Thursday, May 30, 2024

2024 Kia EV9 GT-Line AWD: An All-Electric, Three-Row Vehicle


Highlight: The EV9 first and second-row are available with leg extensions.

Test Vehicle's MSRP: $78,430 (Base Model: $56,375)

Seating Capacity: 6 or 7

Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; a forward collision braking system; a blind spot collision avoidance assistance; a rear view camera; a rear cross traffic collision avoidance assistance; a lane keep assist system; a lane forward assist system; a parking distance warning system; a tire pressure monitoring system; a hill start assist and a tire mobility kit



Standard Equipment (Light S/R): 19-inch wheels; rear wheel drive; 76.7 kWh; short range; single electric motor; a virtual engine sound; a battery heating system; a shift by wire gear selector;  steering wheel w/paddle shifters; body color outside mirrors; hidden rear wipers; plastic scuff plates; smart power liftgate; a manual operated tilt /telescopic steering wheel; an electic chromis rear-view mirror; a 12-inch instrument cluster; rear seat center armrest with cupholders; leather-like seats; power front seats; heated/ventilated front seats; second row bench seats; a pseudo leather wrapped steering wheel; an 8-speaker audio system with cabin talk; a 12-inch infotainment screen; a push button ignition system; a keyless  entry system; fast charging; wireless phone charging; a variety of driving modes

Standard Equipment (GT Line Long Range): 21-inch alloy wheels; all-wheel drive; 99.8 kWh; long range drive; a dual electric motor; a heat pump system; a self-level rear suspension system; a vehicle to load exterior outlet; an active sound dGTesign; small cube LED headlights; an auto dimming outside mirrors; Gt-line design outside mirrors; digital pattern lighting grille; Black high gloss bumper trim; acoustic rear door windows; dual sunroof; a power operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel; an electric rearview mirror with Homelink; a second -row fixed console;  drawer type glove box; rear window curtains; ambient mood dash lighting, console lighting, trim lighting; 6-passenger seating; GT-line seating; premium suede cloth headliner, pillar trim and sunvisor; power driver’s seat with massage capabilities; heated/ventilated second rear seats; second row captain chairs; a heated steering wheel; an illuminated emblem on steering wheel; driving with modes with a snow function; a 360-degree camera; an electronic blind spot monitor; a parking collision avoidance reverse system; a remote smart parking assist system; and a heads up display system



Options: special exterior paint; second row relaxation package with second row power seat with leg support; carpeted floor mats; and carpeted cargo mat with seatback protection

Other Trim Levels:

Land

Wind

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 14-speaker Meridian audio system with and AM/FM/HD/SiriusXM radio

Bluetooth Connectivity: Standard

USB Connectivity: Standard

Apple/Android Connectivity: Standard

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 5 years/60,000 miles

Electric Battery Warranty: 10 years/100,000 miles

Standard Horsepower:

Electric Vehicle Range (Test Model): 310-mile driving range

Towing Capacity: 2,000 to 5,000 lbs

EV Mileage On Test Model: 310- miles (long range)

What’s New: This is Kia’s first three-row all-electric vehicle.


Why:

All-electric

Two powertrain options

A longer driving range on select trims

A three row crossover

A stylish futuristic design

Flush exterior door handles

Rear wheel drive

All wheel drive available

An ability to use speakers to talk throughout the cabin

An automatic dual temperature control system with a mode for driver only to reduce wasting energy and maximizing driving range

Quick and peppy

A heads up display (HUD)

Easy to use digital cluster and infotainment center

A power operated electronic charging door

20-inch wheels available

Comfortable seats

Roomy interior

Second row sliding /partial reclining rear seat

Several high-tech safety driving aids

Heated steering wheel available

Heated/ventilated front seats

Flexible seating arrangement

Leg extensions are available on first and second row seats

Power front seat w/memory driver’s feature

Two sunroofs, with one being fixed

A premium audio system

Great visibility

Second row outlets available for charging laptops, smartphones and other devices

An available remote parking assist system

An 800v DC charger capability, one of a handful of evs offering this option

The EV9 can be locked and unlocked without the use of a smartphone or keyfob

Eligible for the $7,500 lease credit to reduce the over cost of the vehicle and lower the monthly payment

But:

Drivers will have to adjust to the placement and operation of the ignition starter system and the gear shift selector

The suspension system is quite firm, which is a trademark of some Kia vehicles

Our test vehicle was priced near $80,000, making this the most expensive Kia-to-date.



Verdict: The Kia EV9 is the Korean’s first three-row all-electric vehicle. Its also gives us an indication on what to expect from both Hyundai and Genesis, when they launch their three-row electric vehicles.

Moreover, this is also the first mainstream automaker that’s not a start-up, offering a vehicle for the masses.

At a starting price of approximately $56,000, before any applicable incentives apply, the spacious three-row vehicle is offered in a rear wheel drive or an all-wheel drive configuration.

The boxy looking futuristic design vehicle is capable of achieving a driving range spanning from a low of 230 miles to a high of 304, depending upon if one opts for the standard or optional long range, according to fueleconomy.gov.

Conversely, for those opting for the AWD model with the longer range, the total range drops to about 270 miles, according to fueleconomy.gov. However, on our test model, we inked out 310 miles on the long range AWD with the dual motors.

Furthermore, like with most electric vehicles, one has the option of using a level 2 or level 3 DC quick charger. And just like most of the Korean makes one has the option of charging other items too, from electric bikes to electric frying pans.

Moreover, depending upon the trim, the EV9 can be outfitted with second row caption chairs, a high-end premium audio system, the latest safety driving aids and first and second row seats with leg extensions similar to a lounge chair at home.

Overall, the Kia EV9, with its firm ride, gives us a glimpse of what we should expect from other automakers, as they embark into the world of electric vehicles. As of now, it’s the standard of what automakers should benchmark in the three-row segment.

Competition: No mainstream competitors, as of now. The closes competitors are in the luxury lane, offering more expensive vehicles.

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