After a whistle-stop debut of the Kia EV9 show car at select dealerships in late August, Kia New Zealand has announced the majority of its 33 locations around the country have the new all-electric seven-seat EV9 SUV available for sale and demonstration drives.

“It’s really exciting to have the new model on the road, it’s an incredible vehicle to drive and I know people are going to be amazed at the all-round power and performance on offer from this full-size, fully electric SUV,” said Managing Director of Kia New Zealand, Todd McDonald.

“The EV9 is the most technologically advanced Kia ever, it features eco-oriented materials and encompasses style, sophistication and seven-seats – all in a zero-emissions package. It showcases Kia’s ‘Opposites United’ design philosophy and represents the future of sustainable motoring.

“It is also one of the most aerodynamic vehicles of its size thanks to the tech focused polygonal design language which delivers a fuselage-like side profile, resulting in an exceptional 0.28 drag coefficient (Cd).

“The new Kia flagship EV9 arrives in New Zealand with an award-winning pedigree, fresh from success with a Golden Steering Wheel 2023 win in the ‘Family Cars’ category. The all-electric seven-seater SUV was also named ‘German Luxury Car of the Year 2024’ at the beginning of September.

“It’s new, it’s dynamic and it’s boundary pushing from a looks, performance and technology standpoint. It’s an exciting new addition to the Kia lineup and we’re thrilled it’s now available in New Zealand.”

2023 Kia EV9: A number of Kia firsts for New Zealand

The new Kia EV9 is an entirely new design built on the advanced Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), which Kia says enabled engineers and designers to create a bold exterior combined with a spacious and feature-laden interior – plus the opportunity to load the new model full of leading edge tech, a number of which are new Kia technologies for the New Zealand market.

Among the Kia firsts are a panoramic wide display that combines dual 12.3-inch cluster and infotainment displays via a 5.0-inch segment display, a column-type E-Shift-by-Wire drive selector and, on the GT-Line, Digital Side Mirrors and a Digital Centre Mirror.

In another Kia first, innovative Fingerprint Recognition can be used to start the vehicle.

The EV9 marks the New Zealand debut of Highway Driving Assist 2 (HDA2), a next-gen technology that functions when driving on a motorway. HDA2 builds on adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, combining with Lane Following Assist (LFA) to keep the EV9 centred in the lane even when driving through a curve.

Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control (NSCC) is available on all models in the range and helps drive at a safe speed when using navigation. For example, when using NSCC on a highway and the vehicle approaches a curved section of road, the speed is automatically reduced before entry to the bend in the road. Upon leaving the area, the speed is returned to the original setting.

It adds a direct Hands-on Detection (HOD) sensor to the torque-sensor recognition method to further enhance the recognition of the driver’s steering control, providing warnings and, if necessary, deactivation of HDA2.

Additionally, HDA2 includes Lane Change Assist (LCA), which when activated while holding the steering wheel and engaging the turn signal in the desired direction, will automatically steer the EV9 into the respective lane.

Once on the road in the GT-Line, the EV9’s augmented reality, heads-up display projects key information, including speed, navigation guidance and lane safety information onto the windscreen. And when you arrive at your destination, the Remote Smart Parking Assist can park your EV9 for you.

All three models available in the EV9 range offer the ability to tow, starting with a respectable 900kg braked for Light, which increases to 2.5-tonnes braked on the AWD dual motor Earth and GT-Line.

A new, fourth generation battery delivers improved energy density and efficiency, resulting in a WLTP range of 443km in Light, 492km in Earth and up to 505km in the GT-Line. This new technology contributes to power and torque outputs of 160kW and 350Nm in the rear-wheel drive EV9, and an impressive 282kW/ 700Nm in the all-wheel drive variants.

The GT-Line is capable of covering the 0-100km/h sprint in 5.3-seconds.

A Vehicle to Load (V2L) feature is available on the GT-Line, as well as the Light and Earth trims when using the optional accessory cable. All three models feature the Interior V2L outlet in the right-hand side of the rear cargo area.

Kia suggests that underpinning the driving characteristics of the new model is a suspension tune that was developed in an Australian programme spanning more than three years, the result delivering a unique package for Kia EV9 buyers in Australia and New Zealand.

The EV9 has MacPherson Multi-link type front suspension with frequency selective dampers and multi-link rear suspension featuring self-levelling dampers, and benefits from a rack-mounted motor-driven power steering (R-MDPS) system. The end result is supreme levels of ride and comfort for all passengers, claims Kia.

2023 Kia EV9: A focus on ecological developments

Kia has committed to carbon neutrality by 2045 and has successfully implemented more than 30 sustainable solutions in various product areas, including fabrics and carpets using recycled PET, bio-based alternative leather, and BTX*-free paint (*Benzene, Toluene, Xylene).

In the case of the EV9, upcycled waste, including fishing nets retrieved from the ocean, is used to create the vehicle’s floor carpets.

Other sustainability initiatives found on the EV9 include eucalyptus leaves which are used to form the headliners, while seats and interior fabric are made from a composite of recycled plastic bottles and wool fibres.

2023 Kia EV9: Dynamic and bold exterior design

The Digital Tiger Face is developed with Small Cube Projection Headlights (GT-Line), with Intelligent Front-Lighting System (IFS) and ‘star map’ LED DRLs, to create a lighting pattern that will become a signature of Kia’s EV models.

2023 Kia EV9: An interior built for seven

The ‘Technology for Life’ pillar of Kia’s Opposites United design philosophy played a central role in the creation of the EV9’s interior, enabling designers to prioritise space, comfort and technology, in a reimagining of the family SUV.

Kia’s award-winning Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) allowed for a completely flat floor and, with EV9’s long wheelbase and low beltline, which Kia says has provided the basis for an exceptionally spacious interior that lets occupants connect and relax in lounge-style comfort across all three rows.

The driver and front passenger enjoy heated and ventilated seats with power adjustment and power lumbar support standard across the range, with the added luxury of front Premium Relaxation Seats in GT-Line.

Passengers sitting in the second-row outer-seats of the GT-Line are also afforded similar creature comforts in terms of seating, with their pews featuring the choice of being heated or ventilated.

2023 Kia EV9: State of the art safety

Kia claims that an array of Advanced Driver Assistance (ADAS) technologies ensure occupants can relax, secure in the knowledge that EV9 is continuously monitoring the surroundings, ready to react automatically if needed, to ensure their utmost safety, as well as the safety of occupants of other vehicles, and pedestrians.

EV9 standard ADAS features include:

  • Highway Driving Assist 2 (HDA2)
  • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist 2 (FCA2) with Junction Crossing, Lane Oncoming and Lane Change Side functions
  • Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)
  • Lane Following Assist (LFA)
  • Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist – Rear (BCA)
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance (RCCA)
  • Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA)
  • Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go (SCC w/ S&G)
  • Rear View Monitor (RVM)
  • Parking Distance Warning – Front/ Rear (PDW-F/R)

EV9 Earth brings the additional features:

  • 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)

2023 Kia EV9: Kia EV9 model lineup in New Zealand

The EV9 is available in New Zealand in three different trim levels, consisting of Light Rear-Wheel Drive Standard Range, Earth All-Wheel Drive Long Range and GT-Line All-Wheel Drive Long Range.

Pricing for the new model starts at $105,990* for the Light RWD SR with a 76.1kWh Lithium-Ion battery.

Key specification found on the Light RWD SR includes a range of active and passive safety features, a wide array of airbag protection throughout the vehicle, LED lighting, heated front seats and steering wheel as well as a 12.3-inch TFT LCD infotainment display with integrated 12.3-inch TFT LCD cluster and 12.3-inch display.

A larger 99.8kWh Lithium-Ion battery complemented by enhanced levels of technology, specification and aesthetic differentiators, features in the Earth AWD LR and GT-Line AWD LR, which are available from $115,990* and $134,990* respectively.

The new Kia EV9 receives a five-year roadside assistance programme, five-year/ 150,000km factory warranty^, complemented by an eight-year/ 160,000km battery warranty.^

The Kia EV9 Light and Earth are 5,010mm long while the GT-Line is 5,015mm long, 1,980 mm wide and 1,755mm high (1,780mm with GT-Line bridge-type roof rails) on a 3,100mm wheelbase.

With all three rows of seats occupied, EV9 provides 333-litres of cargo space, or 828-litres with the third row folded. With both rear rows folded, the space extends to a 2,318-litres.

The front-trunk compartment on the Light adds 90-litres of storage capacity, while on the Earth and GT-Line it contributes another 52-litres.

2023 Kia EV9: International awards and accolades

The Kia EV9 has been named ‘Family Car of the Year’ at the 2023 Awards and is in the running for 2024 European Car of the Year.

The EV9 is featured in the latest issue of BBC Top Gear Magazine, an issue dedicated to the best, most desirable cars in the world. A ‘Meet the Winners’ film, including the EV9, is also featured on the website.

The Kia EV9 has been shortlisted for the final round of the 2024 Car of the Year in Europe award. The all-electric SUV was provisionally listed among 28 new models launched this year and has now been selected by the 59 COTY jurors from 22 countries for the seven-strong shortlist. The overall COTY winner will be announced on Monday, February 26th at the Geneva International Motor Show.

Battery Capacity76.1kWh99.8kWh99.8kWh
Driven WheelsRWD single motorAWD dual motorAWD dual motor
Range443km WLTP492km WLTP505km WLTP

*includes GST, plus on-road costs

^whichever occurs first

Note all photos are from overseas models, and may not represent the models available in New Zealand.

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Fred Alvrez
How on earth to start this? I've been car/bike/truck crazy since I was a teen. Like John, I had the obligatory Countach poster on the wall. I guess I'm more officially into classic and muscle cars than anything else - I currently have a '65 Sunbeam Tiger that left the factory the same day as I left the hospital as a newborn with my mother. How could I not buy that car? In 2016 my wife and I drove across the USA in a brand-new Dodge Challenger, and then shipped it home. You can read more on We did this again in 2019 in a 1990 Chev Corvette - you can read about that trip on DriveLife. I'm a driving instructor and an Observer for the Institute of Advanced Motorists - trying to do my bit to make our roads safer.


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