Kia EV9 Review 2023
Kia EV9 At A Glance
Supremely comfortable and quiet. Plenty of space for seven. Over 300 miles of range. Lots of kit included as standard.
High price means it has luxury competition. Climate display blocked by steering wheel. Infotainment system is a little slow.
The Kia EV9 is a big, bold seven-seat electric SUV. Its striking design will turn heads, the spacious cabin will be a hit with passengers and the price tag? Well, it’s the most expensive Kia to date as the company looks to push into the premium market. The Kia EV9 is up against the Mercedes EQB, award-winning Volkswagen ID Buzz and stylish Volvo EX90 in the seven-seater EV world, so it’s got its work cut out. Read on for our full Kia EV9 review.
Kia has plenty of electric cars in its range but this is by far the biggest and is an electric alternative to the seven-seater Kia Sorento. But the fully electric Kia EV9 ushers in a new dawn.
Things are kept simple with three trim levels for the Kia EV9, all of which come with a sizeable 99.8kWh battery good for more than 300 miles of claimed range.
There’s also a ton of kit included as standard, so even the entry-level Air model has plenty going for it and will really make you consider whether an upgrade to the other two options (with more power, all-wheel drive and less range) is actually worth it.
There’s no getting away from the size of the Kia EV9 – this is a big electric car – and that can make it a little tricky on narrow roads and in tight car parks, yet there are cameras and sensors to help keep you in check.
It’s not going to get the heart rate going in terms of performance, but even the RWD, single-motor Air with 203PS/150kW has enough power to get you when you need to go.
However, that size does translate to the inside where you’ll find oodles of space for passengers and if you don’t have the third row of seats up, plenty of luggage room too.
At the time of writing, the Kia EV9 price starts at £64,994, much more than the Mercedes EQB (from £55,310) and Volkswagen ID Buzz (from £58,915).
At this level you can get well-equipped Audi, BMW and Mercedes SUVs (although not seven-seaters). That’s a lot then, especially from a brand which has historically been seen as an affordable option on the market.
If you’re after a seven-seater EV your choices are currently rather limited, but if you’re able to stretch to the Kia EV9’s price you’ll get a well-equipped, spacious and comfortable vehicle which is also a practical family SUV.
Inside of the Kia EV9
Kia EV9 2023: Practicality
At more than five metres long, the Kia EV9 is a dominating presence. That’s bigger than the Mercedes EQB and similar to the Volkswagen ID Buzz.
What it means for the inside is space. Kia is to highlight that the Kia EV9 offers great shoulder room and we found that the third row had good headroom for adults.
The legroom in the final row of seats is at a premium – as it is with all seven-seater SUVs – so these two positions are best for children. A nice touch is the inclusion of cup holders and USB-C ports for all three rows.
As standard, you get heated and ventilated front seats on the outer second-row seats, which is a great addition.
While the Air and GT-Line trims are available in just a seven-seat (2-3-2) configuration, the range-topping GT-Line also offers a six-seat (2-2-2) option, with the second of two seats either offering Kia’s relaxation seat function, or a 180-degree rotation allowing middle row passengers to face the third row.
We were a touch disappointed that the luggage space wasn’t just a little bigger with the third row of seats up (you get 333 litres of capacity), but fold them down and this grows to a sizeable 828 litres – and with no load lip, it’s easy to slide things in and out.
There’s also a frunk (front trunk) under the bonnet and the entry-level Air gets the largest compartment at 90 litres as it doesn’t have a second motor. The RWD GT-Line and GT-Line S make do with a 52-litre capacity in the front.
Kia EV9 2023: Quality and finish
The interior of the Kia EV9 is our favourite from the brand so far.
Kia has done away with the glossy black plastic from the Kia Niro EV and the Kia EV6, which picks up marks and fingerprints far too easily. It has dialled back the scratchy plastic to just a few areas.
In place of these, it’s introduced a variety of textures and materials which feature an array of sustainable items, giving the cabin a premium feel over other Kia models. It’s sleek, modern and goes some way to helping justify the asking price.
The finish feels solid enough and the seats are comfortable. However, while the overall cabin is an improvement on previous Kia models, it still doesn’t quite hit the same luxury heights as Audi, BMW or Mercedes.
Kia EV9 2023: Infotainment
As standard, the Kia EV9 comes with a trio of displays.
There’s a sizeable 12.3-inch cluster display behind the steering wheel and another 12.3-inch screen located in the centre of the dash. The two are connected by a smaller, 5.3-inch display which is reserved for climate information.
The smaller screen is easily blocked by the steering wheel and your hand on the wheel, which makes it difficult to see from the driver’s seat.
The cluster display can be customised using the buttons on the steering wheel, while the central screen is touch sensitive for easy input. There’s a set of quick-jump options below the screen, built into the trim of the dash.
It looks smart, but we found the response a little slow. The same can be said for the interface as a whole – it’s not the slickest system we’ve used and you will have to wait a second for various features to load.
The built-in navigation is good, plus there’s wired support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The company even says the Kia EV9 will have wireless support for both of this with a future software update, which will certainly be a welcome addition. Pleasingly, there are physical switches for temperature and fan speed control.
Car seat chooser
Child seats that fit a Kia EV9Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
Kia EV9 Value
Kia EV9 2023: Prices
At the time of writing, the entry-level Kia EV9 Air starts at £64,994, and comes with a heap of kit as standard, a single RWD electric motor which produces 203PS/150kW, and a 99.8kWh battery capable of up to 348 miles on a single charge.
It is £20,000 more than the standard trim of the seven-seater diesel-powered Kia Sorento (and over £10,000 more than the top-spec trim). There’s no getting round the fact the Kia EV9 does not fall into the ‘affordable’ bracket.
The Kia EV9 GT-Line starts at £73,245, while the range-topping Kia EV9 GT-Line S begins at £76,995. You get dual electric motors and AWD (all-wheel drive) in both and a power output of 383PS/283kW.
Both have the same 99.8kWh battery, but the increased power and weight means range dips to 313 miles – although we were getting a still more than acceptable 280 miles during our testing.
If you’re after a seven seater full-electric car, there are a couple of cheaper options in the Mercedes EQB and Volkswagen ID Buzz, but the Kia EV9 offers more range and more space, plus a striking design and plenty of features as standard.
The Kia EV9 Air will be the one to go for. The Kia EV9 GT-Line only adds a few extras such as larger wheels and power-adjustable front seats, while the Kia EV9 GT-Line S will get you a couple of sunroofs, a head-up display and a 14-speaker premium sound system.
Kia EV9 2023: Running Costs
Due to the huge 99.8kW battery, the Kia EV9 will take quite a bit longer to charge off your 7kW home wallbox and a whole heap longer if you’re plugging into a traditional three-pin socket.
While EVs offer lower running costs than traditional combustion engine cars, the sheer size of the 99.8kWh battery in the Kia EV9 means it’s not the cheapest electric vehicle to top up.
To counteract the size of the battery, the Kia EV9 supports up to 210kW charging speeds from 800v fast chargers. When plugged into a 350kW charger, the EV9 can go from 10% to 80% in as little as 24 minutes – that’s almost 10 miles per minute.
We drove the Kia EV9 GT-Line and averaged around 280 miles from a full charge – roughly 30 miles less than its quoted 313-mile maximum range with a mix of fast motorways and slow city driving in temperatures around 20C.
280 miles is still a good result, especially considering the size and weight of the Kia EV9, getting you from London to Manchester, Liverpool to Edinburgh, or Birmingham to Newcastle without needing a charging stop.
Overall, the Kia EV9 should be relatively cheap to run, as EV maintenance costs tend to be lower than traditional engined cars.
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Driving Kia EV9
Kia EV9 2023: Handling and ride quality
You’ll be very aware you’re driving a large SUV when you’re behind the wheel of the Kia EV9.
The ride height gives a commanding view of the road and the relatively flat bonnet means you can really see the full width of the car out in front of you.
It takes a little time to get accustomed to the dimensions of the Kia EV9, but there are cameras and sensors to help guide you, plus the wing mirrors are also sizeable – which is welcome.
It may be big, but the Kia EV9 is also very quiet. Kia has included sound-proof glass in the first and second row passenger windows, there’s sound-deadening carpet, plus the tyres are filled with noise-reducing foam. It means you get a serene cabin with very little road or wind noise.
The suspension is also set up well – it’s not as firm as the Kia Niro EV or Kia EV6, so provides a comfortable ride even when the roads are far from perfect. You’ll still notice uneven surfaces, but their effects are nicely cushioned.
If you have six passengers with you, your rear view mirror will get blocked up, but the Kia EV9 has a little trick up its sleeve.
You can switch from the physical mirror to a digital video feed from the car’s rear camera, giving you an unobstructed view of what’s behind.
With the large battery built into the floor, the car’s centre of gravity is low which keeps it planted in corners. It’s not going to provide an exhilarating drive, but it handles well.
Kia EV9 2023: Engines
The Kia EV9 Air comes with a single electric motor driving the rear wheels and producing 203PS/150kW. That translates to a top speed of 115mph and a 0-62mph time of 9.5 seconds.
We drove the Kia EV9 GT-Line S, which along with the Kia EV9 GT-Line has two electric motors – one on each axle – giving you all-wheel drive and a power output of 383PS/283kW.
This gives you a top speed of 124mph, while the 0-62mph time is 6.0 seconds. A future ‘Boost’ software update will drop the 0-62mph time to 5.3 seconds if you really want to get the Kia EV9 moving.
There’s plenty of power to get you away from junctions and to overtake on fast roads without putting in too much effort, but the Kia EV9 isn’t going to surprise you with performance.
Kia EV9 2023: Safety
The Kia EV9 is equipped with a wide suite of safety features as standard including navigation-based smart cruise control, Highway Driving Assist 2 and front and rear parking sensors.
There’s also Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Assist (BCCA) with Rear-Cross Traffic Assist (RCTA), blind-spot view monitor, 360-degree surround view monitor and nine airbags.
These inclusions make the case for going for the entry-level Air model even stronger, as we often see features such as Highway Driving Assist reserved for higher-spec models.
Some may find one or two of the driving aids a little too vigorous, but things such as lane assist can be switched off in the settings if needed.
The Kia EV9 has not yet been given an Euro NCAP rating.
Kia EV9 2023: Towing
With a maximum towing capacity of 2500kg, the Kia EV9 is worth considering if towing is a priority for you.
Kia EV9 Models and Specs
Standard equipment on all Kia EV9 trim levels includes three-screen dashboard layout, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support, wireless phone charger, Kia Connect telematics, heated and ventilated front seats and outer second-row seats, electric folding adjustable and heated door mirrors with integrated LED indicator lights.
Add to these rain-sensing front wipers, electronic rear-view mirror, LED headlamps and rear lamps, LED daytime running lights, LED foglights, rear privacy glass, second-row manual window blinds, dual-zone air conditioning, heated steering wheel, smart power tailgate, 60:40 split-folding second row seating and 50:50 split-fold third row.
There’s also ambient lighting, six USB-C chargers, three-pin socket in boot, V2L system, navigation-based smart cruise control, Highway Driving Assist 2, front and rear parking sensors, Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Assist (BCCA) with Rear-Cross Traffic Assist (RCTA), blind-spot view monitor, 360-degree surround view monitor and nine airbags.
The entry-level Kia EV9 Air model features 19-inch alloy wheels, standard EV9 body styling, gloss black door mirrors and door trim, black side sill trim, low-profile roof rails and body-coloured flush door handles.
There’s also a manually adjustable tilt and telescope steering column, single-tone Bio PU seats (the cabin is 100% leather-free), power-adjustable front seats and an eight-speaker audio system.
Opt for the Kia EV9 GT-Line and you’ll get 21-inch alloy wheels, GT-Line exterior styling, two-tone ‘GT-Line’ Bio PU upholstery, LED headlamps with ‘small cube’ design and adaptive driving beam, ‘bridge-type’ roof rails, and an electric tilt and telescope adjustable steering column.
Buyers also benefit from a driver power-adjustable memory seat and front passenger power seat, driver and front passenger premium relaxation seats, driver massage seat, black headlining, aluminium pedals and remote Smart Park Assist 2.0 (RSPA 2.0).
The top-of-the-line Kia EV9 GT-Line S adds 21-inch alloy wheels, front sunroof with tilting and sliding functions, second row sunroof with sliding blind, head-up display and a 14-speaker Meridian Premium Sound System.
The GT-Line S is also available in either the standard seven-seat layout, or an exclusive six-seat interior.
- Bold styling helps it stand out
- Luxury seven-seat SUV
- Plenty of features included as standard
- Over 300 miles of range
- Premium price tags make it most expensive Kia
- Its size can make it tricky in narrow places
- There are cheaper sever-seat EVs available
2024 Kia EV9: Prices, specs and release date
- New Kia EV9 is a full-size range-topping seven-seat electric SUV
- Kia EV9 has an all-electric range of up to 336 miles - and ultra-rapid 350kW charging to go from 10-80% in 25 minutes
- Bold styling helps new Kia EV9 stand out - and its luxurious interior will offer many new-to-Kia features
- Pre-ordering open now with prices from £64,995
The new Kia EV9 is the fast-growing firm’s range-topping electric SUV which is set to cause a stir when it arrives on UK roads in early 2024. Pre-ordering for the new Kia EV9 is now open for those keen to be early-adopters.
Sitting above the well-received Kia EV6, the new Kia EV9 is the most upmarket and premium car the firm’s ever sold - and, with prices from £64,995, certainly the most expensive.
The new Kia EV9 will immediately stand out in an ever-expanding sector by offering a three-row, seven-seat layout, something no other rival can currently match. A fittingly luxurious range-topper will also be offered in six-seat guise, with two plush middle row seats delivering limo-like comfort.
In terms of size and status, the new Kia EV9 could almost be considered a competitor to the luxurious Range Rover - high praise indeed. It’s also going to rival pure electric SUV rivals such as the upcoming Volvo EX90 and Polestar 3, along with the BMW iX and Audi Q8 e-tron.
2024 Kia EV9 prices and release date
The new Kia EV9 is now open for pre-ordering. The first UK deliveries will begin in January 2024. These will be for the range-topping new Kia EV9 GT-Line S. Deliveries of other new Kia EV9 variants will follow later on.
All new Kia EV9 have a long-range 99.8kWh battery, and a standard heat pump. All new UK-spec Kia EV9 also come with a three-row, seven-seat layout. The new Kia EV9 GT-Line S is available with an optional six-seat layout.
New Kia EV9 prices start from £64,995. This is for the entry-level Air model. New Kia EV9 GT-Line prices start from £72,495 and new Kia EV9 GT-Line S prices start from £75,995.
The top-line new Kia EV9 GT-Line S six-seater replaces the three-seat middle bench with two individual 'captain's chairs'. These can swivel outwards to the doors, so it's easier to load children. They also turn 180 degrees to face the rear. It costs £78,745.
The new Kia EV9 is a bold electric SUV with a bold range of colours. Aurora Red paint is standard, with premium Midnight Black, White Pearl or Lithium Silver costing £725. The new Kia EV9 GT-Line S six-seater is exclusively available with Pacific Matt Blue paint, as per the 2021 Kia EV9 Concept.
2024 Kia EV9 styling, interior and technology
The new Kia EV9 measures 5,010mm long, 1,980mm wide and 1,755mm tall. This makes it considerably larger even than Kia’s current range-topper the Kia Sorento. A wheelbase of 3,100mm is almost as long as the 3,595mm Kia Picanto’s overall length!
The design is upright and distinctive, drawing comparisons with the Range Rover - Kia has intentionally chosen not to follow the sleek and smooth style of other EVs such as the Audi Q8 e-tron. The design philosophy is called ‘Opposites United’.
The new Kia EV9’s wheelarches have an eye-catching triangular profile, while the wheelarches are blocky and prominent. The central section, meanwhile, is smooth and simple, adding to the clean and modern appearance. It has a long, straight roofline, adding to its assertiveness and boosting third-row headroom.
The new Kia EV9 is particularly striking at the front, which Kia calls the ‘Digital Tiger Face’. The headlights are positioned vertically, and are made up of cool white LED light bars and dual clusters of small cube lamps. This gives it an extremely futuristic appearance. Kia will even let you choose your own LED lighting pattern via a special app - which can be animated.
The Kia EV9 will be offered in standard Air and sportier GT-Line trims; the latter has black elements for the front and rear bumpers, wheels and roof bars. Kia EV9 GT-Line also have an additional ‘Digital Pattern Lighting Grille’ which makes it even more eye-catching (the LED lights appear behind the body colour).
As for alloy wheels, they are 19-inch for the new Kia EV9 Air, 20-inch for GT-Line and 21-inch for GT-Line S. And while the new Kia EV9 is large and assertive, it’s also surprisingly aero-efficient, with a Cd drag factor of 0.28.
The new Kia EV9 has a three-screen dashboard layout. This comprises a 12.3-inch driver display, a 5.3-inch climate control display and a 12.3-inch touchscreen navigation system. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard.
Other standard features included heated and ventilated front seats and outer second-row seats, wireless phone charger, second-row window blinds, six USB-C chargers (two per row), ambient lighting, digital key and fingerprint recognition.
The new Kia EV9 has a 100% leather-free cabin, with single-tone Bio PU seats in the standard Air, two-tone Bio PU upholstery in GT-Line models.
2024 Kia EV9 electric motor, performance and range
The new Kia EV9 is available with several different battery options in other markets, but the UK is set to launch with a single range-topping 99.8kWh long-range battery. Standard models use a single-motor rear-wheel drive setup (they are called RWD), while the range-topping AWD has two electric motors powering all four wheels.
The standard new Kia EV9 RWD has a single 201ps electric motor, which produces 350Nm of torque. This is good for rapid 0-62mph acceleration in just 9.4 seconds - not bad for an entry-level model. It has an impressive official WLTP range of 336 miles.
The new Kia EV9 AWD is the range-topping model. It has dual motors, which give four-wheel drive capability, producing an exciting total of 385ps, and 600Nm of torque. That’s good for 0-62mph acceleration in just 6.0 seconds, which is enough for this five-metre-long electric SUV to take on hot hatches at the traffic lights. It has an EV range of 308 miles.
The new Kia EV9 AWD is set to become even faster, too. Following its launch, Kia will offer a ‘Boost’ option, via a paid-for over-the-air update through the Kia Connect store. This will take total torque up to 700Nm, and cut the 0-62mph time to just 5.3 seconds when Boost mode is engaged. That makes it as fast as an entry-level Porsche Taycan…
All new Kia EV9 have ultra-fast 800-volt charging technology as standard. This will allow 149 miles of range to be added in just 15 minutes, when using a 350kW ultra-rapid charger. Kia says it will charge from 10% to 80% in just 25 minutes.