Kia is already making waves with the EV6, and now it is offering a larger and bolder midsize SUV with space for up to seven passengers - and even more power to get the job done. The 2024 Kia EV9 offers a choice of three powertrain setups, topping out at 379 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, while the interior of the three-row vehicle can be upgraded with some of the best luxury tech, including relaxation seats and a high-end sound system. It will be joining a rather elite segment, as there are only a few three-row SUVs like the Tesla Model X and Mercedes-Benz EQB, so it will need to be something special to lay claim to a podium spot before the competition heats up.
The new Kia EV9 electric SUV is the first of its kind, but it's built on the same platform as the EV6, which has proven itself to be a capable and compelling vehicle. The dual-motor setup can be had in various configurations and the seating ranges from six to seven positions with varying levels of luxury.
The price of the 2024 Kia EV9 ranges from a reasonable $54,900 for the base-level Light all the way up to $73,900 for the stylishly potent GT-Line. With the same specs as the base model, the Light Long Range will charge you $59,200 for its larger battery. Both Light models can be had with all-wheel drive instead of standard rear-wheel drive at extra cost. The Wind and Land get AWD as standard and sell for $63,900 and $69,900, respectively.
Being so new, the perfect Kia EV9 is hard to pick, but a look at the features and powertrain options should give you a fairly good idea of what you want. The best value is generally found around the middle of any lineup, and the Wind seems to prove as much. It gets the stronger 379-hp powertrain for a start and only loses around 20 miles of range, still beating the regular Light. A little more ground clearance helps it stay out of harm's way, while embossed upholstery and a heated steering wheel add to the interior luxuries. Dual sunroofs are present from the Wind upwards, really airing out the cabin.
Very few electric SUVs can fit three rows of seats, but the EV9 does an admirable job and also boasts high-quality materials and features.
Depending on the trim and options, there are between six and seven seats inside the EV9, but every model boasts a refined design and a good helping of features. These are accessed via the large dual screens mounted on the dashboard, as there are very few physical controls, aside from those found on the steering wheel. Sadly, not everything we saw in the concept car will survive the transition to production, with the biggest loss being the swiveling second-row seats. What it retains is the futuristic floating dash, the flat floor, and an on-board power generator. It also boasts an impressive array of driver-assistance features.
The big selling point for the EV9 is its extensive interior space that can accommodate three rows of seats and up to eight passengers. All three rows enjoy loads of headroom, but the third row has ten inches less legroom than either of the other two. There is still enough room for children and teens, but adults will quickly become uncomfortable if the drive lasts more than a few minutes. Replacing the second-row bench with captain's chairs reduces passenger capacity by one, but it improves comfort and makes accessing the third row easier. Power-adjustable front seats with heating and ventilation make it easy to find a comfortable driving position, and forward visibility is excellent. However, the long body and pseudo-D-Pillar by the liftgate cause some blind spots.
Even an electric SUV needs to be eminently practical, and with 20.2 cubic feet behind the third row, the EV9 manages to be on par for the segment. The Telluride is one of the best, and it only has 0.8 cu-ft more. If you fold down the third row, you have 43.5 cubes to work with, which is impressive for a five-seater. For maximum area, you can fold down the second and third rows for up to 81.7 cu-ft. The frunk is pitifully small, though, at 3.2 cubic feet, but it can handle 88 lbs of weight.
For small-item storage, there are four door pockets, a large glove compartment beneath the floating dashboard, and a moderately sized armrest cubby. The front cupholders are hidden beneath a sliding cover, while those in the second row are positioned at the very back of the front console.
|Kia EV9||Tesla Model X||Mercedes-Benz EQB SUV|
|7 Seater||5 Seater||7 Seater|
|41.2 in front|
39.8 in. rear
|41.7 in. front|
41 in. rear
|40.7 in. front |
38.5 in. rear
|41.4 in front|
42.8 in. rear
|41.1 in. front|
38.7 in. rear
|41.4 in. front |
38.1 in. rear
|20.2 - 81.7 ft³||13 - 91 ft³||22 - 62 ft³|
From the lowest trim levels, you are spoiled with high-quality materials on every surface, and Kia has committed to ensuring these are sustainably sourced. While we don't know exactly what interior colors will be on offer, you can likely expect the same blacks and greys you'd find inside other Kia vehicles. For the Light and Light Long Range, basic SynTex upholstery adorns the seats, but this is upgraded SynTex with an embossed dot pattern inside the Wind, or quilted stripes in the Land. Naturally, the GT-Line gets its own exclusive styling in the form of patterned SynTex, which comes paired with a premium cloth headliner.
As the brand's biggest and baddest electric vehicle, the EV9 comes outfitted with the best tech available. This includes power-adjustable front seats with heating and ventilation, a smartphone digital key with push-button start, tri-zone automatic climate control, and a combined 29.6 inches of screen space on the dash. From here, most of the driver-assistance tech is operated, along with the infotainment. The latter comprises Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Wi-Fi hotspot capability, Bluetooth streaming, and an eight-speaker sound system. A wireless phone charger is also included. From there, this list can be enhanced with heated and ventilated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, driver-seat memory, and a 14-speaker Meridian sound system. The GT-Line also sports a 12-inch head-up display.
|Tri-zone automatic climate control|
|Power heated and ventilated front seats|
|Combined 29.6-inch panoramic display|
|14-speaker Meridian sound system|
Opting for one of the higher trims gets you a decent amount of kick from the twin motor setup, delivering a smooth and quiet ride that is perfect for a family cruiser.
There are a total of three powertrain setups available to the Kia EV9, starting off with a single motor linked to a 76.1-kWh battery, making a combined 215 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. This combination is only found in the Light, while the Light Long Range upgrades to a larger 99.8-kWh battery that sees overall outputs drop slightly to 201 hp. The same battery is then paired with two motors on all the remaining trims to develop a much punchier 379 hp and 443 lb-ft. (516 lb-ft for the GT-Line). As with most EVs, a continuously variable transmission handles the so-called gear shifts. The Light trims are rear-wheel drive as standard, but they can upgrade to the all-wheel drivetrain found on every other trim.
Top speed varies from 115 to 124 mph, depending on trim, with the Light Long Range benign the slowest. It also takes 8.8 seconds for this version of the Kia EV9 to go from 0-60 mph. Meanwhile, the models with twin motors can do the same sprint in as little as five seconds. In its most capable configuration, the SUV has a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 lbs.
Kia seems to have stepped up its SUV game with the EV9, giving it heavier and more communicative steering than you might expect. However, improved handling doesn't change the fact that this is a very large SUV, and it's weighty, too. There is noticeable body lean when taking a corner too quickly. Keeping this in mind is important since the instant and punchy torque can come as a surprise when you put your foot down. The quiet powertrain pairs nicely with the good ride comfort. If you've ever driven a Telluride, think of EV9 as a more powerful and quiet version.
One of the most important factors when buying a new electric vehicle is the driving range. The base model has the smallest battery - just 76.1 kWh - so it also has the lowest range of just 230 miles. The Light Long Range maintains the weaker powertrain but upgrades to the 99.8-kWh battery, so it achieves the top 304-mile range. This same battery only sees the Wind, Land, and GT-Line cover 280 miles thanks to their more potent twin-motor setup.
Recharging the smaller battery takes a little under seven hours with 240-volt Level 2 charging, while the larger battery takes two hours longer. Similarly, DC fast charging from 10% to 80% at 50kW takes 63 or 83 minutes, respectively, or just 20 minutes at 350kW.
|Single Electric Motor|
|Single Electric Motor|
|Dual Electric Motors |
|215 hp||201 hp||379 hp|
|118 mph||115 mph||124 mph|
|86 MPGe||87 MPGe||80 MPGe|
|7.7 sec||8.8 sec||5.0 sec|
|5,000 lbs||5,000 lbs||5,000 lbs|
|230 miles||304 miles||280 miles|
|Charge Times (240V - empty to full)|
|6 hr 45 min||8 hr 45 min||8 hr 45 min|
While there are no safety reviews for the brand-new EV9 yet, the E-GMP platform one which it is based has performed well for the EV6 in this regard.
Being a spanking-new model, there is no safety review of the Kia EV9 as yet. However, since it is essentially a Kia Telluride on the EV6's platform, a look at their ratings should give you an idea of how it would handle a crash. Both have only been partially tested, sadly, but they scored top marks in those tests, and both earned Top Safety Pick+ awards in 2023.
Each model comes equipped with a long list of standard safety features, including ABS, EBD, stability and traction control, and a total of eight airbags. Driver-assistance tech comprises forward collision avoidance (with lane change side and oncoming, as well as junction crossing and turning), blind-spot warning and avoidance assist, lane departure warning, lane-keep assist, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, and a driver-attention system. The Land upgrades this suite with a blind-spot view monitor, a surround-view monitor, and reverse parking collision avoidance, while the GT-Line rounds it out with remote smart parking assist and front/side parking collision avoidance. Advanced highway driving assist with LiDAR is also available.
|Forward collision avoidance|
|Front and rear parking sensors|
|Remote smart parking assist|
|Advanced highway driving assist|
NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.
There is no official reliability rating for the Kia EV9, as it has not been released to the public at the time of writing. However, the Korean automaker holds a reputation as one of the most dependable car makers in the world, with models like the Kia Sorento and Telluride boasting top-notch scores. However, the EV6 was hit with a couple of recalls, and the brand-new EV9 will likely have some teething problems, too.
Kia is also known for its excellent warranty, and the 2024 Kia EV9 will enjoy ten years/100,000 miles of limited coverage for the battery, along with a five-year/60,000-mile plan for limited repairs.
Kia is really breaking out with its electric vehicles, and the EV9 has some of the boldest styling in the brand's lineup. It is extremely chunky and has a polygonal design theme. Thin but tall LED clusters rest right at the very edge of the hood, while slim LED taillights run up the back and branch off slightly onto the liftgate. The daytime running lights are particularly distinctive, running along the outer edge of the grille, with another light bar running along the top. Light trims come outfitted with 19-inch wheels, carrying through to the Wind, but the Land and GT-Line get larger 20- and 21-inch wheels, respectively. There is a smart power liftgate as standard, while upper trims get dual sunroofs.
On paper, the 2024 EV9 seems to make a lot of sense. It is one of the very few three-row electric SUVs available right now, drawing inspiration from the beloved Telluride and applying it to the same electric platform as the already-established EV6. This seems like a recipe for success, and it includes a powerful twin-motor setup, an upscale interior, and some of the most advanced driver-assistance features money can buy. Speaking of money, it is also quite affordable when compared to the few other seven- or eight-seater SUVs currently out there. If we had to find something to complain about, it would be the cramped third row of seats (which is hardly unique and affects most three-row vehicles) and the high weight of the EV9, which sees it leaning around the bends if your foot is a little too heavy on the pedal. All in all, we expect the new Kia SUV to be a great success.