks after I picked it up, the scheduled charging appears broken from the car but works fine when schedule from the app and the ride is just more sporty and I’ll get used to it eventually. So all the initial teething issues are either addressed or have workarounds.
About 400 miles in I think was around the point where I started to realise this was a fantastic, if incredibly complicated (and bear in mind I’m a programmer!) car. I find myself going out to the neighbouring town to get shopping but going the long way deliberately to drive the car a bit longer. It’s got an ECO mode like the Leaf but the car is a daemon in ECO mode – let along sport mode. I don’t regret only going for the single motor version but I do wonder if it’d be that much more responsive when taking off from a roundabout. My driving license thanks me though for not getting the dual motor version 🤣.
The auto steering is brilliant – it’s much more advanced than the version on the Leaf. I used auto steering on the Leaf when travelling on the M25 to take some of the tedious driving away, but this version can be left on for over 90% of journeys. There are still some occasions when it’s best to disable it like when driving narrow winding roads in Cornwall as it tends to compensate for the corners too late, drives over the white lines and then complains about going over the lines!!
Lane changing on Motorways is kind of useful – I do use it, but I find it only works 50% of the time and I end up moving over when it’s only partly moved lanes or it’s given up before starting the lane change.
Last weekend it had its first long-distance journey, from my home to GridServe on the M5 at J30 (Exeter). That’s roughly 220 miles with the heating on for at least a third of the journey, cruise control set at 67mph when on the motorways. We arrived at the GridServe site, plugged into one of the 350kW machines and were back up to 90%, having received just short of 59kWh in 25 minutes! Very impressive charging performance. Driving longer distances in this car is so easy and stress free**.
I do plan to keep this car a lot longer than the Leaf. I only managed to clock up 38.5k miles on the Leaf which is pretty low mileage compared to my C’eed at 160k when I got rid of that. I can see keeping this car for a good 5 to 10 years, partly because it cost so much but also because it has the ability to ultra rapid charge, so I don’t see a replacement being necessary unless something game changing comes out on the market.
I’ll post another update at the ~8k mark as I did with the Leaf but so far this car is really growing on me.
p.s. for those wondering how I can afford to buy a £49k car, the Leaf was worth £15.5k traded in, £25k I stuck on a loan*** before (and because interest rates were so crazy low!) interest rates went up and the remainder was cash.
* my mind was mostly on “why-o-why am I considering spending £49k on a car?!?”
** as long as you don’t pick a charger that is having a bad day (sadly Pod Points, Strawberry Fields Farm Shop charger was misbehaving and only gave a 1.5kWh charge before deciding to stop on it’s own…)
*** I took out a bank loan from the start this time as I learnt from the Leaf buying experience not to use a dealership loan!