Kia is quickly proving that Tesla isn’t the only mainstream brand capable of delivering a compelling electric vehicle.

After impressing with its 2023 EV6 compact crossover, Kia has launched the 2024 EV9 three-row SUV as a follow up. Kia provided a first look at the EV9 in mid-March, and on Tuesday the automaker confirmed specifications.

Kia isn’t shy about calling the EV9 its new flagship, and that’s not only because the SUV will be among the most expensive models in Kia’s lineup, but also because it helps define the automaker’s focus going foward: electric mobility, leading technology, and sustainable materials.

The EV9 is based on Hyundai Motor Group’s flexible E-GMP platform, which is also found in the EV6. The dedicated EV platform features an 800-volt electrical architecture capable of bi-directional charging, vehicle-to-grid functions, and high-speed charging claimed to add almost 150 miles of range in 15 minutes.

2024 Kia EV9

2024 Kia EV9

Depending on the market, the EV9 will be offered as standard with a 76.1-kwh battery and rear-wheel drive. Above this will be a 99.8-kwh battery which will be available with either rear- or all-wheel drive. The highest range will be with the 99.8-kwh battery and rear-wheel drive, a figure Kia estimates to be about 300 miles when measured by the EPA.

EV9s with the 76.1-kwh battery and rear-wheel drive will have approximately 214 hp from a single motor at the rear. Adding the 99.8-kwh battery will drop the power on the rear-wheel-drive EV9 to 201 hp. The 99.8-kwh battery and all-wheel drive will have a dual-motor system good for approximately 380 hp, or enough for 0-62 mph acceleration in six seconds. For more performance, a Boost feature that will be available for purchase through Kia’s own Kia Connect Store app store will add extra torque to help deliver 0-62 mph acceleration in 5.3 seconds.

2024 Kia EV9

2024 Kia EV9

Another option from the app store will be a light pattern for the digital light panel that replaces the traditional grille at the front of the vehicle, a feature first shown on an EV9 concept from 2021. The light panel will be offered on the premium GT-Line grade.

The technology doesn’t end there. Kia also plans to offer an automated driver-assist feature that will rank at Level 3 on the SAE scale of self-driving capability. That means the system will be able to provide hands-off, eyes-off capability in certain conditions. Kia is yet to provide full details on the system but said it will only function in certain parts of the globe. Called Highway Driving Pilot, the system will rely on 15 sensors, including two lidars. Kia will initially offer the system in the GT-Line grade.

2024 Kia EV9

2024 Kia EV9

The EV9 measures approximately 197 inches in length, which makes it roughly the same size as Kia’s Telluride, another mid-size three-row SUV. However, packaging advantages of the EV platform means the EV9’s 122-inch wheelbase is nearly eight inches longer than the Telluride’s wheelbase, resuting in more interior space.

The EV9 will be offered with seating for six or seven with a second-row bench seat or available captain’s chairs. The captain’s chairs can swivel up to 180 degrees to allow second-row passengers to interact easier with those seated in the third row. The first- and second-row seats can recline so passengers can relax while the EV9’s charging. Both the second and third rows fold flat to create immense cargo space, but no measurements are available yet.

2024 Kia EV9

2024 Kia EV9

2024 Kia EV9

2024 Kia EV9

2024 Kia EV9

2024 Kia EV9

Up front, the dashboard features a 5.0-inch display flanked by a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 12.3-inch touchscreen, all housed under a single pane of glass. A few hard buttons are retained, but most functions seem relegated to the screens, which are augmented by touch-sensitive buttons. Premium options include massaging seats, a 14-speaker Meridian audio system, and ambient lighting. Kia said it also used sustainable materials in the cabin, including materials derived from corn, sugar cane, natural oils, and recycled PET bottles.

Kia said the EV9 will start sales in selected markets in the second half of the year. Exact timing for the U.S. should be announced following the SUV’s local debut scheduled for next week’s 2023 New York auto show.

2024 Kia EV9

2024 Kia EV9

Kia is also holding back on pricing information, though officials have hinted the EV9 and Telluride will have a price gap similar to that of the Niro EV and Niro hybrid, or the EV6 and Sportage. That will likely give the EV9 a $15,000 price differential between it and the Telluride, putting the EV9 starting price somewhere in the $50,000 bracket.

Kia plans many more EVs on its quest to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. The automaker has already confirmed it will have 14 EVs in its lineup as soon as 2027, including a pickup truck to be built in the U.S.



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