Large, practical EV9 joins sleek EV6 for Kia

The new Kia EV9 wended its way through the busy Buc-ees parking lots. (Jan Wells photos)

Based on a relatively brief, one-day drive, the country’s newest fully electric automobile is one of the finest. It’s the 2024 Kia EV9, a seven-passenger SUV crossover.

Kia is a busy automaker with electrification in its product line. In addition to the new EV9, the EV6 is a compact electric crossover. The small Niro is offered in electric, plug-in hybrid and gas/electric hybrid. The Sportage and Sorento are available as plug-in or regular hybrid.

Traditional gas-only versions include Telluride, Seltos, Carnival, Forte, K5 and Soul.

The key pod for driving the new EV9 was handed to me by Dustin Pew, general manager of Fowler Kia on U.S. 34 between Greeley and Loveland. The Kia’s 99.8 kWh lithium ion high-voltage battery was fully charged, offering 263 miles of range. Jan and I headed on over to I-25, then in to Denver for a short visit with friends Ted and Shirley King.

Accessing I-25 was a snap with the instant torque and quick acceleration of the EV9; its lane correction system is firm and very effective. It is moved by a 379-horsepower, dual-motor powertrain, with tow capacity up to 5,000 pounds. Its MPGe rating is 88 city/72 highway; its energy rating in kilowatt-hours to travel 100 miles is 42.

On the return trip, I pulled off I-25 into a long line of cars entering Buc-ees, in its first week of open-for-business on Colo. 60, west of Johnstown. Cars were nearly bumper-to-bumper all over the place, in all directions. After fully circling the filled parking lots and passing by the 116 gas pumps, also nearly all occupied, Jan hopped out of the EV9 and took a couple quick photos while drivers of cars behind ours waited patiently.

Voted Electric Vehicle of the Year is the Genesis GV60. (Bud Wells photo)

Back to the dealership, I had driven 90 miles, with the battery pack reduced by 88 miles of range.

It was a warm day. Cold weather probably would have impacted the range usage to a wider degree, though Recurrent, a used-EV research firm, found in a study that the smaller 2022 Kia EV6 maintained 93 percent of its EPA range while operating at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. This level of range retainment for the Kia was considerably higher than that of a direct competitor in the same study, Recurrent observers reported.

There is comfort aplenty aboard the EV9; its bolstered seatback was perfect for me. Its blunt front end brightens with new lighting technique for nighttime cruising. It has less distinguishing appeal up front during daylight hours.

At 197.2 inches in overall length, the EV9 is a bit more than a foot longer than the EV6.

The EV9 with GT-Line all-wheel-drive trim was sticker priced at $75,735, including head-up display, self-leveling rear suspension, Meridian premium audio, dual 12.3-inch screen panoramic display with navigation, forward-collision avoidance and rear cross-traffic avoidance.