Bold new Kia EV9 to take on some big SUV names

The imposing and boldly styled new Kia EV9, its first three-row electric flagship SUV. Kia describes it as offering sophisticated elegance inside and out. It will use the marketing line ‘Here to reshape the way we move.’ when it launches the new model. It will go on sale here in Ireland late this year.

No pricing has been announced and Kia hinted at the launch that it will unveil some additional features in the coming weeks.

For now, we know that the new Kia EV9 SUV will be available in a choice of 6 and 7 seats. And it will be very spacious. It is built on the same wheelbase as the EV6.

It will be less expensive than the big prestige German competition like Audi Q8 e-Tron, BMW iX, Mercedes-Benz EQC, as well as the Volvo EX90, and all-electric Range Rover. Kia has set-out to provide luxury features and a premium-feel, as well as delivering on quality, comfort and high-end tech features.

Had the ex-BMW Karim Habib, who is now Kia's new Executive Vice President and Head of Kia Global Design Centre, thoughts of going futuristic with all the prestige that surrounds the Mercedes-Benz G-Class (G-Wagon )?

Just as the well arches and square design dominate the design theme of the famous G-Wagon, they dictate the base design of the new EV9. Housing large 21-inch wheels, Kia’s front-end and overall bodywork shape tries to take you the G way, albeit to future proof with more aerodynamic smooth corners. It’s unbridled horses for courses with Kia designs - the EV6 being smooth, slick and sporty, while the EV9 is more how the traditional German SUV looks in the near future.

The intricate LED headlights and daytime running lights are a big design feature. Accentuated by the ‘Digital Pattern Lighting Grille’ and striking vertical headlamps, the EV9’s signature ‘Digital Tiger Face’ imparts a visionary and futuristic look and feel. The Digital Tiger Face features two clusters of small cube lamps within the bodywork adjacent to each headlamp. The EV9’s innovative ‘Star Map LED daytime running lights (DRL )’ creates a new illumination experience and delivers a sophisticated animated lighting pattern that will denote Kia’s Digital Tiger Face for the brand’s future EV models.

At the rear of the vehicle, the simple, clean lines of the tailgate, which are elegantly detailed by the slim rear lights that mirror the design of those at the front, further reflect the EV9’s strong and confident stance.

It’s not all just about styling, as the large rear doors demonstrate - they accommodate easy access to the third row of seats. Staying with the seats, both the front and second-row can simultaneously recline their seats, to relax and rest when the EV9 is charging. The second row of seats can also be rotated 180 degrees to face passengers sitting in the third row. You don’t often see it, but the third-row seats in the EV9 also offer cup holders and charging points for mobile devices.

Inside, there is generous space for all occupants to connect and relax with lounge-style comfort in all three rows of seats. Kia boasts that the EV9 delivers equality of space, comfort and experience for all occupants without placing all of its focus on the driver.

The open, floating panoramic dashboard extends from the steering wheel to the vehicle's centre. Two 12.3-inch touch screens integrated with one 5-inch segment display improve the digital experience, offering effortless control of the vehicle’s functions and ensuring physical buttons are kept to a minimum.

The centre console is equipped with ample storage options, including a spacious compartment located at its base.

The EV9’s extended display high-definition audio visual, navigation and telematics (AVNT ) screen creates a rich and immersive experience. It enhances occupants’ ability to engage and interact with the digital world seamlessly. Beneath the AVNT screen, an array of hidden type touch buttons provides a start/stop function along with AVNT and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC ) control.

The Kia EV9 is set to be based around a 800V electrical architecture allowing for a range of more than 480+ kilometres for the entry-level, two-wheel drive version. There will also be higher-performance four-wheel drive versions of the Kia EV9.

Kia promises very fast charging capabilities for the EV9. because every EV9 uses Kia's 800-volt electrical architecture, and it allows DC fast-charging speed of up to 350kw to replenish its battery quickly. So it would be possible to to charge the battery from 10 to 80 per cent in less than 30 minutes using a fast charger.

Kia says that their new all-electric EV9 represents a pivotal step forward in the company's journey towards becoming a sustainable mobility solutions provider. That being the case, we will have large SUVs available for many years to come. I’m looking forward to a drive on Irish roads.


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