First Look Review: 2024 Kia EV9 offers comfort, space, features but at a price

  • Available in 6- and 7-seat versions
  • Expected to deliver a range of up to 300 miles (EPA rating pending)
  • Priced from USD 54,900 (excl. USD 1,495 destination charge)
  • Customer deliveries have begun

Update: Price & Sales section revised with sales data.

The EV market is flooding with SUVs of different sizes, but almost every launch is a five-seater with slippery rooflines, not suitable for big families. The 2024 Kia EV9 emerges as an answer for buyers seeking a new-age family SUV that offers more conventional styling compared to Tesla, and is more affordable than luxury vehicles.

I visited the Los Angeles Auto Show to check out the new electric three-row midsize SUV in person (2024 EV9 Land AWD). Here’s my experience with the electric SUV, which has recently started reaching dealers.


After seeing the 2024 Kia EV9 in person, it has a nice blend of futuristic and traditional design cues, which makes it just as attractive for traditional SUV buyers as modern ones, who are more accepting of unconventional elements, which are not unusual in the EV world. I’m no fan of vertical headlights, but I think the 2024 EV9’s units have been executed far better than the gas-powered 2024 Telluride’s.

My favorite part of the 2024 EV9’s exterior is its boxy shape, which signifies that Kia emphasized on space and practicality than style or aerodynamic efficiency, gearing the car towards long road trips and commutes. In my opinion, the tall and horizontal hood, the low beltline that extends straight almost until the end, the flattish roof that is just a little bit tapered back, and the overall boxy shape give the 2024 EV9 an unmistakable identity.

I liked the large windows and quarter glass panels, the clean surfacing on the doors, and the flush-fitted door handles as well. The subtle integration of lights into the smooth panel between the headlamps, a feature Kia calls ‘Digital Pattern Lighting Grille,’ is also well executed.

That said, there are things that could’ve looked better. While the Digital Pattern Lighting Grille makes up for the vertical headlamps, there’s nothing to offset the weird polygonal theme on the side profile. The geometric wheel arches seem a bit too pronounced, and the aerodynamic wheels, no matter in which size or design, doesn’t fit the character of the SUV. I also think that the vertical rear lights aren’t special, but the consolation is that they look better in the flesh.


The cabin is where the 2024 Kia EV9 truly shines, offering a multitude of comfort and convenience features, plenty of new-age technologies, and great versatility. I’m six-foot-tall, and as Kia engineered the 2024 EV9 chiefly for Americans, there were no issues stepping in or out of the cockpit. The slim and wide interior instantly conveyed a great sense of space and the feeling of sitting in a model that’s more upscale than what is typically expected from Kia.

The first thing that grabbed my attention on the elliptical-shaped dashboard was the seamless integration of a 12.3-inch screen serving as an instrument cluster, a 5.0-inch HVAC screen, and a 12.3-inch screen for the infotainment system. I liked the clean UI of these screens, and then I operated them to see if they were as intuitive and swift as aesthetically pleasing.

Based on my experience at the 2023 LA Auto Show, I can say that all three cockpit displays have sharp graphics. I found that the infotainment system is a little slow to respond, but I think Kia will fix that before it starts shipping the model to customers. I’d have liked more customization options in the instrument cluster, like a dynamic map view, for instance.

The 2024 EV9 has barely any physical controls, although I appreciate Kia offering a knurled scroller-cum-push-button for controlling the volume and turning the infotainment system on/off, temperature and fan speed adjustment buttons, and buttons, scrollers, and switches in the steering wheel.

Speaking of the steering wheel, I found the compact unit, thanks to electronic tilt and telescopic adjustment and two-position memory function, quite convenient. I was able to access the drive mode and terrain mode buttons more easily and without distraction, as they were integrated into the steering wheel instead of the center console.

One aspect I didn’t find convenient in the 2024 EV9 was the haptic switches for main infotainment features like home, map (navigation), setup, etc. They remain hidden and light up only when in use, and I foresee that they won’t be very easy to use while on the road, just like Nissan’s Ariya. I also found myself accidentally activating the switches and feeding inadvertent inputs to the infotainment system while resting my fingers there.

The 2024 EV9 has a big floating center console that stretches back into the second row. It integrates a wireless smartphone charger right ahead of the armrest, so I was able to access my iPhone 15 placed on it more easily compared to the 2024 Telluride and most other SUVs, which typically have the wireless smartphone charger much closer to the dashboard. The under-tray table is big enough to hold a camera bag, and the massive cupholders seemingly could’ve accommodated large 32 oz bottles!

As for passenger space and comfort, I felt that the legroom offered by the 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat with 4-way lumbar support and 2-way power leg support was good, while the under-thigh support was excellent, thanks to the 2-way power-operated leg support. The headroom was also impressive for a six-foot adult like me. I think the best part about the driver’s seat is its adjustability.

Kia offers the 2024 EV9 in 7-seat and 6-seat versions. The 7-seat version features a bench in the second row and has a tilting walk-in system to access the third row. The 6-seat version has captain’s chairs with Relaxation Mode and electrically adjustable leg rests in the second row. The cupholders and available sliding table plus storage console allow second-row passengers to conveniently enjoy their beverages and meals on the go.

2024 Kia EV9 second-row seat 2023 LA Auto Show
The second-row captain’s chairs of the 2024 Kia EV9 can be equipped with wing-out style headrests and a powered ottoman optionally.

The 2024 EV9 I sat in at the 2023 LA Auto Show was the 6-seat version, featuring captain’s chairs with 2-way power adjustable leg support and sliding and reclining functions. I had generous legroom, and under-thigh support, like in the front was excellent. The headroom, too, was impressive for a model of this segment.

To access the third row, I just pressed a button on the shoulder of a captain’s chair, which then automatically tilted and slid forward. I must note here that the automatic forward sliding function felt a bit slow. The opening isn’t very big, so ingress and egress can be difficult. Thanks to the flat floor, I found it quicker and easier to enter from the free space between the captain’s chairs.

2024 Kia EV9 AC roof vents
The EV9 has AC vents in the roof, which I think will distribute the cool/warm air more evenly across the second row compared the conventional placement between the seats.

Once settled, I had loads of legroom, but the kneeroom in the third row is an issue for someone my height especially if a taller passenger is seated in the second row. My knees weren’t too high, thanks to the flat floor, again, and I had plenty of headroom, of about two inches if I were to make a safe guess. The shoulder room was good, just as expected.

The 2024 EV9 offers 20.2 cu. ft. of cargo volume, and folding down all the rear seats increases that figure to 81.7 cu. ft. It’s no match to the Telluride in this aspect (21.0-87.0 cu. ft.). It comes with a tire inflator kit, not a spare tire like the gas model.

Driving Impressions

2024 Kia EV9 charging port 2023 LA Auto Show
The 2024 Kia EV9 delivers an EPA-est. range of 304 miles in the Light Long Range rear-wheel drive model.

The 2024 Kia EV9 is a bespoke EV based on Hyundai Motor Group’s Electronic Global Modular Platform and features the parent company’s fourth-generation battery technology. There are three variants on offer in the U.S. The base variant has a 76.1 kWh battery pack and a 215-hp motor at the rear. The mid-range variant has a 99.8 kWh battery pack and a 201-hp rear motor. The top-end variant uses the same battery pack with a 379-hp dual-motor powertrain. The EPA-estimated range stands at 304 miles for the Light Long Range rear-wheel drive, and 280 miles in all-wheel drive (featured in this story).

Gauging from various drive reports of the top-end variant, the 2024 EV9 feels a lot quicker than a typical three-row mid-size SUV. With 60 mph coming in just 5.0 seconds, moms late for their school drop off and dads annoyed by other drivers dilly-dallying on the highway would have no second reason to be frustrated in the 2024 EV9. For a vehicle weighing about 5,700 lbs., it stops at a short distance and doesn’t get unstable when panic-braked.

Obviously, there is some body roll; it’d be unreasonable to not expect that in such a tall and boxy vehicle. However, while it’s not engineered to be pushed to the limit as in a low-slung and slippery EV like the EV6, its dynamics are brilliantly tuned and don’t make the driver feel unnerving in the corners. Those who have driven the car would also tell you that the 2024 EV9 is just soft enough to remain smooth on bumps, so its ride quality is quite good, too. A regular midsize three-row SUV customer transitioning to the EV9 should have little to complain, be it in the driver’s seat or at the back.

Price & Sales

Prices of the 2024 Kia EV9 in the U.S. start at USD 54,900 and go up to USD 73,900. A destination charge of USD 1,495 is applicable across the range. The EV9 has started off strongly in the U.S. market, with sales of 1,118 units in December 2023.

TopElectricSUV says

The Kia EV9 is one of the most exciting three-row midsize SUVs to have come to the U.S. in a long time, electric or otherwise. With its unique styling, high-tech and classy interior, great space and comfort, and impressive road manners, there’s little not to like about it. With local production starting in 2024, prices could go down, making it more compelling.

2024 Kia EV9 FAQs

What is the 2024 Kia EV9 release date?

Customer deliveries of the 2024 Kia EV9 have started in the U.S.

What is the 2024 Kia EV9 price?

The 2024 Kia EV9 starts at USD 54,900 (excl. USD 1,495 destination charge).

Which models are 2024 Kia EV9 rivals?

Besides the Hyundai Ioniq 7, the EV9 will compete with future three-row e-SUVs from Ford & Toyota.

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