At 10:00 AM PST on October 16, 2023, customers in the US will be able to place an order for a Kia EV9, one of the first battery-electric three-row SUVs available in America. The highly anticipated new EV from Kia has generated lots of interest, but until now, few specifics about pricing and trim levels were available. That information is now provided via a company press release. Let’s get right to the pricing part, since that’s what most shoppers want to know about first:
- EV9 Light RWD — $54,900
- EV9 Light Long Range RWD — $59,200
- EV9 Wind e-AWD — $63,900
- EV9 Land e-AWD — $69,900
- EV9 GT-Line e-AWD –$73,900
The company says those prices do not include a destination charge of $1,495. As an added incentive to order early — a $750 fully refundable deposit is required — those who place a reservation by November 27, 2023 will receive a collection of goodies including a Webasto Go Dual Voltage Portable EV Charger, a complimentary three-year Kia Maintenance Plan, one year of available Digital Features & Services. All customers purchasing or leasing the all-new EV9 will receive a 1,000 kWh charging credit with Electrify America.
All Kia EV9 vehicles are built on the company’s 800 volt E-GMP platform that supports DC fast charging at up to 350 kW of power. They also feature an available Onboard Power Generator (V2L), which can power certain appliances and can support vehicle-to-home (V2H) and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capabilities. Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist and Parking Distance Warning Forward and Reverse are included to facilitate parking maneuvers in a variety of circumstances.
EV9 Light — This 7-passenger, entry-level model features a 76 kWh battery and a permanent magnet synchronous electric motor that produces 215 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. (Since this press release is aimed at US customers only, we are not going to do the conversions to metric equivalents.)
19-inch alloy wheels and 8-way power adjustable driver and front passenger seat with heating and ventilation are included. (Please note that larger wheels and tires often reduce the available range of an electric car. They may look cool, but coolness comes with a range penalty.) Range for the EV9 Light is 233 miles. Official EPA range data has not been announced.
EV9 Light Long Range — Comes with a 99.8 kWh battery. In this configuration, the single rear motor is rated at 201 hp and the company says to expect a range of 300 miles. Captain’s chairs for second row passengers are available, reducing the number of passengers it can carry to six.
EV9 Wind — Also fitted with the larger 99.8 kWh battery, the Wind features dual motors with a total of 379 hp and 443 ft-lb of torque. Electronic torque vectoring is standard, as is a heat pump and heated steering wheel. The estimated EPA range is 280 miles.
EV9 Land — This trim level adds comfort, convenience, style, and technology features, starting with a lighted grille that displays digital patterns and 20-inch wheels. Inside, there is a heated tilt and telescoping steering wheel, full-display rear-view mirror, and 14-speaker Meridian audio system. Battery, power, and range specs are the same as for the EV9 Wind. An optional Towing Package can increase towing capability to 5000 lb.
EV9 GT-Line — The range topping GT-Line adds unique front and rear fascias as well as 21-inch wheels and gloss black finishes. The interior is designed to provide a premium experience with available relaxation-mode seating. Standard Remote Smart Parking Assist is designed to assist with remote parking in, or exiting from, certain parking spots with the driver operating the EV9 from outside the vehicle, as well as smart parking while the driver is inside the vehicle. The horsepower from its dual motors is the same, but torque is bumped up to 516 ft-lb.
More Kia EV9 Details
Like most press releases, it contains a mountain of details readers may or may not care about. If you are thinking about ordering an EV9, what follows may be useful information to know.
The all-electric EV9 embodies the rugged yet sophisticated appearance befitting a flagship SUV. The boxy, triangular design language of the EV9 emphasizes the tension of its short overhangs and long 122.0-inch wheelbase, pushed to the corners over the modular E-GMP electric underpinnings. At 197.4 inches in length in the GT-Line (all other trims are 197.2 inches long) the EV9 is slightly longer than the Telluride SUV and comparable in height (up to 70.1 inches in the GT-Line with raised roof rails) and width (77.9 inches). Despite its boxy profile, the EV9 has a drag coefficient of 0.2818.
At the core of the driver cockpit is an elliptical-shaped dash, artfully designed to have a floating effect. A wide panoramic display sits on top, combining standard dual 12.3-inch screens and a 5.0-inch HVAC screen into one single panel for a modern and simple aesthetic. Underneath the screens are centrally mounted, hidden-until-lit haptic switches for key infotainment features that appear when the EV9 is turned on. While this is a futuristic touch to the interior, physical switches for functions like volume, temperature control and fan speed add practicality and familiarity.
The EV9 features Kia’s next-generation, ultramodern Connected Car Navigation Cockpit (ccNC) system. The infotainment system processes quickly and in high fidelity, with frequently used Quick Controls available with a swipe on the screen. Navigation-based charging guidance using arrival time and distance-to-empty estimates can help quell range anxiety. Standard convenience features include Android Auto19 and Apple CarPlay20, and wireless phone charger21.
Standard, advanced ultrawide band-based Digital Key 222, allows customers to use their compatible Apple, Google and Samsung smart devices or an NFC-enabled smart card as virtual vehicle keys to lock, unlock, and drive. The technology is designed to allow drivers to unlock the EV9 without holding their smartphone near the door, and keys can be shared with friends and family over text messages on compatible devices.
Deliveries of the 2024 EV9 in the US are slated to begin in late 2023. Production of the EV9 in North America at Kia’s new state of the art factory in West Point, Georgia is expected to begin in 2024. The company says, “The EV9 is expected to be assembled in the United States from U.S. and globally sourced parts.” That suggests it may be eligible for all or part of the federal EV tax credit/rebate, but there is no official confirmation of that at this time.
While discussing this car over vegan smoothies recently, the CleanTechnica crew agreed the Kia EV9 is an important automobile. The company clearly expects it to be a big seller in the US. But there’s one thing that bothers us. The price range for the EV9 is $55,000 to $74,000. The price range for the Kia Telluride, which is the nearest equivalent in a gasoline powered model, is $36,000 to $53,000.
Gulp. That is a big gap from conventional car to EV equivalent. We have been writing for years about how the price of batteries will be coming down, down, down as more EVs come to market. It’s that economies of scale thing. But it is hard to see that process happening when comparing the EV9 to the Telluride. Only Tesla seems to be able to make affordable EVs, at least ones that are for sale in the US. The EV9 may be a compelling electric car, but will it play in Peoria? That remains to be seen.
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