Kia EV9 (2023) Review
【Summary】The Kia EV9 is a stylish and unique electric vehicle that shares many components with its smaller sibling, the EV6. It comes in rear-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive versions, with acceleration times ranging from 9.4 to 6.0 seconds. The EV9 offers a smooth and easy driving experience with a quiet motor and a range of around 300 miles. The car features intuitive controls, including the ability to adjust regenerative braking with steering wheel paddles.
When approaching the EV9 for the first time, one is immediately struck by its fresh and appealing new styling. The car features an edgy treatment with a modern plain front panel, technical-looking headlights, cladding along the body sides, and a simple tailgate design. While it is long and boxy, the EV9 stands out as a unique vehicle that manages to captivate new arrivals without being too shocking.
Similar to its smaller sibling, the Kia EV6, the EV9 is built on the Hyundai Group's EV-specific Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). It shares many hardware components with the EV6, including its all-independent multi-link suspension and various powertrain elements. Buyers of the EV9 can choose between rear-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive versions.
The entry-level models of the EV9 are equipped with a 200bhp motor that sends 258lb ft of torque exclusively to the rear axle. This configuration allows for an acceleration of 0-62mph in 9.4 seconds. On the other hand, the 4x4 version has two motors of equal power (189bhp each), with one mounted at the front and one at the rear. This setup gives the car a total of 378bhp and enables it to achieve a 0-62mph time of 6.0 seconds. The torque output is an impressive 442lb ft, which can be increased to 515lb ft with an additional over-the-air software update. This update also shaves off 0.7 seconds from the 0-60mph time.
The EV9's controls are incredibly smooth and responsive, making it easy to forget that it is an electric vehicle. It drives like any other car, with a quiet motor and a range of nearly 300 miles, depending on driving habits. The car's motion is controlled through a small switchblock on the right side of the steering column, and there are various ancillary switches on the steering wheel, including a convenient one-touch operation to disable the lane-keeping assistance. Similar to other Hyundai and Kia EVs, the regenerative braking intensity can be adjusted using steering wheel paddles.
It's worth noting that our test car is a mid-range version intended for the domestic market, lacking some of the features found in high-spec UK EV9s and without the second motor. However, even in this configuration, the braking is powerful and easy to control, and the steering feels most natural in the Normal driving mode (Sport and Eco modes are also available). Overall, the controls have a frictionless panache reminiscent of brands like BMW and Porsche. These details clearly demonstrate Kia's relentless pursuit of greatness.
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