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The 2023 Kia EV6 vs. the Volvo XC40 Recharge: Which one is better?


Almost every automaker has at least one electric vehicle for sale in 2023. Most have chosen to start with a compact SUV — one of the more popular categories of cars for sale in the U.S.

But that can be where the EVs’ similarities end. Their prices vary. Their ranges vary. The elements of the ownership experience designers chose to emphasize — what you might call the spirit of the cars — varies.

The Kia EV6 is gorgeous, and upper trim levels make it the best performance car on the Kia
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lot. The Volvo XC40 Recharge is elegant, with a tasteful Scandinavian minimalism and the kind of safety tech you imagine when you hear the Volvo name.

Let’s see how a shopper might evaluate each.

2023 Kia EV6

The 2023 Kia EV6 is a car that makes a visual impact few can match. It comes across in pictures but is bigger and more muscular in person. Kia builds several versions, with horsepower ranging from 225 to 576 and driving ranges from 206 to 310 miles. Pricing starts at $42,600, while a top-of-the-line, high-performance GT runs $61,600.

See: Kia jumps into electric car price wars by bringing back the EV6 Light

Kia EV6 highlights

Flexible configurations: The base model EV6 Light starts at $42,600 and offers 167 horsepower and a range of 232 miles. The longest-range version, the GT-Line rear-wheel drive (RWD), costs $52,900 and offers 225 horsepower and a range of 310 miles. The top-of-the-line GT costs $61,600, has a pulse-racing 675 horsepower, and travels 206 miles between ranges. In other words, there are significant differences between one EV6 and another. For 2023, Volvo builds just one configuration of the XC40 Recharge, with 402 horsepower, 223 miles of range, and a price tag of $53,550. Trim levels vary, but the same powertrain moves them all. We should note that, for 2024, Volvo plans a less-expensive, less-powerful version.

Also see: The 2023 Kia EV6 vs. the Ford Mustang Mach-E

They’re all stylish: What’s under the skin of your EV6 may differ, but every version has the same simple virtue –- they’re all lovely. The curvaceous body looks settled back on its haunches, ready to pounce. Inside, the look is sleek and modern, with dual 12.3-inch screens set into a single, curved housing, and the optional metal alloy pedals look spectacular.

10-year powertrain warranty: Nervous about the long-term reliability of new technology? Kia provides the longest warranty in the business. Its 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty is the longest in the industry. Volvo protects the XC40’s powertrain for eight years or 100,000 miles, but Kia provides 10 years or 100,000 miles.

2023 Volvo XC40 Recharge

The Volvo XC40 Recharge


Volvo

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plans to become an all-electric brand by 2030. Its first EVs have been a pair of stylish compact SUVs, the XC40 Recharge, and its sleeker sibling, the C40 Recharge. The XC40 is the more spacious of the two. Its chief virtues are Volvo’s exceptional safety reputation and an attractive minimalist style inside and out. Prices start at $53,550.

Volvo XC40 Recharge highlights

Access to the Tesla
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Supercharger network: You’ll probably do most of your EV charging at home. But, if using public chargers will be part of your routine, you’ll want to note that Volvo recently negotiated an agreement for owners of Volvo EVs to use the Tesla Supercharger network starting in 2024. That’s the most extensive and reliable charger network in America. You’ll need an adapter to plug into a Tesla charger. But your XC40 Recharge could use every public charger you see. Your EV6 can only use non-Tesla chargers, which are less common.

Luxury brand cachet: Kia can equip an EV6 with all the features you expect in a luxury car. But they can’t put a European luxury badge on it. That matters to some buyers.

Optional wool blend upholstery: For decades, cloth seats have been the standard offering in most cars, and leather seats have been a sign of luxury. Volvo is rethinking luxury. The XC40 is available with wool blend upholstery. It’s just unusual enough to look delightful and seems to wear well over time.

Similarities

The EV6 and XC40 are each stylish in different ways, and offer similar cabin tech and powertrain warranties up to 100,000 miles.

Plus: The 2023 Kia EV6 vs. the VW ID.4: Two very different approaches to going electric

Conclusion

The Kia EV6 is an aggressively styled EV available in an array of configurations. We like how it looks inside and out, and we’re struck that it has a lower starting price and a longer range between charges than the Volvo XC40.

The XC40 comes with a luxury badge and, soon, the ease of charging from every public charger you see. But its higher price, shorter range, shorter warranty, and smaller cargo space are definite drawbacks.

Only your priorities can tell you which of those descriptions works for you.

Plus: Before buying an EV, consider these hidden costs of ownership

Specs

2023 Kia EV6

2023 Volvo XC40 Recharge

Starting Price

$42,600

$53,550

Popular Powertrains

Engine

Electric motor

Two Electric motors

Horsepower

167 hp

402 hp

Torque

258 lb-ft

486 lb-ft

Fuel Economy

117 combined/136 city/100 hwy MPGe

85 combined/92 city/79 hwy MPGe

Maximum Range

310 miles

223 miles

Also Available

Dual-motor, AWD

Specs

Basic Warranty

5 years/60,000 miles

3 years/36,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty

10 years/100,000 miles

8 years/100,000 miles

Battery Warranty

10 years/100,000 miles

8 years/100,000 miles

Max Seating Capacity

5

5

NHTSA safety

TBD

5 stars

Wheelbase

114.2 inches

106.4 inches

Overall Length

184.3 inches

174.8 inches

Width

74.0 inches

75.2 inches

Height

60.8 inches

65 inches

Turning Diameter

38.2 feet

37.4 feet

Headroom, Front

39.0 inches

37.6 inches

Headroom, Rear

38.0 inches

38.3 inches

Legroom, Front

42.4 inches

40.9 inches

Legroom, Rear

39.0 inches

36.1 inches

Shoulder Room, Front

57.8 inches

56.7 inches

Shoulder Room, Rear

55.6 inches

56.3 inches

Cargo Volume

24.4/50.2 cubic feet

16/57.5 cubic feet

KBB’s car review methodology.

This story originally ran on KBB.com. 



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