Electric crossovers are growing in popularity at global level, but most of them have one thing in common: two-rows of seats. While there are a couple of exceptions, including the Rivian R1S and Tesla Model X, three-row EVs are rare and comparatively expensive. Presenting a practical solution, Kia has taken the wraps off the all-new EV9.
As the brand’s flagship SUV, the EV9 was previewed as a concept back in 2021 and therefore the production model is pretty faithful to the first look. It features a bold, upscale structure that embraces an “Opposites United” design philosophy and resembles an electrical Telluride.
The front sports a “digital tiger face” with vertical headlights and flowing daytime running lights. They’re joined by a sculpted hood, a fake skid plate, and a sleek lower intake.
The EV9’s profile is arguably its best angle as there’s a beautiful mixture of soft curves and sharp lines. The edgy fenders and wheel arches immediately draw attention, on the other hand you notice small details like flushed door handles, blacked out pillars, and a ‘floating’ roof. They’re joined by four-spoke wheels that have an aerodynamic design also as a two-tone appearance. Designers also gave the crossover a dynamic beltline, which kicks up past the C-pillar and features expanding chrome trim.
The eye-catching design continues out back with flowing tail lights and a large spoiler. Below, gloss black cladding contrasts with a silver bumper designed to recall a skid plate. While the third-row is the star of the show, it’s a touch camera shy as we only get a couple of glimpses of it. However, Kia said the crossover are going to be offered in six and 7 seat configurations that provide “generous space for all occupants to attach and relax” in “lounge-style comfort.” The second-row seats are notable as they will swivel 180 degrees, so occupants can interact with those sitting in the third-row. This doesn’t appear to leave much legroom, but Kia noted third-row passengers will find cup holders and charging ports to assist them stay connected and cozy.
Putting the seats aside, the EV9 features a “floating panoramic dashboard” that houses a widescreen display. The latter consists of a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 12.3-inch infotainment system, and a 5-inch display that promises to “improve the digital experience.” Kia didn’t say much about it, but the tiny screen appears to be dedicated to climate controls.
Further below, we will see gray trim with an array of ‘digital buttons’ for the infotainment system. They’re joined by minimalist climate controls and a BMW-esque volume roller. Other highlights include ambient lighting, a particular center console, and an airy two-tone design. They’re joined by a column-mounted shifter, metallic accents, and speaker grilles that feature a geometrical pattern.
Kia is keeping specifications covert, but the model rides on the electrical Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) and therefore the digital instrument cluster suggests we will expect a variety in more than 298 miles (480 km). Production is predicted to begin this fall and while no prices were announced, a leaked customer survey suggested that it could start from around $56,000 for the bottom model topping at over $70,000 for the flagship trim. We’ll learn more details later this month, but Kia told us the EV9 won’t be limited to America because it also will be sold in Europe with U.K. sales starting late this year.