Deciding which car to buy and comparing it with others is not easy. There is so much you have to consider when making the final decision.
But I will make things easier for you by giving you a detailed comparison between the Kia EV6 and the Tesla Model 3.
Both EVs are great, but which one suits your tastes and needs best? That’s what I’m here for.
I’ll be putting the Tesla Model 3 and the Kia EV6 to the test. This is a battle between a tech company and a major car manufacturer whose reputation has exponentially increased in the recent past.
Some might say that the Tesla Model Y should be compared with the EV6, but I’d argue that the Model 3 and the EV6 are closer cost-wise, so this is comparing stuff you get by spending about the same amount (actually, less in the case of the EV6).
Is the Tesla Model 3 better than the Kia EV6 or the other way around? Let’s find out.
Maintenance and Insurance Costs
The very first thing that most buyers would look at is the cost.
Every model has a starting price, which gives you the standard features, and premium models cost higher.
For example, the Tesla Model 3 starts at $48,490, which takes you from 0 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds. Its range is 267 miles, and it has a top speed of 140 mph. We will get into its features in detail in the later sections.
On the other hand, the Tesla Model 3 Performance starts at $62,990, with an all-wheel drive dual motor taking you from 0 to 60 mph in a neck-bending 3.1 seconds. Its range is 315 miles, and you get a top speed of 162 mph.
The Model 3 Long Range, which will not be available until 2023, can get you from 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds. It is also an all-wheel drive with a dual motor, and the range is enormous at 358 miles. The pricing will be available in 2023.
Meanwhile, the Kia EV6 starts at about $43,000, which is less than the Model 3, not to mention that it is a crossover SUV, so it’s much roomier than the Model 3.
If you want something that can compete with the Tesla Model 3 Performance’s AWD, you can opt for the Kia EV6 Wind (AWD), which happens to be $11,500 less.
If you want to compete with the sheer ability of the Tesla Model 3 Performance, your best bet would be the Kia EV6 GT-Line, which happens to be about $5,000 less.
|Tesla Model 3||Kia EV6|
|Starting Price (RWD)||$48,490||$43,000|
|AWD Model Price||$62,990 (Performance)||$51,400 (Wind Model), $57,695 (GT-Line Model)|
The cost of the insurance for a Tesla Model 3 happens to be about 30% more than your average car. Then there’s also the age factor.
If you’re young like me, you will be paying about $5,000 a year, or if you’re young at heart like my dad, you would be paying much less — about $1,700.
The maintenance appears to be much less in the case of the Tesla Model 3, as there are no mechanical components that would require a regular oil change. So you’ll save on the regular maintenance that gas vehicles need.
However, several other things increase the Model 3’s ownership cost, such as premature tire wear, which requires you to replace the tires early on.
And if you happen to have some electrical issues, the replacements are very expensive if you don’t have a warranty.
On the other hand, the cost of insurance for a Kia EV6 may be around $1,670 per year.
With the incentives of a zero-emission policy, there are many other costs/taxes that you will be exempted from.
So overall, after conducting thorough research on the cost aspect, I’d say that the Kia EV6 takes the win by a huge margin.
Ride Quality / Comfort
Let’s talk about the ride quality and comfort of both contenders.
The first concern is cabin noise.
Most of the tests and opinions have made it clear that the Tesla Model 3 is not that quiet — it makes a droning noise inside the cabin, and there is tire noise as well.
Because of its build quality (which we will go into detail later), the Tesla Model 3 gets those eventual loose trims that make pesky rattling noises.
These loose trim noises will be even more apparent if you have had a couple of aftermarket stuff installed that required removing the trim pieces.
The Kia EV6, on the other hand, is much quieter, and with the adaptive suspension on the higher trim levels, the ride quality and comfort get better multiple folds.
However, being an EV, road noise becomes a bit more apparent as there is no sound coming from the engine (which is non-existent, just so you know).
The best way to tackle it is to have better tires that can absorb the road noise as much as possible.
The ride and steering input is about the same. However, the Tesla Model 3 tilts a bit toward the sporty side, or as one might say, it’s a bit more ready-to-go. In comparison, the EV6 feels firmer and more refined in overall performance.
Of course, that would boil down to the 0–60 figure — I just wanted to put it out there.
Overall, in most aspects, including comfort, ride quality, and road noise, the Kia EV6 is better.
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When it comes to build quality, the Kia EV6 takes the lead.
The Tesla Model 3 has been filled with build quality issues, from the marks on the rear seats to the vegan leather used on its steering wheel. The plastic trim pieces are also known to come loose, not to mention the panel gaps and so many others.
In short, in terms of the build quality, Kia EV6 is better overall, period.
The quality inspection team at Kia deserves applause. On the other hand, Tesla needs to improve on their quality inspection and shouldn’t let their models roll out the production line with any untightened screw or defect.
The horsepower figures vary from variant to variant. I will make things easier and give you a table of all the horsepower figures for each model.
|Model||Horsepower & Torque|
|Tesla Model 3 (standard base model)||271* hp making 310 lb-ft of torque|
|Kia EV6 (standard base model) Light||167 hp making 258 lb-ft of torque|
|Tesla Model 3 (AWD) performance||(283+197) 560* hp, making 650 lb-ft of torque|
|Kia EV6 Wind (RWD)||225 hp, making 258 lb-ft of torque|
|Tesla Model 3 Long Range||363 hp, making 394 lb-ft of torque|
|Kia EV6 Wind (e-AWD)||320 hp, making 446 lb-ft of torque|
|Kia EV6 GT-Line (RWD)||225 hp, making 258 lb-ft of torque|
|Kia EV6 GT-line (e-AWD)||320 hp, making 446 lb-ft of torque|
|Kia EV6 GT (the US spec)||577 hp, making 740 lb-ft of torque|
Tesla doesn’t give the exact horsepower figures, but tons of resources have done the math and calculated the electric ponies that their cars deliver.
However, there is also the acceleration boost and other add-ons which give you further increased output from the electric motors. So the exact numbers are not possible to give.
These numbers are estimated, so take them as estimates. Motor Verso did dyno tune tests and found that Tesla Model 3 performance delivers about 560 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque, which is insane.
Some places give a lower number, which I didn’t include as they weren’t backed up with actual dyno test results.
The 0–60 time also varies from model to model. As always, I will make things easier for you and put them all in one place.
|Tesla Model 3 (standard base model)||5.8 s|
|Kia EV6 (standard base model) Light||8.2 s|
|Tesla Model 3 (AWD) performance||3.1 s|
|Kia EV6 Wind (RWD)||7.2 s|
|Tesla Model 3 long range||5.1 s|
|Kia EV6 Wind (e-AWD)||4.6 s|
|Kia EV6 GT-Line (RWD)||7.2 s|
|Kia EV6 GT-line (e-AWD)||4.5 s|
|EV6 GT (US spec) 2023||3.2 s*|
So it seems that if you want to get maximum power but save as much as you can when buying a Kia EV, the Wind AWD model is the best choice.
However, if you want something to compete with the Model 3 Performance in a straight line, the GT is “living your life a quarter mile at a time.”
Range and Cost Per Mile
The cost of the Kia EV6 GT is a few thousand dollars higher than the starting price of a Tesla Model 3 Performance. However, the quickness of 0–60 comes with another price; the GT model would have a significant range drop, and you will only get about 206 miles of range.
While in the Tesla Model 3 Performance, the range is about 315, which is 100 miles more than the EV6 — which happens to be the biggest letdown for the Kia EV6 when it comes to buying decision.
Most people prefer to go with Tesla solely because of the range it gives. However, as we have seen so many times already, the Kia EV6 does perform better in many other areas. Before you get too turned off and make a decision in haste, let me present you with the remaining data.
When you look at the time it takes for a Kia EV6 to charge, you will be surprised that you get about 70 miles of charge within 5 minutes. Yes, that is less than 5 minutes.
One of the tests conducted by Autoblog showed that you could get from 16% to 84% in 16 minutes, which is insane.
Tired of all the reading?
All right, all right. Here’s all the data in one place.
|Model||Range (100% Charge)|
|Tesla Model 3 (standard base model)||267 miles|
|Kia EV6 (standard base model) Light||232 miles|
|Tesla Model 3 (AWD) performance||315 miles|
|Kia EV6 Wind (RWD)||310 miles|
|Tesla Model 3 Long Range||358 miles|
|Kia EV6 Wind (e-AWD)||274 miles|
|Kia EV6 GT-Line (RWD)||310 miles|
|Kia EV6 GT-Line (e-AWD)||274 miles|
All this data suggests that the Kia EV Wind rear-wheel drive gets you the most miles per complete charge, followed by the Wind AWD, which I highly recommend. The price is very good, and the range is acceptable.
This means you get way less range anxiety and way less money anxiety. Furthermore, Kia also announced a boost in the range of their latest models, claiming that they will have 328 miles of range.
On the other hand, the Model 3 Long Range is the best in range, with 358 miles. You get so much range that range anxiety would simply leave the chat, and you would only have to deal with money anxiety.
And if my math is correct… That’s one less anxiety to deal with.
However, the monthly payment plans for both the Kia EV6 and the Tesla Model 3 are about the same; there is no huge difference in their monthly cost.
Cost Per Mile
Cost per mile varies hugely from place to place. It also depends on your charging habits.
You can save a lot if you would mostly charge through your home charger compared with public charging ports.
There are also peak hours when you would have to pay a higher cost, so if you’re the kind of person who would use these EVs on a pre-planned schedule that would allow you to use the home charger during off-peak times, you will save a lot.
But on average, the cost per mile for Tesla would range from $0.03 to $0.05.
On the other hand, Kia offers free charging for three years for all Kia EV6 owners at the Electrify America charging station.
You can also charge your Kia at Tesla charging stations. However, you won’t be able to use the 250 KW supercharger.
The Tesla Model 3 looks a bit soft compared to the aggressive looks of the Kia EV6.
A futuristic look is engraved in the EV6 exterior, especially in the front.
When you look at the Tesla Model 3, it seems like a kid, while the EV6 looks mature, and its exterior lines are much sleeker in comparison.
The Kia EV6 is also bigger as it is a crossover SUV, while the Model 3 is simply a sedan.
|Exterior Dimensions||Kia EV6||Tesla Model 3|
|Height||60.8 inches||56.8 inches|
|Length||184.8 inches||184.8 inches|
|Width||74 inches||72.8 inches|
|Ground clearance||6.1 inches||5.5 inches|
|Wheelbase||114.2 inches||113.2 inches|
|Front track width||64.2 inches||62.2 inches|
|Rear track width||64.6 inches||62.2 inches|
You might have noticed in the table that the Tesla Model 3 and the KIA EV6 are of the same length.
Other than that, the Kia EV6 is bigger and gives you better ride height.
Tesla’s interior is more simplistic in its approach, while the EV6 gives you a well-tucked-in experience.
The interior of EV6 is much more sophisticated and well-balanced. It looks way better than the Model 3, in my opinion. However, if you like a minimalist approach, you would like the Tesla Model 3 interior.
Enthusiasts like me are definitely going to tilt more toward the driver-oriented Kia EV6 interior rather than the iPad on four wheels.
|Interior||Kia EV6||Tesla Model 3|
|Front headroom||39 inches||40.3 inches|
|Second-row headroom||38 inches||37.7 inches|
|Front legroom||42.4 inches||42.7 inches|
|Second-row legroom||39 inches||35.2 inches|
|Total passenger volume||103 cubic feet||97 cubic feet|
|Passenger / seating capacity||5||5|
|Frunk storage capacity||3.1 cubic feet|
|Trunk capacity||24.4 cubic feet (50.2 with seats down)||22.9 cubic feet (approx. 43 with seats down)|
As you can see in this amazing table that I just compiled, the rear seat passengers will be very happy in the Kia EV6, but they might not be as happy in the Tesla Model 3.
The front row in the Model 3, however, does give you more space, but overall, the cabin is more spacious in the Kia EV6.
The rear seat in the Kia EV6 also gets this huge center armrest, giving you a full luxury feel. Not to mention, there are coat hangers on both sides of the passenger seats, and the air vents are located at the side pillars, giving you das Deutsch auto engineering vibes.
Wheels and Tires From the Factory
The Uberturbine wheels from Tesla look like a fan, for sure. However, they’re made to give you a better overall range.
The Tesla Model 3 has different wheel sizes; 18 inches comes standard, and 19 or 20 inches are optional with extra cost.
Meanwhile, 235/55/R-19 is the standard tire size on the Kia EV6. Only the GT model gets the bigger 20-inch wheels and tires — 255/45/R-20
In my opinion, the factory wheels of the EV6 are more stylish and better looking; plus, you don’t get the curb rash problem in the EV6, which is a major problem with Tesla Model 3 wheels.
|Model||Standard wheel size||Optional||Tire sizes||Susceptible to damage|
|Kia EV6||19 inches (20 inches for GT- eAWD)||–||235/55/R-19255/45/R-20||Less likely as the profile is higher|
|Tesla Model 3||18 inches (20 inches for the Performance model)||19/20||235/45/R-18235/40/R-19235/35/R-20||Very likely to get damaged as the profile is lower|
The Tesla Model 3 gives you the middle number — much less than the Kia EV6, which means that the tires will have a lower aspect ratio.
In other words, Tesla Model 3 tires will be thin, which are easily damaged. On the contrary, the Kia EV6 has a higher profile (more aspect ratio), making it more durable than the Model 3 tires.
In different places, you get different tire brands fitted on the wheels, but normally, you will see Continental or Perelli tires on the Tesla Model 3 and mostly Kumho and Hankook on the Kia EV6.
The Kia EV6 has also been seen with Continentals, suggesting that the tire brand is dictated by the availability and the region you buy them from.
The Tesla Model 3 has been around more than the Kia EV6, so inevitably, the aftermarket support will be more in the case of the Tesla Model 3.
However, as some time passes, you are sure to see the aftermarket pumping in more and more stuff for the Kia EV6.
Right now, the Kia EV6 doesn’t have the sheer amount of aftermarket support that one would expect, but still, the factory stuff is adequate, and in the higher trim levels, you might not have to resort to aftermarket stuff at all.
Ride Height and Snow Prowess
Let’s talk about the snow prowess of each of our contenders.
The Model 3 has been updated with an all-new snow mode feature, which activates as soon as the onboard computer detects a slip and is very efficient in its performance. The occasional slips and mini heart attacks are no longer there in the case of the Tesla Model 3.
The ride height on a Tesla Model 3 is 5.5 inches, so if you’re traveling on snow deeper than 6 inches, you might get stuck. Make sure to avoid traveling on roads that haven’t been plowed after a heavy storm.
The Kia EV6 does a little better since you get better ground clearance, aka the ride height. The Kia EV6 is 6.1 inches above the ground, which means snow up to 6 inches shouldn’t be a problem with it, and you wouldn’t get stuck in the snow.
All-wheel-drive models will perform way better than rear-wheel-drive ones. If you happen to live in the northern parts where it snows a lot, you should go for AWD models.
Unless you’re like me…
To avoid slipping uncontrollably, you must have a good set of winter tires because they would make a day-and-night difference in your winter driving. They grab onto the snow and give you plenty of traction.
In a nutshell, rear-wheel-drive with all-season tires is a recipe for disaster (drifting for some). AWD with all-season tires is a little better, but still not safe. AWD with winter tires is the safest option for the winter.
|Tesla Model 3||Kia EV6|
|Curb rash (low profile tires and big wheels)||Too many software updates required (as the model is launched quite recently)|
|Bad build quality||The electronics have a lot of bugs|
|Paint chipping||The lane keep assist is not as good as a Tesla|
|Bumper color mismatch||Paint defects are reported by some customers|
|Features||Tesla Model 3||Kia EV6|
|Sunroof||Full glass roof (does not open)||Moon roof (opens)|
|Curb rash||Yes||Almost nonexistent|
|Apple CarPlay and Android Auto||Yes||Yes|
|Augmented reality heads-up display||No||Yes|
|Ambient lighting||No (was removed)||Yes|
|Phone as a key||Yes||No|
|Bells and whistles||Yes||Yes, a lot more|
With a closer look at every function of the two EVs, you would find the Kia EV6 way better than the Tesla Model 3 as there are more bells and whistles in it compared with the Model 3.
Usually, a person coming to a Model 3 after the Model S wouldn’t like the experience. However, I have seen people complimenting the Kia EV6 even after having the background of Model S ownership, which truly gives the Kia EV6 the spotlight in the features section.
The sound system on the Kia EV6 is meh based on many user experiences. The Tesla Model 3 depends on your past experiences.
You might find it a bit unfulfilling if you’re from a premium sound–listening background. However, if you have been listening to normal sound systems in the past, you would love the sound system in the Model 3.
The higher trim levels on the Model 3 can get you up to 12 speakers with an amplifier that will work its magic, and the surround sound experience will blow your mind.
If you want the best of what a sound system has to offer, you would have to resort to the aftermarket in both cases, whether it’s the Kia EV6 or the Tesla Model 3.
How Many Miles Can They Last?
|Model||Number of models analyzed||Highest mileage observed||Number of models above 150K miles||Percentage crossing 150K|
|Tesla Model 3||5877||196,953 miles||10||0.17%|
|Kia EV6||772||21,492 miles||0||0%|
For the Kia EV6, we can understand that it was just launched recently. However, it has been more than five years since the Tesla Model 3 was launched, and we still haven’t seen it with super high mileage numbers.
Kia has shown us that their cars can cross great mileage numbers on their odometers. However, even the oldest Model S vehicles are not seen in the very high mileage category.
It has also been observed that Teslas would require lots of $$$ for their upkeep after the end of the warranty period.
NHTSA Safety Ratings
The Tesla Model 3 clearly takes the win when it comes to safety ratings, and it’s probably one of the safest cars on the road.
It got all five stars in the NHTSA safety ratings, including all the major categories and subcategories.
It has also got the Top Safety Pick+ award under its belt.
The Kia EV6, on the other hand, has several alerts, such as cross traffic and blind spot monitoring; however, the assists are not included in the lower trim levels. You will have to upgrade to the GT models if you want these features.
The NHTSA hasn’t given any ratings for the Kia EV6 as of this writing. However, the Euro NCAP gave it a 5-star safety rating.
Warranty and Customer Service
This is the section where Kia secures the most significant lead against Tesla.
Nothing beats the sense of security that comes from the manufacturer saying that we have got you covered.
If you’re at ease after buying a vehicle, that’s money well spent.
|Warranty||Kia EV6||Tesla Model 3|
|Basic warranty||5 years (100,000 miles)||4 years (50,000 miles)|
|Battery warranty||10 years (100,000 miles)||8 years (100,000 miles)|
Tesla’s service has been average at best. Sometimes they are quick to resolve issues, but there are other times when it becomes a nightmare.
Just try calling one of their customer service centers and then take a nap because you would have to wait at least an hour before talking to customer support.
On the other hand, Kia has received nothing but praise from their customers for being very supportive and cooperative.
The only problem thus far has been the replacement parts sourcing. Most dealerships do not have any stock for EV6 parts replacement. It should be clear to them which parts are required for immediate purposes after some time.
Final Thoughts: Kia EV6 vs Tesla Model 3
Both the Kia EV6 and the Tesla Model 3 have their pros and cons. It all boils down to your preferences and which one tilts more in favor of the other.
A quick tip: See which dealership is near you and give them a visit to see how they do in terms of regular service. You can easily judge their performance by taking a gander and asking waiting fellow EV owners about their experience.
Then there is also the charging network. See which charging station you might be using the most in your vicinity — in both the Kia EV6 and Tesla Model 3 scenarios. Note that Kia offers free charging, which Tesla no longer offers.
Zac LudicrousMechanical engineer by profession. TSLA shareholder before the hype. EV enthusiast all day long. Zac enjoys learning about the future of battery technology, autonomy, and EVs. He considers Tesla Model 3 the most important vehicle of the 21st century -- and is in a quest to improve the ownership experience of every Model 3 owner he possibly can.
These 5 rare tips can save you so much time and stress – and few owners know about them (even after years of ownership). Sign up below to learn more. It's free!