Kia is finally share some specs for the EV9 electric SUV, and they can be good news for families planning road trips. The three-row electric vehicle will now include Level 3 autonomous driving (meaning the car drives itself in certain situations but may require you to take over) in certain countries when you opt for the GT-line version. The intended highway driving driver will use LiDAR and other sensors to allow you to “take a break” from driving, when conditions allow.
The EV9 might also offer more range than you’d expect for an SUV of this size. Kia claims the RWD Long Range model with a 99.8 kWh battery will deliver up to 336 miles of range, based on WLTP testing. We’d expect a more conservative estimate from the US Environmental Protection Agency, but it’s still a very healthy number for this class of vehicle. There will also be an AWD variant with the same battery as well as a base RWD Standard Range configuration of 76.1 kWh. The 800V charging architecture should give the electric vehicle around 149 miles of range in 15 minutes, and the vehicle charging technology lets you power camping gear and laptops.
Performance can be relatively fast depending on the model. The RWD Long Range with a 150kW motor will be the slowest accelerating model with a 0-62MPH time of 9.4 seconds, but the Standard Range edition with a 160kW motor will handle that run in 8.2 seconds. Go for the AWD model and you’ll get a 283kW dual-motor powertrain that can normally hit 62MPH in six seconds (more on that in a moment).
Like it or not, Kia is joining the ranks of automakers lock car features behind digital purchases. You’ll need to purchase items from the company’s Connect Store to improve the pattern lighting on the grille, and even add a “Boost” that provides extra torque for a 0-62MPH dash in 5.3 seconds. Yes, you will have to pay for features that your EV9 can technically handle. You’ll benefit from a number of driving aids and conveniences, including hands-free parking and navigation-based “Smart Cruise Control”. It will be the first Kia to support ultra wideband donglesso you won’t have to take out your conventional key to enter.
Kia has yet to disclose pricing for the EV9. The machine will go on sale in select countries in the second half of the year, with South Korean pre-orders starting this spring. It’s safe to assume that the SUV will outsell the EV6 Crossover. Not that this is necessarily a problem for the brand. There are few three-row electric SUVs out there, and the ones that do exist (like the Tesla Model X) are likely more expensive.