Kia EV6 vs. Tesla Model Y

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - March 16, 2022

The Tesla Model Y was once one of just a handful of all-electric vehicles in the compact SUV segment. Now, Tesla’s smallest SUV has a lot of competition, including a new opponent with the all-new Kia EV6. While the Model Y isn’t the new kid on the block anymore, it still has a lot of strengths that make it one of the best options in the class. The all-new EV6 arrives with a fresh design, high-tech features, and super-fast charging capability.

If you’re shopping for an electric crossover, you’re likely to be comparing these two models with one another. In this comparison, we’ll take a look at the two EVs and name a winner.

What the Kia EV6 Gets Right

For shoppers on a budget, the EV6 is a far more affordable option than the Model Y. Pricing for the EV6 starts at $42,115 (with destination) and that doesn’t include the full federal tax credit that the EV6 is eligible for. The Model Y has a starting price tag of $63,190. Tesla’s pricing is also confusing, as the automaker updates the prices of its vehicles whenever it wants. Additionally, if the $21,075 difference isn’t enough to make up your mind, the Model Y isn’t available with any portion of the federal tax credit, making the gap even larger.

Kia offers the EV6 with 800-volt charging capability. That means plugging the EV into a DC Fast Charger can result in the battery pack going from 10 to 80% in just 18 minutes. When plugged into one of Tesla’s Superchargers, the Model Y can go from 20 to 80% in 20 minutes. The EV6 also has vehicle-to-load functionality that allows the EV6 to charge other electric vehicles and small appliances.

While Tesla’s vehicles are priced similarly to luxury vehicles, the fit and finish of its cars and materials aren’t up to luxury standards. On the other hand, the EV6’s interior has a sleek design with high-quality soft-touch materials that are put together sturdily. You won’t find any ill-fitting panels in the EV6 like you will in the Model Y.

Read Our Overview of the Kia EV6

What the Tesla Model Y Gets Right

Tesla continues to lead the pack when it comes to range. The base Long Range trim offers up to 318 miles of range, while the EV6 tops out at 310 miles of range. It’s not a large difference, but the base EV6 can only cover 232 miles, which is 86 miles off of the base Model Y’s range.

While the Model Y and EV6 are nearly the same size, the Tesla is the roomier option of the two. The Model Y has more front and rear headroom and rear legroom compared to the EV6. The Model Y also has a lot more cargo space with a total of 76.2 cubic feet of cargo space, while the EV6 has up to 50.2 cubic feet of room. Unlike the EV6, the Model Y can seat up to seven people.

Of the two electric vehicles, the Model Y is the better choice for tech lovers. The Model Y comes with a standard 15-inch touchscreen, a wireless charging pad, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Bluetooth, and 14 audio speakers. The EV doesn’t come with smartphone compatibility and requires users to sort through menus for nearly all of the vehicle’s functions, but it has cool modes like Sentry Mode that can monitor the vehicle when it’s parked and Dog Mode to keep the vehicle’s air if you leave your dog in the car. The touchscreen also allows passengers to watch videos through YouTube and Netflix or play games when the car is parked. Plus, there’s Tesla’s Autopilot system and continuous push toward coming out with new semi-autonomous tech that other brands can’t match.

Read Our Overview of the Tesla Model Y

More Than Saving Money

Going with the EV6 results in massive savings, even when you compare the most expensive EV6 to the cheapest Model Y, but the vehicle also has strengths outside of pricing. The EV6’s slick infotainment system is easy to use, it has a sporty design, it’s fun to drive, and nearly has the same amount of range as the Model Y. Additionally, the upcoming, EV6 GT trim promises to have the same lively performance as the Model Y Performance.

Our Verdict

With more trims to choose from, more affordable pricing, nearly the same amount of range from its range-topping model, and high-tech charging capabilities, the Kia EV6 is the winner in this comparison. The Tesla Model Y is still the one to choose when it comes to outright range and technology, but most people will be better served with the EV6.

Compare Side-By-Side: Kia EV6 vs. Tesla Model Y »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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