2024 Kia EV9 GT-Line Review
Price & Equipment: 7.5
Performance & Economy: 8
Ride & Handling: 9
Interior & Practicality: 9
Service & Warranty: 9
What we like:
  • Fierce all-round capability
  • Reasonable efficiency despite the performance
  • Great locally-tuned ride and handling balance
What we don't like:
  • There's no getting away from the price
  • Interior could be warmer with more colour
  • Huge size can be intimidating and camera mirrors make it worse
8.5DiscoverAuto Rating:

Striking, isn’t it? Here we’re testing the all-new 2024 Kia EV9 GT-Line, which is the largest and most expensive Kia ever made. It fills a gap in the market – the large seven-seat electric SUV – that has been almost completely left alone globally so far, aside from the Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV.

It offers large families the opportunity to buy an EV, and its practicality and spaciousness throughout are said to be big talking points, as its its futuristic styling – we’ve certainly never had a press car attract so much attention. Larger than Kia’s existing EV6 electric SUV, the EV9 is a huge seven-seat SUV that weighs more than 2,600kg (tare) – is it the electric motoring choice for large families?

It’s quite rare when a car comes onto the market with such little competition. As the only large non-luxury three-row electric SUV on sale at the moment, the Kia EV9 actually has no competition just yet, though both Hyundai and Genesis are said to developing similar products to be released in the next few years. For the moment, the EV9 has this segment pretty much all to itself.

How much does the 2024 Kia EV9 cost to buy?

There are three models in the local 2024 Kia EV9 line up: the entry level two-wheel drive Air kicks the range off at $97,000 plus on road costs with the mid-spec all-wheel drive Earth priced at $106,500 plus on roads. At the top of the range is the GT-Line tested here, which is priced from $121,000 plus on road costs or around $140,000 drive away, making it comfortably the most expensive Kia ever sold locally.

EV9 GT-Line standard equipment:

  • 21-inch alloy wheels with a tyre repair kit
  • Automatic dusk sensing all-LED exterior lighting
  • Automatic rain-sensing wipers
  • Auto-folding digital camera mirrors with screens on the inside
  • Keyless entry and push button start with remote start and remote parking functionality
  • Electric tailgate with kick-to-open functionality
  • Rear privacy glass
  • Dual glass roofs (the front unit is an opening sunroof and the rear one is a fixed glass roof)
  • Gloss black exterior trim on the grille, mirrors and roof rails
  • Tri-zone climate control with rear air vents
  • Artificial two-tone leather upholstery
  • Heated, cooled, massaging and electrically adjustable front seats (driver: 16-way, passenger: 10-way) with driver’s memory functionality
  • Powered steering column
  • Heated and cooled outer second-row seating
  • Leather steering wheel and gearknob
  • 12.3-inch digital driver’s display
  • 5.0-inch climate control touchscreen
  • 12.3-inch touchscreen with an inbuilt eSIM and over-the-air updates
  • ‘Kia Connect’ live services including remote access through a smartphone app
  • Wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Satellite navigation with live traffic
  • AM/FM/DAB+ digital radio
  • Bluetooth calling and audio streaming
  • Six USB-C ports (two per row of seating)
  • 14-speaker Meridian sound system
  • Wireless phone charger
  • Various driving modes
  • Selectable regenerative braking levels including an automatic mode
  • Auto-dimming rear mirror that doubles as a camera mirror

EV9 GT-Line standard safety equipment:

  • Nine airbags (including a centre unit)
  • Auto emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian, cyclist and intersection assist
  • Low-speed front, rear and side automatic braking
  • Lane keeping assistance with lane departure warning
  • Matrix adaptive high beam
  • Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert (both with braking)
  • Blind-spot view cameras
  • Adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist
  • Adaptive lane guidance
  • Driver attention monitoring with lead vehicle departure alert
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Intelligent speed limit assist
  • Tyre pressure monitoring
  • Safe exit warning with safe exit assist
  • Rear occupant alert
  • Alarm
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • 360-degree surround view camera

The Kia EV9 range received a five-star ANCAP safety rating in 2023 with scores of 84 per cent for adult protection, 87 per cent for child protection, 76 per cent for vulnerable road user protection and 85 per cent for safety assist.

EV9 GT-Line colour range:

  • Flare Red: $0
  • Aurora Black: $990
  • Iceberg Green: $990
  • Panthera Metal: $990
  • Pebble Grey: $990
  • Snow White Pearl: $990
  • Ocean Blue matte: $3,495 (on our test car)

The GT-Line doesn’t offer any interior options – a black and white artificial leather interior is standard.

How far does the 2024 Kia EV9 GT-Line travel on a charge?

The 2024 Kia EV9 GT-Line features a whopping 99.8kWh lithium ion battery which provides up to 505km of range on the WLTP cycle. That battery feeds a dual-motor all-wheel drive system making 282kW of power and 700Nm of torque that sends power to all four wheels through a single-speed transmission. 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 and AC charging at up to 10.5kW for a 10 to 100 per cent charge in just over nine hours. Kia claims a WLTP-rated consumption figure of 22.8kWh/100km and we achieved 24.3kWh/100km in mostly urban testing, which isn’t too efficient, but not bad considering the EV9’s blocky shape and heavy weight.

As for performance, the claimed 0-100km/h sprint time for the EV9 GT-Line is just 5.3 seconds with a claimed top speed of 200km/h. Those numbers are pretty serious, but in person, it feels even more rapid than that. 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. While some in the DiscoverAuto team didn’t like the gear selector, which is located behind the steering wheel, this writer thought it was quite intuitive to use.

What is the 2024 Kia EV9 GT-Line like to drive?

Sitting on the same ‘E-GMP’ platform as its smaller EV6 sibling, as well as the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Ioniq 6 and Genesis GV60, the 2024 Kia EV9 feels quite accomplished from behind the wheel – more so than the soggy Ioniq 5, that’s for sure. Thanks to Kia’s local tuning program to tailor the EV9’s ride for our road surfaces and driving tastes, the EV9 GT-Line provides a good time from behind the wheel – though we’re hoping a full solution to Hyundai and Kia’s infuriating active speed limit assistance issue, which dings constantly you thinking you’re speeding despite it reading incorrectly off speed limit signs, is found soon.

Taut but comfortable is a great way to describe the EV9 GT-Line’s ride quality – around town, it can be a touch firm, but its handling more than makes up for that. At 2,636kg (tare), the EV9 GT-Line is very heavy but it feels a lot lighter than that figure suggests and it feels lighter on its feet than you might imagine too. As for handling, the EV9 GT-Line is no EV6 GT, but it’s pretty well balanced and while pushing hard gives understeer, the Continental tyres give a lot of grip and it can be fun to drive.

As for refinement, the EV9 GT-Line is excellent with little road noise and wind noise evident, even at highway speeds. Travelling at 100km/h is a serene experience in the EV9 GT-Line with the punchy Meridian sound system turned up and the massaging front seats activated. The visibility is reasonable, though there’s no getting around that the EV9 is a pretty big car and the camera mirrors in the GT-Line don’t help the situation, especially on humid days when they fog up.

We’ve held concerns about the camera mirrors in the EV9’s platform cousins – the Ioniq 5, 6 and GV60 – because of how little vision they give at times, particularly when parking in wet conditions and at night. We hope that – like the Ioniq 5 – the camera mirrors become an optional extra and not standard equipment in Australia. Finally, for those wanting to tow, the EV9 GT-Line can tow a 2,500kg braked trailer.

How comfortable is the 2024 Kia EV9 GT-Line?

in a word: very. As we keep discovering with every new Kia product that gets released, the interior of the 2024 Kia EV9 GT-Line wows with its futuristic design, high level of technology, range of good quality materials and excellent comfort in all three rows of seating. 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 – but there is also a pleasing number of hard buttons around the cabin, like the temperature and volume buttons on the dashboard fascia.

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 $145,000 drive away car. We would also like to see some warmer colours on offer, like tan, because the EV9’s cabin feels a bit cold.

The storage on offer in the EV9 is pretty good with a massive lower console bin, a big glovebox and a big cup holder section, though the door bins are surprisingly small and the section underneath the centre armrest (which also has an excellent wireless phone charger with a raised island to accommodate blocky smartphone cameras) is pretty small as well.

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 – though it could be brighter – and it’s well featured with wired (wireless is reportedly due to be added through an over-the-air update soon) 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 14-speaker Meridian sound system is a big improvement over the unit in the EV6 from the same brand, with much improved bass levels and similarly good clarity.

The front seat comfort in the EV9 GT-Line is excellent thanks to the multi-way adjustment on offer, particularly in the driver’s seat. The front seats are supportive – particularly on longer journeys – and offer a plethora of adjustment, including side bolster adjustment and massaging functionality too. The massaging offers three modes: under-thigh, lumbar or both, which isn’t as comprehensive as we’d like – Peugeot Citroen’s ‘cat paw’ massaging is far superior – but it’s still a nice feature to have on long journeys.

The second row of the EV9 GT-Line is one of the best on the new car market – the seats themselves are comfortable, while 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, window shades, two USB-C ports, reasonable door pockets, four cup holders, a big storage space underneath the centre console and even both heated and cooled outboard seats. 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.

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 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.

Behind the third row of seating is 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 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. The only fly in the ointment is a lack of a spare wheel.

What warranty covers the 2024 Kia EV9 GT-Line?

As with other new Kia products, the 2024 Kia EV9 GT-Line 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 GT-Line?

Ultimately, the 2024 Kia EV9 GT-Line is a very well-rounded product that we think will find a lot of buyers in Australia. Firstly because of its uniqueness, as it’s one of two electric seven-seat large SUVs on the market, but secondly because it’s a really good product that we think will easily win over many fans. Especially finished in the unique Ocean Blue paintwork, the EV9 looks futuristic and unlike anything else on the road – and we’re sure that many buyers are looking for that alone for their new car. Add in a luxurious and spacious interior, good performance and efficiency, excellent ride and handling, a long list of standard equipment and a solid aftersales program and that just makes the EV9 even more appealing.

As for negatives, the EV9 doesn’t have many in our opinion: some of the interior materials aren’t up to the price, the camera mirrors on the GT-Line are irritating, there’s a big price gap between the top-spec GT-Line and the mid-spec Earth and finally, while we think that the EV9 GT-Line is good value for money and it’s extremely well engineered, there’s no getting away from that $145,000 drive away is a lot of money. But we think that for those who can afford it will quite like the EV9 and if you’re after such a thing, it should definitely be under your consideration.

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