New Kia EV9 seven-seat SUV: specs, range and price
Kia has revealed its largest model yet: a seven-seat electric SUV with a 336-mile range
The Kia EV9 has only recently been unveiled as the firm’s new flagship electric SUV, and already we’ve been supplied with extra spec information – including battery, range and charging information, plus details on how Kia intends to use its new range-topper to introduce “conditional” level 3 autonomous driving tech.
Featuring up to seven seats and a design straight out of Blade Runner, the new EV9 sits above the sleek-looking Kia EV6 hatchback in the lineup and acts as a more affordable alternative to the new Volvo EX90. Kia claims to be “targeting” a 336-mile electric range.
Buyers will be able to specify the new Kia EV9 in both six and seven-seat configurations. The latest Kia model is also the largest the South Korean brand has ever sold in the UK – at 5,010mm long, it even surpasses that of the (4,810mm) Kia Sorento in terms of outright size. The EV9’s wheelbase stretches 3.1m – almost 300mm longer than its hybrid-powered sibling.
Kia EV9 range, battery, performance and charging
The EV9 sits on the same e-GMP underpinnings as its smaller EV6 sibling, as well as the likes of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and 6. The EV9 will be offered with both single and dual-motor powertrains, each mated to a hefty 99.8kWh battery; a 76kWh battery will be offered in other markets, but isn’t expected to be sold in the UK.
Kia stated in a press conference in 2022 that it’s targeting a range of up to 339 miles for the EV9. New information released recently revealed a new target of 336 miles for the long range, rear-wheel drive car. We expect around 310 miles for the all-wheel drive model.
What we do know for certain at this stage, however, is that the EV9 will utilise the same 800-volt architecture as its smaller siblings. This means DC ultra-rapid charging speeds of more than 230kW; Kia claims the EV9 can add around 150 miles of range in 15 minutes, when connected to a compatible public charger.
Full performance figures will be announced later, but Kia has confirmed that the rear-wheel drive model gets a single 201bhp motor with 350Nm of torque. Presumably due to its hefty kerbweight (still TBC), this model does 0-62mph in 9.4 seconds.
Opting for the all-wheel drive version adds an additional motor for a combined output of 380bhp/600Nm, slashing the 0-62mph time to six seconds. An optional boost function – selectable via an over-the-air (OTA) update – can reduce this to 5.3 seconds.
Design, price and specifications
What’ll inevitably draw buyers to the largest and latest Kia will undoubtedly be its strikingly futuristic design. Perhaps the EV9’s most distinctive feature – other than its boxy shape – is its imposing ‘tiger face’ front end. Flanked by a set of vertical LED headlights, the front grille-like trim piece features laser-etched elements that allow light to shine through; buyers can configure their own designs via the infotainment system.
Speaking of infotainment, the Kia EV9 debuts an evolution of the brand’s slick dual-screen setup, as seen in the likes of the Kia Niro EV. The Kia EV9 features a digital instrument cluster mounted alongside a centre touchscreen – both measuring 12.3 inches in diameter. However, this time they sandwich a small five-inch ‘segment’ display which houses the climate controls and seat heating functions.
As mentioned, the EV9 will be available with both six and seven seats – the former coming with a set of captain’s chairs for the middle row. The overall design of the cabin has a light and airy feel, with unique fabric inserts on the dashboard and door cards.
We’ve been told to expect a similar model lineup to that seen on the EV6, which would suggest an entry version, bolstered by a choice of GT-Line and GT-Line S variants. Kia has said the EV9 will boast a leather-free cabin, promoting the use of “bio-based materials” such as corn, sugar cane, and natural oils.
In addition, the EV9 introduces the Kia Connect Store, whereby customers can purchase digital features and services on demand, before installing them over the air. A Kia spokesperson insisted this wouldn’t be already built-in hardware like heated seats or a head-up display, instead focusing on additional driver assistance systems designed to make living with your car easier. Kia says this functionality will “continuously upgrade the capability of the EV9”.
On the topic of driver assistance systems, Kia says the EV9 will debut the company’s “conditional” Level 3 autonomous driving technology – where legislation allows. This works with Kia’s Highway Driving Pilot (HDP) system, which utilises 15 sensors to provide a full 360-degree view, enabling the car to detect and react to the road and other road users to “prevent potential collisions”.
The Kia EV9 is set to go on sale in “the second half” of 2023, and will be the first of nine brand new electric Kia models set to hit UK showrooms over the next five years. Exact pricing should be revealed in June, but we expect the EV9 to start from around £65,000 – around the same as a top-spec Kia EV6.
Kia has also confirmed a range topping EV9 GT is in the pipeline; this high-performance model could easily surpass £85,000, putting the Kia in the same ballpark as several high-end electric SUVs such as the Lotus Eletre and Mercedes EQE.
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