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Kia made history in 2021 by producing its first EV in the U.S.: the Kia EV6. This crossover features a healthy range of 310 miles, attractive styling, and all of Kia’s latest in-car technology. The upcoming Kia EV6 GT promises even more excitement with 576 hp and 546 lb-ft of torque on tap.

We learned from Inside EVs that the Kia EV9 is due for a 2023 release. Judging by its size and specs, it could be evenly matched to the critically-acclaimed Kia Telluride. It’s also probably going to cost at least $15,000 more. So what makes the Kia EV9 worth the money?

Here’s what we know about the Kia EV9’s powertrain

A blue Kia EV9 concept on a blue water simulated background and floor.
Kia EV9 | Getty Images

From what’s been said at the 2021 L.A. Auto Show, the Kia EV9 should have 300 miles of range. The initial models will be built on the automaker’s E-GMP global platform, with a long-wheelbase version debuting later.

Given that the EV9’s range is similar to the EV6, CarScoops speculates that both vehicles will share the same powertrain. The non-GT models make 320 hp and 446 lb-ft of torque. The EV9 will likely be slightly slower thanks to its added weight but should retain great acceleration regardless.

The 800-volt charging infrastructure will support fast, bi-directional charging. When hooked up to a DC fast-charger, its battery will only need half an hour to reach an 80% charge.

Riding in style

The concept EV’s exterior, showcased at the L.A. Auto Show, will reportedly be identical to the production version. Its grille is much different from the EV6, a reimagining of Kia’s iconic ‘tiger face.’ It also has some neat boomerang-shaped taillights and triangular wheel designs.

The Kia EV9 can seat seven on faux leather seats, and the cabin is mainly constructed from sustainable materials. The center touchscreen, which conveniently combines the infotainment interface and gauge cluster, stretches nearly 28 inches long. The interior will reportedly be a little less outer-worldly in the production version, but it’s still an exciting preview.

How does the Kia EV9 compare to the Kia Telluride?

The 2022 Kia Telluride is the cheaper option, priced at $33,090. It also has slightly less power, with a V6 capable of 291 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired with an agreeable eight-speed automatic transmission.

The fuel economy with RWD is decent, rated at 20mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. Critics are split when it comes to performance, but the Telluride is not the fastest SUV. 

Its actual drive quality is more impressive, with no lurching body roll and quick responses from the brakes. The Kia Telluride also has an optional self-leveling rear suspension, cushioning riders from harsh impacts.

The 2022 Kia Telluride can seat up to eight riders, and all three rows are roomy enough for bigger passengers. Synthetic leather seating material is used in the base trim, with higher ones featuring two kinds of real leather. No genuine leather seats will be available in the EV9, as Kia plans to phase out the material entirely.

The Kia Telluride also boasts an impressive cargo area, with 21 cubic feet of space behind the third row. With that row folded down, it has 46 cubic feet of space. The EV9’s battery might hamper its luggage-storing potential, but it will almost certainly have a frunk to compensate.

The Kia Telluride is packed with useful technology, all of which will probably be inside the EV9.  The Kia EV9’s sustainable elements and upgraded powertrain will definitely win the favor of some SUV shoppers. However, it will also have to compete with Telluride’s pristine reputation and more affordable pricing.


How Much Is a Fully Loaded 2022 Kia EV9?