When it comes to hotly anticipated electric vehicles, a lot of the early 2023 buzz belongs to the Kia EV9. Looking to build on the success of the EV6 release, Kia is putting a lot of its hopes into the EV9 to help chip away at Tesla’s dominance in the EV SUV space.
With the EV9, Kia’s newest EV model will be a mid-size SUV that offers a fun and somewhat futuristic look while building on the already refined and more minimalistic interior of the EV6. Promising more than 300 miles of range, Kia has committed to releasing pricing in the imminent future with the hopes it will be well-priced within the market to attract new buyers to the EV space.
While Kia is looking to build up sales volume with the attractively priced EV9, Mercedes is hoping to attract first-time Mercedes buyers with the EQB. Offering room for up to seven people, the Mercedes EQB is one of the most refined-looking electric SUVs on the road today. While pricing starts at around $52,750, you can quickly jump up in price with upgraded wheels, additional paint colors, as well as a variety of different packages, all of which increase the already refined look of the Mercedes body.
Let’s take a look at how the Kia EV9 and Mercedes EQB compare and reveal which one is right for you.
Kia EV9 vs. Mercedes EQB: Side-by-Side Comparison
|Starting at $52,750
|227-250 miles of range
|Up to 7
|Up to 7
|62 cubic feet with third row folded
|10-80% in 30 minutes (estimated)
|10-80% in 29 minutes, Level 2 charging 0-100% in just over 7 hours
|5.0 seconds (spec model estimates)
|6.0 seconds (EQB 350)
|5-year 60,000 mile basic
10-year 100,000 mile powertrain (estimated)
|4-year 50,000 mile limited warranty
8-year 100,000 battery warranty
Kia EV9 vs. Mercedes EQB: What’s the Difference?
Let’s break down these two EV’s key differences.
As of March 26, 2023, Kia has not yet announced pricing on the EV9, though they are expected to do so in the very near future. Industry estimates place the starting place somewhere around the $56,000 mark for a standard or base Kia EV9 model, but that’s all guesswork for now.
It’s hard to say how far up above the base price point the EV9 will go, but it’s likely that you can expect a potential GT model to creep into the $70,000 range if and when it is released by Kia. The bottom line is that Kia has yet to release trim levels or names which makes it difficult to predict with 100% accuracy exactly where the Kia EV9 price will end up.
All of this said, as the Kia EV6 starts at around $48,700, there is every reason to believe that the larger and more powerful mid-size SUV that is the EV9 will start at a higher price tag. The current range between the Kia EV9 base and GT model is more than a $15,000 difference, so you can expect something similar for the EV9 as well.
Mercedes EQB pricing is much easier to discuss as the car has been readily available for a while now. The entry-level model of the Mercedes EQB, the EQB 250+ SUV, has a price tag starting at $52,750. The mid-level trim of the Mercedes EQB, the EQB 300 4MATIC SUV, increases the starting price to $56,900, while the premium trim, the EQB 350 4MATIC SUV, has an MSRP starting price of $60,550.
Like the Kia EV9, there is quite a bit of price difference between the standard Mercedes EQB and its higher trim including but not limited to both acceleration and range.
While Kia has not released specific details about battery sizes or overall charge times, they have said that the EV9 will be available to charge on 350KW fast charge stations. There is also a better-than-good chance that Kia will carry over the fast charge times from its EV6 model to the EV9 as well. This means that charging the EV9 at a fast charge station should help you go from 10-80% in less than 20 minutes. What Kia has not yet revealed is how quickly the EV9 should charge at home on a Level 2 charging station. There’s an equally good chance here that the time will likely be around 7-8 hours, but until Kia releases official numbers, these charging times are all just educated guesses.
Charging times for the Mercedes EQB is much easier to pin down given the vehicle’s immediate availability. Going from 10-80% on a fast charger can take as little as 32 minutes while going from 0-100% on a Level 2 home charger should take around 7 hours and 45 minutes. Charging on a 120V traditional home plugin isn’t rated but it’s very likely that, by doing so, you’re looking at at least a week before the Mercedes EQB is fully charged and ready to go.
As is the case with many of the Kia EV9 details, the car manufacturer has yet to officially confirm the exact range across all available trim levels. What is known is that Kia has indicated that a 300-mile range should be available on at least one potential trim level, if not multiple but, again, it’s a waiting game until Kia provides official confirmation of the available range. The range is also going to be dependent on the size of the battery pack and this is yet another detail Kia has yet to confirm.
Looking at the Mercedes EQB, it is much easier to determine range as all of these numbers were revealed as soon as the car was released for sale in the summer of 2022. The standard or base model, the Mercedes EQB 250+, has an available range of up to 245 miles on a 70.5 kWh battery pack. The EQB 300 or the mid-level trim has an available range of 232 miles with the same battery pack, while the highest trim, the EQB 350, offers only 221 miles of range.
These numbers are nothing for Mercedes to gloat over as the Tesla Model Y offers almost 100 more miles than the EQB 350 and at roughly the same price. Yes, the Mercedes EQB will offer a nicer interior and ride experience, but as the range is one of the primary factors for EV buyers, Mercedes’ short(er) range with the EQB is likely to be a factor for potential buyers.
Kia finally revealed a look at the finished infotainment of the EV9 in mid-March 2023 and unsurprisingly, it has a layout that is a far cry from its gas-powered models. More refined than the already upgraded EV6, infotainment press images for the Kia EV9 interior indicate a limited number of physical buttons on the dashboard. It’s difficult to see exact functionality from the images Kia has provided, but buyers can also expect some physical buttons around the steering wheel, including answering a call, cruise control, volume up and down, flipping to a new song, and more.
The most critical part of the infotainment system will be the set of dual 12.3-inch dual touchscreens similar to the Kia EV6 model. The primary 12.3-inch touchscreen is available for the driver which provides vehicle critical information like speed, range, charge time, mileage driven, gear, and more. A second touchscreen will provide even more detailed information like updated information on charging time, radio stations, and changes between drive systems (e.g. sport, eco, etc.). Buyers can also look forward to the inclusion of both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto inclusion.
Mercedes has long been at the forefront of outstanding infotainment experiences, and the EQB is no different. Utilizing the MBUX infotainment system, there are a host of features including voice commands, steering wheel controls for volume, navigation, audio, and additional functionality like cruise control. The 10.25-inch driver display offers three distinct themes as well as important driver-specific information like speed, battery life, navigation, etc.
A second 10.25-inch acts as the main infotainment experience and can even be split into three separate panels for navigation, audio, and phone calls. The colors are sharp and look typical Mercedes-beautiful but the EQB lacks the jaw-dropping 5-foot wide hyperscreen of the more expensive Mercedes EQS model. Even so, the MBUX system is impressive throughout and the Mercedes voice command system is one of the most impressive ever seen in a vehicle. You can say things like “Hey Mercedes, it’s hot in here” and the temperature of the vehicle will drop a few degrees, which is just really cool.
Kia EV9 vs. Mercedes EQB: 5 Must-Know Facts
- Both the Kia EV9 and Mercedes EQB can seat up to seven people with their respective three-row interior layouts.
- Mercedes doesn’t offer much in the way of self-driving outside of assistance with parallel parking and lane keep assistance but it offers typical safety features associated with Mercedes safety ratings.
- Kia has previously indicated that the EV9 will include something called Automode, which includes a range of autonomous driving technologies but has yet to go into any specific detail.
- The Kia EV9’s final look is said to be fairly close to the concept vehicle first shown in 2021 at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Recently released press photos indicate that not much from the overall look has changed, though ground clearance appears to be improved.
- The Mercedes EQB SUV and Kia EV9 are both mid-size SUV electric vehicles as Mercedes has the EQS as its largest EV while Kia is likely to keep the EV9 as its flagship SUV for the foreseeable future.
Kia EV9 vs. Mercedes EQB: Which One Wins?
At the end of the day, it’s hard to say with 100% certainty whether the Kia EV9 and the Mercedes EQB wins until the EV9 has its official specs and final look revealed. However, even without all of the final details, the Kia EV9 is still likely to be the preferred choice for many buyers. Between its range, potential autonomous driving options, and the same or better safety levels, the EV9 feels like an easy recommendation. This is especially true when you factor in that the price isn’t likely to be so different as to be a huge factor between Kia and Mercedes.
On the other hand, the Mercedes EQB is likely to be the better option for anyone who wants the Mercedes name and values interior quality above all else. Factors like the quality of the leather or the wood trim in the Mercedes EQB are almost assuredly going to be improved over the Kia EV9, which places less of an emphasis on such things. Even with the more upgraded feeling interior, the Kia still wins with its larger dual 12.3 displays over the Mercedes’ 10.25-inch dual displays.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©quiggyt4/Shutterstock.com.