EVs have been edging their way toward the mainstream, but Kia’s EV9 marks the arrival of battery electric technology in the 3-row family hauler market. Pricing hasn’t been announced, but Kia has traditionally undercut rivals’ prices, suggesting that the EV9 could be a practical family vehicle at a price families can afford.
The EV9 is Kia’s first American-built EV and will be one of seven EVs in the Kia line by 2027, the company says.
The EV9 is built on the Hyundai Group’s E-GMP electric drive platform, with its fast-charging 800-volt architecture and an optional extended-range battery that targets 300 miles of driving range. It employs what Kia describes as “fourth-generation” battery technology that is designed for improved energy density.
The standard battery is 76.1 kilowatt-hours, and a 99.8-kWh battery is optional for the maximum driving range of 300 miles. Kia says that they can charge at a peak power of 236 kilowatts, which is promised to fill the pack from 10 percent to 80 percent in less than 25 minutes. The on-board charger for use with Level 2 AC charge stations runs at 10.9 kW.
There are two powertrain options, a single-motor, rear-drive layout good for 201 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque and a dual-motor, 379hp torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive configuration with as much as 516 lb.-ft. of torque. The standard drive modes are Eco, Normal, Sport, and a customizable My Mode, and AWD models add Snow Mode, which seems like would also be beneficial for the rear-drive models.
Like some other EVs, the EV9 can serve as a mobile power source through its power outlet. But it is poised to add V2X ability to send power to the home or grid through a future upgrade from the Kia Connect digital store. It would work through the available Wallbox Quasar 2 Bidirectional charger.
The EV9’s Forward Collision Avoidance Assist has been upgraded with a lidar sensor to help detect and avoid obstacles such as:
- Vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists in front of the vehicle while driving
- Oncoming vehicles while turning left at an intersection
- Crossing vehicles while passing through an intersection
In addition to providing a warning, the system contributes some braking and/or steering input to help prevent or minimize certain collisions if the system detects oncoming vehicles while passing other vehicles; vehicles in front of the car while changing lanes; and obstacles, pedestrians, or other vehicles in front of the car while driving straight.
A vehicle like the EV9, which is slightly longer than Kia’s hot-selling Telluride with a 7.8-inch longer wheelbase has the potential to make an EV a practical primary vehicle for many families, which would represent a paradigm shift for the market, which has so far been primarily for niche applications or wealthy drivers.
It will be interesting to drive the EV9 and learn what the pricing will be.