The era of unique electric cars was started by the Kia crossover EV6, which, thanks to the sharpened 585-horsepower GT variant, won favor even among people who otherwise cannot tolerate the smell of burnt gasoline. Looking forward, the range of “évés” will begin to expand downwards, i.e. towards more affordable cars. But even before that, we have the absolute top of the model line – the EV9 family ship.
We were able to see the largest kiu as part of the ceremonial launch on the market near Prague. And now – with the end of the embargo – I can finally share my first impressions with you. The car looks really majestic in person, which is underlined by its dimensions in addition to the honest box-like shape of the SUV. However, the EV9 is also over five meters long, less than two meters wide and 1,750 mm high. Wheelbase? A full 3,100 millimeters. Well, it’s not a baby…
Depending on the chosen design, six to seven passengers can fit inside. However, the third row is not just about numbers, with a height of 178 cm I fit quite comfortably here. The trunk holds 728 liters with the third row folded down, or 333 liters with all the backrests upright. You can use the 90 liter space under the hood to store charging cables or valuables.
Two equipment, two drives
The “nine” comes to the Czech market in two equipment levels and with two types of drive. But beware, there is not much to choose from. The entry-level Earth has one rear electric motor with an output of 150 kW (204 hp), the higher GT-Line is exclusively a four-wheel drive with two electric motors with a system output of 283 kW (385 hp). However, one technical data unites both cars, it is 99.8 kWh of battery capacity. This is enough for a range of 505 (4×4) or 563 kilometers (4×2).
The on-board charger has a power of 11 kW. However, thanks to the 800V architecture, the pride of the EV9 is fast charging with a power of up to 350 kW. So you can top up the battery from ten to eighty percent on the appropriate stand in just twenty-four minutes. We couldn’t verify it live (yet). Our test route was just a taster, so we arrived at the Ionity rack with 90 percent. Even with such a state of the battery, the EV9 still managed to charge with a decent power of 70 kW. And yes, thanks to V2L technology, the battery can serve as a backup power source. Charges a lawnmower, an electric grill, and even another electric car in extreme cases.
The EV9 certainly does not have to be ashamed of its entry-level equipment: 19″ aluminum wheels, Full LED headlights, three-zone automatic air conditioning, 12.3″ multimedia system with navigation, digital key or fingerprint reader for switching user profiles. The GT-Line has two-inch larger wheels, adaptive Dual LED headlights at the front, black longitudinal roof rails (silver as standard), suede upholstery on the ceiling, and an assistant to avoid collisions when parking.
Unfortunately, the Kia EV9 is one of those new cars into which the annoying, and above all mandatory assistant guarding the maximum permitted speed has already found its way. The car monitors the maximum speed limit in a given section, and if you exceed it by even a little bit, it starts beeping annoyingly. You can turn off the “assistant” quite easily, but it will be activated again with each subsequent start. However, we cannot criticize Kia for this, soon the system will become an integral part of all new cars in the European Union.
A nimble go-getter
As I already announced, the first ride around Prague was just an introductory snack. We traveled a few kilometers with a more powerful four-wheeler, which despite its dimensions has decent parameters – it can reach 100 km/h in 5.3 seconds and can continue at a maximum speed of 200 km/h. In a straight line, the car has an impressive pull, but in corners it shows a rather calmer pace. Putting a five-meter, 2.6-ton elephant into serpentines is not just that.
But if you tune in to a more relaxed note, the “nine” will reward you with exemplary driving comfort and convenience, even with large wheels. It seems to absorb bumps, is pleasant to drive and has a large herd of 384 horses in reserve for safe overtaking maneuvers or joining the fast lane. Could it finally be an electric family ideal?
It depends a lot on how much you have saved. The Kia EV9 Earth, as the brand’s flagship, starts at CZK 1,949,980, while the more powerful GT-Line four-wheeler costs CZK 2,099,980. It’s not enough, on the other hand, all the above-mentioned elements (and even heating and ventilation for the seats in the first and second rows) are standard.
Would the Koreans want to peek into the premium segment? Only time will tell. But we can already say that the differences between ordinary and luxury brands are beginning to blur quickly with the arrival of modern electric cars.
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