2024 Kia EV9 Reveal: What We Know So Far
The three-row electric sport utility vehicle is getting ready for its late-2023 debut.
The EV9 is the first three-row EV from Kia, but it's not an electric Telluride. It rides on a dedicated electric-car architecture related to the automaker's sleek, low-slung EV6.
Both models wear distinctive lines with limited similarity to any equivalent gas model in the brand's lineup. The EV9's boxy shape and interior with three rows of seats makes it one of the first mainstream EV to directly target families who might drive a gas-fueled SUV.
The EV9's Proportions Could Make for a Roomy Ride
Kia is an automaker that has pushed boundaries in terms of style and substance over the past several years, bringing forth eye-grabbing vehicles such as the Telluride three-row crossover and quick, and efficient electric automobiles such as the EV6. The upcoming Kia EV9 promises to marry these two strengths by producing an SUV that dips into the Telluride's design while lifting the EV6's electric drivetrain and battery. This formula would make the EV9 the biggest battery-powered model offered to date by the Korean automaker.
The EV9 will likely use a version of Kia's E-GMP platform that underpins the smaller, two-row EV6. One of the platform's advantages is its modular design, which makes it relatively easy to scale the underpinnings up or down in size, allowing for the Kia electric SUVs to share engineering details such as electric motors, batteries, and suspension.
Rather than a sporty, performance approach with swooping curves and large fenders, the EV9's sheetmetal has a crisp, tailored look. It's large, though Kia hasn't said just how long, wide, or tall, but its slim LED daytime running lights help give it a somewhat narrow appearance.
What's most noticeable in profile is its long wheelbase, the distance between its axles. This might allow for more passenger room compared with the Telluride because the suspension can be nudged closer to the corners.
The interior has a minimalist look, with the focal point a series of three screens spanning the dashboard. There's an instrument cluster in front of the driver and a large, horizontal infotainment screen toward the right with a smaller screen wedged between those to manage climate control. Don't look for knobs or many buttons.
Kia's EV9 Aims to Shorten Charging Times
Kia has chosen to hold back most of the EV9's specs until closer to when it goes on sale in late 2023, but we can look at the company's smaller EV6 for hints. That two-row, midsize model debuted an 800-volt architecture that allows for ultra-fast DC charging. This lets its battery charge from 10 to 80 percent in just 18 minutes in an ideal setting. Though figures for the EV9 are yet to be released, it could use the same charging technology to keep charging times low, even if it's equipped with a larger battery that might be necessary given its extra size.
The EV6 offers a range estimate as high as 310 miles. For Kia to transform the EV9 into a road-trip-worthy electric car, it will need both ultra-fast charging and a long range. Otherwise, all three rows of occupants may turn mutinous.
Clues Abound for the EV9's Pricing
Pricing for the Kia EV9 will be announced close to its on-sale date in late 2023. The smaller EV6, however, can be used as a guide. It starts at about $49,000 and can climb well north of $60,000 with an extended-range battery. That puts it about $10,000 more than the automaker's Sportage Plug-In Hybrid, though that's far from an apples-to-apples comparison. The Sportage Hybrid comes standard with all-wheel drive, for instance.
If we assume that Kia would add a 20 percent premium for a bump up in size, we can look to the larger, three-row Sorento Plug-In Hybrid that costs $50,000. Could that mean a roughly $62,000 starting point for the EV9? We'll know later in 2023.