2024 Kia EV9 GT-Line AWD - A very nice EV SUV


Yes it's true, I am not the biggest fan of EVs. Not because I'm against the technology or the form of motivation. I just don't think the infrastructure is up to the task. Right now EVs are more for pioneers than the masses.

So with that out of the way let's look at Kia's EV9, one of the nicer EVs in what I would call the mid-high price range. Kia knows how to build nice cars and the EV9 is no exception. The EV9 is not a huge SUV; it is more than a foot shorter than a Tahoe, and almost 6" shorter. In the GT-Line there is seating for six (2, 2, and 2) - other versions seat 7.

Power is provided by two electric motors, one front and one rear. Each motor is rated at 189.5 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, with a combined rating of 379 hp and 516 lb-ft. That is darn impressive and it is apparent in the performance figures: 0-60 in 5.0 seconds. Kia didn't scrimp on the brakes either - 14.2" vented rotors in the front, and 13.6" in the rear.

The big question for any EV is "How far will it go before needing recharging?" According to Kia the EV9 GT-Line will go 270 miles (there is one version, the Light Long Range, that is rated for 304 miles). From my point of view the problem isn't the miles between recharging but the length of time it takes to fully charge. Kia says that using the fastest charger it would take 24 minutes. But that doesn't tell the full story. Right now there are simply not enough chargers, even level two chargers, to handle the need. One morning I was in a Walmart parking lot. There were four charging stations, all in use, and five EVs waiting their turn! Even if they could charge in 24 minutes (let's say a half an hour for hookup, payment, etc.) your wait for an empty charger would be 24 minutes plus another 23 minutes to charge. That's a long time to fill up, visit the rest room, and buy a snack.

There is no denying that the EV9 GT-Line is posh inside. The seats are gorgeous and comfortable except - except someone turned on the Lumbar Stabilization. I guess this is a good idea for some people but not me. Lumbar Stabilization is a program that "massages" the driver's back at certain intervals. I do not like lumbar supports, they hurt my back; essentially they are a protrusion into the small of your back. Imagine driving and all of a sudden, without warning, the seat starts pushing on your back. 

One other control bothered me. No not the little gear shift lever but the placement of the start/stop button on it. First time I got in the EV9 GT-Line I could not see the button to turn it on. I looked all over and then, as a looked behind the steering wheel, there it was, hidden by one of the steering wheel spokes. 

There is a lot of storage space in the EV9. If you fold down the rear and middle seats there is up to 81.7 cubic feet of storage; with the middle seats up there is 43.5, and behind the rear seat 20.2. There is also storage up front where a gas engine would be, Kia calls this the Frunk and with AWD it holds 1.8 cu. ft. up to 44 lbs.; it's a good place for groceries.

What's it like to drive? Just fine. Anyone who expects an EV to be different from a Internal Combustion Engine vehicle hasn't driven one. The ride is a little different but step on the accelerator and it goes; step on the brake pedal and it slows. Turn the steering wheel and it turns. I tend to drive just a little bit smoother in an EV, I'm not sure why, maybe because they are so quiet (Kia gives you the option of programming in some electric motor whine if you want). 

The Kia EV9 GT-Line AWD is not an inexpensive vehicle, but then nothing is anymore. According to Kelly Blue Book the average cost of a new vehicle in 2023 was over $48.000. An EV9 starts at $54,900 (kia.com), go crazy with the options on an EV9 GT-Line and you're at $80,000.

If you are in the market for an EV I have no hesitation recommending a Kia EV. The EV9 GT-Line was a very nice ride for the week I had it. Go try one.


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