Tesla Model Y Performance vs Kia EV6 GT: A Head-to-Head Comparison

Tesla Model Y Performance vs Kia EV6 GT: A Head-to-Head Comparison

The demand for high-performance electric SUVs is on the rise, and two models that have garnered significant attention are the 2023 Tesla Model Y Performance and the Kia EV6 GT. Both vehicles promise impressive acceleration and cutting-edge technology, but which one truly deserves the title of the ultimate performance SUV? In this comprehensive comparison, we’ll delve into various aspects of these vehicles, including pricing, features, comfort, performance, driving range, charging, safety, and ownership experience. So, let’s dive in and find out which electric SUV reigns supreme.

Pricing and Features

When it comes to pricing, the Tesla Model Y Performance takes a slight edge over the Kia EV6 GT. The Model Y Performance starts at $98,955, including luxury car tax, while the EV6 GT comes with a price tag of $99,950 before on-road costs. Although the difference is not substantial, it’s worth noting that Tesla offers a more affordable rear-wheel-drive version of the Model Y, which provides similar technology and features at a lower price point.

In terms of features, the Kia EV6 GT offers a laundry list of extras that make it a compelling option. It comes equipped with 21-inch alloy wheels, Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, adaptive dampers, 64-color ambient lighting, heated manual sports seats, an AR head-up display, a 14-speaker Meridian sound system, and much more. On the other hand, the Tesla Model Y Performance offers some unique features like a large 15-inch touchscreen with Google Maps, Netflix, and other downloadable applications, including games that can be played while charging. Tesla’s infotainment system is highly customizable and powerful, although some may miss the traditional dials that are absent in the Model Y.

Comfort and Space

When it comes to interior comfort and space, both the Tesla Model Y Performance and the Kia EV6 GT offer their own unique advantages. The Model Y provides a spacious and practical interior, with ample room for three adults in the back and a large glasshouse and stadium seating that provide a great view. The boot is capacious, offering 864 liters of storage space, and there’s even a sizable tub beneath the floor for additional hidden storage. However, the seats in the Model Y, although electrically adjustable, lack performance-focused bolstering and can become uncomfortably sweaty in sunny weather.

On the other hand, the Kia EV6 GT offers a more engaging and performance-oriented interior. The suede cloth-upholstered bucket seats provide excellent support, and the futuristic design language and customizable ambient lighting add a touch of uniqueness. The EV6 GT also offers good storage options, with a floating center console and a deep center bin with a wireless charging pad on top. However, it’s worth noting that the second-row windows do not have auto-down functionality, which is an oversight in a vehicle of this price range.

On the Road Performance

In terms of performance, the Tesla Model Y Performance and the Kia EV6 GT are both powerhouses in their own right. The Model Y Performance boasts impressive acceleration, with a claimed 0-100km/h time of 3.7 seconds. It delivers power in a visceral manner, and its electronic smarts minimize wheelspin and ensure a controlled launch. The EV6 GT, on the other hand, takes slightly longer to reach 100km/h, with a claimed time of 3.5 seconds. However, it compensates for this with a surge of power and a continuous acceleration that keeps pulling.

Both vehicles offer sophisticated and silent driving experiences, thanks to their electric motors. The Model Y Performance benefits from Tesla’s large touchscreen infotainment system, which provides access to various features and applications. However, some may find the lack of traditional dials and gauges a drawback. The EV6 GT, on the other hand, offers a more traditional cabin layout with physical buttons and controls, while still incorporating futuristic design elements.

When it comes to handling and ride quality, the Kia EV6 GT showcases its superior chassis dynamics. It offers sharp steering with consistent weighting, and its suspension tuning strikes a perfect balance between support and absorption. On the other hand, the Model Y Performance’s chassis feels a bit clumsy and unsettled, especially on bumpy roads. The steering lacks confidence-inspiring feedback, and the ride quality can be compromised when encountering mid-corner bumps.

Driving Range and Charging

One of the key considerations for electric vehicles is driving range and charging capabilities. The Tesla Model Y Performance boasts an impressive WLTP driving range of 514km, while the Kia EV6 GT offers a slightly lower range of 424km. However, it’s important to note that these figures may vary in real-world driving conditions.

When it comes to charging, the Kia EV6 GT holds an advantage due to its innovative 800-volt architecture. It can make use of 350kW fast-charging stations and can add 15kWh of charge (equivalent to approximately 71km of range) in just 4 minutes and 47 seconds. The Model Y Performance, although not as quick, is no slouch either and can achieve similar charging speeds. Both vehicles offer convenient and rapid charging options, allowing for shorter charging times and longer stretches of driving.

Safety and Ownership Experience

Safety is a paramount concern for any vehicle, and both the Tesla Model Y Performance and the Kia EV6 GT are equipped with advanced safety features. The Model Y Performance has been awarded a five-star safety rating in ANCAP testing, and it offers features such as automatic emergency braking, lane-trace assist, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. The EV6 GT also comes with similar safety features, although it should be noted that it has not been officially rated by ANCAP.

In terms of ownership experience, Kia offers a seven-year/unlimited-kilometer warranty, which provides peace of mind to potential buyers. Servicing for the EV6 GT needs to be carried out every 12 months or 15,000km, with an upfront cost of $1371. Tesla, on the other hand, offers a unique ownership experience with minimal maintenance requirements and over-the-air software updates. Tesla owners can receive servicing alerts via the app, and the company does not provide a price guide for maintenance.


Both the Tesla Model Y Performance and the Kia EV6 GT have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. The Model Y Performance offers immense power and a technology-packed driving experience. It has a more spacious and practical interior, and its infotainment system is highly customizable. On the other hand, the Kia EV6 GT provides a more engaging and performance-oriented driving experience. It offers superior chassis dynamics, a futuristic cabin design, and a faster charging capability.

Ultimately, the choice between these two electric SUVs will depend on individual preferences and priorities. If you value raw power and cutting-edge technology, the Tesla Model Y Performance may be the better choice. However, if you seek a more engaging and joyful driving experience, combined with faster charging capabilities, the Kia EV6 GT could be the perfect fit. Whichever option you choose, both vehicles represent a significant leap forward in the world of electric SUVs, showcasing the immense potential of this rapidly evolving segment.

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