The Kia/Hyundai siblings have been doing some excellent design work in the past few years, with the brands’ EV offerings being especially striking. The current Kia EV lineup includes the small Niro EV, and the sleek and novel EV6. A full-size SUV EV is clearly the gaping hole in Kia’s electric lineup, and that’s the role the EV9 is meant to fill. It’s supposed to be announced tomorrow, but the internet is an impatient beast, so pictures of the EV9 have leaked, showing a sleek, geometrically-faceted design with a lot of nice details, including some very strong graphical lighting designs — something modern Kia has excelled at. Let’s take a good look at these pics we’re not really supposed to be seeing just yet, because it’s more fun that way.
[Edit: OFFICIAL PHOTOS/DETAILS HERE].
You can see the pics in a number of places online already, including Car Design World’s Instagram:
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We’re almost certain these photos are legit, as we have a trained eye for press images. The interior shot below really gives it away, though we’re emailing Kia to confirm, just to be sure.
The EV9 looks pretty large, though its bulk is broken up nicely with the polygonal surfacing on the wide fenders, like it was rendered on a Nintendo 64, and the dramatic pinch in between the wheelarches. The D-pillar is a sort of triangular sail, disconnected from the floating roof, which extends far rearward, kind of like a Frank Lloyd Wright architectural roof cantilever.
The wheelarches are sort of rounded-off half-octagons, and details like door handles appear quite hidden. The wheel design here is interesting, a sort of inset square into the round wheel, and the taillights are bold and dramatic, arcing and forking over the back like crimson lightning.
A detail-shot of the front light unit shows a lot of vertically-set square LEDs, with another lightining-like strake that forms the DRL and possibly turn indicator as well. This all fits with the teaser graphic image of the lighting graphic Kia showed a bit ago:
Kia has been really bringing it to the lighting design space lately; what’s interesting to note here is that a lot of those inner “L” shaped lights must be hidden behind the plastic panel at the front of the car, shining through the semi-translucent plastic. That’s very slick.
The interior is minimalistic, clean, and pretty damn grayscale. I hope they decide to have some options for color in there. We don’t all want to live in an Ansel Adams print, Kia. One long LCD screen seems to form the instrument cluster and the center stack.
The EV9 will be a three-row, likely with 7 and 8-passenger layouts. I expect we’ll learn a lot more about the EV9 tomorrow, but until then, it’s nice to get a little sneak peek.
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It’s Kia’s sleek & sheek new electric Cayonero!
Like a lot of recent Hyundais and Kias, I think I prefer how this production car looks compared to the concept it’s based on. Ditto for the Ioniq 5 really. I kinda feel like the Ioniq 6 didn’t translate well though.
They clearly ripped off the design of the Ferrari Gigantorleggrafasto 3-row SUV not due out until 2026.
It looks like a Kia Soul that has been embiggened. I guess this is great for Uber SUV drivers, luxury group homes and rich quiverfulls. Who else needs space for this many full sized humans on the regular, and wouldn’t just call aforementioned Uber SUV when needed. I guess hockey families with more than 4 kids.
We’re almost certain these photos are legit, as we have a trained eye for press images.
This looks shopped. I can tell from some of the pixels and from seeing quite a few shops in my time.*
*One for all you youngins from the interwebs wayback machine.
looks a lot like how I expected the New VW Scout to look.
What is this Kia of which you speak? This is clearly from KN.
Real curious to see how this is priced. If it’s near EX90 or R1S territory, it’s behind those to me.
Can someone please make me a PHEV or BEV minivan, please? (I know the Pacifica exists…but Chrysler).
I have a Kia Carnival that will be traded in the second Kia makes an PHEV or BEV version. It’s been a great vehicle but I really wish it was electric. We looked at a Pacifica Hybrid and they just didn’t do it for me. Everything seemed “thin” like airplane seats, I wasn’t a fan.
All new 2023 Toyota Siennas are now plugin hybrids
That “grill” screams “close, but no cigar” to me. Maybe having the logo on it may help.
Will we ever see hood height go back down? Electric vehicles shouldn’t have to be this bulky up front. Other than that, I like the style, especially the lighted “grill” and polygonal wheel arches.
No, the tall hood is a requirement for mowing down the most pedestrians in one go. Also helps with plausible deniability that you couldn’t see them.
Tall bonnets are good for pedestrian impact legislation:
There can be a bigger gap between (relatively) soft bonnet and hard engine components underneath , although this should be less of an issue for EVs.
There’s less distance for a pedestrians head to move before hitting it, less angular momentum and therefore lower impacts.
However there is more chance of the pedestrian getting pushed down and under the wheels rather than tossed over.
I like it, but my first thought was how the Volvo EX90 is a vastly superior design execution of a 3 row EV SUV.
I don’t hate it, but the fenders don’t look very good with those sharp horizontal lines
3 and 4 spoke wheels, gah!
4 spoke wheels with 5 lugs, ick.
I feel like I want a size comparison tool for all the SUV/CUV’s. Because this looks very similar to the Blazer size in my eyes, with the Kia styling instead of GM’s, but as for size, I honestly don’t know. They are all so similar in shape, that I truly have a hard time differentiating what size they truly are.
I think they are trying to go for a modern bauhaus instead of Ansel Adams
I shall be the first to acclaim that I find the exterior kinda ugly.
there is a fine line between interesting and trying too hard
I’m not crazy about it, but it looks less ostentatious that their other vehicle offerings. I find Kias busy and overdesigned, like a Toyota from 5 years ago. Sorry Kia fans, even when these vehicles aren’t electric, they look so “EV”.