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Kia is a South Korean automaker making a name for itself thanks to excellent, award-winning cars like the Kia Telluride. That said, the automaker is still looking for ways to grow, and one way it’s doing that is by investing heavily in EVs. The 2024 Kia EV9 is one of Kia’s upcoming EVs, and it’s a big deal for the automaker for many reasons.

What we know so far about the 2024 Kia EV9

MotorTrend and other car critics were recently invited to look at the Kia EV9, and the site had a lot of praise for the upcoming EV. Overall, many aspects of the EV9 concept that was shown in 2021 made it to the production model. It doesn’t have a traditional-looking grille, but it has what the automaker calls a “tiger mask.” It’s called that because of how the headlights and the lighting elements were arranged, as an evolution of the famous Kia tiger nose grille.

It’s a three-row SUV, and as such, it has a large and boxy shape. It’s slightly longer and wider than the Telluride but has an exciting design difference. Although it has three rows of seats, all rows only have two seats each, and thus, the EV9 has a max seating capacity of six. That’s less than most other three-row SUVs, but the seats themselves are spacious and comfortable.

The interior also has a sleek, clean, and futuristic look, featuring two 12.3-inch screens. One is a digital gauge cluster display, and the other is a touchscreen. That said, the South Korean automaker has yet to release any details about the EV9’s specs or pricing. MotorTrend estimates it will cost over $56,000 and start with a 200-hp electric motor. That motor might be able to go 220 miles. Kia may offer a more robust and longer range option with a 77.4-kWh battery, allowing the SUV to get upwards of 400 horsepower and 260 miles of range.

Why the EV9 is such a massive deal for the company

A white 2024 Kia EV9 full-size electric SUV model lit by a spotlight in a dark room
2024 Kia EV9 | Kia America

The Kia EV9 seems like a great EV already, but it’s a big deal for other reasons. Americans are buying a lot of SUVs right now, so it’s a good idea for automakers to make cars in different EV segments. Since automakers are only starting to transition to EVs, there aren’t many electric SUV options on the market.

This is especially true in terms of three-row electric SUVs. Most options in that category come from high-end automakers, such as Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, and Rivian. As a result, those three-row electric SUVs all tend to cost a lot of money and aren’t affordable for the average electric car shopper. The EV9 may change that, as it may be a much more affordable three-row electric SUV.

The 2024 Kia EV9 can be a milestone for the South Korean automaker

If the Kia EV9 succeeds at being an affordable three-row electric SUV, that could be a major milestone for Kia. The South Korean automaker has struggled a lot in its history. As MotorTrend wrote, the company has been a follower of more popular automakers for a long time. This is especially true compared to more prominent and popular automakers like Toyota and Honda.

The EV9 could change all of that for Kia. If it meets its expectations, the EV9 could signify Kia becoming a leader rather than a follower. Of course, that’s not for certain, as the company needs to release the model at an affordable price tag first.

Related 3 Things to Expect From the 2024 Kia EV9 Based on Other Kia Vehicles

3 Things to Expect From the 2024 Kia EV9 Based on Other Kia Vehicles