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Kia's EV9 electric SUV features three rows of seats and a striking design

It's true to the original concept's blocky form.

Kia

Kia is giving us our first look at the interior and exterior of its striking mid-size EV9 SUV, while saving key specs like the battery size and powertrain for the official debut early next month. The market-ready version hews closely to the original EV9 concept we first saw in November 2021, albeit with the blockiness toned down. Still, much like the EV6, it's a dramatic and interesting design.

The upcoming model has triangular windows in the rear quarter panel much like the EV6, but otherwise appears to draw inspiration from boxy SUVs like older Range Rovers. Kia said it's "formed from a polygonal design language" that uses "triangular fender structures and highly pronounced geometric wheel arches combine with the fuselage body." Despite all the lines and edges, though, Kia says the EV9 is still highly aerodynamic.

Kia unveils the EV9 electric SUV with three rows of seats
Kia unveils the EV9 electric SUV with three rows of seats (Kia)

It offers three rows of seats and thus becomes one of the first EVs to slot into the popular mid-size SUV category. That means it'll be taking on ICE vehicles like Kia's own Telluride, the Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer and other models. The boxiness and squared off rear end means it should offer good headroom.

One fun touch is that the middle row uses swivelling captain's chairs, so they can flip around to face the rear seats, Orient Express-style. It'll be sold in 6- and 7-passenger configurations, depending on whether the rear seats are buckets or a bench.

Kia unveils the EV9 electric SUV with three rows of seats
Kia unveils the EV9 electric SUV with three rows of seats (Kia)

Up front, Kia has ditched the concept's massive wraparound display in favor of two 12.3-inch screens for the gauge cluster and infotainment system. The number of physical buttons has been reduced and touch-sensitive dash controls added. The interior uses mesh and other materials designed to further boost the feeling of spaciousness.

Other details including infotainment system features are being kept under wraps until the vehicle's official reveal in early April. We do know that it will be built using the EV6's E-GMP platform, but Kia has yet to say anything about the EV9's power, battery size, range and price. With the EV6 starting at $45,000 or so, the EV9 is likely to be considerably north of that — but as we've seen with Kia, it's likely to be affordable for its category.

Kia unveils the EV9 electric SUV with three rows of seats
Kia unveils the EV9 electric SUV with three rows of seats (Kia)