The Kia EV9 is not just another electric vehicle. It is a groundbreaking three-row SUV that aims to redefine the segment with its spacious interior, sleek design, advanced technology, and impressive performance. The EV9 is Kia’s flagship model for the electric era, and it has already earned prestigious recognition: it is one of the three finalists for the 2024 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year (NACTOY) Award.
What Makes the Kia EV9 Stand Out?
The Kia EV9 is based on the same Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) as the Kia EV6 and the Hyundai Ioniq 5, but it is much larger and more luxurious. The EV9 measures 5,020 mm in length, 1,990 mm in width, and 1,750 mm in height, making it slightly bigger than the Kia Telluride, the brand’s popular gas-powered three-row SUV. The EV9 also has a longer wheelbase of 3,100 mm.
The EV9’s exterior design is bold and futuristic, with a distinctive front fascia that features a digital tiger nose grille, slim LED headlights, and a clamshell hood. The side profile is muscular and aerodynamic, with a sloping roofline, flush door handles, and large 20- or 21-inch wheels. The rear end is equally striking, with a full-width LED taillight, a spoiler, and a diffuser. The EV9 also offers a panoramic sunroof and a power tailgate for added convenience.
The interior of the EV9 is spacious, comfortable, and high-tech. The EV9 can accommodate up to seven passengers in three rows of seats, with the option of second-row captain’s chairs for a six-seat configuration. The seats are upholstered in eco-friendly materials, such as vegan leather and recycled PET fabric, and offer heating, ventilation, and massage functions. The third row of seats can be folded flat to create more cargo space, and the second row can slide forward and backward to adjust the legroom.
The EV9’s dashboard is dominated by a dual 12.3-inch curved display that integrates the digital instrument cluster and the infotainment system. The display supports wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as Kia Connect, a cloud-based service that provides real-time traffic information, charging station locations, remote vehicle control, and over-the-air updates. The EV9 also features a head-up display, a wireless charger, a 14-speaker Meridian sound system, and a smart air purifier.
The EV9 is equipped with a range of advanced driver-assistance systems, such as adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, surround-view camera, parking assist, and highway driving assist. The EV9 also offers a remote smart parking assist feature, which allows the driver to park or unpark the vehicle using the key fob or a smartphone app without being inside the vehicle.
How Does the Kia EV9 Perform?
The Kia EV9 is powered by a lithium-ion battery pack that comes in two sizes: 76.1 kWh and 99.8 kWh. Depending on the trim level, the battery pack can be paired with either a single rear motor or a dual-motor system. The single rear motor produces 215 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, while the dual-motor system delivers 379 horsepower and 446 lb-ft of torque. The EV9 also has a boost mode that can temporarily increase the torque output to 516 lb-ft for faster acceleration.
The EV9’s performance varies depending on the battery size and the drivetrain configuration. The EV9 Light RWD with the 76.1 kWh battery has an EPA-estimated range of 230 miles, while the EV9 Light Long Range RWD with the 99.8 kWh battery can travel up to 304 miles on a single charge. The EV9 Wind e-AWD and the EV9 Land e-AWD, both with a 99.8 kWh battery and dual-motor system, have an EPA-estimated range of 280 miles. The EV9 GT-Line e-AWD, which is the most performance-oriented trim, has an EPA-estimated range of 270 miles.
The EV9’s charging speed is also impressive, thanks to its 800-volt architecture and multi-charging system. The EV9 can support both 400-volt and 800-volt charging stations without the need for an adapter. The EV9 can recharge from 10% to 80% in as little as 18 minutes using a 350-kW fast charger or add up to 70 miles of range in just five minutes. The EV9 also has a bi-directional charging capability, which means it can supply power to other devices or vehicles using a vehicle-to-load (V2L) port.
The EV9’s driving dynamics are also refined and engaging, thanks to its low center of gravity, rear-biased weight distribution, and adaptive suspension. The EV9 offers five drive modes: Eco, Comfort, Sport, Snow, and Custom, which adjust the steering, throttle, and suspension settings according to the driver’s preference and road conditions. The EV9 also has a regenerative braking system, which can be controlled by paddle shifters behind the steering wheel or by a one-pedal driving feature.