Kia, the South Korean automotive powerhouse, has made a resounding entry into the highly competitive five-meter class with its newest offering, the Kia EV9 electric SUV. Demonstrating its prowess and captivating the discerning jury of the ‘German Car of the Year 2024’ (GCOTY) awards, this remarkable three-row SUV has secured its place in the esteemed “Luxury” category, which encompasses all models with a base price surpassing 70,000 Euro. Among fierce competition, the Kia EV9 emerged as the triumphant choice, besting eight other contenders within its category.
The Kia EV9 now stands as the second jewel in Kia’s crown of dedicated battery-electric vehicles, following the trailblazing success of the multi-award-winning EV6, which claimed the prestigious title of European Car of the Year in 2022. Since July, European customers have been able to place orders for the Kia EV9, with the first deliveries set to roll out later this year.
Won-Jeong Jeong, President of Kia Europe, underscored the pivotal role of the EV9, stating, “As Kia’s new flagship, the EV9 plays a pivotal role in transforming our brand into a leading EV provider. With its extraordinarily variable and spacious interior, striking design, and ultra-fast charging technology, it sets new standards in the SUV segment. We are very proud that the EV9 was named ‘German Luxury Car of the Year’ even before it is launched, as it is a strong signal that the Kia brand and its electrification strategy are recognised and awarded by German industry experts.”
In its sixth edition, the GCOTY competition saw a panel of 27 trade journalists subject 48 new models to rigorous testing and evaluation. The competition is segmented into five distinctive categories: ‘Compact,’ ‘Premium,’ ‘Luxury,’ ‘New Energy,’ and ‘Performance.’ The panel is now poised to select the ultimate victor from the five best-in-class, with the announcement scheduled for early October.
Elevating the SUV Experience
The EV9 marks Kia’s most substantial offering in Europe to date. Built on the Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), it shares the advantage of 800-volt ultra-fast charging technology with its predecessor, the EV6, positioning it as a frontrunner in charging performance. Under optimal conditions, the 99.8 kWh battery can deliver an impressive 239km of driving range in just 15 minutes of charging.
In terms of powertrain options, the EV9 offers a rear-wheel-drive variant, boasting a 150kW motor that grants a remarkable all-electric range of up to 541km based on WLTP standards. Additionally, an all-wheel-drive version, equipped with twin 141kW electric motors, delivers an all-electric range of 497km (WLTP). For those seeking a sportier edge, the AWD version is also available as the GT-line model, capable of sprinting from 0 to 100 km/h in a mere 5.3 seconds and achieving a top speed of 200 km/h.
Kia’s commitment to comfort is evident in the EV9’s thoughtful features. The GT-line version, for instance, boasts front-row ‘relax’ seats that are electrically adjustable, allowing occupants to recline comfortably during breaks or charging. The EV9 offers seating configurations as either a seven-seater or a six-seater with individual second-row seats. Customers can choose between relaxation seats akin to those in the front row or swivel seats that can pivot 90 degrees toward the open door or an astounding 180 degrees towards third-row passengers.
The base model, with rear-wheel drive, comes generously equipped with bicolour artificial leather seat covers, three-zone automatic climate control, a sensor-controlled tailgate, electrically folding and re-opening third-row backrests, automatic flush door handles, V2L function for using the battery as a power source, fingerprint recognition, and the ‘Digital Key 2.0.’ The standard driver assistance suite includes Highway Driving Assist 2 (HDA 2) with Lane Following Assist 2 (LFA 2), Forward Collision-avoidance Assist 2 (FCA 2) with turning function and cross-traffic detection, along with Smart Cruise Control (SCC). Additionally, the GT-line model features adaptive dual-LED headlights, the all-round view camera Blind View Monitor (BVM), Blind-spot Collision-avoidance Assist (BCA), and Remote Smart Parking Assist 2 (RSPA 2), available as an optional upgrade for the base model.
Note: Manufacturer specifications and availability may vary by region and country.