This week, at the New York Auto Show, Kia showed us their upcoming electric SUV that has everybody talking – the Kia EV9. Even though we couldn’t take it for a spin yet, we had a chance to take a close look at this flagship electric vehicle and it might just be one of the most important cars of 2021.
The Kia EV9 will be based on the E-GMP platform, that supports an 800-volt power and can charge up your battery from 10 to 80 percent in just 25 minutes. It’ll come in two different configurations; a base model with a 76.1 kWh battery and a long-range version with a 99.8 kWh one. Kia believes the long-range version will get you 300 miles (about 480 kilometers) before needing to recharge, while the normal range should be close to 260 miles (about 420 kilometers).
The base model of the EV9 will take around 8.2 seconds to do a 0-60 time, and the long-range model will take 9.4 seconds because it has a bigger and heavier battery. If you want something faster, go for the GT-line which packs the same long-range battery but is always ready with a more powerful AWD dual motor setup that promises a 0-60 time of 5.3 seconds. If that’s still not enough, Kia president Ho-Sung Song said there will also be an even speedier and higher performance version of the EV9 in 2025!
The EV9, which looks similar to Kia’s gas-powered SUV Telluride, is a bit longer (197 inches). However, its styling sets it apart from other cars. It has a blocky and modern silhouette with soft curves and some unique body lines. That way, it doesn’t seem too sci-fi like the upcoming Ioniq 7 from Hyundai.
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Kia has a special front grille on their new EV9 car called the “Digital Tiger Nose Grille”. It is full of hidden lights that you can customize with different animations. Even after buying this car, you can update it with new software and lighting patterns. Also, the EV9 has 15 exterior sensors to spot any obstacles ahead like two LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) arrays in the front.
The EV9 car has flush door handles that look modern and help reduce drag. In addition, the base model of this car has cool-looking triangular wheels while the GT-line one comes with 21-inch alloys in a design that looks like a game controller’s D-pad. This is probably meant to appeal to younger buyers.
The EV9’s design follows the same trend that late-model Teslas follow. This means there is hardly any shiny metal and no high-gloss finishes, like black piano paint, in the inside of the car.
The EV9 has some cool design features that are inspired by “reductionism” and “technology for life”. The dash has hidden buttons which only come alive when the car is on. It also has an awesome dual-level center console, where both front and back passengers can store stuff. Even in the headrest of the front seats, Kia added things like mesh, so parents can check on kids sitting at back with ease. Unfortunately, if you live in the US you won’t be able to enjoy one of the awesome features: swivel chairs at the second row!
The best part of this car is that it has a third row of seats. Even though I’m very tall (six feet!), I found it easy to fit in the back. The space might not be so comfortable if the second row of seats is pushed all the way back, but if you move them up just some inches, there is enough room for adults to sit there on short trips.
The Kia EV9 comes with a cool digital car key which uses both NFC and UWB. Inside the dash there is also a bright head-up display for the driver and an optional rear-view camera instead of a normal mirror. It has a modern infotainment system with two separate screens – one for the driver, and one for music, navigation, etc. There are both touch controls onscreen and physical buttons to turn on the heat or air conditioning. Plus, it includes wireless charging, two USB-C ports per row of seats, and even a regular power outlet in the trunk!
The Kia EV9 looks really cool and is pretty spacious, even for a mid-sized SUV. Also, its tech features are impressive. But even better is the fact that it’s very affordable compared to other EVs in the market as it costs around $56,000.
The EV9 is a great deal compared to other electric SUVs for three-row seating because it costs much less than the Tesla Model X, Volvo EX90, or Mercedes EQS SUV, which all start at around $80K. Even cars like the Model Y and EQB which cost around the same as E9V don’t have as much room and can only fit young kids or pets in the back row. Cars that might work, but are too expensive include BMW iX and Cadillac Lyriq and Polestar 3.
The Kia EV9 is going to be an electric family car that won’t break your pocket. Depending on the price, it could be a great choice when it comes out at the end of this year.