2024 Kia EV9 Review: Electric, three-row excellence – Autoblog


Pros: Three adult-friendly rows; road-trip-friendly range and fast charging; clever storage

Cons: Price reflects its premium leanings; most versions are six passenger only; infotainment a bit convoluted

The 2024 Kia EV9 takes a big swing at the electric vehicle market with a mainstream, three-row electric SUV. There are very few three-row EVs on the market so far, and if they’re not extremely expensive, then their third rows offer meager space. The Kia EV9 is obviously not cheap, starting at $60,000, but its sophisticated driving manners and premium, feature-packed cabin that provides genuine room for six or seven (depending on configuration), means it stacks up favorably to the range-topping versions of mainstream-brand SUVs as well as luxury brand three-rows. 

The EV9 is also chock full of useful and approachable technology, while still providing respectable performance and range, especially in the higher trims. It’s essentially the electric counterpart to the popular Kia Telluride, with similar available features, including its excellent safety and driver assistance technology. It’s roomy, quiet, comfortable, fun to drive, and capable enough to get you to your winter campsite, if you’re into that sort of thing. It also offers vehicle-to-load technology, allowing you to power lights and appliances at said campsite, and it can even power your home during an outage with the proper equipment installed in your garage.

And, for now, there’s just not much to compete with it. But Kia didn’t skimp on quality or convenience to take advantage of a competitive vacuum. Even if and when other more reasonably priced three-row EVs come about, we’re confident the EV9 will still be a compelling choice.

Interior & Technology   |   Passenger & Cargo Space   |   Performance & Fuel Economy

What it’s like to drive   |   Pricing & Trim Levels   |   Crash Ratings & Safety Features

What’s new for 2024?

The 2024 Kia EV9 is a completely new model.

What are the EV9 interior and in-car technology like?

The EV9 interior is spacious, comfortable and tech-friendly. Its three rows of seating are usable and comfortable, with a number of clever comfort and convenience features available. There are thoughtful storage options, including cupholders that disappear to reveal a multi-purpose bin and an open area under the floating center console. Second-row passengers get a pull-out shelf/cubby in the rear of the center console (with captain’s chairs). Heated and ventilated front seats are standard, as is synthetic leather. It’s a premium-feeling interior overall, especially when equipped with the available massaging driver’s seat and second-row power leg rests.

Digital displays cover much of the dash, with a 12.3-inch digital driver display, 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen, and a 5-inch climate control display between the two. The touchscreen runs a next-generation interface, which seems to be more complex and less user-friendly than what you’ll find in a Telluride and EV6. There are physical controls for temperature, fans and audio volume, as well as haptic “buttons” below the infotainment display for navigating infotainment features — they look and work great, but can be accidentally bumped when poking around on the touchscreen above. Wireless phone charging is standard up front, while each row gets a set of USB-C charging ports. There are also 110-volt outlets in the second row and cargo area. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard.

Wind EV9 trims have pretty basic interiors in black or grey, without much brightwork or contrasting materials. The Land perks things up with ambient lighting and two-tone upholstery, which particularly pops with the rich-looking available brown leatherette. It also introduces some textured panels on the dash. But the GT-Line is the fanciest trim with additional contrasting upholstery, the GT-Line logo embossed in the seatbacks, metallic dash panels and unique two-tone color choices: light gray and black, black and beige, and black and blue. The Land and GT-Line also get unique seating. Up front is a driver seat with substantially more seat cushion tilt adjustment and a “relaxation mode” that effectively turns the seat into a recliner, complete with leg rest. This is intended to be used while charging or other times when you’re waiting around. Those trims also come with power-adjustable second-row captain’s chairs with their own expanded adjustment range and leg rests.

How big is the EV9?

The EV9 is a three-row SUV, with three actually usable rows of seating. Its generous space is thanks in no small part to the EV9’s overall length and wheelbase. The EV9 is 197.2 inches long, which is slightly longer than the Kia Telluride, while its 122-inch wheelbase bests the Telluride by about 8 inches.

Seating configuration depends on trim level, which isn’t ideal as it limits choice. The Light and Wind get a second-row bench and therefore a seven-passenger capacity, while all others get second-row captain’s chairs and a six-passenger capacity. The latter are upgraded to power-adjustable “Relaxation” chairs in the Land and GT-Line, which is great for comfort, but they take forever to motor forward for third-row access. Speaking of which, that third row only seats two, but space is adult-friendly in all directions (at least by segment standards.

It’s also capable of hauling a fair amount of cargo. Its 20.2 cubic feet of volume behind the third row is among the most available in any three-row SUV, and in our EV9 luggage test, we found that it could hold more/bigger bags than all three-row crossovers we’ve tested except the Toyota Grand Highlander, Lexus TX, Chevy Traverse, Honda Pilot and Kia Telluride. It expands to 43.5 and 81.7 cubic feet with the third and second rows folded, respectively. There is also a frunk, though it’s best suited to holding the charging cord, vehicle-to-load adapter and other rarely used essentials.

What are the EV9 fuel economy and performance specs?

The Kia EV9 Light trim features a single rear motor good for 215 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Its 76.1-kilowatt-hour battery is good for an EPA-rated 230 miles of range. The Light trim’s efficiency is an EPA-estimated 88 miles-per-gallon-equivalent combined.

Moving up to the Light Long Range, it has just a little less power from its single rear motor, at 201 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The Long Range in its name is courtesy of a 99.8-kWh battery, which results in an estimate range of 304 miles. This gets 89 mpg-e combined. More battery plus less power results in this version of the EV9 being the slowest, with a Kia-estimate zero-to-60-mph time of 8.8 seconds (which is pretty slow) versus 7.7 for the base EV9.

Wind, Land and GT-Line trims get the same battery, but differ with a dual-motor all-wheel drive system that produces a total of 379 horsepower. Wind and Land trims have 443 lb-ft of torque, with 516 lb-ft available to be unlocked through a purchased over-the-air upgrade. The GT-Line gets the full 516 lb-ft by default. The Wind and Land trims have 280 miles of range, and are rated at 83 mpg-e combined. The GT-Line is rated at 270 miles of range, with efficiency rated at 80 mpg-e combined. The Wind and Land will hit 60 mph in an estimate 5.7 seconds, while the GT-Line and OTA upgrade EV9s do it in 5 seconds.

As for charging, the EV9’s 800-volt battery architecture allows it to take advantage of 350-kW DC fast chargers, making it one of the quickest EVs to recharge. The base Light trim with its smaller battery has a peak charge rate of 235 kW, and can replenish its battery from 10% to 80% in 20 minutes. The longer-range trims peak at 210 kW, going from 10% to 80% in 24 minutes. Its 10.9 kW AC charger allows for rapid home charging, too, should you invest in a wall-type home charging station and have an electrical box capable to pumping out that much juice. At this speed, you could fully recharge the battery overnight.

What’s the EV9 like to drive?

Whether you’re driving the current fastest (and most expensive) GT-Line or just a Land or Wind, the EV9 impresses, if not excites (though the upcoming GT may change that). For one thing, it’s a very quiet vehicle. Yeah, it’s electric, so there’s no engine rumbling (unless you count the artificial “active sound” noises), but it also uses low-noise tires and acoustic front glass. This makes for easy conversation, but also means you’ll hear any rattling from your water bottle in the cupholder. It also has the sort of smooth, composed ride quality you might expand from a large, German luxury SUV. It provides good compliance over bumps and imperfections without feeling utterly disconnected from the road.

The GT-Line is surprisingly quick, too, with its two electric motors providing enough power for a 4.5-second 0-60 sprint — impressive for a three-row SUV weighing 5,800 pounds. The Land and Wind with all-wheel-drive have a bit less spunk due to their reduced torque. Still, they’re far from slow, accelerating confidently and smoothly. Ride and handling are basically unchanged, too. The one hole in our experience is how the EV9 drives with just a single, 201-horsepower and 258-pound-foot motor. Considering the weight of the EV9, that one’s bound to feel sluggish and may not be worth the improvement in range.

All trims feature Eco, Normal and Sport modes, as well as a custom “My Mode.” Land and GT-Line also feature a snow mode for slippery conditions. And as Autoblog Contributor Mark Takahashi noted when given the opportunity to drive the EV9 off-road, its limited ground clearance is balanced by good approach and departure angles, and its all-wheel-drive system. Big rocks or deep mud might pose a challenge, but steep dirt hills aren’t a problem.

What other Kia EV9 reviews can I read?

2024 Kia EV9 First Drive Review: Lightning strikes again

Kia’s three-row EV is yet another achievement.


580 miles, 0 problems. How I drove an EV to Chicago stress-free

Joel’s completely uneventful road trip in a Kia EV9.


10 features in the Kia EV9 that make you go ‘wow’

These bring some spice to this three-row EV.


What is the 2024 Kia EV9 price?

The EV9 starts at $56,395 (including $1,495 in destination fees) for the base Light trim. This trim’s standard equipment include the smaller battery and rear-wheel drive, a second-row bench, 19-inch wheels, LED lighting, rain-sensing wipers, acoustic front glass, power liftgate, synthetic leather seating, heated and ventilated eight-way power front seats, tri-zone climate control, digital key system, Wi-Fi hotspot, a wireless phone charger, 12.3-inch infotainment and driver displays, Highway Drive Assist 2 with stop-and-go adaptive cruise control, and numerous driver assist features (see the Safety section, below).

The Light Long Range adds, in addition to the bigger battery, gets manually operated second-row captain’s chairs (and, thus a six-passenger configuration), a rear center armrest with cupholders, and Hyundai Homelink buttons on the rear-view mirror for controlling garage doors, gates, or home lighting. The Wind trim reverts to the second-row bench, and adds all-wheel drive, standard heat pump, dual sunroof, heated steering wheel and a Snow drive mode.

Things start to get a little more luxurious in the Land trim, with 20-inch wheels, digital pattern lighting grille, some gloss black exterior accents, power-operated “relaxation” second-row captain’s chairs (pictured below), a power steering column, camera display rear-view mirror, a second-row drawer that extends from the front center console, rear window shades, multi-color ambient lighting (pictured below), driver relaxation seat, heated and ventilated second row, Meridian premium audio system, vehicle-to-load exterior outlet, active sound design, auto-dimming side mirrors, and more helpful safety systems like a surround-view parking camera and blind-spot camera.

The GT-Line is the most sporty, luxurious and unique, with that extra power, 21-inch wheels, special exterior and interior design cues (including a unique front and rear fascia, more exterior accents, unique seating design with GT-Line logos, and sueded headliner), massaging driver’s seat, a head-up display and remote smart parking.

Pricing for the 2024 Kia EV9 trims, including destination are as follows:

  • Light (RWD): $56,395
  • Light Long Range (RWD): $60,695                                                                
  • Wind (AWD): $65,395
  • Land (AWD): $71,395
  • GT-Line (AWD): $75,395

What are the EV9 safety ratings and driver assistance features?

The Kia EV9 comes standard with a robust suite of driver assistance tech, including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning systems, speed limit monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, Safe Exit assist, rear occupant alert and “Highway Driving Assist II” adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, lane-centering steering assist, partially automated lane changes and machine learning that adapts its acceleration behavior to yours. Also available are blind-spot camera view, surround-view parking camera, parking collision avoidance and remote parking assist.

The EV9 had not been crash-tested by a third party as of this writing.

Las Vegas News Magazine

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