Kia EV9: seven-seat electric SUV prices, specs and range

Kia plans a line-up of 14 electric cars by 2027, with the flagship EV9 SUV due later in 2023

Kia EV9 spy shot

Specs and range figures for the forthcoming Kia EV9 seven-seat electric SUV have been leaked online ahead of the flagship model’s launch later this year. The provisional figures, for the US-spec EV9, were sent to potential customers and suggest the SUV will have up to 400bhp, plus a range of almost 300 miles on the American EPA test cycle.

The Kia EV9 will be unveiled in the coming months, before eventually rivalling electric SUVs such as the Mercedes EQB, as well as the forthcoming Hyundai Ioniq 7 and the production version of the Skoda Vision 7S, due in 2026.

Kia says it's been developing the EV9 for nearly four years, and recently shared the first official images of its large zero-emissions SUV – sporting less camouflage wrapping than ever before. It’s clear that the styling of the original EV9 Concept has been carried over practically unchanged, including the boxy, Land Rover Defender-esque proportions and strikingly bluff front-end design.

Some of the EV9’s smaller details are also more noticeable in these new images, such as the flush door handles for better aerodynamics and the upward flick in the windowline for those in the third row. The front bumper also appears to feature air inlets that should help cool the EV9’s battery and electric motors.

Meanwhile, certain elements like the shape of the blanked off grille, silver body trim and LED headlights are very similar to those found on the Niro EV. We’ve yet to see the EV9’s interior, but we expect it to get a tech-filled cabin, taken near-wholesale from the EV6.

Kia EV9 range and performance

When the EV9 was confirmed for production in March 2022, Kia claimed the roadgoing model would be capable of 0-62mph in five seconds and offer a range of approximately 335 miles.

While the UK and Europe use the more familiar WLTP rating for combined range, the leaked EPA figures give us a good idea of how far the EV9 will travel on a charge when it goes on sale towards the end of 2023. According to the documents, the base EV9 – presumably with a 58kWh battery – gets a 220-mile EPA range, which is only 12 miles shy of its lower, sleeker EV6 equivalent.

We assume the longest-range EV9, though unconfirmed, is likely to be a rear-wheel-drive variant with the larger 77kWh battery that comes in the EV6. This version is said to do 290 miles on the EPA cycle, compared with 310 miles for a like-for-like EV6. That should mean the long-range EV9 will be rated to around 307 miles here in the UK – slightly shy of Kia’s initial claim.

The EV9 will feature the same 800-volt ultra-rapid charging architecture as the EV6, Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Genesis GV60, meaning a 10-80% top-up should take less than 20 minutes.

Moving up the range doubles the EV9’s power output from around 200bhp to 400bhp, presumably via an extra motor for all-wheel drive. The range drops in line with the increased performance, with the range-topping dual-motor version – again, presumably with the biggest 77kWh battery – managing 240 miles (EPA), or roughly 254 miles (WLTP) on a charge. 

It’s these models that will offer the greatest performance, with the leaked numbers suggesting the most potent dual-motor car will do 0-60mph (again, US figures) in 5.2 seconds – not far off Kia’s claim. Even the long-range RWD car should be able to complete that benchmark sprint in less than nine seconds.

Kia EV9 price and specs

Kia’s seven-seater also will be the first to feature the brand’s autonomous driving technology, which it calls ‘AutoMode’. Details are thin on the exact capabilities of this system, but Kia has disclosed one feature, called ‘Highway Driving Pilot’, that can take care of all necessary inputs for motorway driving.

In addition, the EV9 will be capable of receiving over-the-air (OTA) software updates, as well as feature-on-demand (FoD) services that’ll allow customers to unlock additional functions after they’ve bought the car – such as heated seats and adaptive high-beam headlights.

Alongside the leaked range and performance details, the documents also confirmed US-spec EV9 prices. The base car is said to start from $56,000 (£45,250) though it’s likely UK models will command a slight premium – not to mention the fact that Kia is unlikely to offer the entry-level 58kWh battery here. A starting figure north of £55k is therefore likely for a long-range RWD car, with the dual-motor model costing around £3,000 more. With the 400bhp US range-topper priced at $73,000, customers in the UK can reasonably expect to pay upwards of £65k for the fast and furious flagship.

Kia is also planning to launch a high-performance GT version of all its electric cars, following on from the EV6 GT’s recent arrival. A highly potent EV9 GT could take on the BMW iX M60, or even Lotus’ electric SUV, the Eletre.

More details about the EV9 are expected to be revealed ahead of its debut in the first few months of 2023. However, the EV9 isn’t the only electric model the South Korean carmaker has in the works. It’s set to launch 14 new electric cars by 2027, at a rate of two a year. The plans include two zero-emissions pickup trucks and an affordable entry-level EV. Kia has a goal of 1.4 million electric car sales a year by 2030.

Kia has previously announced its plans to become an electric-only brand in Europe by 2035 and to be selling only electric and fuel-cell vehicles globally by 2040. Kia’s first hydrogen fuel-cell model will be introduced within the next decade, and is likely to use some of sister brand Hyundai's next-generation hydrogen fuel-cell technology, previewed in 2021.

Hyundai is also expanding its Ioniq-badged electric range, recently introducing its Tesla Model 3-rivalling Ioniq 6 saloon. Its own take on the large seven-seat electric SUV formula (called Ioniq 7) is due in 2024. Eventually, Hyundai will have a range of 11 EVs, while its luxury spinoff brand Genesis will offer a total of six.

Kia also has plans for pure-electric commercial vehicles, referred to in its 2022 strategy presentation as PBVs (Purpose-Built Vehicles). Eventually, these will be built on a dedicated ‘skateboard’ EV platform to allow each business to tailor the size and shape of the cars to suit their needs.

Kia Concept EV9

Previously, Kia revealed the Concept EV9 (above) at the 2021 Los Angeles Motor Show – pointing towards the production SUV due soon. It featured 22-inch alloy wheels, cameras in place of regular door mirrors and a new version of the brand’s familiar grille design, called the Digital Tiger Face. The Concept EV9 has a three-metre-plus wheelbase, too, in order to maximise cabin space.

The cabin of the Concept EV9 features three rows of seats, a panoramic glass roof, a ‘floating’ centre console and 27-inch wide central infotainment display. Vegan leather, plus recycled fishing nets and plastic bottles, were used to create the concept’s interior. 

Another feature of the concept is three unique modes for the cabin seating. The first, Active mode, is for when you’re driving. But when the car is parked and switched to Pause mode, the first and third rows turn to face each other, while the second row folds down to become a table. In Enjoy mode, all three rows of seats are reversed and the tailgate opens.

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