In a bold step toward electrifying the future, Kia has now thrown open the doors to reservations for its EV9, a full-size SUV that stands tall as the flagship of the company's growing electric vehicle lineup.
For just $750, prospective buyers can secure their spot in the queue, a fee that conveniently gets applied to the vehicle's purchase price. This approach to reservations marks a relatively new strategy for Kia, one that began with the introduction of the 2022 EV6 sedan. The EV9 becomes the second vehicle in Kia's lineup to embrace this customer-centric approach.
While this reservation method might be new to Kia, it's certainly not a novel concept in the world of electric vehicles. Tesla, the trailblazer of the EV movement, has employed reservation systems for years, often taking refundable deposits well in advance of vehicle deliveries.
However, for those eager to experience the EV9, the wait won't be a drawn-out affair. The SUV is set to make its grand entrance into dealer showrooms during the fourth quarter of this year, marking an imminent shift toward electrification for the brand.
Kia is betting big on the success of the all-electric SUV, aiming to replicate the kind of acclaim its internal combustion-powered Telluride has received in the United States. The EV9, built on the company's Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), is a three-row SUV boasting a 122-inch wheelbase and an overall length of 197 inches. This places it in the same league as other full-size SUVs on the market, including Kia's own Telluride.
What sets the EV9 apart from the competition, besides its spaciousness and cutting-edge software, is the price point. Kia has positioned the EV9 with a price tag lower than its counterparts in the electric SUV arena, such as the Mercedes EQS SUV and the Rivian R1S. The EV9's journey starts at $54,900, excluding the $1,495 destination fee. From there, the price can vary depending on the chosen powertrain and trim.
Kia sweetens the deal by offering two powertrain options: a standard version equipped with a 76.1-kWh battery and a 160-kW (215-hp) motor driving the rear wheels, and an optional 99.8-kWh battery, available in both a single-motor configuration (201-hp) and a dual-motor, all-wheel-drive configuration (379-hp).
The choice doesn't end there. Kia caters to diverse tastes with five model trims, ranging from the Light trim, available with short or long-range battery options, to the Wind, Land, and GT Line, which takes the top spot on the price scale at $73,900. The range of the EV9 spans from 230 to 304 miles, a variation dependent on the powertrain and trim level. The Light trim, equipped with the larger battery pack and rear-wheel drive, tops the charts with an impressive 304-mile range.
With the launch of the EV9, Kia is putting its best foot forward. As Kia CEO Ho-sung Song emphasized in a livestream earlier this year, "In many ways, we consider the Kia EV9 to be the new flagship for our brand. While the Kia EV6 played an important role in repositioning the Kia brand following its launch in 2021, the Kia EV9 propels us even further ahead into the electric future."