When an automaker such as Kia signals its intent to go all-in with electric vehicles by releasing a full-size, three-row electric SUV in the EV9, you should pay attention to just how serious the automaker is. After a teaser earlier this month, it pulled off the covers to reveal the SUV’s looks and interior.
Compared to the likes of the luxury-oriented Hongqi E-HS9, this electric bruiser is targeted squarely at the family SUV segment.
The Concept EV9’s angular profile and chiseled fender flares have been retained for the production model, alongside the flush door handles, the slim taillights, and the tapered roof line. It’s a unique-looking SUV, no doubt.
The “Digital Tiger Face” is front and center here, being modified for the bigger profile. The headlights are not as slim as the concept’s, but it still has a striking design with two clusters of cube lamps and a Star Map LED DRL signature, which was seen in one of the car’s teaser videos.
Unlike the EV6’s edgy, space-age cabin that would fit right in the Blade Runner universe, the EV9’s three-row cabin is a lot easier on the eye, and looks more European in many ways, especially in this two-tone color scheme.
It still has the single glass slab for the gauge cluster and infotainment screens comprised of dual 12.3-inch displays and oodles of storage options found within the center console. Unfortunately, Kia has reduced physical buttons to a minimum, opting to integrate most of the controls into the main touchscreen.
No powertrain information has been disclosed, but it is underpinned by the Hyundai Motor Group’s Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). Thanks to the dedicated electric vehicle architecture, this seven- (or six-) seater SUV delivers equal amounts of space for all three rows.
Aside from the ability to recline the first- and second-row seats at the same time to allow passengers to rest while the vehicle is charging, said second-row seats also can be swiveled 180° to allow occupants to directly interact with passengers in the third row and to aid with ingress/egress.
More information will be revealed during the digital global premiere in late March, which also coincides with the Seoul Mobility Show (March 30 to April 9), so you can expect us to provide some first impressions of the car in the metal.