Car and Driver was one of the few international media that had the opportunity to travel to Seoul, the capital of South Korea, to personally see and touch the EV9, Kia’s new flagship. It is an electric SUV that starts an unprecedented era for the company, with much better-made products and a spectacular presentation. It is an SUV that flirts with five meters in length, a fact that was not confirmed to us at the time of filming the video that accompanies this article, which was recorded a month before you were seeing it due to embargo reasons.
In this first contact, those responsible for Kia did not tell us anything at a technical level, so we do not know the exact measurements, nor whether it will be sold as a 4×2 or 4×4, not even the size of the battery or batteries and whether there are different levels of autonomy. , which is very likely. Leaks circulating on the internet speak of American Telluride customers having been asked in an internal survey by the brand about which range would seem best to them (between 350 and 470 kilometers), the powers (200 HP RWD, 400 HP AWD) and prices of the EV9 (between $56,000 and $61,000). But we don’t have any confirmation about it. To find out all this, you have to wait a few weeks. For the price we already anticipate that it will cost much more.
Exterior design: will set the trend
Yes, we had the opportunity to talk to the designers responsible for its image and they warned us with the EV9: the philosophy of “united opposites” has just been born, the language that little by little will be transferred to the future models of the southern house -Korean and that goes a step further than what was seen in the EV6. What exactly does it consist of? To begin with, the front end is powerful and very particular, with a completely flat bonnet in which there are no central ribs, it lacks the traditional grille and it has headlights that, instead of being horizontal, become vertical and that we will surely see in future models, new or redesigned in the middle of their commercial life. At the bottom there is a grid that opens and closes depending on the cooling needs of the electrical mechanics.
On the side, the wheel arches are angled to convey that 4×4 feel, the tires are up to 21 inches in size and there are ribs in the bodywork to add to the feeling of sturdiness. Although there are two things that call even more attention in this part: the first, the size of the windows, which are generous, which results in a very good feeling of space and interior light, like Tec-kun Kim, head of the Kia Next Design Group; the second, the size of the rear door, larger than the front to facilitate access for third-row occupants; By the way, it doesn’t weigh as much as you might expect.
At the back, we find a square image that repeats the structure of clean lines of the front and in which the pilots present a form that resembles those of Volvo XCs. Why not differentiate them with lighting coast to coast? Karim Habib, Kia’s head of global design, told us in an exclusive interview that this vehicle “didn’t ask for it”, although we could very well see this solution in future Kias. Finally, the spoiler, in addition to having a very important aerodynamic function, hides the windshield wiper, a solution that we have already seen, for example, on the Hyundai Tucson.
Interior: between two and seven seats
Inside there is also an evolution in terms of the presentation of information. We have the system of double joined screens with an extension of almost 26 inches. Unlike the EV6’s screens, which are separated by a bezel, the EV9’s screens are joined by a third screen, the climate control screen. The location may not be suitable, but it’s interesting to bet on something new and then we’ll see if it’s easy to use in the dynamic test. However, there are shortcuts halfway through the console to raise and lower the temperature and airflow. It’s something Jochen Paesen, Kia’s Belgian vice president of interior design, wants to make clear.
The steering wheel also groups two selectors inside: Terrain Mode, with various electronic actuation modes depending on the terrain, and Drive Select, with the usual driving programs.
Moreover, the feeling of quality it conveys is high, and that we are still in pre-production of models that came directly from the factory in South Korea. At the rear, if there are two individual seats, these can be rotated to facilitate access for the elderly. And they even turn in the opposite direction to set up a small office on wheels. From Kia Spain they clarify that this solution will not be available in Spain due to regulations. The external lighting system with sequences cannot be ordered either. Yes, a panoramic roof is being designed which will be useful as it matches perfectly with the vehicle’s characteristics.
Finally, briefly talk to you about the trunk. It has a very high loading mouth, the shapes are regular and, of course, it has a hole for a kit repair punctures, mainly due to the huge size of the tires that do not fit in the existing space.
Range and price of the Kia EV9
After that first contact with the EV9, the question is clear: when will we see it on our streets? The Kia EV9 will go on sale in Spain after the summer, in the last quarter of the year, around October. It is then that we will be at your disposal and we will know the complete range and its prices. And it’s something we’re going to tell you about here, on Car and Driver.
In favor: Powerful picture, high-quality feel, elevated driving position
Against: presumably high price