2024 Kia EV9 Officially Debuts, Made in Georgia

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

While we already covered the powertrains the 2024 Kia EV9 will receive, its North American premiere at the New York International Auto Show has given us more to chew on.

The car isn’t really all that different from the global-market model. It’s still a three-row electric SUV, sized to be about the same as the Kia Telluride, with varied options in terms of power and battery size. U.S. regulations meant the exterior had to be tweaked slightly so that the obligatory safety reflectors could be added – which is something we’ve learned will take place on American soil.

Kia has confirmed that the EV9 should begin production next year in West Point, Georgia. That would make this the first Kia EV to be assembled in the United States and should make it eligible for those federal EV tax credits that miraculously never seem to expire.

However, buyers seeking an electric vehicle that can take the family on the road may be disappointed. Kia stated that it wants to target 300 miles of range for the EV9 rear-wheel drive Long Range model, which likely means the other versions (especially the all-wheel drive variants) will come in well below that mark.

The good news is that the E-GMP platform the vehicle uses comes with an 800-volt electrical architecture that can see a 10 to 80 percent state of charge returned in under 25 minutes. It’s still a lot slower than simply gassing up. But it’s pretty competitive for an EV if you can find the right DC fast charging station. The rest of the time you’ll be using the onboard 11-kW charger capable of Level 2 charging.

Four drive modes are said to be available at launch – Eco, Sport, Normal, and the custom My Mode. This apparently is true whether you opt for the pokey Long Range model, slightly spicy GT-Line, or anything in between.

Over-the-air (OTA) updates will reportedly be the norm for the EV9 and there’s allegedly a whole host of things you can purchase via the company app. Some of these things will be focusing on vehicle customization. Though there was also some promise about Level 3 autonomy being added as part of future updates. We’re not inclined to take such claims seriously based on the utter farce self-driving technology has turned out to be, however. If a manufacturer wants to get accolades for something, they should already have put it on the vehicle in a fully functioning manner.

Fortunately, Kia managed to do some of that. The company said the EV9 would come with Advanced Highway Driving Assist, Lane Following Assist 2, and Standard Highway Driving Assist 2 at launch. It’s also going to come with an improved version of Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, hopefully keeping a few inattentive drivers from creaming unwitting pedestrians.

As for the interesting hardware, the SUV can be had with an optional colorized HUD and a camera-based rear-view mirror. Gigantic moon roofs are also available and second-row occupants (the EV9 can be configured to seat 6 or 7) can be issued heated seats and footrests. There also seem to be plenty of charging points available throughout the cabin (USB-C) with a V2L outlet at the back if you want to power something a little more serious than a laptop. Of course, using the SUV as a mobile power source will eventually diminish your maximum state of charge.

Based on the fact sheet, towing looks to cap out at 5,000 pounds and presumably requires you to pick the beefiest model offering all-wheel drive. Though you should be able to haul around most of what you need inside the vehicle. It looks pretty roomy and offers 20.2 cubic feet of dedicated cargo space when every seat is occupied. Swapping out the people and folding down the rear seats turns that into 81.9 cubic feet of storage.

We don’t yet have the EPA estimates for the varied powertrain options we’ve covered in the past. But we’re not expecting much more than 300 miles from the versions focused on efficiency.

Official details and pricing should be provided a month or two before the EV9 goes on sale in the United States, which is anticipated to be sometime in Q4 of this year. But we would assume it’ll take the plant in Georgia some time to get up to speed, meaning some of the earliest EV9s may end up being imported from South Korea.

[Images: Kia, © 2023 Chris Tonn/TTAC]

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Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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6 of 23 comments
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X Kwik_Shift_Pro4X on Apr 05, 2023

    "...comes with an 800-volt electrical architecture that can see a 10 to 80 percent state of charge returned in under 25 minutes. It’s still a lot slower than simply gassing up. But it’s pretty competitive for an EV if you can find the right DC fast charging station."

    If you can find one that is serviceable and doesn't have a line up to use it.

    • See 3 previous
    • 95_SC 95_SC on Apr 06, 2023

      no Problem here. I routinely charge my non Tesla at Tesla chargers. Yes they are far nicer than competitors

  • Zipper69 Zipper69 on Apr 06, 2023

    Good basis for a truck...

  • Lou_BC While we discuss Chinese cars, Chinese politics, and Chinese global desires, I'm looking at TTAC and Google display advertising for Chinese tires. They have nukes aimed at us but their money and products are acceptable to consumers and business?
  • TheTireWhisperer And a thankful Memorial day to all.
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X Take some time today to realize that virtually zero soldiers had died defending your border.
  • Tassos As somebody who is NOT a stupid fanatic about EVs one way or the other:No manufacturer has built a "Better Tesla" EV yet. Most have tried, we wait for TOyota only (last hope for the Tesla haters)UNLESS a DIRT CHEAP Model 2 comes along (will never happen in the next 2 or 3 years), Do NOT expect that 7% to go to even 10%, let alone the ... 30% clueless Idiot Joe Biden voters expect. If anything, PLUG INS and HYBRIDS may, in the SHORT term, bring the 7% down.
  • Pig_Iron 💝