The following article was produced in partnership with Kia
Ever since Kia shocked the motoring world with their edgy new logo in January 2021, they have been on a mission. A mission to change people’s perception of the brand through edgier designs and feature-packed car models. As the new models landed on Australian shores and eventually onto the roads, there was a clear distinction between old and new.
Later that year, Kia launched their very cool EV6. Yet another bold design that was part performance and thankfully something that didn’t look like any other EV on the market. We covered its releases extensively and were pleasantly surprised by the driving experience.
Fast forward to today and we were given an exclusive look at their new 7-seater EV9 SUV. Yes, a 7-seater, one of the first of its kind anywhere in the world. DMARGE had the pleasure of spending 48 hours driving the roads of Sydney and the Southern Highlands in this incredibly unique and feature-packed electric SUV.
Admittedly we’re not motoring journalists, rather we’re all about look and feel, and the EV9 looks and feels like nothing on Australian roads. Its boxy design is slightly reminiscent of the cult classic G-Wagen but with a touch of futuristic flair. Kia has carefully designed the car to not overtly look like an EV, unlike most other manufacturers, instead, it’s a subtle blend of both.
Road presence is a big factor, firstly when you’ve never seen anything like it you’re going to take a second glance. This was evident as we made our way toward Sydney’s South-West suburbs.
Exterior touches like flush door handles and the LED headlight lights do remind us of the current Le Mans Hypercars, which in our opinion are the most incredible-looking cars on the racetrack. Kia has also introduced the Ocean Blue Matte paint which features exclusively on the GT-Line model and really makes the vehicle pop even more on the road.
When you jump inside one thing that’s abundantly clear is the lines between luxury and EV are becoming more blurred. The car feels premium to the touch with little things finished on the dash, haptics on the instrument panel and a large 30” LCD display which we’ve only seen in the BMW M4 wagon.
Interestingly the driver seat does come with a massage function and the EV9’s leather seats are technically not leather. This is all part of Kia’s move toward more sustainable production of the materials in their cars. The brand will continue to integrate more sustainable components into their cars but ditching leather is a great start.
Driver comforts and controls are everywhere in the EV9, from a keyless Fingerprint Module start – like your smartphone – just pair it and away you go. Then there’s the countless drive safety features like Driver Attention Warning that tracks your eyes to ensure you’re not falling asleep. It even works whilst wearing sunglasses. Then there’s the added benefit of Kia Connect, the mobile app that allows you to control your car’s temperature from your smartphone. Let’s not forget the Meridian Sound System for your full sick beats… or podcasts.
Digital Side Mirrors whilst unusual the first time you use them, actually provide a wider and clearer rear view, aiding with blind spot visibility. They even have these cool Dynamic Vehicle Guidelines that appear when reversing and changing lanes. Then there’s the Augmented Reality Heads-Up Display to ensure you never get lost whilst it projects information on your windscreen like speed, navigation guidance and lane safety information.
Now don’t think all this technology is coming at you at once, Kia’s rather intuitive infotainment system allows you to switch everything on or off to ensure the vehicle’s setup is to your idea of perfection.
If you happen to have a big family, then the EV9 is perfect. Jumping into the back you realise just how big the car is on the inside, yet to drive it definitely doesn’t feel like a big car. The second row of seats has ample room for one’s knees and the third row will happily store a couple of adults too.
The current lineup of EV9 in Australia comes in three variations. GT-Line, Earth, and Air.
Performance-wise, the Kia EV9 GT-Line which we’ve largely discussed here has a range of up to 505 km with a 0-100 km/h time of 5.8 seconds. The Air is rear wheel drive and has a range of 444 km, whilst the Earth goes the longest with 511 km of range.
Prices start from $97,000 before on-road costs for the entry-level Air RWD, and top out at $121,000 plus on-road costs for the flagship GT-Line AWD.
|$97,000 plus on-road costs
|$106,500 plus on-road costs
|$120,000 plus on-road costs ($140,116 Drive-away)
If you’re in the market for an EV that doesn’t look or feel like every other EV, then it’s hard to pass up the EV9. It’s got a big presence on the road, it’s packed with features, including Kia’s 7-year warranty and most importantly it’s going to turn heads when you’re driving.