The upcoming Kia EV9 offers impressive range, Level 3 self-driving capabilities, and a variety of performance options.
Kia has finally announced specifications for its highly anticipated EV9 electric SUV, revealing that the three-row vehicle will boast Level 3 autonomy and a range of up to 336 miles. Expected to hit the market in the second half of the year, the EV9 is poised to appeal to families planning road trips, as its GT-line trim option will offer Level 3 self-driving capabilities in some countries. Using LiDAR and other sensors, the EV9’s Highway Driving Pilot will enable drivers to take a break in certain conditions.
Kia’s claim of a 336-mile range for the RWD Long Range model, based on WLTP testing, is an impressive figure for an SUV of this size. However, a more conservative estimate is expected from the US Environmental Protection Agency. The EV9 will also be available in an AWD variant with the same 99.8kWh battery and a 76.1kWh RWD Standard Range base configuration. The vehicle’s 800V charging architecture will allow drivers to gain approximately 149 miles of range in just 15 minutes, while vehicle-to-load technology will enable users to power camping equipment and laptops.
Performance-wise, the RWD Long Range model with a 150kW motor will have a 0-62MPH time of 9.4 seconds, while the Standard Range edition with a 160kW motor will achieve the same run in 8.2 seconds. The AWD model features a dual-motor 283kW powerplant, capable of reaching 62MPH in six seconds.
However, Kia is following the trend of requiring digital purchases to unlock certain car features. Customers will need to buy items from the company’s Connect Store to enhance grille pattern lighting and access a “Boost” that delivers extra torque for a 0-62MPH dash in 5.3 seconds. The EV9 will come with several driver aids and conveniences, such as hands-off parking and navigation-based “Smart Cruise Control.” Additionally, the EV9 will be the first Kia to support ultra-wide band digital keys, eliminating the need for a conventional key.
Although Kia has not yet disclosed pricing information for the EV9, it is expected to retail for more than the EV6 crossover. With few three-row electric SUVs currently available, and existing options like the Tesla Model X likely to be more expensive, the EV9 could be a popular choice for families seeking a more affordable electric SUV option.