Kia’s new flagship three-row electric SUV has been fully revealed, bringing fresh styling and innovative technology to the company’s electric vehicle (EV) lineup.
It’s a combination of what is expected from a family-friendly sport utility vehicle (SUV), and a new show of what Kia is capable of, from luxe appointments and an energy-efficient powertrain to sustainable materials and spaciousness.
“The Kia EV9 transcends all aspects of traditional SUV thinking and represents the pinnacle of Kia’s design and engineering capabilities,” Ho Sung Song, Kia’s president and CEO, said.
“Created to meet the needs of all family members, the EV9 also spearheads Kia’s rapid transition to a sustainable mobility solutions provider, not just by its advanced EV architecture, but also through the numerous recycled and sustainable materials used in its creation.”
As the market stands now, the EV9 has few direct competitors in the American market. However, that is expected to change drastically over the next year as new Acura, Volvo and BMW electric vehicles prepare to go on sale.
Sleek, smooth body panels shape the model, which stands tall like the company’s Telluride. It’s spacious too, with enough room to comfortably fit adults in all three rows of seats.
Kia has first shown the EV9 GT-Line model, which gets unique bumpers, wheels, and roof rack. It also has a black color palette that features on the car’s accents and trim.
Instead of a traditional grille, the EV9 GT-Line has a Digital Pattern Lighting Grille, which is flanked by vertical headlights that feature ‘Star Map’ LED daytime running lights.
The SUV rides on 19-, 20- or 21-inch wheels, each with a unique design that showcases the ability for automakers to push forward aerodynamics without losing their interesting aesthetic design themes. Wheel and tire combinations can typically impact a car’s range from 15-20 percent.
The Kia EV9 SUV rides on the company’s Electric Global Modular Platform, the same architecture that underpins the Kia EV6 electric crossover. It has 800-volt charging capability, faster than many of the EVs sold today, which means it can get enough power to go 148 miles in about 15 minutes in ideal conditions.
Rear-wheel Drive Standard versions of the car will come equipped with a 76.1-kilowatt-hour (kWH) battery while a 99.8-kWH battery powers Rear-Wheel Drive Long Range and All-Wheel Drive (AWD) variants.
Most version of the car are not particularly quick, moving from zero to 62 miles per hour (mph) in 9.4 seconds or 8.2 seconds, depending on powertrain. The EV9 AWD can get up to speed in 6.0 seconds.
The automaker promises a Boost feature is forthcoming and will be downloadable via the Kia Connect Store. It will move the car off the line to 62 mpg in just 5.3 seconds.
Kia has only estimated the car’s all-electric driving range using the WLTP (European) test, saying that its Rear-Wheel Drive Long Range model wearing 19-inch wheels gets over 541 kilometers of range. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) testing, which is how U.S. electric range is calculated, has not come in yet, but is traditionally less optimistic.
Like the Hyundai Ioniq 6, the Kia EV9 comes with vehicle-to-load charging functionality. It can move power at a rate of 3.68 kilowatts.
Kia will employ Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Level 3 hands-free driving capability conditionally in the new electric SUV, in select markets. The automaker plans to offer the technology on future EV9 GT-Line models.
The model comes with the Kia Connect Store installed. The marketplace allows users to purchase digital features and service on demand, allowing the EV9 to be upgraded on demand via over the air (OTA) updates at any time.
Remote parking assistance, digital key, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assistance, blind-spot collision avoidance assistance, adaptive cruise control and automatic lane change technology will be available on the EV9.
The 2024 Kia EV9 will make its auto show debut at the Seoul Mobility Show 2023 later this month, followed by an appearance at the New York International Auto Show in early April.
Pricing for the SUV has yet to be announced and is expected to be revealed closer to its on-sale date, which will be in the second half of 2023 in the U.S.