Kia made big strides with their two-row all-electric SUV, the EV6. And they’re taking it one row further with the 2024 EV9.

But really, the most apt comparison is between the EV9 and the Telluride, Kia’s successful internal-combustion three-row utility. They’re roughly the same length at about 197-inches, but the EV9’s 122-inch wheelbase is actually seven-inches longer.

The biggest difference is, of course, the powertrain. The base EV9 uses a single-motor and a 76.1 kilowatt-hour battery for 215 horsepower and about 220 miles of range. 300 miles can be achieved by the Long-Range single-motor model, using a 99.8-kWh battery. All dual-motor variants use the larger pack, with max power going to the GT-Line’s 379 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque.

The extra power reminds you that the EV9 is not just an electric Telluride, but truly a step forward, as does the ride quality.

JOHN DAVIS: “I do think that, in that comparison between the Kia EV9 and the Kia Telluride, there are some differences in ride and handling. For one thing, I think the EV9 actually rides better. Maybe it’s the weight of the batteries, maybe it’s the five-link rear suspension, but it soaks up bumps better than the Kia Telluride.

The Kia EV9 handles a little bit better than your typical electric vehicle. It feels more normal, and the steering feels just about right. Not as much feel as you would like, but a vast improvement over a lot of EVs that we test these days.”

And like other EVs we’ve been in, the cabin features some 30-inches of screens and a mix of physical and haptic controls. The sustainable materials and digital enhancements further define the EV9’s place as a future ride, here now.

Kia could’ve done a half-effort to quickly fill the three-row EV segment, but the 2024 EV9 is far from that. If Kia prices it competitively— and we assume they will— the EV9 will be another homerun.

The first examples hit the US market this fall. We’ll have a full-fledged Road Test and plenty more Quick Spins… soon!