You’ve seen the Kia EV9’s exterior and interior in our previous article, where it was stated to make its initial physical debut at the 2023 Seoul Mobility Show. Now shown off to the public at said show, we finally get to take a closer look at Kia’s flagship electric SUV in the metal.
Despite its big, boxy proportions and profile (measuring 5,010mm long, 1,980mm wide, and 1,755mm tall), this design was shaped in the wind tunnel for an impressive drag coefficient of just 0.28, thanks to a clever 3D-sculpted underbody cover and air curtains in the front bumpers.
The futuristic front and back lighting stands out in person, and the aerodynamic, four-spoke wheel sizes range from 19 to 21 inches.
It is also available in the sportier GT-Line trim, featuring revised bumpers, wheels, roof rack, blacked-out accents, and the “Digital Pattern Lighting Grille,” which further accentuates the vehicle’s Star Map daytime running lights.
The SUV can be optioned either as a six-seater or seven-seater. The first row comes with relaxation seats featuring mesh headrests for improved comfort. The second row has at least four different layouts: a three-seater bench, “basic seats,” relaxation seats (captain’s chairs), and swivel seats.
The third row has a traditional bench layout, but occupants have access to charging ports and cupholders. That can be folded down for more cargo space, but people also have the option to store items in the front trunk.
The interior, made mostly of sustainable materials, has taken a new approach of simplification—fewer physical buttons and controls, and a “Panoramic wide display” comprised of two 12.3-inch screens for the instrument cluster and infotainment screen. Other niceties include a 14-speaker Meridian sound system, ambient lighting, and the use of eco-friendly, bio-based materials all around the cabin.
The Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) not only allows for a lot of impressive interior room thanks to the 3,100mm wheelbase, but it also packs impressively large battery capacities (76.1kWh for the rear-wheel-drive and standard-range model, and 99.8kWh for the all-wheel-drive and long-range models).
The single-motor, RWD model has a power output of 150kW and 350Nm (there is a slightly more powerful model with 160kW) allowing for a 0-100km/h time of 8.2 seconds. Meanwhile, the dual-motor AWD variant has a total power output of 283kW and 600Nm, enabling it to rocket to 100km/h in six seconds. If you purchase the Boost upgrade, the torque is cranked up to 700Nm, dropping the 100km/h sprint to 5.3 seconds.
Range figures for the other variants have not been revealed yet, but the RWD long-range model fitted with 19-inch wheels will net you over 541km. Like its other E-GMP siblings, the 800V fast-charging system can add 239km of range in 15 minutes, and also share up to 3.68kW or power via the vehicle-to-load (V2L) functionality, which can let the vehicle to power appliances.
Controversially, the EV9 also adopts a subscription-based service called the Kia Connect Store. You can pay to unlock such features as the Remote Smart Parking Assistant 2, content streaming for the infotainment system, the previously mentioned Acceleration Boost feature, and personalization for the Digital Lighting Pattern Grille.
Apart from the usual suite of advanced driver-assistance systems, the vehicle is also one of the first in the brand’s lineup to offer conditional Level 3 autonomy with the Highway Driving Pilot system, which will come with the GT-Line model in the future. And with a total of 15 sensors, the vehicle can scan and detect obstacles on the road, allowing drivers to momentarily take a break from controlling the car.
Preorders for Korea will start in the second quarter of this year, with sales for the rest of the world to follow in the second half of 2023. Do you want Kia Philippines to bring in this big SUV?