So, You Want to Buy a 2024 Kia EV9 Electric 3-Row SUV

The 2024 Kia EV9 electric 3-row SUV is creating a lot of buzz, and it's not on sale until December. Here's what you need to know to decide if it's worth the wait.

2024 Kia Ev9 Electric 3-Row Suv
Come check out the EV9 with us in the video below. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Order Early, or Wait and Get a Tax Credit

If you’re one of those car buyers on the fence about going electric because you need more seats in your car and more miles between “refueling,” you’re probably one who’ll take the leap for an affordable 3-row electric SUV like the Kia EV9. 

You’re not alone. This may be one of the most awaited cars to hit the market. The buzz is so strong that Kia is allowing buyers put down a deposit for a spot on a waitlist ahead of December 2023 deliveries, something the car maker rarely does.

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But it should help to avoid the mass disappointment that Telluride buyers suffered when demand far outpaced supply. To help you decide if you need to get on the waitlist, here’s what you need to know.

Related: All the Kia EV9 Electric 3-row SUV Details

Yes, the Kia EV9 Has a 3rd Row! 

In fact, it has a large, full-size human 3rd row that seats two. The EV9 will seat 7 passengers if you choose a second row bench, which is available only in the Light and Wind models. Other models have captains chairs and seat 6.

Kia’s spec page shows it has about 42” of legroom in the center row and about 31” of space in the 3rd row, depending how far back or forward seats are positioned. The center row is designed to be overly large to accommodate the “relaxation chair” in the front and center rows, which are an option on top trims; these have an extending leg rest for those times you just need to chill out. 

Related: Kia Telluride 3 Row SUV Adds X-Line and X-Pro To the Lineup

2024 Kia Ev9

A luxe and spacious interior. Photo: Connie Peters

The Best Car Seat Setup in the Kia EV9

We haven’t installed kids car seats in the EV9 yet, but it’s safe to say that forward facing kids car seats or booster seats will fit in all rear seats. Here’s how:  

  • This is a large SUV, so slim car seats should be able to fit three across the center bench
  • There are two lower anchor LATCH sets in the two 3rd row seats, so LATCH installing car seats or boosters is a possibility
  • A rear facing car seat should fit in any center row seat and should be able to fit behind the driver’s seat without impeding the driver’s legroom. However, a rear facing car seat is not passable to reach the middle seat or the passthrough to the 3rd row
  • To install 2 rear facing car seats and reach the 3rd row without uninstalling the car seats, a center row bench seat is required
  • The center row bench is a 60/40 split with the “60” on the driver’s side, meaning to accommodate two rear facing car seats and still have 3rd row access, you’ll need to install them behind the driver and in the middle seat.
  • Both outboard seats should be able to slide and tilt for 3rd row access with a forward facing car seat installed 

Related: Keeping Kids Happy In Car Seats: All Our Secrets

Kia Ev9 At The Eritage Resort. Photo: Sara Lacey

Kia EV9 at the Eritage Resort. Photo: Sara Lacey

Do the Center Seats Rotate? 

Sadly, no. You may have seen photos of a Kia EV9 with center seats that turn toward the center of the car or toward the door — imagine THAT for helping a toddler out of a car seat! These seats may be included in foreign versions of the EV9, but not in the US; regulations don’t yet accommodate center seats that rotate. Maybe some day; we can keep dreaming.

Kia Ev9 Gt Exterior. Photo: Sara Lacey

Kia EV9 GT exterior. Photo: Sara Lacey

When and Where Can You Buy a Kia EV9?

Kia has said that deliveries should start in December, 2023. This is a “50 state” car which means that it’ll be offered for sale, and can be serviced, in all 50 US states (and in Canada).

However, Kia has been very upfront that initial deliveries will be limited since it looks like demand is high. To accommodate that demand, the EV9 will be built in West Point, Georgia, starting in mid 2024. This means that EV9s will begin rolling off the line there in the US by late summer or early fall. Yes, it means a wait for everyone who doesn’t get one on of the first deliveries, but with this change, Kia should be able to accommodate everyone who places an order. Buyers who want one before that can order one (or buy one, if one is available) built in Korea.

And there’s more good news: Kia will deliver a solid mix of its trim lineup from the beginning. Buyers will be able to choose from the Light rear wheel drive model with 215 HP and up to 300 miles of range to the Wind, Land or GT models with up to 379 HP, up to 270 miles of range and all wheel drive, a must in places with challenging weather or terrain. 

A Girls Guide To Cars | So, You Want To Buy A 2024 Kia Ev9 Electric 3-Row Suv - Elextridy Expo Trunk Space In The Kia Ev9 Kim S

3rd row seats make way for cargo in the Kia EV9 . Photo: Kim S.

Kia EV9s built in Georgia Should Qualify for the Federal Tax Credit 

It’s a year away, but early indications are that the EV9 should qualify for the federal tax credit of up to $7,500. That’s great news for those willing to wait. Keep in mind that the rules may change between now and then; that this is a tax credit and you’ll need to qualify to see the savings; consult your accountant and read the rules carefully to know if you will benefit. A dealer, friend or other ‘expert’ may not have all the necessary information to assess your qualification.

2024 Kia Ev9

These headlights on the Kia EV9 are zen. Photo: Connie Peters

What Does a Deposit on a Kia EV9 Get You?

A $750 deposit it will get you a place in line for a Kia EV9. This is just a placeholder and not a guarantee you’ll get an EV9. It also doesn’t guarantee that the dealer will sell it at MSRP or that you’ll even be offered the model you want. But you will get a call from the dealer when they have models on the lot and you’ll have the opportunity to purchase one. I did this with my Toyota Highlander Hybrid when those were first offered and it was great; I was also able to walk away and get my money back if I changed my mind or didn’t like the model the dealer had to sell. 

Another good bit of news: you can buy from the dealer of your choice. To hedge your bets, look at online reviews of Kia dealers and search the sites of Kia dealers in your area. Some dealers pledge never to charge more than MSRP; others make no such promise. 

If you were one of the hopeful shoppers who were turned off by the MSRP+++ pricing on the Telluride, then you know, some dealers will add as much as $20K to the price of a new car … just because they can.

The Modern And Sustainable Interior Won Me Over. Photo: Connie Peters

Would you go with the lighter or darker interior? Photo: Connie Peters

How Much Will the Kia EV9 Cost?

Kia worked hard to make the EV9 affordable—relatively, for an electric car. But compared to the Kia EV6 and the Hyundai Ioniq 5, which are not 3-rows, and even to the Telluride, the EV9 is well-priced. Keep in mind that electric cars carry a premium, but think of it as a trade-off for not paying for gas.

  • The Light model, with rear wheel drive, generates 215 horsepower and a 230 mile range, starts at $56,400
  • The long range Light model generates 201 HP, has a 304 mile range and starts at $60,695
  • The Wind model, which has two motors, all wheel drive, generates 379 HP and has a 280 mile range, starts at $65,395
  • The Land model, also with two motors, all wheel drive, 379 HP and a 280 mile range, starts at $71,395
  • The GT Line has AWD, up to 576 horsepower and a 270 mile range and starts at $75,395

How does EV9 pricing compare? The only other electric 3-row SUVs are the Rivian R1S, which is priced from $80K to $91K; the Mercedes-Benz EQB, which is a smaller SUV with a smaller 3rd row, priced from $54K-$65K; and the Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV is priced from $104K.

And then, the Kia Telluride, which isn’t electric, is priced from $35K-$53K. 

Kia Ev9 In Bright Sky Blue Color At New York Auto Show

Kia EV9 in a bright sky blue color at the New York Auto Show. Photo: Connie Peters

Where Can I See the Kia EV9?

Don’t miss the chance to climb in, poke around and see the Kia EV9 for yourself. You’ll be able to see it at Electrify Expo (November 10-12 in Austin, and select cities in 2024), at the LA Auto Show November 17-26 and then at most auto shows in 2024. 

And of course, you should be able to see it at your local Kia Dealer. That is, if they don’t sell every single one as soon as it’s delivered. Which they may.

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Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss