The 2024 Kia EV9 is here, and while we’ve already seen it both outside and inside, today we get to learn about all of the vital specs, features and tech onboard Kia’s new three-row electric SUV.
As expected, the EV9 is based on Hyundai Group’s E-GMP electric vehicle architecture. On this platform, the EV9 will be offered with two different battery sizes and even more electric motor configurations. The headline model will be fitted with a 99.8 kWh battery pack. For maximum range, Kia will offer a RWD Long Range model with this battery that it says is rated for 336 miles on the WLTP cycle. EPA range is not available yet, but expect it to be lower than WLTP figures. Kia says a company-first underbody cover, new air curtain innovations, exceptionally long spoiler jutting out from the roof and aerodynamic wheels contribute to the vehicle’s 0.28 coefficient of drag, allowing the EV9 this range.
The RWD Long Range model is fitted with a single motor producing 201 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque that will motivate the EV9 from 0-62 mph in 9.4 seconds. If range isn’t a priority, Kia will also offer a Standard RWD model fitted with a 76.1 kWh battery pack. Output from the single motor is raised slightly for this model to 215 horsepower, but it retains the same 258 pound-feet of torque — the 0-62 mph time is reduced to 8.2 seconds.
A dual-motor AWD variant will be offered at market launch, too, and it’s only available with the bigger battery pack. Combined output of the two motors — one in front and one in back — is 380 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque — max towing is 5,000 pounds. This version should be more fun to drive, too, as it will do the 0-62 mph run in 6.0 seconds.
If that’s not enough, we’ll break the news to you now that Kia will be pushing after-sales purchase and subscription services to upgrade power output. Kia says that a “Boost” feature will be purchasable/subscribable at the Kia Connect Store, increasing torque to 516 pound-feet and lowering the 0-62 mph time to 5.3 seconds. In case that gives you the ick, Kia did explicitly note that its after-sales options can be either a one-time purchase, or you can pay for them via a rolling subscription.
Range estimates for models other than the RWD Long Range are not available for the time being. You can expect the same fast charging as cars like the Kia EV6, though, since the EV9 is also rocking an 800-volt architecture. Kia suggests that charging at its peak rate (not disclosed yet) will add approximately 149 miles of driving range in 15 minutes — keep in mind that’s with the WLTP cycle in mind. EPA numbers will, again, be lower. Like other E-GMP vehicles, the EV9 will be capable of Vehicle-to-Load charging, but doesn’t provide a U.S.-specific figure for the amount of power.
While exterior design isn’t the big news today, Kia did reveal the EV9 in never-before-seen GT-Line trim. This model gains a distinctive look with unique bumpers, trim-exclusive wheels, black roof rack and most special of all, the “Digital Pattern Lightning Grille.” This front end features Kia’s new technology that allows light to seamlessly shine through the body color paint. Kia says that the pattern it creates on the EV9’s front end is customizable to your taste, and you’ll even be able to purchase additional patterns after the fact to change up the look of your car. Again, this is Kia trying to generate more revenue even after you’ve purchased the car.
On the inside of the EV9, customers will be met with a few seating options. You’ll be able to spec a seven-seater option with a bench second row and three different captain’s chairs options. The first is just a basic captain’s chair you’ll find in any big vehicle. The second is a “relaxation-type” seat that allows for a full lay-back recline in both the first and second rows, and the last is the swivel-type independent seats that allow you to spin 180 degrees and face the third row. Kia notes that these seat innovations are largely to give you greater flexibility when hanging out in the car waiting for the car to charge. Dimensions for all three rows aren’t available, but the EV9 has an almost identical footprint to the Telluride, so expect similar amounts of space, if not more due to the completely flat floor. A front trunk exists, but like other E-GMP models, it’s very small.
As for the interior design, the EV9 is the first Kia that intentionally ditches leather for more sustainable materials. It uses bio components like corn extract in an effort to provide the same feel as leather instead. There’s also a distinct lack of piano black plastic everywhere you look whether it be the doors, dash or sliding center console. The photos you see in the gallery also show digital mirrors with screens in the cabin, but U.S.-spec EV9s won’t have these mirrors due to regulations.
Kia’s driver assistance tech is taking a step forward with the EV9, too, as it’s going to debut Highway Driving Pilot (HDP), which Kia says will be a “conditional Level 3 autonomy” system. A total of 15 sensors with two lidars enable HDP to be a Level 3 system — Level 3 automation meaning the car can drive itself in limited circumstances “where conditions permit,” but you must be prepared to take over at any moment. Kia hasn’t spelled out exactly where and when this will come to market or be activated in customer cars, but for now it’s going to be limited to the GT-Line model. Mercedes-Benz is currently the only automaker with Level 3 autonomy approved for use in certain U.S. states.
The other new assist feature introduced for the EV9 is the Remote Smart Parking Assist 2, which will automatically maneuver the EV9 into a parking space via the key fob. Of course, all of Kia’s existing driver assistance systems like blind-spot collision avoidance, Highway Driving Assist and more come with the EV9, too.
Pricing isn’t being made available for the EV9, but it’s expected to launch in the second half of 2023 here in the U.S. Production will begin in Korea, but Kia says it will have more news on global production in the future.