Kia EV9 Review & Prices
The EV9 is Kia's flagship electric SUV, coming with a classy, high-tech interior and seven seats. Alternatives can go further on a charge, though
Find out more about the Kia EV9
Bigger is certainly better if you need space for seven. Every EV9 starts life as a seven-seater, just like the EX90, though you can get a six-seat version.
The cabin looks suitably luxurious and high-tech. Twin-screen dashboards are pretty common these days, but the EV9 goes one better with a three-screen layout. There are 12.3-inch screens for the driver display and touchscreen, while a smaller 5.3-inch display manages the climate control.
Kia tends to sweat the details when it comes to building family-friendly interiors, and the EV9’s six USB-C chargers (two per row of seats) should keep everyone’s phones and tablets fully charged. There’s also a three-pin socket in the boot.
The EV9’s eco-credentials go beyond the all-electric drivetrain, with plastics sourced from renewable sources, recycled materials, and non-leather upholstery. In fact, you can’t spec your EV9 with leather even if you want to.
The Kia EV9 looks lovely and spacious inside, but you'll go further between charges in a Tesla Model X
Being big is a good thing when it comes to battery size, and every EV9 comes with a whopping 99.8 kWh capacity. That delivers a range of up to 336 miles if you choose the long range model, or 308 miles if you go for the higher-performance all-wheel-drive version. The Kia sprints to 62mph in 5.3 seconds – quick, but easily beaten by the warp-factor acceleration of a Tesla Model X, which also has the edge for range.
If the Kia’s batteries do run low, you can quickly recharge thanks to compatibility with 350kW charging. There aren’t many of these super-powerful public chargers, but if you do find one Kia claims a 10-80% recharge in as little as 24 minutes.
Three specifications are available, starting with the ‘Air’ model. It comes with 19-inch alloy wheels, gloss black door mirrors and trims, LED headlights, and an eight-speaker stereo. This version is paired with the single-motor rear-wheel-drive powertrain.
The ‘GT-Line’ has the more powerful twin motors and four-wheel drive. Other upgrades include sportier styling, two-tone upholstery, adaptive headlights, and a clever remote parking system.
Range-topping ‘GT-Line S’ cars come with 21-inch alloys, a tilting and sliding front sunroof, a second-row sunroof, a head-up display, and a top-of-the-range Meridian 14-speaker stereo. This model is also available with a six-seat layout, replacing the three middle-row seats with two individual chairs that can swivel through 180 degrees to face the third row.
We’ll bring you a full review as soon as we’ve had a chance to drive this stylish electric SUV, but you can check out the latest Kia EV9 deals right now. You can also shop for a used Kia and sell your car through carwow’s network of trusted dealers.
The Kia EV9 has a RRP range of £64,995 to £76,995. Prices start at £64,995 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £768.
Our most popular versions of the Kia EV9 are:
|Model version||carwow price from|
|149kW Air 99.8kWh 5dr Auto||£64,995||Compare offers|
The EV9 is Kia’s top model, so it’s no bargain, but it does undercut any other large electric SUV currently available. Kia is being bold in looking to compete with the attractive Volvo EX90 and Tesla’s significantly more expensive Model X, but it’s not that crazy for a Kia with this amount of quality and appeal to be compared to £100,000 Volvo and Tesla models.
But, having said that, a starting point of around £65,000, rising up towards £80,000 for the top-spec model equipped with the latest tech, is still new ground for the brand.
The only thing on the options list is upgrading the paint from the standard red to one of the optional colours - everything else is either fitted as standard or you have to move up the trim levels to get on your EV9.
The EV9 is a big SUV with plenty of sensible storage, but there are a couple of places where the materials don’t quite feel as premium as a car this pricey should
A long run of screen that is actually a pair of displays dominates the cabin, and given the size of the EV9 it’s no surprise to find that there’s plenty of space for both people and stuff across the interior.
The centre stowage area features a pair of good-sized cupholders that swivel away when not needed to create a larger stowage spot, and there’s a huge bin at floor level between the front seats. The glove box is also a very good size, although the door bins aren’t quite so handy, plus they’re not lined so anything small in there will noisily rattle around when on the move.
The good news is that physical climate control buttons have been retained, there’s no frustrating hiding of buttons in touchscreen menus here, and the line of shortcuts below the screen - home, map, search, media, a programmable favourite shortcut and setup - have a nice haptic feel to them so you know you’ve pressed them hard enough to activate. A common complaint with electronic buttons replacing physical ones is that it’s hard to know while driving if you’ve pressed it properly, but these give some finger feedback to show you’ve hit it.
Once you’ve got comfortable in the big front seats, which isn’t a tricky task (although the EV9 does feel like a big car with the way it extends both ahead and in the mirrors behind from the front seat), you’ll spot a pair of USB-C chargers and a 12V socket in the front. Don’t worry, the kids get their own in the back. The seats are powered across all specification levels, although the steering column is manual-adjust on the entry Air trim level, above which point you also find memory front seats as standard.
Space in the back seats
The middle-row experience is very different depending on whether you go for the six-seat or more popular seven-seat layout.
If you go with the six-seater - only offered on the GT-Line S top-spec car - you are slightly limiting your people-carrying options, but there are some upsides. Not only can you walk between the middle two seats to get into the back row, rather than climbing through, but you also get clever swivel seats that rotate. That means you can swing them 90 degrees for easy baby seat loading access, and swivel them 180-degrees for a conference-style arrangement of four people looking at each other in the back. But there’s not a great amount of knee room when you do that, and it is a bit of a faff creating enough of a gap to the front seats to actually swing them round. Basically, it’s no Mercedes V-Class when it comes to premium luxury transport, but it’s still a neat party trick.
The other thing to note with the six-seater is that the seats do feel a little too far pushed to the sides of the car, and it would have been nice if they were just a bit further away from the door pillars.
Go for the seven seater, and you get, obviously, an extra seat. The rear bench is split 60:40 and slides on rails to give you the choice of how much legroom to offer second and third row passengers, and flicks down easily at the touch of a button to let people into the third row. The central middle passenger gets the least-good spot in the house; the seat is slightly harder, narrower and raised a little compared with those either side, though at least the flat floor means there’s no problem finding space for three pairs of feet back there. The outer passengers will easily get their feet under the front seats, so it’s a pretty comfortable place to be. When there’s no-one in the middle seat, the armrest is on a ratchet so you can choose what height to position it, and it has a pair of cupholders.
Both the front seats have USB-C charging points in the back of them for middle-row passengers, but the rear door bins are small.
Kia hasn’t forgotten third-row passengers, where there are another two USB-C chargers and a cupholder each, although it does feel more spacious in the third row of the six-seater versus the seven, thanks to the gap between the seats in front.
Access to both rows is aided by the huge and wide-opening rear doors, and that also means plenty of light in the cabin thanks to the big windows.
The EV9 has 333 litres of space even with all three rows of seats in place, which is a touch more than the Volvo EX90, although Tesla’s Model X (only available in left-hand drive form these days) is bigger at 425 litres.
It's handy that the parcel shelf can be stashed under the boot floor when you’ve got all seven seats in place, but it’s a shame there’s not really anywhere handy for storing the charging cables. They need to go into the decent-sized front luggage area under the bonnet.
The middle row of seats can be folded with the press of a button in the boot, and it’s a huge area when everything’s down. There’s also a three-pin socket in the boot, while the car also has vehicle-to-load tech for charging or powering external devices when you’re parked.
There are some nice touches in terms of both look and feel of the cabin, but the quality is a bit of a mixed bag, considering the price
The cabin looks good at first glance, with the big 12.3-inch touchscreen stretching across the interior space.
Quality is a little bit of a mixed bag; the roof lining is soft and plush and the top and middle of the dash are soft to the touch, but the Kia EV9 doesn’t have a premium feel across the whole cabin.
All models get some welcome premium standard equipment including heated and ventilated seats in the front and the outer middle row, along with the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity expected in a car costing this amount.
Rear privacy glass, dual-zone air conditioning and second-row window blinds are all fitted as standard to every EV9, while stepping up to the mid-spec GT-Line adds seats that go into full reclining ‘cat-nap’ mode; handy for when you’re waiting for the car to finish charging mid-journey.
Although the climate controls are on a touchscreen, Kia has set the system up so they have their own permanently visible panel, rather than having to dip in and out of menus to make an adjustment, which is a good thing. And when you do use the screens, they have a nice haptic click feeling to let you know you’ve hit the icon you were aiming for - handy when you don’t want to take your eyes off the road to hit a button.
There are two EV9 motor alternatives, with both the 204hp rear-wheel drive and 384hp all-wheel drive versions using the same 99.8kWh battery - the biggest Kia has fitted to an EV. Also worthy of note is that every car comes with a heat pump fitted as standard, a feature which improves EV efficiency.
The higher power comes at an entirely predictable reduced efficiency, and adding the second motor powering the front wheels drops the official range figure from 349 miles to 313.
Kia quotes an official best of charging from 10-80% in 24 minutes, if you can find a charger that can make the most of the car’s impressive 240kW maximum charging speed.
Efficiency is reasonable, taking into account that it’s a big, tall seven-seat SUV. The rear-wheel drive model has an official 3.5 miles/kWh figure, which drops to 3.1 miles/kWh for the more powerful all-wheel drive alternative.
The benefits of running an electric car will though be felt for anyone paying company car tax, where the EV9 sits in the lowest banding, and in Vehicle Excise Duty as it sits in the lowest road tax banding.
The EV9 is yet to be tested by the Euro NCAP safety organisation, but navigation-based adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree view camera and the clever blind spot view monitor, which uses the dashboard to display the blind spot camera’s view top the list of safety kit fitted as standard to all EV9 models.
You get nine airbags across the three rows of seats, while tech including rear-cross traffic assist and front and rear parking sensors is also fitted to every car. Step up from Air to GT-Line spec and the LED headlights gain clever adaptive technology.
If you’re looking to tow with your EV9, the all-wheel drive car is the one to go for as it’s got an impressive 2.5-tonne towing capacity.
Kia’s reliability record is pretty impressive, and electric vehicles tend to be more reliable than their petrol or diesel counterparts, so there are plenty of reasons to believe the EV9 will be dependable.
And that’s backed up by the Korean brand’s very impressive seven-year warranty offering, valid up to 100,000 miles. That includes the battery, up to a 70% capacity after seven years.
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*Please contact the dealer for a personalised quote, including terms and conditions. Quote is subject to dealer requirements, including status and availability. Illustrations are based on personal contract hire, 9 month upfront fee, 48 month term and 8000 miles annually, VAT included.