2024 Kia EV9 Earth AWD Review
Price & Equipment: 8
Performance & Range: 8
Ride & Handling: 9
Interior & Practicality: 8.5
Service & Warranty: 9
What we like:
  • Modern, practical and good quality interior
  • Very spacious, no matter the seating position
  • Earth is the best value EV9
What we don't like:
  • Not cheap, whichever way you look at it
  • Annoying speed limit warning system
  • More interior colour would be great
8.5DiscoverAuto Rating:

If you want evidence that Kia has really made it as a global automotive powerhouse, its new EV9 electric large SUV is a chief example. It’s an overall excellent product that not only puts Kia on the map, but will no doubt continue the reach of the electric car further. We’ve previously tested both the top-spec GT-Line and the entry-level Air and have come across quite impressed. But how about the mid-spec EV9, the one predicted to be the most popular? We tested the 2024 Kia EV9 Earth to find out.

As we mentioned in both our EV9 Air and EV9 GT-Line reviews, there’s no direct competition for the 2024 Kia EV9 just yet as it’s the only large seven-seat EVs at its price point, for the moment. There are a few other offerings like the Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV, but that’s far more expensive.

How much does the 2024 Kia EV9 cost to buy?

For the moment, the 2024 Kia EV9 lineup is a three-pronged unit in Australia. There is the entry level Air that’s priced from $97,000 plus on-road costs, the mid-spec Earth tested here and priced from $106,500 +ORC (around $121,000 drive away, depending on location) and then the top of the range GT-Line, which asks $121,000 +ORC. No EV9 model is not cheap on paper but they are all well equipped.

EV9 Earth standard equipment:

  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • Dusk-sensing automatic LED exterior lighting
  • Rain-sensing automatic wipers
  • Roof rails
  • Keyless entry with push button start and remote start
  • Auto-retracting door handles
  • Heated and auto-folding exterior mirrors
  • Noise-suppressing windscreen and side glass
  • Artificial leather steering wheel and seat upholstery
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Heated steering wheel
  • 10-way electrically adjustable front seats
  • Tri-zone climate control with roof-mounted rear air vents
  • 12.3-inch digital driver’s display
  • 5.0-inch climate control screen
  • 12.3-inch touchscreen with over-the-air updates
  • AM/FM/DAB+ digital radio
  • Wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Satellite navigation with live traffic
  • Eight-speaker sound system
  • 6x USB-C and 2x 12V charging ports
  • 240V socket in the boot
  • Wireless phone charger
  • Recycled fabric headliner
  • 64-colour interior ambient lighting

EV9 Earth safety equipment:

  • Nine airbags (including a front centre unit and rear side units)
  • Auto emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian, cyclist and intersection assist
  • Lane keep assist with lane departure warning
  • Adaptive lane guidance for highway driving
  • Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert (with braking)
  • Blind spot cameras
  • Low speed rear auto braking
  • Speed sign recognition
  • Driver attention monitoring
  • Adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist
  • Auto high beam
  • Safe exit warning
  • Intelligent speed limit assist
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • 360-degree surround view camera
  • Alarm
  • Tyre pressure monitoring
  • Auto-dimming rear mirror

The EV9 range achieved a five-star ANCAP safety rating this year with scores of 84 per cent for adult occupant protection, 87 per cent for child occupant protection, 76 per cent for vulnerable road user protection and 85 per cent for safety assistance.

EV9 Earth colour range:

  • Flare Red: $0
  • Iceberg Green: $990
  • Aurora Black: $990
  • Panthera Metal: $990 (fitted to our test car)
  • Pebble Grey: $990
  • Snow White Pearl: $990

The long equipment list may entice buyers into the 2024 Kia EV9 Air as it seemingly has everything you would need for a large SUV. Electric front seats, all the safety kit to keep the kids safe, a large touchscreen and even the lovely heated and cooled front seats.

Priced $9,500 above the Air, the Earth gains a dual-motor drivetrain with a larger battery, gloss black exterior trims, interior ambient lighting, illuminated Kia logo on the steering wheel, 360-degree surround view camera, blind-spot cameras, different 19-inch wheels and automatic low speed reverse braking. The Earth is definitely worth the extra money over the Air, in our opinion.

How far can the 2024 Kia EV9 Earth travel on a charge?

The 2024 Kia EV9 Earth features a 99.8kWh lithium ion battery which provides up to 512km of range on the WLTP cycle. That battery feeds a dual-motor setup making a healthy 283kW of power and 700Nm of torque. As for charging, the EV9 can accommodate DC fast charging at up to 350kW for a 10 to 80 per cent charge in as little as 24 minutes, while AC charging can be performed at up to 10.5kW for a full charge in as little as seven hours. Kia claims a WLTP-rated consumption figure of 23.1kWh/100km and we achieved 19.6kWh/100km in our [mostly urban] testing, which we think is impressive for a 2,552kg (tare) SUV.

There is no doubting that the 2024 Kia EV9 feels solid to drive. It is also no slouch and gets up to speed briskly with no hesitation from the batteries. The Earth, thanks to its dual-motor set up, feels quicker than the Air, though the Air would be more than fine for most buyers. The claimed 0-100km/h time for the EV9 Earth is 6.0 seconds, which is more than fast enough for most buyers. We also quite like Kia’s multi-level regenerative braking, which is adjusted through the paddle shifters on the steering wheel – the driver can choose anything from off to subtle to strong to even one-pedal driving.

What is the 2024 Kia EV9 like to drive?

Based on the same ‘eGMP’ platform as other Hyundai-Kia EVs, the 2024 Kia EV9 Earth rides very well. Thanks to its relatively small (for its size) 19-inch wheels, the Kia EV9’s ride is supple and accommodating. Thanks to Kia Australia’s local ride tuning, the EV9 handles our roads very well. It’s not too soft that you bounce after going over bumps and its not too firm that it is uncomfortable for daily duties – it’s also more comfortable than the top-spec EV9 GT-Line and its 21-inch wheels. The platform also helps the EV9 Earth’s handling, which is nicely tight and while the steering is light, it’s quick.

The active safety tech in the 2024 Kia EV9 is mostly quite good and does not interrupt the driving experience. The traffic sign recognition and speed assistance system that Kia (and Hyundai) has installed in its new cars over the past year or so, which reads speed signs and informs you if you’re speeding, can be intrusive. The issue we have with it is that often it incorrectly reads signs and alerts you because thinks you’re speeding by beeping constantly. Kia has improved the system a bit with the EV9 as it’s now reportedly 3dB quieter – which means you can drown it out with reasonably quiet music – but it’s still not able to be permanently deactivated.

How practical is the 2024 Kia EV9?

As we found out in our other reviews, the interior design of the 2024 Kia EV9 Earth is very modern. You can tell the minute you step into the cabin that it is an all-new model and that it has an eco theme throughout thanks to the materials on offer, like the recycled PET carpets. The dashboard layout is minimalist and focuses heavily on the dual 12.3-inch screens with a 5.0-inch climate touchscreen in the middle, which can be a bit obscured for the driver by the steering wheel.

As for quality, it’s mostly pretty good but there are some materials – such as the top of the dashboard – that could be better. Kia, like a lot of other EV makers, has gone hard on the sustainable aspect of the interior to reduce the impact of its cars on the planet and while we really admire that, the reality is that some of the materials and a few buttons like the window controls just don’t feel like they’re from a $100,000+ car.

The 12.3-inch touchscreen uses Kia’s latest infotainment software and is generally a quite responsive system and intuitive system to use. The screen quality is great, the colours used are good as well and it’s well featured with wired and – recently thanks to an over-the-air update for all EV9s – wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, live services through the Kia Connect app, inbuilt navigation with live traffic, digital radio and even features like a weather app and car wash mode. The standard eight-speaker sound system is quite good for a non-branded system.

The second row of the EV9 is excellent – it’s spacious and offers a good amount of features. The seats themselves are comfortable and there’s a lot of space on offer, even for three adults. Plus, there is a lot of equipment on offer too: a separate climate zone, vents in the roof, two USB-C ports, reasonable door pockets, four cup holders and a big storage space underneath the centre console. The seats slide and recline in a 60:40 split, while pressing the fold button on top of the seat electronically lifts and slides the seat forward for third row access. For child seats, there are three top-tether points and two ISOFIX points as well.

As you may be able to tell with its huge exterior size, the third row of seating in the EV9 offers a good amount of space for even adults. It’s not as large as a people mover like the Carnival, and only features two seats to its three seats, but the space on offer for adults is reasonable. There are also air vents, USB-C charging ports and cup holders. Plus, the view out is good thanks to large windows and it can accomodate two child seats as well thanks to two top-tether points and two ISOFIX points too.

Open up the power tailgate of the EV9 Earth and behind the third row of seating you’ll find 333-litres of space, with under-floor storage included in that figure. Fold the third row down and there’s a massive 828L of space on offer, which opens up to a massive 2,318L when the second row folded as well. It’s a pretty huge space with all the seats folded and while an MPV – like Kia’s own Carnival – is able to carry even more, considering that the EV9 has a large battery underneath the floor and is spacious for seven adults, it’s impressive. Unfortunately there is no spare wheel – a tyre inflation kit is standard – but at the front, a big 40-litre frunk sits in the nose.

What warranty covers the 2024 Kia EV9?

As with other new Kia products, the 2024 Kia EV9 Earth is covered by a seven-year/unlimited km warranty with up to eight years of roadside assistance if serviced through a Kia dealership. The battery is covered by an eight-year/160,000km warranty as well.

Kia offers three-, five- and seven-year service plans from purchase for the EV9, with servicing required once-yearly or every 15,000km. A three-year/45,000km plan costs $706, a five-year/75,000km plan costs $1,351 and a seven-year/105,000km plan costs $1,997.

Should I buy a 2024 Kia EV9 Earth?

As we’ve discovered in our previous EV9 reviews, the 2024 Kia EV9 Earth is a great product that shows just how far Kia has come. It’s very well engineered, very practical, well featured, good to drive, offers a good driving range and great performance, a great aftersales package and distinctive styling. That it competes with precisely no competitors makes it even better for Kia, as those looking for an upper large electric SUV – a segment we expect to only grow – currently only have the EV9 to choose from.

There isn’t much wrong with the EV9. The speed warning system is – like most other new Hyundai, Kia and Genesis products – intrusive and irritating, while the cabin isn’t the most colourful either. Finally, there’s no getting around the price – over $120,000 drive away is a lot of money for any brand, let alone one that was making some of the cheapest cars on the market not long ago. But despite that, we think that the EV9 is a great product and it actually makes us quite proud of Kia. If you’re after a huge SUV that happens to be electric, the EV9 is your only option for now – it’s lucky that it’s excellent, then.

About The Author

Jordan's passion for cars started at a very young age - he thinks literally non-stop about them. He has always worked with them in various jobs and has driven some pretty serious metal.

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