2022 Kia EV6 vs. 2022 Tesla Model Y Comparison

Jeff Youngs | Aug 09, 2022

Reminiscent of when SUVs first became popular, electric vehicles (EVs) are quickly gaining traction. Virtually every automaker selling cars in the United States currently offers—or will soon—a fully electric vehicle. Those that haven't yet gone all-in on EVs are headed in that direction, offering a mix of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, mild-hybrid, and fuel-cell electric vehicles.

It's not just the luxury brands leading the charge (pun intended) toward electrification. Automakers such as Chevrolet (Bolt EV, Bolt EUV), Ford (F-150 Lightning, Mustang Mach-E), Hyundai (Ioniq 5), Kia (EV6), Nissan (Leaf), and Volkswagen (ID.4)—all known for accessible pricing with an emphasis on value—are getting in on the early action, offering affordable, dedicated EVs to the motoring public.

Korean automaker Kia recently launched its first dedicated battery-electric vehicle (BEV), the EV6 compact crossover SUV. The new EV6 signals the U.S. launch of Kia's 'Plan S' strategy that will deliver 11 all-new electrified models globally by 2026. It joins the award-winning Hyundai Ioniq 5, also new for 2022, packing a 1-2 EV punch from parent company Hyundai Motor Group (HMG).

In contrast, Tesla, the all-American EV maker led by CEO Elon Musk, has been producing all-electric cars non-stop since 2008. Despite increasing competition, the Texas-based automaker is widely considered the EV leader in the U.S. market.

If you're in the market for a new, all-electric crossover, you'll want to consider the EV6 and the Model Y, regardless of their maker’s EV pedigree or how long they've been on the market. What do these two electric crossovers have in common? What are their differences? This 2022 Kia EV6 vs. 2022 Tesla Model Y comparison will help you decide between the two.

Price and Value

2022 Kia EV6 Front Quarter View

2022 Kia EV6

Consumers will find that 2022 Kia EV6 pricing ranges from $42,695 to $57,695, including the $1,295 destination charge. All 2022 Kia EV6 SUVs qualify for a $7,500 federal tax credit, and, unlike some electric cars, the Kia EV6 is available in all 50 states. Supply, however, is limited, so check with your local Kia dealer for availability.

The 5-passenger EV6 comes in three trim levels: Light, Wind, and GT-Line. Kia says a fourth, performance-oriented trim—the 576-horsepower GT—will join the EV6 lineup next year. The Light trim comes with a single electric motor that drives the rear wheels, while the Wind and GT-Line are available in either rear-wheel drive (RWD) or dual-motor all-wheel drive (AWD). To get the dual-motor AWD setup, you'll pay an extra $3,900 (Wind) or $4,700 (GT-Line).

Kia provides five years of basic connected services free of charge on all EV6 trims. Basic features include trip-planning services, 911 Connect, maintenance alerts, remote charging, and more. Buyers may also purchase one of several other plans, gaining access to services such as roadside assistance, remote locking/unlocking, a car-finder, and more.

Buyers looking to get into a new Tesla Model Y will pay more. Shoppers will find that 2022 Tesla Model Y pricing ranges from $61,190 to $71,190, including the $1,200 destination charge. According to Tesla's website, the Model Y is currently available in Long Range and Performance trims. However, in April 2022, the automaker added a base Model Y trim—the first Model Y built at the company's newest Gigafactory in Austin, Texas. Tesla has allegedly offered some customers with existing orders the opportunity to switch to the Texas-built base Model Y.

Because Tesla has sold more than 200,000 electric vehicles in the U.S., the Model Y does not currently qualify for the federal tax credit. Auto industry lobbyists and some automakers are pushing for an expansion of the tax credits, however, so things may change relatively soon, which would benefit Tesla greatly. In the meantime, Model Y buyers can take solace knowing that Teslas are known for their resale value. Indeed, the 2022 Tesla Model Y ranks highest in the Premium Electric segment of the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. ALG Residual Value Awards. That might help take some of the sting out of not receiving the federal tax credit.

All-wheel drive is standard on every 2022 Tesla Model Y SUV, courtesy of dual motors. It offers standard seating for five passengers; the optional third-row seat expands passenger capacity to seven. Note, however, that the third row is very tight and meant for small children.

Various connected services come standard with the Model Y, including automatic collision notification, digital key, and remote access, which allows trusted drivers to access the vehicle if they need to borrow it. Tesla includes standard connectivity for eight years.

Advantage: Neither

The EV6 is less expensive and buyers are eligible for the federal tax credit, but the Model Y has standard AWD and class-leading residual values.

Reliability and Quality

2022 Tesla Model Y White Front Quarter View

2022 Tesla Model Y 

The Kia EV6 is too new for inclusion in the J.D. Power 2022 Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS), which assesses owner-reported problems during the third year of ownership. The EV6 is not among the three highest-ranked models in the Compact SUV segment in the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Initial Quality Study (IQS). The 2022 Kia EV6 comes with the following warranty coverage:

  • Standard warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty: 10 years or 100,000 miles
  • Electric-vehicle component/high-voltage battery warranty: 10 years or 100,000 miles
  • Roadside assistance: 5 years or 60,000 miles

Like the Kia EV6, the Tesla Model Y is too new for inclusion in the 2022 VDS. Though the Model Y did take part in the 2022 IQS, it is ineligible for awards because Tesla Motors does not allow J.D. Power access to owner information in the 15 states that require the automaker's permission. However, the Tesla Model Y ranks second among Premium BEVs in the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Electric Vehicle Experience (EVX) Ownership Study, which examines satisfaction among EV owners. The 2022 Tesla Model Y comes with the following warranty coverage:

  • Standard warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty: 8 years or 120,000 miles
  • Electric-vehicle component/high-voltage battery warranty: 8 years or 120,000 miles (10 years or 150,000 miles in California emissions states)
  • Roadside assistance: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Advantage: Kia EV6

Performance and Efficiency

2022 Kia EV6 Interior Dashboard

2022 Kia EV6

Along with its platform-mate, the Hyundai Ioniq 5,the 2022 Kia EV6 is the first new model from HMG to use the automaker's Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), which will underpin future electric Hyundai and Kia models. Characteristics of the platform include a long wheelbase, wide stance, and a low, flat floor directly under which the battery resides.

Speaking of batteries, Kia offers two battery packs on the new EV6. A smaller, 58-kWh pack goes into the Light trim, while a larger 77.4-kWh pack powers the Wind and GT-Line trims. Buyers can choose between a rear electric motor (RWD) and dual electric motors (AWD).

The Light trim's 58-kWh battery powers the rear wheels only, and output measures 167 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque. According to Kia, the EV6 Light can accelerate from zero-to-60 mph in 8 seconds flat. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says the EV6 Light has a maximum range of 232 miles while consuming 29 kWh/100 miles.

The more powerful 77.4-kWh battery provides more power and quicker acceleration. With the larger battery and single rear motor, output increases to 225 hp while torque remains at 258 pound-feet, and Kia says zero-to-60-mph acceleration improves to 7.2 seconds. Notably, the larger battery and single motor provide the greatest driving range, EPA-estimated at 310 miles. According to the EPA, the energy consumption of the extended-range RWD model is also 29 kWh/100 miles.

Upgrading to the dual-motor AWD powertrain with the larger battery results in 320 hp and 446 pound-feet of torque. Kia says this combination results in zero-to-60-mph acceleration of 5.1 seconds. The maximum travel distance is 274 miles, and EPA energy consumption is 31.7 kWh/100 miles. According to Kia, the EV6 with RWD tops out at 115 mph, while AWD versions can hit 117 mph. Kia says the EV6 Light has no towing capability, but the Wind and GT-Line can tow 2,300 pounds when properly equipped.

The Kia EV6 makes it easy to add range to the battery pack quickly. It comes standard with multi-charging capability supporting 400- and 800-volt fast charging, making it compatible with fast chargers delivering from 50 kW to 350 kW of power. According to Kia, you can recharge the standard battery from 10 to 80 percent in under 18 minutes using a 350-kW fast charger. If you're in a hurry, you can add nearly 70 miles in less than five minutes using a 350-kW fast charger.

Additionally, under the Kia Charge Pass program, all new EV6 buyers receive 1,000 kWh of complimentary charging through Electrify America's nationwide charger network, which is usable during the first 36 months of ownership. That translates to about 4,000 miles for the RWD EV6 Light with the larger, 77.4-kWh battery pack.

Wind and GT-Line trims of the EV6 also come with Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) functionality, enabling owners to use their car as a mobile generator to power electrical appliances, devices, tools, and recreational equipment.

All versions of the 2022 Tesla Model Y use two motors—a 91-kW unit powering the front wheels and a 200-kW motor at the rear—giving it standard AWD. The Model Y has a redesigned battery pack that Tesla integrates into the SUV's structure. The EPA says the base Model Y can travel 279 miles while consuming 28 kWh of energy every 100 miles.

Essentially using the same electric motors, the 2022 Tesla Model Y Long Range is EPA-rated for 330 miles of range while consuming 28 kWh/100 miles. According to Tesla, the Model Y can accelerate from zero-to-60 mph in 4.8 seconds, and its towing capacity is 3,500 pounds with the available tow package.

For those seeking brisker acceleration, there's the Model Y Performance. According to Tesla, it can go zero-to-60 mph in 3.8 seconds, reaching a top speed of 155 mph. The Model Y Performance uses a 133-kW electric motor at the front and a 179-kW unit at the rear. The EPA says the Model Y Performance has 303 miles of range while consuming 30 kWh of electricity every 100 miles.

In contrast to other automakers, Tesla operates and maintains an exclusive network of public chargers. However, the automaker has recently said it will open its Tesla Supercharger network to all EV owners. Model Y owners can plug into these Level 3 DC fast chargers that provide broad coverage. The Tesla Superchargers can help reduce any range anxiety that Model Y owners may be feeling.

Advantage: Tesla Model Y

Safety and Driving Assistance

2022 Tesla Model Y Interior Dashboard Front Seats

2022 Tesla Model Y

Kia proudly states that the 2022 Kia EV6 comes standard with Drive Wise, a collection of 21 advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS). Highlights include automatic forward emergency brakingblind-spot warning (BSW) with collision-avoidance steering assistance, driver monitoring, forward-collision warning (FCW) with pedestrian and cyclist detection, rear cross-traffic warning with automatic rear braking, lane-departure warning (LDW), lane-keeping assistance (LKA), intersection turn assistance, navigation-based adaptive cruise control (ACC) with stop-and-go capability, automatic high-beam headlights, traffic sign recognition, Highway Driving Assist, and Safe Exit Assist.

Upgrade to the EV6 GT-Line and you get evasive steering assistance, a surround-view camera, Highway Driving Assist 2 (brings Level 2 ADAS, combining ACC with lane-centering assistance), and Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA).

To date, neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has published crash-test ratings for the Kia EV6.

Like the EV6, the 2022 Tesla Model Y also comes standard with many ADAS. Features include FCW with AEB, BSW, LDW, and LKA. The standard Autopilot package provides Level 2 semi-autonomous driving assistance, leveraging ACC with stop-and-go capability and lane-centering assistance. The optional Enhanced Autopilot package adds automatic lane-change capability and Autopark automatic parking assist.

Despite the somewhat misleading name, the Model Y with the Full Self Driving (FSD) package cannot actually drive itself. It can, however, slow your Model Y automatically for red lights and stop signs on surface streets. To fully enjoy FSD's capabilities, you'll need to earn a high Safety Score. Consumers should also be aware that the technology is under scrutiny by federal regulators following several serious accidents involving Tesla drivers who were apparently using it.

Despite some of the challenges with its hands-free driving technology, Tesla achieves the highest score in the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Tech Experience (TXI) Study, which surveyed owners of new 2021 model-year vehicles. Because Tesla does not allow public access to owner data without its permission in 15 states, the brand is not rank-eligible in J.D. Power studies. Therefore, it doesn't officially rank highest in the 2021 TXI Study. Nevertheless, Tesla's top score in the study suggests that owners are happy with the overall tech experience with their vehicles. Likely contributing to Tesla owner satisfaction are frequent over-the-air (OTA) software updates.

As of this writing, the NHTSA hasn't rated the crashworthiness of the 2022 Tesla Model Y. However, the structurally similar 2021 model earned the top rating of 5 stars in all crash tests, as well as 5 stars for rollover resistance. The 2022 Tesla Model Y earned a Top Safety Pick+ rating in IIHS evaluations.

Advantage: Tesla Model Y

Infotainment and Technology

2022 Kia EV6 Rear Quarter View Action

2022 Kia EV6

Front and center in the 2022 Kia EV6 are dual, side-by-side 12.3-inch screens—one for the instrument cluster and the other housing the vehicle's infotainment system controls. The wide, horizontal curved display features blue light-filtered screens that Kia says reduce eye strain and fatigue.

The EV6's standard infotainment system includes embedded navigation, wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, voice recognition, a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, and a 14-speaker Meridian premium audio system with HD Radio and SiriusXM satellite radio. Bluetooth hands-free capability comes standard, as does wireless phone charging. The available head-up display features augmented reality (AR) technology that projects a 3D image onto the base of the windshield.

As mentioned above, the EV6 comes standard with Kia Connect, a collection of connected services to enhance the ownership experience. In a Kia first, OTA updates keep the maps and infotainment system current.

Sticking with the single-screen approach, the 2022 Tesla Model Y features a 15-inch touchscreen mounted horizontally atop the center stack. Unlike most EVs, the Model Y doesn't have a traditional instrument panel or many secondary switches, so you control almost everything via the giant touchscreen.

Like the EV6, the Model Y comes standard with factory navigation, OTA updates, natural-voice recognition, and a wireless charging pad. Unlike the EV6, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are not available. Rather, Tesla offers built-in apps like Netflix and YouTube, various music-streaming apps, and an internet browser. Gamers will enjoy the fact that you can play video games on the Model Y's touchscreen, but only if the car is in Park.

Advantage: Kia EV6

Comfort and Utility

2022 Tesla Model Y Blue Rear Quarter View Action

2022 Tesla Model Y

As mentioned earlier, the 2022 Kia EV6 rides on parent-company HMG's new E-GMP vehicle architecture, hallmarks of which are a long wheelbase and short overhangs with the wheels pushed out to the corners. Kia notes that the EV6's 114.2-inch wheelbase is the same as that of the much larger Telluride SUV. Combined with a flat vehicle floor, the result is an open, spacious cabin.

The EV6's dual screens contribute to a sleek, modern, minimalist but functional look inside the cabin. A free-standing center console houses the vehicle start/stop button, gear-selector dial, wireless charging pad, dual cupholders, and covered storage.

The EV6 has seating for five. The base Light trim has cloth and artificial leather-covered seats, while the Wind and GT-Line have fully synthetic leather seats. Heated seats come standard on all trims, while the Wind and GT-Line also get ventilated seats. A heated steering wheel is optional on Wind and GT-Line trims. All EV6 SUVs have rear-seat heat/air ducts and two USB-C charge ports.

Cargo room behind the second-row seats measures 24.4 cubic feet. Fold the rear seats down and cargo space climbs to 50.2 cubic feet.

As with the EV6, the 2022 Tesla Model Y offers a simple but functional cabin. The overall look and feel is minimalist and futuristic all at the same time. Tesla upholsters the Model Y's seats in vegan synthetic materials.

One key difference between the EV6 and the Model Y is that the Tesla offers an optional third-row seat, increasing passenger capacity from five to seven. Keep in mind, though, that passenger space in the optional third row is extremely tight.

Compared to the EV6, the Model Y offers significantly more cargo space, with 30.2 cubic feet behind the second row (26.6 in 7-passenger models). Maximum cargo space measures 72.1 cubic feet (67.9 in 7-seat models). The Model Y also has a front trunk, or "frunk," enabling owners to stow an additional 4.1 cubic feet of gear.

Advantage: Tesla Model Y

Learn More About the Kia EV6 and Tesla Model Y

If you'd like to learn more about these electric crossover vehicles, be sure to read our expert review of the 2022 Kia EV6 and research the 2022 Tesla Model Y. To find out how people like you rate models in this segment, check out our ratings from verified vehicle owners.

Also, please keep in mind that while the information in this article was accurate and valid on August 6, 2022, it may have changed since that date. Always confirm product details and availability with the automaker's website or your local dealership.

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