While saving important details like the battery size and powertrain for the official launch early next month, Kia is giving us our first look at the interior and exterior of its striking mid-size EV9 SUV. The market-ready version is very similar to the original EV9 concept, which we first saw in November 2021, though the blockiness has been toned down. Still, it’s a striking and intriguing design, much like the EV6.
The upcoming model, like the EV6, has triangular windows in the rear quarter panel, but otherwise appears to be inspired by boxy SUVs like older Range Rovers. According to Kia, it is “formed from a polygonal design language,” with “triangular wing structures and highly pronounced geometric wheel arches combining with the fuselage body.” Despite all of the lines and edges, Kia claims that the EV9 is still highly aerodynamic.
As one of the first EVs to fit into the well-liked mid-size SUV category, it has three rows of seating. That means it’ll compete with ICE vehicles such as Kia’s Telluride, the Toyota Highlander, the Ford Explorer, and others. Because of the boxiness and squared-off rear end, it should have plenty of headroom.
The middle row has swivelling captain’s chairs that can be turned around to face the rear seats, ala the Orient Express. It will be available in 6- and 7-passenger configurations, depending on whether the back seats are buckets or benches.
Kia has replaced the concept’s massive wraparound display with two 12.3-inch screens for the gauge cluster and infotainment system upfront. The number of physical buttons on the dash has been reduced, and touch-sensitive dash controls have been added. The interior design incorporates mesh and other materials to increase the sense of space.
Up until the vehicle’s official unveiling in early April, other information, such as infotainment system features, is being kept under wraps. We do know that it will be built on the E-GMP platform used by the EV6, but Kia has yet to reveal anything about the EV9’s power, battery size, range, or price. With the EV6 starting at around $45,000, the EV9 is likely to be significantly more expensive — but, as we’ve seen with Kia, it’s likely to be affordable for its category.