Long Road Trips Are No Match for Kia’s 300-Mile Range EV9 Electric SUV
EV range anxiety is no longer the problem it used to be.
The Hummer EV proved to us that big and boxy can still work as a long-range EV. Yet, it’s the Kia EV9 that refines this concept since the three-row full-size EV is still targeting a 300-mile range. Kia just revealed the specs for the U.S. model of the EV9, which will come in four trim levels, two battery sizes, and two drive configurations. The only thing we’re still in the dark about is the price.
The EV9’s spec reveal comes a few months after Kia debuted its full-size SUV at the New York International Auto Show. The EV9 does represent another big, bulky SUV for the American market, but it’s a welcome addition to the relatively slim segment of all-electric, full-size SUVs that have three rows. Now with the specs revealed, the EV9 will still stand a chance against the expensive Rivian R1S which gets up to 390 miles, and the upcoming Volvo EX90 which is also expected to get 300 miles.
AN EV9 FOR ALL
The EV9 will come in four trims, including Light, Wind, Land, and the GT-Line. The all-electric SUV can be powered by either the standard 76.1 kWh battery or the optional 99.8 kWh battery. Kia will also have rear-wheel drive and dual-motor all-wheel drive configurations available.
The boxy SUV measures 197.2 inches long, but 197.4 inches long in the GT-Line trim. That means you can easily fit seven passengers into the EV9, which has a tilting walk-in system in the second row to make it easier to get into the third row. Kia will also have a six-seat configuration for the EV9 that will have Captain’s Chairs in the second row that make for a more comfortable ride with power-operated leg rests, and heating and cooling.
Kia is expecting to get 300 miles on a single charge with an EV9 that’s powered by a 99.8 kWh battery and has a single-motor configuration. We’re expecting lower range numbers with its other trims, especially its more performance-based GT-Line. Still, all EV9 models will support fast charging that can get it from 10 to 80 percent charge in around 25 minutes.
RELEASING LATER THIS YEAR
Kia says the EV9 will be released in the U.S. market in the fourth quarter of 2023, but is expecting to open up a reservation program at participating dealers before that. Kia is also building the EV9 in its only manufacturing plant in the U.S. in Georgia, meaning that the EV9 could qualify for federal tax credits.
Kia says the EV9 will start at $54,900 in the Light rear-wheel-drive trim, hovering around the price of a Model Y that can also do three rows of seating. It is much cheaper than some other three-row SUV alternatives though, like the Volvo EX90 or Rivian’s R1S. At that pricing, it could attract families looking for a reliable people-mover. Tragically, U.S. customers won’t get the swivel seats that Kia previously previewed.