Monday, June 17, 2024
Reviews2024 Kia EV9 Review: An Epic Family EV with Some Flaws

2024 Kia EV9 Review: An Epic Family EV with Some Flaws

Kia has undeniably rocked the boat with the EV9


As someone deeply passionate about cars, I was excited to get my hands the ultra-hot Kia EV9. Talk about its styling, interior accoutrements, and performance early on led to a plethora of awards and I needed to sample the SUV myself.

2024 Kia EV9 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Not only am I a car fan, I’m also a father of two. This latter fact had led me to consider different types of vehicles over the last few years including minivans and SUVs as potential replacements to my current magnificent VW Golf Sportwagen. Electrification is also top-of-mind and, finally, life can get complicated, so extra seating has become a necessity. Enter the three-row all-electric EV9.

Striking to look at

From the moment one approaches the EV9, even from a distance, the SUV’s striking design commands attention. It’s wide, low-slung, and its subtle-yet-over-the-top look is a work of art. I’ve criticized the Koreans many times for their overly styled vehicles, but this isn’t one of them. If anything, it won’t drive by unnoticed for a few years.

The model I tested was the GT line, priced at $79,200 in its Ocean blue glory. The 21-inch wheels, steel with plastic caps, are certainly unique and perfectly complement the EV9’s presence. As well, the Premium and GT-Line versions carry unique digital lighting pattern in the front grille. Once more, I would normally call this out as unnecessary, but I really like it on the EV9.

Everyday Practicality and Luxury

2024 Kia EV9 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

It’s not just about looks; the EV9 is packed with practical features like a power tailgate and a spacious interior that comfortably fits up to seven passengers. The standard twin 12.3-inch displays and considerable storage options welcome everyone aboard with something to see or do. For just shy of $60,000, the base EV9 is well stocked up. About the infotainment system, I noted some infrequent glitches with the system not recognizing my phone during Apple CarPlay usage, even when cabled. As well, the digital cluster failed to load on one occasion and remained blank for about 30 seconds after driving off.

The GT-Line is insanely luxurious and just as practical. The synthetic leather seats are both heated and cooled in the first two rows. Not to mention multi-way power operated. Even the third-row bench is power adjustable. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

2024 Kia EV9 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Seats in every row, even the ones all the way in the back, are comfortable for average body types. With the final row in place, the EV9 offers 1,233 litres of very usable boot volume. The sense of space is accentuated by the panoramic visibility from the upright windshield. Apart from some materials, the EV9 is a premium as a $130k+ GM SUV I drove shortly thereafter. In short, it’s all very impressive.

Charged up and ready to go

The base EV9 trims are powered by a single rear electric motor. There’s no doubt in my mind that the extra $5,000 for the Land AWD version is the one to get. The reasons are multiple, one being the larger 99.8 kWh battery, the other being the dual motor’s combined 379 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. Despite the SUV’s 6,000 lb curb weight, the EV9 still manages to cover the 0-100km/h in under 5 seconds. The promised full-on GT trim will deliver some serious performance.

2024 Kia EV9 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

The large battery provides the EV9 GT-Line with up to 451 km of range which is reasonable for all intents and purposes. Charging the battery happens with relative ease as the 800V architecture enables up to 350 kW of charging power, meaning that a 10-80% charge requires roughly 24 minutes.

While the power and performance are appreciable, driving the 2024 Kia EV9 GT-Line isn’t exactly fun. The tested GT-Line features a “Self-Levelizer Rear Suspension” which is, I suspect, why the EV9 was so disastrous. Bluntly, the front and rear of the vehicle behave as though they were not quite tuned for the same applications. In short, bumps or road surface irregularities are handled differently by the front and rear axles, up being too harsh and the rear being too compliant, almost floaty. I’d normally recommend this type of suspension but not so for the EV9.

Comparison and Competition

2024 Kia EV9 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

When put side by side with its contemporaries like the Tesla Model X, the EV9 impresses for its value proposition. Offering high-end features without the premium price tag especially when it comes to the sub-$65,000 Land AWD trim, it presents a seriously compelling case for those looking to switch to electric who need for people and cargo room.

The 2024 Kia EV9 amazes as a family-friendly, technologically advanced electric SUV that merges the practical with the desirable. While there are some minor known issues, and likely potential reliability issues in the mid- to -long term, they don’t detract significantly from the overall positive experience. At this very moment, it might just be the perfect family EV on the market today. The challenge at this level with come from the anticipated Volkswagen ID.Buzz in a few months’ time.

2024 Kia EV9 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2024 Kia EV9 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2024 Kia EV9 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

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Matt St-Pierre
Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai

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