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Kia is quickly electrifying its lineup, already releasing or teasing a handful of electric SUVs. One of the latest is the EV9. This three-row crossover brings plenty to the fold, including visual aspects reminiscent of other popular Kia models. Here’s a look at the 2024 Kia EV9 and if designers took inspiration from the brand’s smallest SUV, the Soul. 

The 2024 Kia EV9 borrows design elements from the Kia Soul

The all-electric 2024 Kia EV9 midsize SUV model parked on a plaza with a reflection off the water
2024 Kia EV9 | Kia America

Kia recently unveiled the futuristic EV9, and automotive experts are already weighing in on the new SUV. J.D. Power heaped praise on the new three-row crossover SUV. One of the review’s more prominent compliments involves the SUV’s design.

Many car companies have been less than innovative when designing EVs. For example, Ford took the famous F-150 design and more or less gave it an electric powertrain. Kia could’ve followed suit with the EV9 because the South Korean automaker already has a popular three-row midsize SUV in the Telluride. Instead, Kia started from a relatively clean slate, so the EV9 has a somewhat unique look.

A rear view of the 2023 Kia Soul
2023 Kia Soul | Kia

However, it’s not entirely unique because some of the styling elements are similar to those on the Soul, Kia’s funky little SUV. The EV9 doesn’t look exactly like the Soul, but the new model has many of the same angular lines. It also has a somewhat boxy look, another design choice for which the quirky crossover is famous.

The EV9’s most Soul-like body elements include a floating roof and taillights running vertically along the rear pillars and under the back window.

J.D. Power even says the EV9 resembles a “big, robotized Kia Soul.” 

The Kia Soul has been successful partially because of its unique design

A blue 2023 Kia Soul subcompact SUV is parked.
2023 Kia Soul | Kia

Taking design inspiration from the Soul is a good idea. One of the main complaints about the SUV segment is that every model looks the same because automakers follow similar design conventions. However, SUVs like the Soul set themselves apart by bucking those conventions.

That has made the Soul unique, helping this small crossover succeed for over a decade. Today, the EV segment is the new frontier, with car companies scrambling to design and build electrified lineups. Many models resemble one another, so Kia taking inspiration from the Soul for the EV9’s design might help the new EV stand out like its smaller stablemate. 

Can the 2024 Kia EV9’s design set it apart from other EVs?


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The tricky part about design is that its appeal is subjective. Styling can’t be measured and compared on a spec sheet. And trends and consumer tastes change. So, predicting whether the EV9’s Soul-inspired elements will be a good bet for Kia is difficult. EV shoppers might like or dislike the design choice.

The latter has happened a few times with other EVs. For instance, the Tesla Cybertruck boasts a bold, futuristic design that looks remarkably different from other vehicles. However, some people think the Cybertruck is ugly and might avoid buying one. Shoppers could conclude the same about the EV9.