The 2024 Kia EV9 is a groundbreaking electric vehicle that combines the spaciousness, versatility, and capability of a three-row SUV with the efficiency, performance, and technology of a battery-electric vehicle. The EV9 is the second model to use Kia's dedicated Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), following the sleek and sporty EV6. But unlike the EV6, which competes in the crowded compact crossover segment, the EV9 aims higher and bigger. It is a full-size electric SUV that can seat up to seven passengers, tow up to 5,000 pounds, and travel up to 300 miles on a single charge. It also offers a range of advanced features, such as a head-up display with augmented reality, a biometric driver recognition system, and a vehicle-to-load function that can power external devices. With a starting price of $54,900, the EV9 undercuts most of its luxury rivals, such as the Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV, the Audi e-Tron, the Tesla Model X, and the Rivian R1S. But does it have what it takes to challenge them in terms of quality, performance, and appeal? Let's find out.
Design and Dimensions
The 2024 Kia EV9 is based on the same platform as the Hyundai Ioniq 5, but it has a distinctive design that sets it apart from its corporate cousin. The EV9 features a boxy and muscular shape that evokes a sense of ruggedness and durability. The front end is dominated by a large grille that houses the LED headlights and daytime running lights. The grille also incorporates an active air flap that can open or close to optimize aerodynamics and cooling. The side profile is characterized by a long wheelbase, short overhangs, and flared wheel arches. The rear end is highlighted by a full-width LED taillight bar and a roof spoiler. The EV9 also has a dual-tone color scheme that contrasts the body color with a black roof and pillars.
The EV9 measures 197.2 inches in length, 77.8 inches in width, and 66.7 inches in height. It has a wheelbase of 118.1 inches, which is longer than that of the Kia Telluride (114.2 inches) and the Toyota Highlander (112.2 inches). The EV9 also has a ground clearance of 8.3 inches, which is comparable to that of the Rivian R1S (8.1 inches) and higher than that of the Tesla Model X (7.9 inches). The EV9 offers generous interior space for passengers and cargo. It has a passenger volume of 167 cubic feet, which is more than that of the Telluride (167 cubic feet) and the Highlander (141 cubic feet). It also has a cargo volume of 18 cubic feet behind the third row, 46 cubic feet behind the second row, and 86 cubic feet behind the first row. These figures are slightly lower than Telluride's (21/46/87 cubic feet) but higher than Highlander's (16/48/84 cubic feet).
Powertrain and Performance
The 2024 Kia EV9 offers three powertrain options: Standard RWD, Standard Long Range RWD, and AWD. The Standard RWD model has a single rear-mounted electric motor that produces 215 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. It has a 76.1-kWh battery pack that provides an estimated range of 223 miles. The Standard Long Range RWD model has the same motor but with a larger 99.8-kWh battery pack that boosts the range to an estimated 300 miles. However, the power output drops slightly to 201 horsepower. The AWD model has two electric motors, one on each axle, that deliver a combined output of 379 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. It also has a larger battery pack but with an estimated range of 287 miles. All models have an electronically limited top speed of 115 mph.
The EV9 can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in as little as 5.3 seconds with the AWD model. This makes it faster than the Telluride (7.2 seconds) and the Highlander Hybrid (7.3 seconds) but slower than the Tesla Model X Long Range (4.4 seconds) and the Rivian R1S (4.0 seconds). The EV9 also has four driving modes: Eco, Normal, Sport, and Snow. These modes adjust the power delivery, regenerative braking, steering feel, and traction control according to the driving conditions and preferences.
The EV9 can charge its battery using various methods. It supports 400-volt and 800-volt charging systems and DC fast charging up to 350 kW. With a 350-kW charger, the EV9 can replenish its battery from 10% to 80% in about 18 minutes. It can also add about 70 miles of range in just five minutes. The EV9 also has a vehicle-to-load (V2L) function that allows it to supply up to 3.6 kW of power to external devices, such as laptops, camping equipment, or even another electric vehicle. The V2L function can be accessed through a port under the second-row seat or a port on the front bumper.