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2024 Kia EV9 First Look: Is It The Three-Row EV That PH Needs?

2024 Kia EV9 First Look: Is It The Three-Row EV That PH Needs?

Kia has just released all of the full details of the 2024 Kia EV9. As their first three-row electric SUV and their biggest zero-emissions vehicle to date, the EV9 joins a segment that only consists of the likes of the Tesla Model X and Rivian R1S. None of these are sold in the Philippines, and while EV demand in our country is still small, does it make sense for Kia to offer the EV9 in our market?

Concept Car Looks

2024 Kia EV9 GT Line

2024 Kia EV9 GT Line

Like the EV6, the EV9 rides on the same E-GMP platform as other pure electric Hyundai and Kia models. We’ve already seen its styling before from the provided press photos, but this is the first time we’re getting to see the GT Line model. The GT Line is characterized by its sportier bumpers and rocker panels, a unique set of 21-inch alloy wheels, and this model also gets a distinct “Digital Pattern Lighting Grille”. The grille has a set of LED dots that accentuate its “Digital Tiger Face” front end, and it’s perhaps one of the most iconic design traits of the EV9 for years to come.

The EV9 serves as the pinnacle of the brand’s Opposites United design language, combining voluminous shapes like rectangles with slimmer ones such as triangles. The EV9 looks massive in photos, and it looks even more imposing in person.

A Lounge-Like Interior

2024 Kia EV9 GT Line Interior

Inside, the 2024 Kia EV9 feels like a lounge on wheels. The high amount of sustainable materials used in the cabin reduces the EV9’s carbon footprint from its production. Kia has even set an internal target to increase the proportion of recycled plastics in their vehicles to 20 percent by 2030, which also means phasing out the use of leather. Whilst its interior is eco-friendly, the overall vibe and ambience are still very premium.

2024 Kia EV9 GT Line Interior

The front dash is dominated by a single glass panel that houses the two 12.3-inch screens. There’s also a 5-inch display between the two main screens along with a mix of capacitive and physical controls to make the interior very easy to operate.

2024 Kia EV9 GT Line Interior

In terms of usability, there are a total of four different seating configurations, with seating for either six or seven occupants. There’s even a second-row seat option that can rotate up to 180 degrees that lets you face the third-row occupants. Digital mirrors are available as an option, but that’s probably something we won’t tick as we find these a bit disconcerting in the real world.

Enough Range To Keep The Show Going

Range is a concern for EV owners, but thankfully, that won’t be a problem in the EV6. The biggest battery size available is 99.8 kWh, which is found in the RWD Long Range and all-wheel drive (AWD) variants. The RWD Long Range’s single motor produces 201 hp and 350 Nm of torque, which gives the EV9 a leisurely 0-100 kph time of 9.4 seconds. Fitted with the smaller 19-inch wheels, this model can travel up to 541 km based on WLTP testing.

Splurging for the AWD model gives the EV9 a total output of 380 hp and 600 Nm of torque. This enables a 0-100 kph time of just 6.0 seconds, but Kia will soon sell an optional Boost feature via the Kia Connect store. This increases the torque to 700 Nm, shaving 0.7 seconds from its 0-100 kph run. With added grip and performance also comes with the expected range penalty, though Kia has not yet disclosed range figures for the AWD variants.

If you happen to need a top-up, the EV9 also utilizes the E-GMP platform’s 800-volt architecture, which means it can charge up to 350 kW DC if you manage to find such a charger. A 15-minute charge is enough to give your a 239-km range.

It Can Drive Itself… Sort Of

Though we were not able to test this, the 2024 Kia EV9 will debut the brand’s Highway Driving Pilot (HDP) conditional SAE Level 3 autonomous driving feature. In certain markets in the world that allow such autonomy, the Kia EV9 will be capable of completely hands-free driving on certain roads and cities. Fifteen sensors, including two lidars, scan for and detect objects in a full 360-degree field of view, enabling the EV9 to detect and react to the road and other users to prevent potential collisions.

With these interesting details out of the way, do you think Kia Philippines should offer the EV9 in our country?

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