Kia’s EV9 electric SUV will offer Level 3 autonomy and a range of 336 miles

Kia is finally sharing some specs for the EV9 electric SUV, and they could be good news for families planning road trips. The three-row EV will now include Level 3 self-driving (meaning the car drives itself in some situations, but may need you to take over) in some countries when you get to the GT line. The planned Highway Driving Pilot will use LiDAR and other sensors to let you “take a break” from driving where conditions allow.

The EV9 can also deliver more range than you’d expect for an SUV of this size. Kia claims the RWD Long Range model with a 99.8 kWh battery will offer up to 336 miles of range, based on WLTP testing. We expect a more conservative estimate from the US Environmental Protection Agency, but that̵[ads1]7;s still a very healthy figure for this class of vehicle. There will also be an AWD variant with the same battery as well as 76.1 kWh RWD Standard Range base configuration. The 800V charging architecture should give the EV about 149 miles of range in 15 minutes, and vehicle-to-load technology lets you power camping gear and laptops.

Performance can be relatively fast depending on the model. The RWD Long Range with a 150kW engine will be the slowest accelerating model with a 0-62 MPH time of 9.4 seconds, but the Standard Range edition with a 160kW engine will manage that run in 8.2 seconds. Opt for the AWD model and you’ll get a twin-motor 283kW engine that can normally hit 62MPH in six seconds (more on that in a moment).

Like it or not, Kia is joining the ranks of automakers locking car features behind digital purchases. You’ll need to purchase items from the company’s Connect Store to improve the pattern lighting on the grill, and even add a “Boost” that provides extra torque for a 0-62 MPH dash in 5.3 seconds. Yes, you have to pay for features that your EV9 can technically handle. You’ll get a range of driver aids and conveniences, including hands-off parking and navigation-based ‘Smart Cruise Control’. This will be the first Kia to support ultra-broadband digital keys, so you don’t have to take out the conventional key to enter.

Kia has yet to reveal pricing for the EV9. The machine will go on sale in select countries sometime in the second half of the year, with South Korean pre-orders starting this spring. It’s safe to assume the SUV will sell for more than the EV6 crossover. Not that this will necessarily be a problem for the brand. Three-row electric SUVs are few and far between, and those that do exist (like the Tesla Model X) are likely to be more expensive.

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