Kia’s new EV9, a big all-electric SUV from the Korean car maker, is one of the most modern looking SUVs on Irish roads. It’s Kia’s statement of intent that it aims to be a leader on the electric car market.

For some, it has the look of a pure American ‘van’. For others, its modern lines make it stand out as a stylish people carrier raised on SUV stilts. Either way, I was taken by Kia’s latest offering, which looked well in the Ocean Blue colour.

This is a big SUV and it’s fully electric so that presents some issues in terms of my environmental conscience. On the one hand, I could indulge myself in the joys of driving such an impressive SUV while, in contrast, I could also ask myself who needs a big six- or seven-seat SUV electric machine of this nature.

Parking both philosophically different views allowed me to experience what was a very impressive electric car that’s spacious, comfortable and solid to drive. The test version of Kia’s EV9 was the GT-specification model, so all of the extra features were included. That added a luxury touch.

The entry-level Earth model has lower-range features, comes with less technology goodies and is a rear-wheel drive. The €8,000 more expensive GT versions come with all-wheel drive and more than double the towing capacity at 2.5 tonnes with extra acceleration power and slightly less range on a full charge.

What’s practical about the EV9 is it’s carrying capacity and reasonable range on a full charge. For me, it returned a range figure of 365km at full charge, while in economy terms that’s equivalent to 25kWh/100km. This is a big car. Kia is quoting a range figure of 563km, but I never achieved that.

My experience was lower than the rated figure, but I soon got comfortable with that.

The GT versions come with 21in Continental tyres, while smaller 19in tyres are fitted to the Earth versions.

Slow home-charging is painfully time-consuming (see panel), while the fast charge points on motorway runs make life in the EV9 a lot more tolerable. I could get from a 50% charge to 85% in less than 30 minutes at a motorway stop.

Acceleration power

There’s oodles of acceleration power from the battery pack.

The rear-wheel drive Earth model has a single 150kW motor, which is capable of a maximum torque output of 350Nm and can accelerate from 0-100kmh in 9.4 seconds.

The all-wheel drive GT-line has twin 141kW electric motors with maximum torque of 350Nm and 350, front and rear, and can accelerate from 0-100kmh in 5.3 seconds. It has a slightly lower range, while that’s compensated by the power on tap.

With an all-in weight of over 2.56 tonnes and the ability to accelerate rapidly, the EV9’s performance is quite an achievement.

Rear-wheel drive should not be an issue with the Earth versions, as the bulk of the weight is battery weight-mounted along the length of the car’s floor area.

There’s a big solid feel to the Kia EV9 with wide opening doors, seat flexibility and easy access to the third row of seats.

The towing ability of the Earth version of the EV9 is a little restricted by its own weight and that single motor power.

A novel feature of the new Kia EV9 is that it is equipped with bidirectional charging.

This means that customers charge their EV using a wall box or public charging point, and then can also use the power stored in the EV battery to power electronic appliances, or even, in the future, their home.

If you were charging from grant-aided solar panels, this huge battery storage ability could be stored during the day in the car while parked in the yard and then used to power appliances later.


As you expect, the Kia EV9 has lots of safety features, a recent Euro NCAP five-star rating and plenty of ways to let you know when there’s a danger.

The dash on the new Kia EV9 features a panoramic screen to gives a range of applications and takes a little time to get to learn.

The camera systems are impressive and very clear, including the ones linked to the direction indicator switch. That’s why reading the manual is well worthwhile before you start.

The seat massaging system took a mind of its own, as did the heating system on a frosty morning. You can programme both to suit your needs, if you have time to read the manual!

The new Kia EV9 is a latest all-electric SUV to come to the market. It is spacious with the options of six or seven seats and two specification options. Prices for the seven-seat entry Earth models start at €77,500 or £64,995 in Northern Ireland.

Entry prices are relatively high for the EV9, with the Earth models starting at €77,500 or £64,995 in Northern Ireland.

They are quite a jump in price from the current Kia Sorento diesel, which also offers the seven-seat facility and good economy, plus the comfort of unlimited range (up to 1,000km on a full tank) and good towing ability.

There was part of me hankering for a diesel engine under the EV9 bonnet, but I know that it won’t happen. I’m coming to terms with electric power, like many others, it’s just taking me some time.

Kia EV9: specifications

  • Battery size/engine: 99.8kWh battery.
  • Engine power: 149kW/203bhp.
  • Engine torque: 250Nm.
  • 0-100km/hr: 9.4 seconds.
  • Economy: 20.2kWh/100km.
  • Rated range: 563km at 100% charged.
  • Charging time 0 to 100% home: 40 hours, 35 minutes.
  • Charging time 0 to 100% DC fast: one hour, 23 minutes.
  • CO2 rating: 0g/km.
  • Road tax annual: €120.
  • Main service: 12 months.
  • Euro NCAP rating: five-star (2023).
  • Boot space: 330/2,393 litres.
  • Towing capacity: 900kg.
  • Kerb weight: 2,648kg.
  • Warranty: seven years or 150,000km.
  • Battery warranty: eight years or 200,000km.
  • Entry price: €77,500 or £64,995 in Northern Ireland.