Rugged yet Futuristic Kia EV9 Electric 3-row SUV Makes Its Debut

We FINALLY got a look at the Kia EV9 at the North American Auto Show and can't wait to experience it: quiet, powerful electric driving, seating for 6 or 7, vegan leather and even relax mode!

2024 Kia Ev9
2024 Kia Ev9
The Kia EV9 on display at the New York Auto Show. This blue together with the headlights really pop. Photo: Connie Peters

The Kia EV9 3-row electric SUV changes the game.

We are ecstatic to finally see Kia‘s new flagship, the electric 3-row SUV Kia EV9. When we saw it for the first time last year, we were thrilled to learn of the first affordable 3-row electric SUV coming to market soon – by the end of the year

But wait, do we know it will be “affordable?” No, we don’t. Kia hasn’t released pricing just yet, but we’re hoping it’ll be significantly less than the only other 3-row electric options out there at the moment from Mercedes, Rivian, VinFast VF9 and Tesla.


In fact, if Kia prices it somewhere around the Telluride, which the EV9 is being framed as the electric version of, this would put it in the $40K to $55K range. This would make it one of the more affordable electric cars on the market. The Kia EV6, however is priced from $49K-$61K, so the EV9 is likely to carry a larger price tag, though it should benefit from US federal tax incentives shortly after it goes on sale, which the EV6 currently does not.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Car reviews, xo Connie (@xoconniepeters)


The Kia EV9 Will Be Built In Georgia – and When It Is, Federal Tax Credits (Should) Apply!

The EV9 will be available by the end of this year, and in 2024 it’ll be built in Kia’s Georgia assembly plant. The expectation is at that point that there will be federal tax incentives of up to $7,500 for buyers.

Then, the EV9 will seat up to 7, have up to 300 miles/541 km of electric battery range, and tow up to 5,000 lbs. It is powered by the same battery/electric system that powers the EV6 (and Hyundai and Genesis electric cars), which means it can charge quickly, replenishing up to 80% of the charge in 18 minutes at a DC fast charger, or overnight at a level 2 240-volt charger (the same outlet as a household clothes dryer). And it’ll be loaded with technology, safety and luxe touches to give the EV9 a modern, cutting edge feel.

Related: Hyundai IONIQ 5 First Drive: A Pivotal Moment for Hyundai—and for Electric Cars 

2024 Kia Ev9
Come check out the EV9 with us in the video below. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Let’s Talk Specifications

The EV9 is slightly longer than the Telluride but the same width and height, and it has 7.8″ of ground clearance. Being electric, it does have a little more interior space and even has a frunk for extra storage.

The top of the line GT-Line model offers some edgy exterior styling, including pixel lights embedded on the front grille that frame the Digital Tiger Face, and they look out-of-this-world. It has 21-inch wheels, bigger tires and 5,000 lbs. in towing capacity making it the most capable and equipped of the trims.

The EV9 will generate 379 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of instant electric torque getting you merged on to the highway to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. And it’ll have Kia’s buzz-worthy optional add-on feature called Boost: tap the boost button for an additional blast of about 50 horsepower. Let’s get to soccer practice on time, okay?

Even though the boxy shape gives the EV9 a rugged look, it has low drag for better aerodynamics, thanks in part to the flush door handles and modern body styling.

Related: 9 of the Best 3 Row SUVs – From Luxury to Affordable

The Modern And Sustainable Interior Won Me Over. Photo: Connie Peters
Would you go with the lighter or darker interior? Photo: Connie Peters

Advanced Safety Technology allows for semi-autonomous driving

While we’re not exactly sure which of these features will be fully operational in North America due to regulations, the EV9 offers advanced driver assistance with level 3 autonomy with Highway Driving Pilot using LiDAR technology. LiDAR is “light detection and ranging” with pulsed lasers instead of radio waves to detect objects around the car to assist with features such as adaptive cruise control and collision avoidance, even lane change technology and hands-free driving. In addition to two LiDARS, the EV9 also has fifteen sensors.

We’ll know more about which specific Highway Driving Pilot features will be on the North American EV9 models in the coming months.

Related: The Genesis GV60 Should Be Your First Electric Car

2024 Kia Ev9
The Digital Tiger Face headlights are so zen. Photo: Connie Peters

All Kia’s Best Technology Will Be Available, Too

We do know the EV9 will offer a rearview camera mirror, fingerprint technology that allows owners to drive the car just using fingerprint recognition, digital key (phone-as-key), and over the air updates to the car’s systems.

Remote park assist (a.k.a. smart park) will be an available option so it can self-park from outside the car both in perpendicular and parallel parking spots – we’ve seen previously on some Genesis and Hyundai models.

2024 Kia Ev9
The modern and sustainable interior won me over. Photo: Connie Peters

The Interior Screams Modern

The interior doesn’t disappoint at first glance, and we can’t wait to have the chance to get behind the wheel and really test it out. With seating for up to seven, you can get bench or captains chairs in the center row, seating for two in the third row and relaxation mode for front and center row passengers.

Yes, relaxation mode: with the push of a button, the front and center seats in the GT-Line will move forward, recline all the way back extend a foot rest. So you can catch up on the Real Housewives while you recharge the car.

All seats in the top of the line model are operated electronically. Third row seats can of course be folded from the cargo area. And second row seats can be moved forward and tilted to access the third row by pushing a button on the lower side of the seat or on the seat shoulder.

Push the seat shoulder button again to move the seat back into position from the third row, though be cautious: the seat moves back quite a bit, leaving only a few inches of space between the seats, which we found to be a bit unnerving – we hope this is a pre-production model issue and that final models will have a bit more leeway in seat positioning so as not to crush the knees of third row passengers.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Car reviews, xo Connie (@xoconniepeters)


How’s This for Luxury: No Leather! And a Sliding Center Console

Kia is focused on sustainability with a target to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. To mount this goal, they used a variation of 10 different sustainable and eco-friendly materials throughout the interior; there is no leather, not even on these plush top-trim seating surfaces.

The welcome lighting (GT-Line) can be customized and even added to later with over the air updates.

Something I haven’t seen before is this opening rear sliding console with plenty of storage for your rear passengers; so clever! Check out our video to see it in action.

In the GT-Line, rear passengers will also be extra comfortable with heated and ventilated seats, manual window shades and a panoramic fixed glass sunroof spanning over the second and third rows.

2024 Kia Ev9
A luxe and spacious interior on the Kia EV9. Photo: Connie Peters

We Can’t Wait to Drive it, and to Share Pricing with You


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Car reviews, xo Connie (@xoconniepeters)


Since 3 row SUVs are a staple for families in North America, a hugely profitable sector of automotive and a driver of the car business, the Kia EV9 could potentially be a tipping point for electric cars. We can’t wait to spend more time with it, share pricing details  and get the full driving experience – in all 3 rows. Because it’s not every day a hugely popular brand gets a brand new flagship all electric 3-row SUV.

Have a thought or comment? Share it with us on social media! You can find us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. And be sure to sign up for our email newsletter! Additionally, A Girls Guide to Cars may earn a commission from affiliate links in this story.

Car Shopping

Need a new car? Whether shopping for a new car or a used car we recommend using our car shopping service

Tire Shopping

Need new tires? We recommend Tire Rack

Car Repair

Need to get your car repaired? We recommend Repair Pal. Exclusively just for Girls Guide to Cars readers, call (877) 323-1708 to speak to RepairPal Car Genius for FREE automotive repair advice and if needed to find the right shop for you!

Connie Peters is a mother of 3 girls in suburban Vancouver, Canada and has been an online entrepreneur since... More about Connie Peters