The first-ever Kia to be sold on European soil was the tiny Kia Pride. It went on sale in the UK back in 1991 for a measly $9,000 and it was the start of an amazing automotive adventure. For decades Kia provided reliable motoring for many families - no frills, dependable and affordable was Kia’s second nature. Over the years though, the company tried really hard to shake off the affordable bit as if it was something to be ashamed of.
With the advent of electric cars, the company was given a perfect opportunity to reinvent itself as a manufacturer of premium vehicles. The EV6 was a real surprise to everyone, we knew that Kia could make fast and fun-to-drive cars after it released the Stinger, but the EV6 is in a league of its own. The GT version is a true supercar slayer for no-supercar money, but at $79,400 it already was a tough cookie to swallow.
Kia isn’t put off by its own transition to the premium vehicle market and is happily embracing its new image. The company only recently unveiled its biggest SUV ever, the 7-seat EV9, and the car just blew the public away. It is by far one of the most futuristic-looking SUVs on the market with a clever interior, and with performance to match its looks. And now we know all that comes at a price.
You may wanna sit down for this one, have a glass of water ready, and possibly a pillow to shout into? Because the entry model of Kia EV9 starts at $80,470. And…. breathe. Nearly $80,500 for a single-motor 204 hp (150 kW) LR version. Sure - it comes with the 99.8 kWh battery pack WLTP-rated for 336 miles, and since this is the Launch Edition - it comes fully equipped. The integrated smart navigation is onboard, three screens, a head-up display, a Meridian audio system, the Relaxation front seats with rear seats heated and ventilated, and those fancy LED running lights. Heck - Kia even threw in a V2L just in case - nothing is missing from the equipment list.
If you felt like $80,500 is a bit much for an electric SUV that struggles to get from 0 to 100 km/h in a smidgen below 10 seconds, Kia has another option for you. The AWD GT Line Launch Edition keeps the same battery pack but adds another motor to the front axle. The 384 hp (283 kW) version feels much quicker thanks to the 0 to 100 km/h time of 5.3 seconds. It adds 21-inch wheels, matrix LED headlights, a suede roof liner, and a double sunroof. The Smart Remote Assist is part of the package to take care of those awkward moments when we realize how big this SUV is. All yours for $90,020.
Now, nearly $90,100 for a Kia? Well - if we look at the market, the EV9 still comes out as a relatively affordable EV. Mercedes EQE SUV 500 4MATIC has similar power output but is full 5.1 inches shorter and costs $16,100 more. Mercedes EQS SUV 450+ is over 4.33 inches longer and has a bigger battery - it costs $26,800 more. Tesla Model X? Bigger, faster, and more expensive.
Audi Q8 55 e-tron costs about the same and has similar performance - but it is 3.94 inches shorter. Volvo EX90 LR - similar in size, better performance, bigger battery, and $21,000 more to pay. Polestar 3 LR is far more powerful with its 489 hp AWD system and it has better range thanks to the 107 kWh battery pack - priced at $95,100 may sound like the closest match, but it isn’t a 7-seater.
It looks like Kia thought this one thoroughly through and put us against the wall with only one choice - pay up. Because if you want a 7-seat electric SUV in Europe with decent performance and for decent money, you can either get a Kia EV9 or move to the USA and buy a Cadillac Lyriq AWD with 500 hp for $62,100. More good news - the GT version of the Kia EV9 is on the way. The company engineers are hard at work trying to figure out how to shoehorn the 576 hp powertrain from EV6 GT, while the marketing team is looking for a way to sell us the first $110,000 Kia ever. Don’t you just miss the $9,000 Pride?
I guess they were referring to the GT model, though 110 still seems ridiculous. This article is full of errors though. Base price Lyriq starts at 58 not 62 and the EV9 should hopefully be starting around 60k once they start building them stateside, b...
Wrong pricing. At least check official pricing in kia's websites in Korea, Netherlands & Sweden. GT line AWD will be 75k in USA RWD long range will be between 63 and 65K AWD long range will be between 67 and 69K
It appears that the prices quoted in the article are AUD$, 67% lower or closer to $60K on the dual motor.