Kia EV9 Flagship Electric SUV Brings the Concept Car To Life
We’re the first to point our finger at a company that’s more interested in revealing concepts to bolster its share price than serving the consumer, but KIA has made it clear that it’s NOT one of those brands. Genuinely interested in bringing their concepts to life, and in a remarkable time frame we might say, they’ve just unveiled their first three-row electric SUV called the Kia EV9.
The design philosophy on both the interior and exterior is as close to a concept car as we’ve ever seen. It just so happens that the brand’s other EV is now the runner-up. We’ve always said that the beauty of electric vehicles is how the skateboard (E-GMP) platform allows designers to go beyond the norm, drawing lines and shapes that they might never have imagined with the restraints of incorporating an ICE engine and traditional firewall. And while some manufacturers see this design freedom as a way to simplify their designs to benefit the bottom dollar, that’s not in the ‘Opposites United’ design philosophy at Kia .
Related: 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line AWD Review.
Interestingly, Kia mentions that the EV9 will be an “undoubted aura of rugged capability for all conditions,” potentially setting its sight on cars like the Rivian R1S. Low overhangs at both the front and rear of the vehicle suggest it will have a level of offroad capability, but with a striking exterior design we’d imagine that would be left to basic fire roads and trails.
We love the front end of the EV9, accentuated by the ‘Digital Pattern Lighting Grille’ and striking vertical headlamps alongside the signature ‘Digital Tiger Face’ that’s become a staple of the latest Kia design philosophy and trickled down to cars like the Kia Niro. In essence, it’s the design application of two clusters of small cube lamps within the bodywork adjacent to each headlamp. Of course, the ‘Star Map LED daytime running lights (DRL)’ are a favourite feature of ours.
The side profile of the EV9 is giving shades of Polestar 3 with a tapered roofline that makes us cringe for the third-row passengers. Wheel arches are strong with a polygonal shape, while the finish in a contrasting dark colour is tough and very on-trend, albeit executed far better than the new generation Subaru WRX.
“The Kia EV9 offers customers an exceptionally high-quality proposition and a fresh EV perspective in the family SUV sector. This new vehicle typology provides instinctive experiences and excellent comfort for not just the driver, but all occupants, through innovative use of space, technology and design,” said Karim Habib, Executive Vice President and Head of Kia Global Design Center.
Kia has made a note to capture feedback from families to evaluate seating configurations in the EV9, offering a six and seven-seat option with space optimised in the E-GMP platform. Reclining seats are found in the first and second rows, with the second row being able to spin 180 degrees to talk with those in the third row. Speaking of which, you’ll find cup holders and charging points for mobile devices all the way back there too.
In terms of technology, an open, floating panoramic dashboard extends from the steering wheel to the centre of the vehicle. Infotainment is taken care of by two 12.3-inch touch screens integrated with a single 5-inch segment display. Beneath the AVNT screen, an array of hidden type touch buttons provides a start/stop function along with AVNT and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) control.
Want to get your hands on the Kia EV9 in Australia? The brand has dated an Australian launch due in the third quarter of 2023, meaning somewhere between July and September of this year. Prices are yet to be revealed, but there’s no doubt this will become Kia’s most expensive car when it goes on sale, we’re well above $100,000 AUD (just below the Polestar 3). More information can be found at the Kia website via the link below.
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