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Kia EV6 Named U.S. News and World Report's Best Electric SUV

Kia has done it again! With last week’s announcement of the EV6 model winning yet another important automotive press accolade, the automaker undoubtedly has a verifiable hit on its hands.

What did the EV6 win this time you might ask? It has been named U.S. News and World Report’s Best Electric SUV for the 2022 model year. The EV6 is the first of 11 new electrified models Kia plans to debut around the world by 2026, and with Kia launching such an impressive vehicle in the EV6, it bodes well for those to follow. Next up for the U.S. market will be the EV9 SUV coming next year.

How did U.S. News and World Report determine their winning vehicles? They used categories including: starting MSRP, fuel economy, EV range, and charging data from the EPA in the best combination of quality, value, and capability in their respective segments. The EV6’s design, range, charging capability, spacious interior, powertrain performance and handling, “upscale interior”, and starting price were all reasons cited by U.S. News and World Report for choosing the EV6 as their best Electric SUV. These accolades follow on others it has garnered like: Car of the Year awards in Europe and the UK, respectively. The EV6 was also a finalist in the World Car of the Year awards. In fact, the EV6 has won a few awards that aren’t even for cars, specifically two Red Dot Design Awards for “Best of the Best” and “Innovative Products” categories according to New owners are also giving it glowing reviews and calling it out as one of the most compelling and competitive EVs on the market today.

Besides providing more reason to check out the EV6, what is this award worth to Kia and to those shopping for a vehicle like the EV6? For shoppers, it should boost their confidence in this model given the vetting of its design, performance etc. For Kia, it may intensify demand for this excellent compact EV SUV and draw new customers to the brand. That increase in demand may be too much of a good thing though, since Kia is limited in the number they can build due to battery and other component supply. Too many unsatisfied shoppers mean they lose out on market share to other brands and may generate some negative associations. This is especially true if the limited supply and high demand leads to excessive dealer markups or negative associations among consumers regarding the price, availability or difficulty in acquiring the vehicle (as could be the case if what Ars Technica points out proves true, long term, with only a single dealer in Colorado not marking up the EV6 for example). While too much demand is generally a good problem to have, Kia would likely do well to proactively address the situation. In all fairness, Kia is doing a better job than any other mainstream, established automaker in bringing as much supply of its EVs to market in the U.S. as it can, as evidenced by its current 2nd place position (behind Tesla) in the U.S. EV sales race.

With all these awards, the obviously strong demand, it feels a little bit like Kia has things dialed in. But I would suggest that this isn’t exactly the case. No automaker, not even sales leader Tesla, is able to keep up with the demand for EVs. Look at the millions of customers who have put down reservation holds on any number of new and forthcoming EVs, from the Tesla Cybertruck to the Kia EV6, Rivian R1T and R1S, Ford Mustang Mach-E, F-150 Lightning and Cadillac Lyriq among others. Buyers are (mostly) patiently waiting in queues for months or years to get one of these EVs. This is a phenomenon that is pretty unusual when it comes to fossil fuel powered vehicles. What about you, would you put down a deposit now and wait for months or even years to get one of these new or forthcoming EVs?

Please leave your comments and questions below.

Images by Kia.

Justin Hart has owned and driven electric vehicles for over 14 years, including a first generation Nissan LEAF, second generation Chevy Volt, Tesla Model 3, an electric bicycle and most recently a Kia Sorento PHEV. He is also an avid SUP rider, poet, photographer and wine lover. He enjoys taking long EV and PHEV road trips to beautiful and serene places with the people he loves. Follow Justin on Twitter for daily KIA EV news coverage.