Today was a day of change, for almost 2 months I have been on a family home remodel project for my son and today he wanted to go check out the Kia EV9 that is making the rounds of the local Kia dealerships.
My first impression was that Kia has nailed the traditional brick on wheels style of SUV that Americans should appreciate.
I started at the front of the EV9 wanting to see the Frunk.
Surprise, not as big as the F150 Lighting or GM's EV pickups but double, maybe even triple the size of what Tesla offers. While not real deep, you could have two bags of groceries on their side. Observation is under this frunk is where the 12V battery is located. From the back is where the cabin airfilter is located and I noticed it was a HEPA filter. Funny thing is that you can see on the left hand side an whiteish lever. This is an emergency frunk lid release. Not sure why they have one as I cannot think of any way a human could fit in this frunk even if they were part of the tiny or dwarf size humans. Interesting note that I wish I had taken a picture of was that in the very front deeper section, they had a NACS to CCS adapter. Surprised to already see one built by Kia.
My son opened the front driver's door and I wished now I had taken a video of this as the steering column auto moves up out of the way and then after you get in and close the door, it returns to the position that is set. Very cool, I love this kind of tech where I do not have to adjust things once it is set. I did as you can see in this picture observe the issue that many folks have complained about on touch screens and that is all the fingerprints.
David Size test commenced, I set the front passenger chair for my comfort and 3 inches between the front of my knees and the dash. I then got out and into the back seat and WOW, roomy and comfortable. This wins the 6'6" 300lb David test. Plenty of head, shoulder and girth room. This SUV will be a winner for many folks due to the roominess of this EV.
As you can see by my left knee is a USB C port for connection to charge and connect to the internal media system. The 3 levers you see on the side of the seat are for upper seat comfort adjustments.
Now one thing I was happy about was the heated and cooled seats in the front and back. Kia did some smart thinking here and that is where would be a good place to put the controls?
They put them on the internal arm rest and this arm rest had additional thinking as many times when you adjust the back of the seat for relaxing the arm rest in many current SUVs today have limited fixed positions. Here you can pull the arm rest all the way up, go all the way down and then in micro adjustments pull it up till it is comfy for the seat occupant.
Controls for the seat moving forward, up, down lumbar, etc. are the same for all four captain's chairs. On the right side bottom cushion.
Have to say that while Kia will have a basic all black interior, they are offering as an upgrade multiple two-tone interiors and I really like this brown/black one in this unit.
I did sit in the 3rd row split-bench seat and while I could get back there and had headroom, leg room kept me to the middle of this seat. I could make it work for a short ride, but it really is not an adult seating area.
The next thing was to check out the back for storage behind the third seat as this is an issue I have seen even in ICE auto's where you either have enough for 6 to 8 bags of groceries or you have pretty much nothing.
If you look at the picture with both third row seat areas up, you can see the controller below the European plug and that is four buttons that allow you to open or close the second and third row seats. So, for those running to Home Depot or Ikea and need to put something large in, you can easily do it all from the back and not have to move around to the different sides to do each seat. Decent storage was under the back lift cover.
Better yet, while this was clearly told to me by the Kia sales folks that it was a pre-production model off the assembly line that will be producing the EV9s for Asian and European area, the fit n finish was some of the best I had seen. No info on pricing, but I was asked if I was interested in putting down a deposit to save a place in line for the EV.
End result is that this Kia EV has way better fit n finish than current production Tesla and I suspect it will really give a run for its money to Tesla and other EV manufacturers.
I have always stayed true to my roots and bought GM, Ford, Jeep and Dodge. The EV9 is a strong contender for a possible next auto in my household especially since like GM they are by default offering bi-directional power so that with the EV9 plugged into the home charger, you could power your home if you wanted when you have a power outage.
Ask away any and all questions. Happy to Answer!