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Edmunds Top Rated Kia EV9 Joins Our Long-Term Test Fleet

The EV9 is our Edmunds Top Rated Best of the Best winner for 2024, so we brought one home for a year

Long-term 2024 Kia EV9 front 3/4
  • We've added a 2024 Kia EV9 GT-Line AWD to our long-term test fleet.
  • The EV9 clinched the Edmunds Top Rated Electric SUV and Edmunds Top Rated Best of the Best awards for 2024.
  • Our Ocean Blue GT-Line has nearly every option available with an as-tested price of $76,585 including destination.

The Kia EV9 is the largest electric vehicle Kia has produced to date and the most affordable electric midsize three-row SUV on sale now. Affordability aside, we were so impressed with the EV9 that we awarded it not one but two Edmunds Top Rated awards this year: our Edmunds Top Rated Electric SUV and Edmunds Top Rated Best of the Best. The Best of the Best award is especially notable, as it's awarded to the vehicle we believe raises the bar for the automotive industry as a whole. 

That's about as good as first impressions get, but we know those can change over time — especially once you've had a chance to live with something long-term. Can the standout EV9 live up to our lofty expectations? How will this first production run hold up? This is what we intend to find out.

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Am I Ready for an EV?

  • EV ownership works best if you can charge at home (240V outlet) This typically means a 240V home installation, or other places your car is parked for several hours each day. Don't expect a regular household outlet (120V) to suffice.
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Long-term 2024 Kia EV9 rear 3/4

What did we get?

The EV9 is offered in five trim levels encompassing two battery pack sizes, two motor configurations, and a host of various features. Though we'd have been plenty happy with the midlevel Wind trim model, which gets the larger 99.8-kWh battery and dual-motor-all-wheel-drive setup putting out 379 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque, Kia lent us a brand-new top-of-the-line GT-Line trim. The GT-Line sits two trims above the Wind and its motors produce an additional 73 lb-ft of peak torque, for a total of 516 lb-ft. The other dual-motor trims have the option to level up to GT-Line torque levels over-the-air, for a fee. (And, yes, while we often buy our long-termers, Kia loaned us this EV9 for the purposes of evaluation.)

As far as features go, the EV9 offers just about everything you'd want in a modern SUV. Kia's prix-fixe trims mean the top GT-Line includes most of them, leaving few stand-alone extras to tack on. Some of the standout features include LED headlights, heated and ventilated second-row captain's chairs, a 14-speaker Meridian premium audio system, a surround-view camera system, a head-up display, vehicle-to-load port for powering external electric devices, 21-inch wheels, and a self-leveling rear suspension, among other things. One of the few options aside from exterior paint color and interior sueded seat trim is power-reclining second-row seats, but we didn't get those.

The simplified trim structure makes the buying process easier, though one of the downsides we see specifically for the EV9 is you can only get a second-row bench seat on the base Light trim or midlevel Wind. So if you want a seven-seater, that precludes you from many other attractive options, which is unfortunate.

Long-term 2024 Kia EV9 interior

Why did we get it?

Based on the aforementioned accolades, it's not hard to see why anyone would want to spend more time in an EV9, especially the top GT-Line trim. But being that we are recommending everyone consider getting an EV9 if they're in the market for an electric three-row SUV, we want to be sure that endorsement rings true beyond the first 20,000 miles and hopefully more.

Winning an Edmunds Top Rated award is a bit of a blessing and a curse, as it recognizes standout vehicles and the excellent work done by the brands that produce them. But also subjects those vehicles to extra scrutiny by our team of discerning experts. We're always on the side of the consumer, so if something doesn't stand up against the test of time, it will no longer carry an endorsement from us. That's our promise. 

Long-term 2024 Kia EV9 profile

What's happened so far?

We subject every long-term test vehicle to Edmunds' instrumented testing regimen, even if we've previously tested an example of the exact same spec. We do this to ensure consistency between test vehicles but also to document any performance degradation at the end of the vehicle's term with us.

Our new long-term GT-Line was just a hair slower than the previous car we tested, sprinting to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds instead of 4.7 seconds and tagging the quarter mile in 13.4 seconds at 100.1 mph, versus the previous result of 13.3 seconds at 100 mph. It also required a few more feet to stop from 60 mph with a best result of 124 feet versus 119 feet last time. A possible explanation is our long-term car had fewer miles logged than the previous car we tested, and sometimes a little more break-in time is good to limber things up. In any case, we aren't really sweating the small differences here, and neither should you.

We have plans to conduct our official Edmunds EV Range Test on our new EV9, as well, to see how it lines up with our previous result of 306 miles. According to the EPA, our 2024 GT-Line has a range of 270 miles, the shortest range of the EV9 line. The single-motor Light Long Range is estimated to squeeze an extra 34 EPA-estimated miles out of the same battery pack, but it also makes far less power and has far fewer features. We personally don't see that as a great trade-off, but we're looking to get one in to verify for ourselves soon.

Edmunds says

We look forward to spending time as owners of the Kia EV9 and having the opportunity to test features, such as the remote app control features or the biometric fingerprint scanner, that we weren't able to when we had the car in for our shorter-term testing. Will we find some quirks we don't like? Most likely. Will we learn to love this big Kia even more? That's our current expectation. You can follow our EV9 journey as well as read up on all our other long-term test vehicles here.

Photography by Ryan Greger

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