Kia has started taking reservations for its EV9, the full-size SUV that has been positioned as the flagship for the company’s EV portfolio.
Reservations for the Kia EV9 are $750 and can be applied to the purchase price, according to the company.
Kia taking reservations for an EV is a relatively new strategy for the automaker that began with the 2022 EV6 sedan. The EV9 is the second vehicle that Kia has allowed customers to reserve in advance of deliveries. Of course, this isn’t a new strategy among EV startups that sell directly to the consumer. Tesla, which has long since left the startup category, still uses reservations ahead of vehicle deliveries; in many cases taking refundable deposits years before the vehicle is even delivered.
For Kia EV9 reservation holders the wait will be much shorter. The EV9 is expected to arrive in dealer showrooms in the fourth quarter of this year.
Kia is betting that an all-electric SUV will have the same kind of success that its internal combustion engine-powered Telluride has had in the United States. The EV9 is a three-row SUV based on the company’s Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) that has a 122-inch wheelbase and an overall length of 197 inches, putting it about in line with other full-size SUVs on the market today including the Telluride.
The big selling point besides the size and the software? Kia is pricing the EV9 lower than other similarly sized EVs on the market today, such as the Mercedes EQS SUV and the Rivian R1S. The Kia EV9 starts at $54,900, not including the $1,495 destination fee. The price pops up from there depending on the powertrain and trim.
The company is offering customers the choice of two powertrain options. The standard powertrain comes with a 76.1-kWh battery with a 160-kW (215-hp) motor that drives the rear wheels. There’s also an optional 99.8-kWh battery that will be available in a single-motor configuration (201-hp), or a dual-motor, 283-kW (379-hp) all-wheel-drive configuration.
Customers also can choose between five model trims. The Light trim is available with a short or long-range battery. Other trims include Wind, Land and GT Line, which is at the top of the price list at $73,900. The range of the EV9, which is between 230 and 304 miles, is dependent on the powertrain and trim. The 304-mile range version is the Light trim in rear-wheel drive equipped with the larger battery pack.
The stakes are certainly high for the company. “In many ways we consider the Kia EV9 to be the new flagship for our brand,” Kia CEO Ho-sung Song said in a livestream that aired back in March 2023. “While the Kia EV6 played an important role in repositioning the Kia brand following the launch in 2021, the Kia EV9 moves us further forward.”