Kia EV9 review: price, specifications, drive impressions

Space-Separated Links

URL URL URL URL URL URL


The Kia EV9 is the only full-size seven-seat EV on sale today.

Here are five things you need to know.

THERE’S NOTHING LIKE IT

The Kia EV9 is the only full-size seven-seat EV on sale today.

It’s a big unit: longer than a Toyota LandCruiser, heavier than a Ford F-150 and wider than a Mazda BT-50 ute. The boxy design with big slabs of metal on all sides adds to its imposing physique.

It has a futuristic look, with aerodynamic alloy wheels, sharp LED lighting front and rear and a closed front grille.

BE PREPARED FOR A
PRICE SHOCK

Prices start at about $107,000 drive-away for the base Air version. It comes with a single rear-mounted motor making 160kW and 350Nm, fed by a 76kWh battery delivering a driving range of up to 443km.

The $120,000 mid-tier Earth version we tested adds another electric motor up front for all-wheel drive grip and combined outputs of 282kW and 700Nm. It also has a larger circa-100kWh battery to boost driving range to 512km. In range-topping GT-Line trim it costs $140,000.

The EV9 is one of the fastest charging EVs on sale, accepting up to 240kW. At its claimed maximum it’ll go from 10-80 per cent in 24 minutes.

An 11kW home charger can totally fill the battery in nine hours but a regular home power point will take more than two days.

THE CABIN IS IMMENSE

The EV9 is one of the roomiest cars on the road. You can easily fit three adults in the second row and two bigger kids in the third pew.

It can fit five child seats, there are four Isofix anchor points and five top tether anchors. The EV9 also has massive low windows allowing children to see out easily to help reduce motion sickness.

Throw in a completely flat floor in the second and third rows and there’s plenty of room to stretch out.

It has nine cupholders and four bottle holders as well as six USB-C ports and a wireless device charger to keep the whole family fully juiced.

The boot is about half the size of a Carnival people mover but still big by seven-seat SUV standards.

IT’S GOT PLENTY OF KIT

The seats are wrapped in faux leather and the front pair are power adjustable, heated and ventilated. Second-row seats fold forward at the touch of a button, granting easy access to the last row.

There are three screens up front. A 12.3-inch unit for the infotainment, one of the same size for the digital driver display and five-inch screen for the climate settings. An eight-speaker stereo, 64-colour ambient lighting, satnav and Kia’s connected car services are also included.

If you want a head-up display, premium 14-speaker Meridian stereo, heated and ventilated window seats in the second row and second-row sunshades you’ll need to pony up for the GT-Line.

IT’S NIMBLE FOR A BIG RIG

With 282kW and 700Nm on tap the EV9 is surprisingly rapid for such a big rig. It’s zippy off the line and has plenty left in the tank for overtaking at motorway speeds.

It’s quiet and refined around town, with a high driver’s seating position that gives great forward vision.

The suspension is well sorted but it can struggle to keep the vehicle’s weight in check over bigger bumps and road imperfections.

It’s a top-shelf cruiser on the highway, allowing you to eat up the kays in serene comfort. It’s no corner carver but the steering is well weighted and all-wheel drive grip makes it feel stable in all conditions.

Despite its substantial heft it was easy enough to park and to navigate underground shopping centre car parks. A range of parking sensors and cameras help ease the pain.

It’s not the most efficient EV, though. Around town you’ll likely get close to the 500km claim but expect much less if you do big kilometres on the open road.