SOMEONE at this newspaper once thought it was wise to buy a Kia Rio in about 2012 for reporters to use in their respective patches. It was a truly terrible thing to look at, drive and use and if you’d have told me that the same manufacturer would release something with almost 600bhp a decade or so later, I simply wouldn’t have believed you.

What a turnaround it’s been for Kia. They are rapidly becoming one of the brightest, forward-thinking manufacturers in the market and their transformation has been earned through delivering quality.

Right through the range there’s that in abundance; cracking interiors, futuristic designs and a more than decent range of engines, possibly headlined now by its brilliant attempts at capturing the electric market.

I was bowled over by the EV6 when it first arrived a couple of years ago; it was a new EV from the ground up, so every detail had been meticulously planned and executed. The car had 325bhp; ample in a family-sized car.

However, there’s a new iteration of the EV6 and in GT guise it’s completely life-changing.

Reviewing cars means you tend to field many questions from people but one commonly-heard probe usually relates to what is the fastest car I’ve ever driven. People expect to hear Porsche or Ferrari - the usual players - but now I have to say ‘well, erm, it’s a… Kia’.

The EV6 GT isn’t the most powerful car I’ve driven, but given its all-electric 577bhp punch is delivered instantly as a result, I genuinely don’t think I’ve ever experienced a car do what it does. It’ll do the 60mph sprint in 3.5 seconds but it’s the way it goes from 30mph to 70mph that truly does scramble your brain.

Petrol-powered cars require revs, so there’s time for your mind to understand what’s coming in the higher reaches of the range, but the Kia doesn’t afford its driver that delay. It’s genuinely gobsmacking, however there’s much more to it than just speed.

Looks-wise, it gets off to a flyer. It’s handsome, it’s unique and draws admiring glances. People are intrigued by it thanks to its imposing footprint, wide haunches, its sculpted front end and its fantastic rear which has one of the coolest curved light designs on any car I’ve ever seen this side of an Aston Martin DBX.

The GT has a few telltale signs that give away its £65,000, range-topping status such as 21-inch wheels which are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres, chunkier brakes and a few green touches, but inside feels much sportier thanks to its fantastic seats which clasp you in and look gorgeous.

The view is dominated by two 12.3-inch displays - Tesla-like - but it also retains some controls which you pull and twist so while it’s extremely modern, it retains a slither of normality and that’s certainly a plus point for fuddy-duddy traditionalists like me.

The steering has good feel, it handles extremely well for such a large car when you push on and it has that shocking stark turn of pace when needed, but leave it be and it’s a friendly, soft-riding car. It’s damped to perfection so long-distance journeys are done with ease.

Charging wasn’t a chore, either. On a 150KW device you’ll get to 80 per cent from low in about 20 minutes, I found, but as ever clever EVs are way ahead of the UK’s sometimes frustrating charging network. With mixed driving in the real world, a 200-mile range is achievable, but it will of course sap the battery if you’re making full use of its 577bhp.

The EV6 GT is without question the best electric car I’ve ever driven, though. There’s absolutely nothing I didn’t enjoy and when people ask me about the fastest car I’ve ever had, I can now watch their puzzled expression when I say ‘Kia’. It is an absolute triumph.