The EV6 was released to nearly universal praise for its technology, body style, and comfort, which makes excitement for the next Kia SUV with the EV9 completely understood. Something of a more boxy design than the EV6, the EV9 is also likely to be more off-road friendly when it’s released as a three-row SUV sometime in 2023.
Previewed to the world in 2021, the EV9 looked to be heavily influenced by the Telluride design and elements of the EV6 body all while Kia promised impressive range and charging numbers. Whether those numbers pan out is yet to be determined, but there’s definitely a lot riding on the success of the EV9 as it’s likely to influence where Kia’s EV ambitions go from here.
Let’s dive into what we know so far!
6 Quick Facts About the Kia EV9
- The Kia EV9 was first teased at the Los Angeles International Auto Show in November 2021.
- Kia committed to a range of more than 300 miles on a single charge but “fast” charging times.
- The EV9 will be a three-row SUV, which makes it a truly family-friendly EV.
- Manufacturing of the EV9 is said to be happening in Bryon County, Georgia at a massive plant built strictly for manufacturing electric vehicles.
- It’s believed that when Kia debuts the car sometime in 2023, it will be ready to go on sale as a 2024 model, which likely means U.S. sales will start in the second half of 2023.
Kia EV9 Specs
|Price||Estimates predict over $50,000 for the base trim|
|Battery||TBD (likely either 77.4 kWh or 100 kWh)|
|Range||300+ miles depending on EPA testing|
|Cargo Volume||Flexible interior modes will provide varying degrees of cargo volume|
|Charge Time||10-80% in up to 30 minutes|
|Acceleration||0-60 in five seconds for the spec model|
|Warranty||5-year, 60K mile bumper-to-bumper; 10-year, 100,000K mile powertrain|
Kia EV9: Where to Buy
As of December 2022, Kia hasn’t made any indications about when and where to purchase the EV9 once it’s available for purchase. However, given Kia’s extensive dealership network in the United States and around the world, it’s reasonable they will make the car available through their own sales channels. Current expectations have the production model of the EV9 unveiled for the public sometime in early 2023 and on sale later in the year as a 2024 model. It’s very possible they could allow pre-orders both online or in local dealerships but they have not yet made any formal announcements.
The History of the Kia EV9: What to Know
First appearing as a concept vehicle at the November 2021 Los Angeles Automobile Show, the Kia EV9 has yet to show off its true colors. Little is known about the origins of the vehicle or those responsible for its as-of-yet unfinished design. What is known is that between November 2021 and December 2022, in those twelve months, Kia hasn’t said or done a whole lot to give more information on the vehicle.
Spy shots of the car being test driven with a camouflaged exterior leave quite a few questions unanswered but it’s clear the vehicle takes after the Telluride body style, if only a little bit boxier. The 2021 announcement promised at least a three-row EV, though it’s not known if it will seat six or seven people.
Kia’s Chief Executive, Song Ho-sung, has promised the company will be fully electric in the European market by 2035 with other key markets like the United States by 2040. The EV9 presents a key opportunity for the company to release a desirable family-oriented SUV and test consumer interests.
Kia EV9 Versions: What We Know
As of December 2022, Kia hasn’t released any info on how many different trim models will be available for the EV90. However, it’s likely that the EV9 will mirror similar trim levels as the EV6, meaning at least three different trim levels, including a premium GT model that emphasizes performance over range.
With pricing believed to start at around $50,000, it’s also thought that the Kia EV9 will be well-priced within the EV market so as to be affordable to families.
Kia has noted during what limited public conversations it has had over the EV9 that it wants to set “new standards in range” though it hasn’t specifically outlined what that means. What is known is that the Kia will run on the Hyundai Group Electric Global Modular Platform, or E-GMP, which is a dedicated platform the Kia parent company has created for EVs.
Given that and the potential for a battery bigger than the 77.4 kWh model that the current Kia EV6 has, it’s possible to think upwards of 330 plus miles is reasonable. That would be especially true if rumors of a possible 100 kWh battery pan out. Of course, the EPA will need to perform its own testing and then make a final determination on whether Kia’s range numbers are accurate.
The design of the Kia EV9 is where things really remain open at this point as the final look of the exterior of the car remains unknown. Kia did show some photos of the EV9 undergoing testing back in August 2022, and while the exterior of the vehicle was camouflaged, it gave the car industry the best look at the final product.
It’s safe to believe that the Kia will maintain the squared-off look of the concept car that debuted back in November 2021. As of now, the concept vehicle measures around 194 inches in length, 81 inches wide, and 70 inches tall giving it a wheelbase of 122 inches. To draw a quick comparison, the current model Kia Telluride has a wheelbase of 114.2 inches and a height of 70.5 inches at its tallest, so this is definitely looking like it will be slightly bigger.
Like the exterior, the interior of the Kia EV9 remains very much a mystery other than to say it’s believed that the car will maintain at least some semblance of the concept’s minimal footprint. Currently, the concept car shows a single 27-inch display on the dashboard that’s home to every function of the vehicle including showing speed, direction, and lane positioning for the driver.
The display is also portrayed as being home to both climate musical controls and the rest of the vehicle’s main functions. Given the current concept images Kia has released, it’s questionable as to whether the car will include any physical buttons for the interior.
However, if the Kia EV6 is any guide, there’s a good chance the 27-inch concept display will be replaced by two large screens that control speed and lane positioning on one display while another controls the remainder of the car’s main functions. The only physical buttons are likely to be those that operate climate controls as well as buttons to place the car into park, drive, reverse, etc. There’s also a good chance that while the instrument panels will utilize Kia proprietary software, both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay will be included.
One of the most interesting aspects that Kia has teased about the EV9 is its seating configuration. While it’s all but certain as a family car, the question is how many different configurations will the EV9 be available with. Well, Kia is indicating that three different configurations are being considered for the production model that’s releasing in 2023.
The first configuration, or “Active Mode,” is a traditional three-row setup where the driver and passenger are up front, two passengers are in the back and another two passengers are placed in the third row.
The second configuration, or “Pause Mode,” is where Kia is teasing that the front seats will turn 180 degrees around to face the rear of the vehicle, the second-row seats turn into a table by folding down, and the third row continues to face the driver and passenger.
The third and final potential configuration, or “Stationary Mode,” is teasing the possibility that the third-row seats will also turn a full 180 degrees to face behind the EV9, which might be useful for tailgating or camping.
One area of the Kia EV9 that remains unknown that is desperate for more information is that of safety. The EV9 concept has shown wing cameras on the side of the vehicle that would replace traditional side-view mirrors but it’s unlikely that will make it to the production car. What is likely to be included in its place is Blind-Spot View Monitor which shows a camera unit connected to the physical side-view mirror that pops up when a turn signal is activated so you can see traffic moving behind you.
Also expected is that the EV9 will match the EV6’s set of standard safety features including DriveWise, which incorporates lane departure warning, navigation-based smart cruise control, pedestrian detection, forward collision avoidance, self-parking functions, and more. Plus, intelligent speed limit assist and a safe exit warning for passengers exiting the vehicle while the car detects another vehicle approaching.
The Public Response
As of December 2022, the public response to the Kia EV9 has been one of tepid excitement. Not knowing more about the car is likely preventing more excitement from building, but that is undoubtedly going to change once Kia shows off a production model including the updated exterior and final look and feel of the interior. The Kia EV6 went through a similar experience and is now regarded as one of the best electric vehicles available for purchase that isn’t named Tesla.
If Kia can keep the price point to around $50,000 for the base or entry trim model, that too is also likely to drive increased excitement. Still, for the moment, car magazines and blogs are showing plenty of intrigue about what the final product will look like and whether the absolutely cool-looking 27-inch display will remain intact or be replaced with two dual panoramic displays like the EV6.