2024 Kia EV9 GT-Line review

Andrea Matthews

Posted May 10, 2024

The electric Kia EV9 has presence and it has made that presence felt, winning a slew of local and international motoring awards. Here we test the premium GT-Line variant to see how it meets the needs of car buyers looking for a large SUV.

It’s not hard to see why the Kia EV9 is critically acclaimed. The Kia EV9 feels like the whole package, from its bold exterior design to its high-tech, yet cosseting interior that accommodates up to seven passengers in comfort. Check out the Kia EV9 GT-Line’s claimed range, and you’ll find an electric car that will comfortably manage the return journey between the Macedon Ranges and the Melbourne CBD twice, and still have enough range that you won’t be feverishly searching for an EV charger when you reach your destination.

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2024 EV9 GT-Line on charge

A large 99kWh battery in the Kia EV9 GT-Line offers range of up to 505km. Image: Ben Weinstein.


How much does the Kia EV9 cost?

The Kia EV9 is currently available in three grades – Air, Earth and GT-Line, with a GT sports model rumoured to be in the works. It’s a solid model line-up that will meet the needs of any family looking for an SUV that needs to carry up to seven and is fully electric.

The Kia EV9 Air model starts at $97,000 plus on-road costs, the mid-spec EV9 Earth is priced at $106,500 and the range currently tops out with the EV9 GT-Line at $121,000 plus on-road costs. All Kia EV9 vehicles are subject to luxury car tax, which this tax year is applied to all EVs that cost over $89,332.

The entry model Kia EV9 Air variant has a single motor on the rear axle paired with a 76.1kWh battery, while both Earth and GT-Line models are all-wheel drive with a motor mounted on each axle and a longer-range 99.8kWh battery.

The Kia EV9 Air produces 160kW and 350Nm and has a range of 443km (WLTP), while both the Earth and GT-Line models generate 283kW and 700Nm with a range of up to 512km in the Earth and 505km in the GT-Line, which is equipped with a larger 21-inch wheel and tyre package.

Like all Kia models sold in Australia, the EV9 is backed by a seven-year unlimited kilometre warranty on the vehicle while the lithium-ion battery is warranted for seven years or the first 150,000km travelled.

How much does it cost to service the Kia EV9?

Kia doesn't offer capped price servicing for the EV9. However, for buyers looking to service within the Kia dealer network, there's the opportunity to pre-purchase servicing packs. Three years' servicing costs $706, five years is $1351 and seven years is $1997. As with all pre-paid servicing, consumables such as tyres, brakes, wiper blades and the vehicle battery will all be at an additional cost and replaced as needed.

While EV servicing costs are usually substantially reduced compared to conventional petrol and diesel powered vehicles, one aspect where you should expect to spend more with the Kia EV9 is tyres. The Kia EV9 GT-Line is fitted as standard with 285/45/21 Continental PremiumContact C tyres. Budget for $850 per tyre when it comes time to replace them with the same rubber and prolong their life (and your wallet), with regular wheel alignment and tyre wear checks. Swap out the original equipment tyre for cheaper options and you are likely to see an impact on ride quality, efficiency and noise levels.

The Kia EV9 has a clean, modern interior. Image: Ben Weinstein
The 240V socket and second row seats are easy to use in the boot.

What is the Kia EV9 like inside?

The interior of the Kia EV9 GT-Line is impressive. It extends the bold and futuristic styling of the exterior throughout the cabin. The Kia EV9 features a high-tech panoramic wide display, a 14 speaker Meridian surround sound system, and augmented reality head-up display, in addition to comfort features for the driver and all passengers.

Storage is good inside the Kia EV9, with cupholders easy to access in the front seat, and a large storage space between the two front seats which is great for stashing a purse or small bag. The EV9's door pockets, however, are surprisingly squeezy for such a large SUV, with much of the real estate taken up by speakers.

The comfort factor in the Kia EV9 is amped up to 10 with heated and chilled front seats, a wonderful padded headrest (you have to experience this to fully appreciate it), and front seats that can lie fully flat. The second row heated and chilled seats - an exclusive to the GT-Line grade - also add to passenger comfort.

The second row of the Kia EV9 is ample, with plenty of room to move for adult passengers. The seats can be reclined for added comfort and the occupants were happy to report they were supportive, reducing the sliding about that can come from sitting in a large SUV as it rolls through corners.

Tech integration in the EV9 is comprehensive, with Kia Connect Over-the-Air (OTA) update capability, delivering the latest maps and interfaces directly to the car without needing to visit a service centre. USB-C chargers are available throughout the Kia EV9's cabin, including for the second row where the charge ports are located in the front seats for ease of use.

The Kia EV9 features standard vehicle to load functionality to let occupants plug in and power their appliances or charge their devices wherever they travel, with Exterior V2L added to the GT-Line.

The Kia EV9's upholstery is plush. Image: Ben Weinstein
The front seats are able to lay flat. Image: Ben Weinstein.

How much boot space does the Kia EV9 have?

Boot space in the Kia EV9 is capacious. With the third row of seats in play, the EV9 has 333-litres boot capacity, more than sufficient for cabin bags, or a weekly shop. Fold the third row flat and that extends to 828-litres, a huge space that's big enough for suitcases, prams, portacots and everything needed for a family road trip. The second row seats feature powered fold for ease of use, and offer up a total of 2318-litres luggage capacity, making the EV9 as practical as a van for hauling big loads.

How much can you tow with the Kia EV9?

The standard Kia EV9 Air model has a braked towing capacity of 900kg while the dual motor Earth and GT-Line can tow up to 2500kg.

The EV9's flexible seating is easy to use and creates plenty of space.

Even with the third row of seats in play, there's plenty of room in the boot of the Kia EV9 for shopping and family gear. 


How long does the Kia EV9 take to charge?

The Kia EV9 is optimised for rapid charging and its 800V architecture will add 226km of driving range in just 15 minutes. Kia says a full charge from 10 to 80 percent can be completed in just over 20 minutes.

In practice, I used a 50kW charger to top up the Kia EV9 when on the road. It took 50 minutes to add 33.907kWh, approximately one third of the Kia EV9's battery capacity at a cost of 58c/kWh. Based on my usage rate of 16kWh/100km, that equates to over 200km range.

Charging on my household socket was a different story - at a charge rate of just 2.1kW, home charging is ideal for regular top ups for short trips, but impossible if needing to refill the whole battery overnight. On my Arcline tariff of 28.71c/kWh, even if it takes a lot longer, it is at least a lot more cost effective to charge at home.

The Kia EV9 charging

A large battery can take time to charge, but using a rapid charger,  the Kia EV9 is capable of adding 226km of range in just 15 minutes. Image: Ben Weinstein.


Is the Kia EV9 good to drive?

The Kia EV9 GT-Line is a large electric SUV – with its big battery and hefty size, it weighs in at 2636kg, but the power of its dual motor set up ensures there’s plenty of get up and go, so it doesn’t feel like hard work to drive.

The Kia EV9 shines on highways when roads are smooth and straight, but its ride comfort on country roads is compromised by the large 21-inch wheels which tend to track with bumps in the road, and give a less convincing driving experience. But this is minor criticism of a car with ride and handling that largely defies its slab-sided SUV bodystyle (and physics).

The Kia EV9's front seats are comfortable, and the driver is afforded excellent all round vision from the commanding driving position. However, I could do without the digital wing mirrors which are fitted to the EV9 GT-Line. The left hand screen was easy to see in from my driving position but the screen on my right was not in the optimum position, so I had to shift my head to use it.

I also found the Kia EV9's digital set up lacking when driving in the dark as it didn’t deliver a clear view when vehicles were overtaking, effectively creating a blind spot.

The Kia EV9 digital wing mirror

The Kia EV9 GT-Line has digital wing mirrors but they aren't as user friendly as a conventional wing mirror set up. Image: Ben Weinstein.


How safe is the Kia EV9?

The Kia EV9 has a five-star ANCAP safety rating and is equipped with a suite of nine airbags.

It features Kia's latest driver assistance technology, Highway Driving Assist 2 that extends adaptive cruise control functionality with stop-and-go capability, and adds lane following technology that keeps the EV9 in the centre of its lane, even when following a curve in the road.

On the freeway, while holding the steering wheel and engaging the turn signal in the desired direction, lane change assist will automatically steer the Kia EV9 into the respective lane.

In practice the EV9's system works well, and is one of the more sophisticated on the market, but Kia's driver attention system is super-sensitive and will activate if it senses the driver's gaze has moved away from the road, perhaps to observe another vehicle on the road or to select a heating function from the centre console.

Standard technology on all Kia EV9 models includes:

  • Highway Driving Assist 2 (HDA 2) with Hands-on Detection (HOD)
  • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist 2 (FCA 2) with Junction Crossing, Lane Oncoming & Lane Change Side functions
  • Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)
  • Lane Following Assist 2 (LFA 2)
  • Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA)
  • Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA)
  • Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go (SCC w/ S&G)
  • Rear View Monitor (RVM)
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance (RCCA)
  • Parking Distance Warning – Front/Rear (PDW-F/R)

EV9 Earth adds:

  • Surround View Monitor (SVM)
  • Blind-spot View Monitor (BVM)
  • Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist - Reverse (PCA-R)

EV9 GT-Line adds:

  • Remote Smart Parking Assist 2 (RSPA 2)
  • Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist - Forward / Side / Reverse (PCA-F/S/R)
The Kia EV9 matte paint

The Kia EV9 has extraordinary road presence. Image: Ben Weinstein.


Should I buy a Kia EV9?

The Kia EV9 is an undoubted halo for Kia's growing electric vehicle range, and debuts technology and features that will flow into smaller, more affordable EVs like the EV5 medium SUV, and smaller EV3 which has just been confirmed. 

The Kia EV9 is a worthy recipient of all its awards. While its price may seem expensive, the EV9 represents excellent buying compared to other vehicles of this size - the BMW X7 for instance, starts at over $160,000.

Some of the features of the GT-Line variant are unnecessary, like the digital side mirrors and the 21-inch wheels - so the more affordable Earth model might offer better value for money. The EV9's matte blue paint is only available on the GT-Line model however, so if you're wedded to that colour, which really helps the EV9 stand out on the road, then you'll need to make do with the larger wheel and digital mirrors.

For families looking for a large electric SUV, the Kia EV9 currently represents the best option - it is close to a perfect package.

The information provided is general advice only. Before making any decisions please consider your own circumstances and the Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determinations. For copies, visit racv.com.au. As distributor, RACV Insurance Services Pty Ltd AFS Licence No. 230039 receives commission for each policy sold or renewed. Product issued by Insurance Manufacturers of Australia Pty Ltd ABN 93 004 208 084 AFS Licence No. 227678.