2024 Kia EV9 GT-Line AWD Review: Fantastic family hauler of the future

You know when someone you trust tells you that something is good, but you’re still skeptical? That was the case with my own doubts and the Kia EV9. This is a great three-row family hauler, and any questions about its merits should be thrown to the wayside. In fact, most people buying Suburbans and the likes should probably turn their attention to the EV9. It’s truly remarkable how far Kia has come in the last decade or so, and the EV9 is the culmination of all of the brand’s efforts. It’s a winner.

We knew Kia was capable of great things– just look at Telluride sales– but showing up to the full-size EV SUV fight with a knockout punch in the form of the EV9 shows just how far they’ve come, and just how much they can get right given the creative liberty to do so.

Starting on the outside, the EV9 looks great. It’s familiar enough to not be polarizing or off-putting, yet approachable, enticing, innovative, and exciting simultaneously. That’s saying a lot for a big ‘ol family-hauler. The lighting treatment, sharp edges, and overall look are just what the doctor ordered. It’s like a Ford Flex, if the backing brand had the gusto to make its more intricate elements exciting rather than just existing.

Inside, the EV9 is great, too. It’s spacious– perhaps more so than any other vehicle its size– with a great airiness to the way it goes about packing in so much space, tech, and comfort. There’s a lot of screen-based tech here, but you still get the sense that you’re actually driving the vehicle rather than just a passenger along for the ride. The rear load floor is a bit high, but thanks to the EV platform, there’s also a shockingly good seating position for third-row sitters. Forget knees in your chest or the back of the seat in front of you; take a big family road-tripping in this, and they won’t want to go back to traditional SUVs. Oh, and driver/passenger the headrests are unquestionably the best I’ve ever experienced, regardless of price.

Driving the EV9 is somehow relaxing. The quiet drivetrain, plush ride, and overall comfort-forward demeanor make for a vehicle that’s not necessarily a joy to drive, but a vehicle that brings about minimal exhaustion when driving for an hour or more. This goes for both driver and passengers, as the EV9 rides great, has almost no road or wind noise intrusion, and is just a serene vehicle to spend time in. We can’t say it rides like a full-on luxury vehicle, though it does ride as well or better than other full-size family haulers.

Those reading are probably wondering about charging, but we didn’t test this during our time with the EV9. Over our week of testing, and with a time dedicated to recharging it that somehow got occupied by family matters, we still had over 60% charge when it was picked up. Kia says it can charge from 10 to 80% charge in around 20 minutes thanks to a platform that can accept up to 210kw– that makes it one of the fastest-charging EVs on sale today, and is furthered by a solid 270 mile range (304 is the maximum for the EV9, in Light Long Range RWD form). Consider that it does 0-60 in 4.5 seconds, weighs 5,800 pounds, it’s a healthy mix of performance and distance you can travel on a charge.

The EV9 truly is 95% of the way to perfection (for what it is, in a vacuum). To hit the masses, it just needs to be a bit less expensive (nearly $80k as-tested), a bit easier to charge, and accepted as the excellent vehicle that it is. Either way, Kia has knocked it out of the park with the EV9, and it shows even more promise for the brand’s upcoming electric offerings coming down the pipeline, like the EV3. As-is, the EV9’s proposition is effectively unmatched in the electric SUV realm, and any new entrants into the category will have a lot of catching up to do.


  • Near-minivan levels of utility
  • Comfortable and well-appointed
  • The best headrests this side of a six figure price tag
  • Solid range and charging speed
  • Driving dynamics exceed expectations, especially considering its near-3 ton weight
  • Visibility, spaciousness, and thoughtfulness to please the whole family
  • The right mix of modern and futuristic styling


  • Pricey in any guise ($73,900 base price, $78,430 as-tested)
  • Weight penalizes range and driving dynamics
  • Big wheels look great but hamper ride quality
  • Some of the center screen and associated functions are blocked by the steering wheel

The Takeaway

Kia has another home run on its hands with the EV9, a fabulous SUV that brings the levels of range, utility, attractiveness, and novelty that near-perfectly mates the known entities in full-size SUV land with the technology from the push for electric vehicles.

Bonus Pictures:

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