The new Kia EV9 has been fully unveiled as the Korean brand’s first seven-seat all-electric model.
Set to become the brand’s flagship model when it goes on sale in late 2023, the EV9 is a bold departure from the EV6 - Kia’s current range-topping electric model. The brand says the new model is a “pivotal step” on its move toward sustainability and heads up a programme of nine new EVs heading to the UK in the next five years.
Larger than the brand’s current biggest car - the Sorento - the EV9 is a full-size seven-seater and sticks closely to the concept design displayed at the 2021 Los Angeles motor show. It sits closer to the ground courtesy of smaller wheels and the proper underfloor battery pack, and the rear-hinged back doors have also been ditched but otherwise the angular styling is largely the same.
Kia describes it as a “polygonal design language”, which means strong, sharp lines running from the new “digital tiger face” to the clean, smooth tailgate. The new version of Kia’s traditional tiger nose features two clusters of small cube lamps within the bodywork next to vertical headlights. The slimline headlights are mirrored by the thin tail lights, and there are are boxy, angular wheel arches to emphasise the EV9’s SUV styling - in sharp contrast to the slippery EV6.
Inside the EV9, Kia says it has prioritised space comfort and technology, with “lounge-style” seating across all three rows and essential features such as cupholders and charging ports for all passengers. The EV9 will be available in seven- or six-seat configurations, with the option of two “captain’s chairs” in the middle row. In six-seat versions, the second row seats will swivel 180 degrees to allow passengers to face those in the third row. They will also recline in tandem with the front seats when charging, like the EV6’s “premium relaxation seats”.
In front of the driver there’s a low-set “floating” dashboard that houses two 12.3-inch touchscreens and a row of haptic buttons beneath integrated into the dashboard surface. Thankfully, physical controls for key heating and media functions have been retained.
Kia is yet to confirm drivetrain or performance details but we do know that the EV9 is based on the same E-GMP platform as the EV6 and Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 and 6. That means the potential for two- or four-wheel drive variants, 350kW charging and vehicle-to-load abilities.
Kia previously stated that it was targeting a range of 336 miles for the EV9. Given the size of the car, that’s likely to mean an even larger battery than the 77.4kWh currently used across the platform, with speculation that the longer wheelbase could accommodate up to a 100kWh unit.
Kia has also said it is aiming for a 0-62mph time of around five seconds - similar to the four-wheel-drive 321bhp EV6 - and confirmed there will be an EV9 GT to sit alongside the 577bhp EV6 GT.
Pricing is also still under wraps but the EV9 is guaranteed to be the most expensive Kia yet. With EV6 prices running from £45,000 to £62,000, expect the flagship EV9 to surpass that, possibly starting at around £65,000.