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Kia EV9 2024 review: Earth long-term | Part 3


If you were wondering why I’ve been a bit down today it’s because I had to take the Kia EV9 back. Yup, after three months our long-term test of the big electric seven-seater SUV is over.

Not many cars make me feel this way and the ones that have from the past decade I can name on one hand - the 2012 Volkswagen Up!, the 2013 Toyota 86, Holden’s 2016 VF Commodore SS-V Redline Sportwagon, Ford’s 2018 new Mustang, the 2021 Volvo XC90 and the 2023 Audi RS6 Avant. Now this - the 2024 Kia EV9.

Okay, that’s more than a decade and more than one hand, but out of the thousands I’ve driven in about 15 years the Kia EV9 still joins a select few cars that have stood out as special. Not only did these cars fulfil their roles, they went way further.

The EV9 could well be at the top of that list because after three months of living with the middle-of-the-range Earth grade as our family car there's nothing it didn’t do exceptionally well.

There aren’t any other large SUVs offering this combination of family practicality, value, safety, performance and comfort while being this great to drive.

There aren’t any other large SUVs offering this combination of family practicality, value, safety, performance and comfort while being this great to drive. There aren’t any other large SUVs offering this combination of family practicality, value, safety, performance and comfort while being this great to drive.

Being electric has a lot to do with it because not only can the interior be designed around people rather than around a bulky engine, transmission and driveshaft, but the way the vehicle drives is almost faultless in its smoothness, comfort and tranquillity.

I reckon only the Volvo XC90 comes close to the EV9, but even then it’s still nowhere near as good. Although, I think the EV9 borrows more than a few styling cues from the Volvo with those tail-lights and blocky appearance, only more modern and futuristic.

The EV9 borrows more than a few styling cues from the Volvo with those tail-lights and blocky appearance, only more modern and futuristic. The EV9 borrows more than a few styling cues from the Volvo with those tail-lights and blocky appearance, only more modern and futuristic.

Volvo’s designers might be feeling a bit lost and confused right now because the EV9 looks just like their upcoming new electric XC90, the EX90, only better.

In the video above I do a final wrap up of the EV9 Earth covering all aspects from practicality, energy usage and safety to performance, ownership costs, price and value. I then apply a 'reality check' to each aspect where I tell you how well it worked in the real world. 

The Volvo XC90 comes close to the EV9, but even then it’s still nowhere near as good. The Volvo XC90 comes close to the EV9, but even then it’s still nowhere near as good.

In our last month with the EV9 we travelled 614km doing a weekend road trip, school and daycare drop offs, plus the usual work and supermarket shopping trips and used an average of 21.8kWh/100km.

Charging continued to be a recurring issue for us. The road trip of 350km meant attempting to charge at a new location on our return journey home only to find the fast chargers weren’t working and then having to drive into the night with two children in the car unsure if the 200km left in the battery would get us the 170km we needed to go. We made it, just. 

  • We travelled 614km, using an average of 21.8kWh/100km. We travelled 614km, using an average of 21.8kWh/100km.
  • 2024 Kia EV9 I Charging 2024 Kia EV9 I Charging

We also had the grandparents and a cousin come to stay and all seven of us fit into the EV9 comfortably with a decent amount of boot space left behind the third row seats, as you can see in the images.

That big boot has been helpful. We don't really need a seven-seater all the time, but we do seem to need a big boot what with our pram for the baby and bikes and shopping and random objects found along the way.

  • 2024 Kia EV9 I Boot 2024 Kia EV9 I Boot
  • 2024 Kia EV9 I Boot 2024 Kia EV9 I Boot
  • 2024 Kia EV9 I Boot 2024 Kia EV9 I Boot
  • 2024 Kia EV9 I Boot 2024 Kia EV9 I Boot
  • 2024 Kia EV9 I Boot 2024 Kia EV9 I Boot

With five seats up the EV9's boot is 828 litres and with the seven seats in place there's still 333 litres of cargo capacity.

I'm not the only one feeling down about the EV9 going back. The last school pick-up was emotional for our nine-year old. He’s not really into cars, but he felt differently about the EV9 and wanted to know if we could get one.

I'm not the only one feeling down about the EV9 going back. I'm not the only one feeling down about the EV9 going back.

I told him we owned two cars already. Then he wanted to know if Kia might let us keep it. I explained this wouldn’t be happening, either.

He finished the conversation with "can we stop at the petrol station to get an ice cream?" and that's been pretty much the only reason we’ve gone to the petrol station these past three months.

Thing is, the EV9 is a keeper and if you happen to add one to your family, you’ll not only have a great EV but one of the best cars ever made.

 

Acquired: February 2024

Distance travelled this month: 614km

Odometer: 3501 km

Average energy consumption this month: 21.8kWh/100km

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The Wrap

The EV9 Earth is one of the best family SUVs money can buy and while at more than $100,000 it is an expensive Kia it's a lot more affordable than the luxury high-end models that it runs rings around in terms of comfort, performance, practicality and easiness to drive.

The Earth combines the best of the features of the Air grade below it in the line-up, with the range and powerful motors of the GT-Line above it.

Likes

Tough, futuristic looks
Great to drive with 500km real-world range
Spacious and practical

Dislikes

The EV insults
Finding available chargers
Busy media display

Scores

Richard:

4.8

The Kids:

4.8

$106,500

Based on new car retail price

VIEW PRICING & SPECS

Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.