The Toyota bZ4X vs. Kia EV6 is a battle of the sleekest and latest electric cars. And it couldn’t come at a better time. Competition between car manufacturers and the fight for best electric vehicle, much like the planet, is heating up.
In the earlier days of electric vehicles, car manufacturing giants like Toyota and Kia were nowhere to be found. Instead, the limelight was hogged by the likes of Tesla and Elon Musk. Now mainstream brands are duking it out to win the fight for the best EV.
Today, we will be comparing two well-known brands. Toyota’s bZ4X is now in the ring with Kia’s EV6. Which is the superior electric car? Stick around to the end to find out who ends up on top.
Toyota bZ4X vs. Kia EV6: Side-by-Side Comparison
|Feature||Toyota bZ4X||Kia EV6|
|Cost for the Car New from a Dealer||$43,335||$52,415|
|“Smart Device” Capabilities in the car||Centered touchscreen can be paired with any smart device and even mirror your smartphone screen||Floating 12” touch screen at front of the console, which pairs with virtually all devices for entertainment|
|Horsepower of Each Car||Maximum of 215 horsepower, and that’s with an all-wheel drive; the front-wheel drive comes in at a whopping 201 horsepower||Depending on varied features, up to 320 horsepower|
|Driving Distance with a Full Charge||Up to 252 miles with full charge on a front-wheel drive model, just 228 miles for the all-wheel drive||310-mile maximum driving range on a full charge|
|Safety Features||Automated emergency braking, lane departure alerts, and a cruise control system you can finely tune||Blind spot and lane departure warnings, adaptive cruise control, and even an automated parking feature|
|Integrated Navigation System||A digital display on the dashboard and a 12.3” centered touchscreen for worry-free navigation||A digital display for monitoring car performance|
|Charging Time||80% charge replenished in an hour with a “fast charging station” hooked up||10%-80% in 18 minutes when attached to a so-called “fast charger” set-up|
|0-60 Time||6.4 seconds to 60 miles per hour with an all-wheel drive model||4.5 seconds to 60 miles per hour with mid-grade options|
Toyota bZ4X vs. Kia EV6: What’s the Difference?
As you can see from the chart above, both the Toyota bZ4X and Kia EV6 have a lot in common. But there is also a lot that separates them. Both EVs vary widely in function, features, range, as well as customizability. Depending on your needs, clearly, you have a lot of choices to make.
We’re more than happy to help you parse through all the details to decide which may be best for you in the following more detailed segments. We approach these comparisons objectively, though at times we may point out benefits to certain consumers and their needs.
Cost of a New One Off the Lot
There’s a minimum of about $10,000 difference between the two, with Toyota being far more affordable for the average consumer considering an electric vehicle purchase. However, for those who can afford to trick the hell out of the Kia EV6, you’ll end up with a lot more cars minus a few ancillary features.
It really depends on your individual needs and preferences- not to mention your wallet. We’ll cover it more soon, but a tax break makes the Toyota bZ4X staggeringly less expensive than its counterpart, the Kia EV6.
“Smart Device” Capabilities
The two stack up similarly at first glance, but upon a little consideration the broader digital display and fixed, slightly larger, touchscreen interface. Both can be paired with various devices for entertainment and navigation purposes.
Either way, you’ll be able to make you miss your reservation across town without all the confusion of trudging your way through hectic traffic patterns by memory. But if there are bored children in the car it may have more use as a source of entertainment and distraction so as to maintain sanity while in a car with others for too long.
This one is pretty clear-cut. The Kia EV6 blows Toyota’s bZ4X, exceeding the overall horsepower of even an all-wheel-drive Toyota by a significant margin. Horsepower definitely correlates directly to more rapid acceleration.
Consider the chart above — Toyota bZ4X is about two seconds slower than the Kia EV6 in a zero to 60mph trial. If you’re one for lots of horses under the hood, the Kia EV6 might be the way to go, but that’s only one consideration of many.
Driving Distance with a Full Charge
Yet again, the Kia EV6 comes out on top compared with the Toyota bZ4X, ranging as far as 310 miles on a single charge. Toyota’s model only has a range of about 250 miles.
That’s perfectly fine for getting around town, though, so if that’s a big consideration for you maybe give the bZ4X some brownie points. On the other hand, since EV charging infrastructure isn’t what it could and should be, long trips would be prevented for either car.
Here, Kia wins again. With both attached to “fast charging stations,” their EV6 can charge from 0%-80% in 18 minutes. The bZ4X goes from 10%-80% in an hour or so. That’s three times as long as its competitor, but it’s still a relatively quick charge.
Unless you’re running very late or having a medical emergency, charging time being left out of consideration may save you ten grand. Again, it’s only one of many facets that go into a serious decision like buying a car, but still worth considering.
This also means you’ll need a reliable station you can charge at or have a charging station built into your garage or other car-adjacent area. Depending on the specifications, you could be looking at several hundred to a few thousand dollars in the form of an electrician’s bill.
All that’s on top of the cost of the charging station itself, bought from the manufacturer most of the time. Consider this when determining what your actual budget is.
Integrated Navigation System
The Toyota bZ4X takes the cake in this department, with a fully digitized dashboard with the ability to screencast a smartphone or other device to it. Also, the center mount touch screen — that’s 12.3” corner to corner — is something straight out of a spaceship.
The EV6 has a smaller head’s up display and a marginally smaller screen, which is flexible and can also pair with other electronics easily, though the dashboard can’t receive navigation data from a mobile device like the bZ4X can.
This area is another area where the Toyota bZ4X boasts the following:
- Automated emergency braking
- Lane departure and close vehicle warnings
- Ultra-precise cruise control system
With all that in one package — standard, by the way — you can drive easily knowing you’ve got those extra layers of protection between you and a real problem. It’s worth mentioning that the bZ4X comes standard with heated seats.
The EV6 has:
- Lane assist and alerts
- A self-parking feature that its competitor lacks
- A slightly stripped-down cruise control relative to the Toyota Bz4X
They come up largely similar, but something stuck out to us- automatic brakes are surely safer than automated parking. So, you can see the automated braking feature of the Toyota, paired with the lane assist alerts makes for a more emotionally and physically safe ride for many folks.
That’s primarily the position we view things, but every consumer is different. There are plenty of people who despise parallel parking more than anything on Earth, so that might be the way to go if that’s your particular pet peeve. Self-care is no joke.
Tax Incentives and How They Work Regarding Electric Vehicle Purchases
We’ve all heard the governmental posturing about how great the tax incentives planned will work to drive electric vehicle sales and force gasoline obsolescence. While that’s an admirable goal, tax incentives are delayed from the initial purchase, meaning you have to front out that money. Moreover, it adds an extra layer of bureaucracy that is unpleasant for all involved. But public policy is a talk for another time…
There are tax breaks for electric vehicle purchases, but they must meet specific criteria. For example, there is a huge emphasis on them being made in America to qualify for the tax incentive.
The Toyota bZ4X qualifies for up to $3,000, and the Kia EV6 is completely ineligible for federal tax breaks due to the production process and location. For most people, that three grand is going to mean a lot of relief, even if it is delayed, making the bZ4X an appealing option for overall value.
Toyota bZ4X vs. Kia EV6: Which One Is Better?
Let’s recap how each car stacks up in each category.
- Cost: bZ4X wins at about forty-two thousand dollars by a margin of ten thousand
- Tax Incentives: None whatsoever for Kia’s EV6, but a Toyota bZ4X could snag a cool three thousand dollars in tax rebates- which puts it at a full thirteen grand cheaper.
- Smart Device Connectivity: It’s a tie. Both had robust features in this regard and picking one over the other wouldn’t have been fair
- Charging Time: Kia by a mile. They get roughly the same amount of charge in a third of the time it took the Toyota to charge the same amount.
- Max Driving Distance: This one goes to the Kia EV6 easily, as it beats the Toyota bZ4X by over 50 miles
- Horsepower: Kia has the edge, with about a one hundred horsepower difference between the vehicles. Similarly, the Kia EV6 is definitely superior at acceleration, reaching 60 miles per hour two seconds faster than the Toyota, and under 5 seconds overall.
- Integrated Navigation System: We’ve got to give this one to the Toyota bZ4X. Its full dashboard is a digital display you can screenshare with mobile devices to show directions or other instructional content. The centered console screen is not only a tiny bit larger than the flexible screen Kia brings to the table, but can’t be turned away from the driver if they choose to use that for navigation.
- Safety Features: This one was kind of a toss-up because both have lane drift alerts and rear sensors. The key difference is that the bZ4X has an automatic braking system in the event the car ahead suddenly stops, while the EV6 has automated parking ability. In the end, I’ve got to give a point for safety features to the Toyota bZ4X
Which One Wins?
Now that we have it all laid out in the open, Toyota’s bZ4X comes out on top. Now, if saving thirteen thousand dollars for a superior base model is a problem, and you want to pay for the upgrades, be our guest. We’ll take safety, value, and a superior navigation system over adding bells and whistles to an already expensive vehicle.
Things to Keep in Mind When Buying an Electric Vehicle
Now, before we wrap up, let’s look at a few things to keep in mind when you’re considering an electric vehicle. Then, we’ll dive into some commonly asked questions.
What Is Your Primary Use?
This is crucial to consider when buying an electric vehicle, or any vehicle for that matter. The Toyota is a little more akin to an SUV than a traditional sedan, so if you’d be hauling around tools or groceries or whatever else you may need to move.
The Kia is more of a sleek, modern sedan design, so less effective for hauling large quantities of cargo, but its roomy interior and sizeable trunk more than make up for the aforementioned shortcomings.
Have You Considered the Cost of Charger Installations?
Electricians can charge quite a bit, up into the thousands of dollars even, depending on where you’re placing the charger and where your breaker box is located. You can end up paying through the nose over extra labor hours and the rising cost of materials.
Do You Live Near Charging Infrastructure?
If you live out in Wyoming, you might want to skip both of these EVs. Charging infrastructure in rural areas is still severely lacking. So, if you want to take your EV on road trips, you’ll need to make sure you can juice up when you need to.
Both Toyota and Kia offer their buyers complimentary charging as long as they meet certain conditions. This site shows the locations of Toyota’s free EV charging network, which you can use for up to a year after you buy or lease your bZ4X. Alternatively, this site will show you how to gain access to Kia’s Electrify America charging network.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©ben bryant/Shutterstock.com.