Kia has taken a quantum leap with the launch of the Kia EV9, its largest, most modern and most sophisticated passenger car to date. To say that it is an electric SUV with 6 or 7 seats, with an ultra-fast charge of 800 volts and up to 541 kilometers of electric autonomy would be an understatement.
The first thing that strikes you about the EV9 when you see it up close is its impressive size. It measures 5.01 meters long by 1.98 wide and 1.75 high, so it is not a vehicle expressly designed for urban use or to be parked in any garage space. Its boxy design (based on Kia's 'Opposites United' philosophy) and a curb weight of at least 2,426 kg confirm that this is a major vehicle in every sense.
With a generous 3.10 meter wheelbase and the flat floor of the E-GMP platform, the EV9 offers enough space for three rows of seats. It is available in a six-seater configuration (with two separate, reclining, independent seats with armrests in the second row) or a seven-seater in a 2 3 2 configuration (the second-row seats are also individual). This makes it one of the few electric cars on the market with seven real seats and suitable for large families.
In addition to being roomy for passengers, it also provides a large cargo space with two trunks, one rear and one front. The volume of the rear trunk is 828 liters with 4 or 5 seats, and 333 liters with 6 or 7 seats, while the front one has a volume of 90 liters in the rear-wheel drive version and 52 liters in the all-wheel drive version. .
Both the rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive versions include a 99.8 kWh battery that gives them an electric range of 541 and 497 kilometers, respectively. The engine of the rear-wheel drive version generates a maximum power of 150 kW (203 hp) and a maximum torque of 350 Nm. This allows it to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 9.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 185 km/h, which is not bad for a vehicle of its size.
The all-wheel drive variant, available in a Baseline or GT-line version, is powered by two 141 kW (192 hp) electric motors that, together, develop a combined power of 282.6 kW (384 hp). The Baseline version can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.0 seconds, while the most powerful GT-line accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.3 seconds and reaches a top speed of 200 km/h.
The Kia EV9 can be charged ultra-fast with 800 volts, allowing it to recover up to 239 kilometers in just 15 minutes at a compatible charging point (219 km in 15 minutes for the all-wheel drive version). In addition, it is equipped with bi-directional charging, so its battery power can be used to power electronic devices or, in the future, a home or business. Not to mention that it is the first Kia that can be updated through the Kia Connect Store and the first also with level 3 autonomous driving and advanced highway driving assistant.
Once inside the passenger compartment, the first thing that attracts attention are the digital side mirrors, available as an option as an alternative to conventional analogue mirrors. According to the brand, digital screens (connected to cameras located outside) expand the driver's field of vision and improve safety and comfort, although the times we have tested them in other vehicles have not convinced us.
A large panoramic screen, made up of three panels, covers a large part of the dashboard. The first panel located behind the steering wheel, 12.3 inches, functions as a digital instrument panel. On the right, another AVNT (audio, video, navigation and telematics) screen of the same size houses the infotainment system. And between the two panels there is a third smaller screen, 5.1 inches, for the climate system, information on the seats and heating.
The EV9 is also equipped with a 'Head-Up Display' that projects useful information, such as speed or navigation instructions, onto the windshield. Finally, the center console is equipped with a fast wireless charger for phones, as well as a module with a USB port and charger. And for the convenience of passengers, there are also USB chargers in the second and third rows.
As for materials, Kia has defined a design sustainability strategy to integrate more eco-friendly materials into its vehicles. Specifically, the plan includes the progressive elimination of leather of animal origin and the use of recycled plastics from discarded objects and biological compounds such as bio-polyurethane, which is obtained from natural ingredients such as corn and castor oil.
The Kia EV9 will go on sale after the summer and the first units will arrive in Spain in November, according to the brand's forecasts. In the Spanish market, only the variant with all-wheel drive will be available, both in the Baseline and GT-line versions. Kia hasn't revealed the asking price yet, though it will likely be around €70,000 with Kia's 7-year/150,000-kilometre warranty, which also covers the 99.8 kWh battery.