The 2024 Kia EV9 is an all-electric SUV that challenges the status quo, bringing modern refinement and all-electric capability to the forefront of the automotive industry. Unveiled at the 2023 New York International Auto Show, the EV9 is poised to become a new industry touchstone, establishing itself as a trailblazer in electric SUVs. As a self-proclaimed automotive enthusiast, I was thrilled about the EV9’s debut, and I’m excited to share what I know so far about the game-changing vehicle.
The EV9 is Kia‘s first dedicated three-row EV SUV, a segment above its predecessors. With its “Opposites United” design language, the EV9 harmoniously marries nature and modernity, all while offering premium accommodations that rival those of ultra-luxury SUVs. The EV9 is Kia’s flagship in the global Plan S strategy, aimed at leading the transition to an electrified lineup.
What sets the EV9 apart is its next-generation interior material strategy, featuring dual-display instrumentation and multiple camera feeds. Kia has taken an environmentally-conscious approach, offering alternatives to traditional leather trim, such as partially recycled materials. The EV9’s first-class second row boasts power-adjustable seats with leg extensions, heating, and ventilation, providing passengers with more legroom than many large luxury SUVs currently on the market.
Under the hood, the EV9 doesn’t disappoint. The dual-motor EV9 GT-Line delivers a robust 379 hp and 516 lb.-ft. of torque, targeting a 0-to-60 mph acceleration in just 5 seconds. Additionally, the EV9 showcases true SUV capabilities with torque-vectoring dual-motor AWD, 7.8 inches of ground clearance, and up to 5000 lb. of towing capacity. It’s clear that Kia designed the EV9 with adventure in mind.
One of the most impressive features of the EV9 is its standard 800V electrical architecture, which enables ultrafast recharging on high-speed DC chargers. The EV9 is designed to go from a 10 to 80 percent state of charge in under 25 minutes, ensuring that you can hit the road with minimal downtime. Moreover, the EV9 is equipped with OTA-capable technology, enabling upgradeable vehicle system controllers and infotainment features.
The EV9 doesn’t compromise on safety, offering advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) elevated to new levels with lidar-capable technologies. The EV9 features Advanced Highway Driving Assist (AHDA), Lane Following Assist 2 (LFA-2), and Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA-2), among others. These state-of-the-art technologies are designed to assist drivers and prevent collisions, making the EV9 a safe and reliable choice for families and adventurers alike.
The exterior design of the EV9 is a triumph of proportion, embodying the rugged yet sophisticated essence of a flagship SUV. At 197.4 inches in length, the EV9 is slightly longer than the Telluride SUV, and comparable in height and width. Its muscular stance, dynamic character lines, and Tiger Face—a reinterpretation of the iconic Kia “Tiger Nose” grille—create an unmistakable road presence. The available Star Map LED animated Digital Pattern Lighting Grille adds a personalized touch, allowing drivers to choose from five Dynamic Welcome Light formations. Flush door handles with automatic deployment and available wheel options ranging from 19 to 21 inches further enhance the clean and modern aesthetic of the EV9.
Step inside the EV9, and you’re welcomed into a modern sanctuary. The interior design embraces the “Opposites United” ethos, infusing cues from nature through innovative use of materials and the harmonious interplay between humans and their environment. Kia’s “Ten Must-Have Items” paradigm is introduced in the EV9’s interior, featuring non-leather polyurethane seating surfaces, select BTX-free interior trim, and fabrics and carpets composed of partially recycled materials. The EV9’s commitment to sustainability doesn’t compromise on luxury, ensuring a well-appointed cabin that avoids the use of animal products.
A standout feature of the EV9’s interior is its Connected Car Navigation Cockpit (ccNC) operating system, which offers a high-fidelity and user-friendly interface. The EV9 is the first Kia model to offer vehicle system over-the-air updates, a strategic move towards software-defined vehicles. Its ultramodern Digital Key enables customers to use their compatible Apple and Samsung smart devices as virtual vehicle keys, adding convenience and versatility to the driving experience.
When it comes to performance, the EV9 is available with a choice of two powertrain options. The standard 76.1-kWh battery powers a 160-kW (215-hp) motor that drives the rear wheels. An optional 99.8-kWh battery is available in either a single-motor configuration targeting 300 miles of all-electric range (AER) or a dual-motor, 283-kW (379-hp) torque vectoring all-wheel-drive configuration. With four drive modes—Eco, Normal, Sport, and My Mode—the EV9 provides a tailored driving experience to match your preferences.
The EV9 is expected to debut in the U.S. in Q4 2023, with assembly set to begin in West Point, Georgia, in 2024. This makes the EV9 the first Kia EV to be assembled locally in the U.S. Although pricing, trim details, and EPA-rated AER for the EV9 are yet to be announced, the anticipation is palpable.
In conclusion, the 2024 Kia EV9 represents a bold and innovative step forward for Kia, as the automaker advances its commitment to electrification. From its distinctive design to its impressive performance capabilities, the EV9 exemplifies the future of electric SUVs. With its generous interior volume, towing capability, leading vehicle dynamics, and fast charging capability, the EV9 is poised to appeal to a wide range of drivers—from families seeking a spacious and reliable vehicle for road trips, to adventurers looking for a capable SUV to explore the great outdoors.