Comparison: 2023 Kia EV6 GT versus Tesla Model Y Performance

Consumer interest in electric vehicles (EVs) is on the rise, leading to a proliferation of new models that cater to different needs and preferences. Among the latest are the 2023 Kia EV6 GT and the Tesla Model Y Performance, both of which offer a combination of sports-car performance and electric SUV practicality. With their roomy second rows and cutting-edge tech features, these vehicles are poised to attract buyers seeking a premium EV driving experience.

To determine which of these performance EVs is the better buy, the experts at Edmunds put them through their paces, evaluating factors such as acceleration, handling, and interior comfort and features. Both the Kia EV6 GT and the Tesla Model Y Performance impressed with their agile handling and quick acceleration, showcasing the power and precision that can be achieved with electric propulsion.

Ultimately, however, the Edmunds team gave a slight edge to one of these vehicles, based on a combination of factors such as price, features, and performance. For those in the market for a premium electric SUV that delivers heart-pumping performance alongside everyday practicality, the Kia EV6 GT and Tesla Model Y Performance are two exciting options to consider.


One only needs to look at the name of the Tesla Model Y Performance to discern that this electric SUV is built for speed. As the top-level trim of Tesla’s most popular model, the Model Y Performance promises to deliver heart-pumping acceleration and agile handling.

Sitting above the base and Long Range versions of the Model Y, the Performance variant boasts a range of features that make it an enticing choice for those eager to experience the thrill of high-performance electric driving. From its sleek styling and precise steering to its responsive motor and low center of gravity, the Model Y Performance is designed to offer a driving experience that’s both exhilarating and practical.

Whether you’re commuting to work or hitting the open road, the Model Y Performance is sure to please, providing an electrifying driving experience that’s simply unmatched in the world of traditional combustion engine vehicles.

While Tesla doesn’t provide an official horsepower rating for the Model Y Performance, there’s no denying that this electric SUV delivers a prodigious amount of power. At the Edmunds test track, the all-wheel drive Model Y Performance soared from zero to 60 miles per hour in just 3.7 seconds. This impressive level of acceleration is usually reserved for purebred sports cars, making the Model Y Performance a standout in the small SUV segment – especially considering the optional third row of seats.

But the Model Y Performance doesn’t just deliver rapid acceleration. At full throttle, the vehicle clears the quarter mile in just 11.8 seconds, further cementing its reputation as one of the fastest electric SUVs on the market. Whether you’re looking to show off your vehicle’s capabilities on the track or simply want an exhilarating driving experience during your daily commute, the Model Y Performance is sure to impress with its lightning-fast acceleration and smooth, precise handling.

Overall, the Model Y Performance represents a breakthrough in sports utility vehicle design, showcasing the incredible potential of electric propulsion when combined with cutting-edge engineering and design.

As the flagship model of the EV6 lineup, the all-wheel-drive GT stands out with its impressive 576 horsepower, making it the fastest and most powerful production vehicle ever produced by South Korean automaker Kia. With its combination of speed, power, and performance, the EV6 GT represents a bold step forward for Kia’s EV program.

At the track, the EV6 GT proved its mettle, delivering lightning-fast acceleration that rivals even some of the most high-performance sports cars. In fact, the EV6 GT was able to hit 0-60 miles per hour in just 3.6 seconds, slightly edging out the Tesla Model Y Performance. The quarter mile time was also impressive, with the EV6 GT completing it in just 11.7 seconds.

While both of these electric SUVs deliver top-of-the-line speed and performance, the EV6 GT represents a breakthrough for Kia, showcasing the automaker’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible when it comes to EV design and engineering. Whether you’re looking for a thrilling ride or simply want to experience the thrill of electric propulsion, the EV6 GT is sure to deliver with its powerful electric motor, agile handling, and cutting-edge technology.

Winner: tie


While the Tesla Model Y Performance and the Kia EV6 GT share a focus on high-performance driving, there are important differences that emerge when it comes to ride quality and comfort. Specifically, the Model Y’s handling is responsive and accurate, but it struggles over imperfect pavement, with a firm ride that can become rough and jittery on long trips.

By contrast, the Kia EV6 GT offers a much smoother ride, soaking up bumps and imperfections in the road with ease. This translates to a more comfortable and relaxing driving experience, particularly when traveling long distances. Additionally, the EV6 GT’s front seats are more comfortable and supportive than the Model Y’s, providing a better level of overall comfort for both driver and passengers.

Ultimately, while both of these high-performance SUVs deliver impressive levels of speed and agility, the Kia EV6 GT offers a more balanced and refined driving experience, with a greater emphasis on comfort and convenience. Whether you’re tackling winding roads or cruising on the highway, the EV6 GT is sure to impress with its smooth ride and comfortable, well-appointed interior.

Winner: EV6


While the Tesla Model Y Performance and the Kia EV6 GT offer similar levels of driving performance, there are significant differences when it comes to driving range. According to EPA estimates, the Model Y Performance can travel up to 303 miles on a single charge, making it a more practical choice for drivers who need to cover long distances.

In contrast, the EV6 GT has a range of just 206 miles, which may be a limiting factor for some drivers. However, Edmunds performed independent range tests and found that the difference in real-world driving isn’t quite as significant as the EPA estimates suggest. Even so, the Model Y Performance still comes out ahead in terms of range.

Furthermore, with access to Tesla’s extensive network of Supercharger charging stations, the Model Y is a more viable option for drivers planning long-distance trips. While the EV6 GT does offer fast charging capability, it may not be as easily accessible for drivers, depending on their location and travel plans. Overall, while the EV6 GT is a strong performer in many respects, the Model Y’s superior range and charging infrastructure make it a more practical choice for some drivers.

Winner: Model Y


The interior of the Tesla Model Y is a study in minimalist design, with nearly all functions controlled through a large 15-inch touchscreen located in the center of the dashboard. While the system’s large icons and sharp graphics are impressive, some drivers may find the overreliance on touch controls to be distracting. Additionally, the Model Y’s infotainment system doesn’t include popular smartphone connectivity options like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

In contrast, the Kia EV6 GT’s interior opts for a more user-friendly layout, featuring a 12.3-inch touchscreen with standard smartphone connectivity. Although it’s not as avant-garde as the Model Y, the EV6 GT’s interior has a more intuitive layout that’s easier to use on a day-to-day basis. The same trend holds true when it comes to advanced driver aids: while Tesla offers distinctive features like vehicle summoning and hands-free driving, many drivers prefer the more everyday functionality of the EV6 GT’s suite of aids.

Ultimately, the choice between these two electric SUVs comes down to personal preference, with the Model Y offering cutting-edge design and unique features, while the EV6 GT emphasizes user-friendliness and everyday convenience. Whatever you choose, both these vehicles are sure to impress with their cutting-edge technology and exhilarating driving performance.

Winner: EV6 GT


When it comes to comfort and convenience features, both the Tesla Model Y Performance and the Kia EV6 GT are loaded with options. However, the Model Y offers significantly more cargo space behind the rear seats, giving it an edge in terms of utility.

But perhaps the biggest difference between these two vehicles is in pricing. Thanks to significant price reductions earlier this year, the Model Y Performance now has a current starting price of $55,880, including destination. In comparison, the base price of the Kia EV6 GT is significantly higher, at $62,925.

Furthermore, the Model Y Performance qualifies for a $7,500 federal tax credit, while the EV6 GT does not. However, Kia is trying to compete by offering $7,500 off EV6 leasing for well-qualified lessees. Additionally, while Kia offers a longer warranty than Tesla, the Model Y Performance’s lower price point makes it an attractive option for many buyers.

Ultimately, the decision between these two vehicles may come down to a tradeoff between features, performance, and price. While the Model Y Performance offers more cargo space and a lower starting price, the Kia EV6 GT has a range of advanced comfort features and a more refined interior. Whatever your preference, both vehicles represent the cutting edge of electric SUV design and performance.

Winner: Model Y

According to Edmunds, while the Kia EV6 GT is extremely quick and offers a more comfortable and refined driving experience than the Tesla Model Y Performance, for most shoppers the Model Y is still the better value buy overall. This is due to the Model Y’s longer driving range and lower starting price, which make it a more practical choice for many drivers.

That said, the EV6 GT is a standout option for those seeking an electric SUV that delivers thrilling performance and a more refined driving experience. With its powerful electric motor, smooth ride, and advanced comfort features, the EV6 GT represents a bold step forward for Kia’s EV program. Ultimately, the choice between these two vehicles will depend on a range of factors, including driving needs, budget, and personal preferences.