Pros: Three comfortable rows of seating; useful tech; fast charging; decent range
Cons: Price reflects its premium leanings
The 2024 Kia EV9 takes a big swing at the electric vehicle market with a mainstream, three-row electric SUV. There are very few three-row EVs on the market so far, and if they’re not extremely expensive, then their third rows offer meager space. The Kia EV9 starts below $60,000 and provides ample room to each of its six or seven (depending on configuration) passengers.
The EV9 is also chock full of useful and approachable technology, while still providing respectable performance and range, especially in the higher trims. It’s essentially the electric counterpart to the popular Kia Telluride, with similar available features, including its excellent safety and driver assistance technology. It’s roomy, quiet, comfortable, fun to drive, and capable enough to get you to your winter campsite, if you’re into that sort of thing. It also offers vehicle-to-load technology, allowing you to power lights and appliances at said campsite, and it can even power your home during an outage with the proper equipment installed in your garage.
And, for now, there’s just not much to compete with it. But Kia didn’t skimp on quality or convenience to take advantage of a competitive vacuum. Even if and when other more reasonably priced three-row EVs come about, we’re confident the EV9 will still be a compelling choice.
What are the EV9 interior and in-car technology like?
The EV9 interior is spacious, comfortable and tech-friendly. Its three rows of seating are usable and comfortable, with a number of clever comfort and convenience features available. There are clever nice storage options, including an open area under the floating center console, as well as a pull-out shelf/cubby in the rear of the center console for second-row passengers. Heated and ventilated front seats are standard, as is synthetic leather. It’s a fairly premium-feeling interior overall, especially when equipped with the available massaging driver’s seat and second-row power leg rests.
Digital displays cover much of the dash, with a 12.3-inch digital driver display, 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen, and a 5-inch climate control display between the two. There are physical controls for temperature, fans and audio volume, as well as haptic “buttons” below the infotainment display for navigating infotainment features — they look and work great, but can be accidentally bumped when poking around on the touchscreen above. Wireless phone charging is standard up front, while each row gets a set of USB-C charging ports. There are also 110-volt outlets in the second row and cargo area. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard.
The EV9 is a three-row SUV, with three actually usable rows of seating. Its generous space is thanks in no small part to the EV9’s overall length and wheelbase. The EV9 is 197.2 inches long, which is slightly longer than the Kia Telluride, while its 122-inch wheelbase bests the Telluride by about 8 inches.
It is available as a seven-seater with the second-row bench, or as a six-seater when equipped with the second-row captain’s chairs in the upper trims. Either way, there are only two seats in the third row, providing a comfortable space for both passengers, with plenty of headroom. Both rear rows are roomy, providing enough legroom for taller adults to sit comfortably behind other tall adults. Impressive. Also, the EV9 offers first- and second-row “relaxation” seats with fold-out leg rests.
It’s also capable of hauling a fair amount of cargo. Its 20.2 cubic feet of volume behind the third row is among the most available in any three-row SUV. It expands to 43.5 and 81.7 cubic feet with the third and second rows folded, respectively.
What are the EV9 fuel economy and performance specs?
Moving up to the Light Long Range, it has just a little less power from its single rear motor, at 201 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The Long Range in its name is courtesy of a 99.8-kWh battery, which results in an estimate range of 304 miles. This gets 89 mpg-e combined. More battery plus less power results in this version of the EV9 being the slowest, with a Kia-estimate zero-to-60-mph time of 8.8 seconds (which is pretty slow) versus 7.7 for the base EV9.
Wind, Land and GT-Line trims get the same battery, but differ with a dual-motor all-wheel drive system that produces a total of 379 horsepower. Wind and Land trims have 443 lb-ft of torque, with 516 lb-ft available to be unlocked through a purchased over-the-air upgrade. The GT-Line gets the full 516 lb-ft by default. The Wind and Land trims have 280 miles of range, and are rated at 83 mpg-e combined. The GT-Line is rated at 270 miles of range, with efficiency rated at 80 mpg-e combined. The Wind and Land will hit 60 mph in an estimate 5.7 seconds, while the GT-Line and OTA upgrade EV9s do it in 5 seconds.
As for charging, the EV9’s 800-volt battery architecture allows it to take advantage of 350-kW DC fast chargers, making it one of the quickest EVs to recharge. The base Light trim with its smaller battery has a peak charge rate of 235 kW, and can replenish its battery from 10% to 80% in 20 minutes. The longer-range trims peak at 210 kW, going from 10% to 80% in 24 minutes. Its 10.9 kW AC charger allows for rapid home charging, too, should you invest in a wall-type home charging station and have an electrical box capable to pumping out that much juice. At this speed, you could fully recharge the battery overnight.
What’s the EV9 like to drive?
So far, we’ve only had the opportunity to drive the most expensive and powerful GT-Line trim, but we came away impressed. For one thing, it’s a very quiet vehicle. Yeah, it’s electric, so there’s no engine rumbling (you can turn on an active sound mode, though), but it also uses low-noise tires and an acoustic-glass front glass. This makes for easy conversation, but also means you’ll hear any rattling from your water bottle in the cupholder. It’s also quite a smooth ride, providing good compliance over bumps and imperfections without feeling utterly disconnected from the road.
2024 Kia EV9 First Drive Review: Lightning strikes again
Kia’s three-row EV is yet another achievement.
What is the 2024 Kia EV9 price?
The EV9 starts at $56,395 (including $1,495 in destination fees) for the base Light trim. This trim’s standard equipment include the smaller battery and rear-wheel drive, a second-row bench, 19-inch wheels, LED lighting, rain-sensing wipers, acoustic front glass, power liftgate, synthetic leather seating, heated and ventilated eight-way power front seats, tri-zone climate control, digital key system, Wi-Fi hotspot, a wireless phone charger, 12.3-inch infotainment and driver displays, Highway Drive Assist 2 with stop-and-go adaptive cruise control, and numerous driver assist features (see the Safety section, below).
Things start to get a little more luxurious in the Land trim, with 20-inch wheels, digital pattern lighting grille, some gloss black exterior accents, second-row captain’s chairs, a power steering column, camera display rear-view mirror, a second-row drawer, rear window shades, ambient lighting, driver relaxation seat, heated and ventilated second row, Meridian premium audio system, vehicle-to-load exterior outlet, active sound design, auto-dimming side mirrors, and more helpful safety systems like a surround-view parking camera and blind-spot camera.
The GT-Line is the most sporty, luxurious and unique, with that extra power, 21-inch wheels, special exterior and interior design cues (including a unique front and rear fascia, more exterior accents, unique seating design with GT-Line logos, and sueded headliner), massaging driver’s seat, a head-up display and remote smart parking.
Pricing for the 2024 Kia EV9 trims, including destination are as follows:
Light (RWD): $56,395
Light Long Range (RWD): $60,695
Wind (AWD): $65,395
Land (AWD): $71,395
GT-Line (AWD): $75,395
What are the EV9 safety ratings and driver assistance features?
The Kia EV9 comes standard with a robust suite of driver assistance tech, including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning systems, speed limit monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, Safe Exit assist, rear occupant alert and “Highway Driving Assist II” adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, lane-centering steering assist, partially automated lane changes and machine learning that adapts its acceleration behavior to yours. Also available are blind-spot camera view, surround-view parking camera, parking collision avoidance and remote parking assist.
The EV9 had not been crash-tested by a third party as of this writing.