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Kia Releases Juicy Details About Forthcoming 3 Row EV9 SUV

Earlier this week, Kia released much anticipated details about its stunning, all electric 3 row EV9 SUV that will go on sale in the US sometime in the latter half of the year. There is quite a bit to sift through, and yet some may wish for more information still. I’ll summarize what I think are some of the most important details about what we might consider the first reasonably priced all electric, mid size 3 row SUV to be sold in the US.

First, one could be forgiven for asking: what about EVs like the 3 row version of the Tesla Model Y, or the Rivian R1S? Well, the Model Y is a compact SUV/crossover and the Rivian R1S starts at $78,000 before other applicable fees and incentives, so it costs at least $20 - $25,000 more than the EV9 is expected to cost. The Rivian is certainly more rugged and capable than we would expect the Kia to be, so that price difference certainly is worth something, to certain shoppers. But otherwise, at around $55,000 the Kia EV9 will be the first electric 3 row SUV of its size priced close to the mass market average for such a vehicle. For comparison, the starting price of the similarly sized Kia Telluride is $35,890, MSRP, before any additional fees. Though the EV9 may not qualify for federal tax incentives when it goes on sale in the US, it may qualify for state and local incentives. Longer term, Kia likely intends to establish eligibility for US tax incentives for the EV9, but will need to complete assembly of significant components of the vehicle in the US and source electric powertrain materials from the US and its free trade partners, as per the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Once it may be eligible, the cost of the EV9 in the US could be significantly lower for qualifying buyers, within about $5-$6,000, depending on the location.

On to the juicy bits! Kia shared that the EV9 will be available with two battery options, one with 76.1 kWh and another 99.8 kWh. The smaller battery will be exclusively offered on the standard Rear Wheel Drive (RWD) model. The larger battery can be fitted to both the long range RWD model and a more powerful AWD model. The RWD Long Range models will have a single, 150kW (201 hp) / 350 Nm (258 ft lb) electric motor with a 0-60 mph time of around 9 seconds and the Standard RWD model will actually have a slightly more powerful 160 kW (215 hp) / 350 Nm motor that gives it a 0-60 time around 8 seconds (the smaller/lighter battery likely explaining the difference). The AWD variant is equipped with two motors with a combined output of 283 kW (380 hp) and 600 Nm (443 ft lb) of torque and a 0-60 time of a little under 6 seconds. An optional “Boost” feature will be available for purchase, later, via the Kia Connect Store app which will update the EV9’s torque figures to 700 Nm (516 ft lb) over the air (without having to visit a dealer)! The upgrade should decrease the EV9's 0-60 times to around 5 seconds. Range estimates for the EV9 models were shared in the more optimistic WLTP standard rather than the US’s EPA estimates, but should translate to something like 280 - 310 miles for the Long Range RWD model with 19’ wheels. The more powerful AWD version of the EV9 is expected to have less range, and I would estimate that will come out to 240 - 270 miles of EPA estimated range.

Other exciting news about the EV9 includes: it will come with Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) functionality through its Integrated Charging Control Unit (ICCU) that enables the EV9 to provide up to 3.68 kW of electricity for anything that can plug into its receptacle. For reference, that is enough power to run my entire house during all but a few scenarios (when we are doing things like cooking on our electric range and charging our plug-in vehicles for example). My house is only consuming about 1.2 kW of electricity as I write this on a cool and cloudy afternoon, only needing to run the fridge, a couple laptops, and some lights. It could easily power refrigerators, lights, small space heaters, microwave ovens, camping equipment, etc. Of course it may not be able to power more than a few of those at once, but it should prove very helpful for emergency situations, camping and tailgating activities.

Kia also iterates some of its safety and driver convenience features for its new flagship EV, promising “conditional” Level 3 autonomous driving via its Highway Driving Pilot (HDP) system. The term conditional applies to where (market region and specific roads) the system will function, and will be available in the EV9 GT-line trims only. HDP utilizes 15 sensors, including 2 lidars, that enable it to scan and detect objects in a 360-degree field of view. Kia also includes a full suite of other existing features from its other models as well, including self parking features and other warning and intervention systems designed to prevent or mitigate collisions.

What do you think, readers? Are these latest details particularly enticing? Might you consider the EV9 over other gas powered or plug-in hybrid 3 row SUVs? What, if anything, piques your interest the most? Leave your questions or comments below.

Image provided by Kia.

Justin Hart has owned and driven electric vehicles for over 15 years, including a first generation Nissan LEAF, second generation Chevy Volt, Tesla Model 3, an electric bicycle and most recently a Kia Sorento PHEV. He is also an avid SUP rider, poet, photographer and wine lover. He enjoys taking long EV and PHEV road trips to beautiful and serene places with the people he loves. Follow Justin on Twitter for daily KIA EV news coverage.