After launching the EV9 last fall, Kia’s first three-row electric SUV is already outselling the Toyota bZ4X. Kia EV9 sales nearly doubled that of Toyota’s electric SUV in its first full month on the US market.
Kia opened EV9 pre-orders in October after seeing “significant consumer interest,” according to the brand’s VP of sales, Eric Watson.
Less than two months later, the EV9 received reservations in all 50 US states. Kia calls the EV9’s $54,900 starting price an industry “wake-up call.” At 197.2″ long, the EV9 is slightly bigger than the Telluride but has the same height and width.
Kia says the EV9 features “true SUV capabilities” with over 81 cubic feet of cargo space (behind the first row), up to 5,000 lbs towing capacity, and seating for seven adults.
Despite its boxy design, the EV9 features a drag coefficient of 0.28. This enables the electric SUV to get up to 304 EPA-est miles range. With 350 kW DC fast charging, the EV9 can charge from 10% to 80% in 24 minutes to get you back on the road quickly.
Inside, the EV9 includes Kia’s next-gen ccNC infotainment. This includes dual 12.3″ screens and a 5″ HVAC screen.
Kia builds the EV9 in South Korea, but production is slated to move to its West Point, GA facility this year.
Kia EV9 tops Toyota’s bZ4X in US December sales
Kia and Hyundai reported new sales records last year as EV demand continues building. Kia sold 18,879 EV6 electric cars in 2023, down from 20,498 in 2022.
Meanwhile, Kia expects the EV9 launch to jumpstart the brand’s momentum. ” Sean Yoon, Kia America CEO, said, “Groundbreaking vehicles like our new flagship EV9 EV three-row SUV showcase Kia’s unique ability to elevate expectations and push boundaries.”
Yoon added, “We intend to accelerate our growth trajectory in 2024” with new models like the EV9.
Kia EV9 sales reached 1,113 in the US last month. That’s 444 more than the 669 bZ4X models Toyota sold in December. Sales of Toyota’s electric SUV were only up 9.6% YOY despite overall sales rising over 22%.
Hyundai Motor (including Kia and Genesis) plans to be a top three EV producer by the end of the decade. By producing unique, functional EVs, the South Korean automakers are gaining ground in the US market.
While Toyota has stuck to its hybrid approach, including gas-powered hybrids, Kia and Hyundai are doubling down on EVs.
The South Korean automakers are achieving record growth on the back of their unique EV models. Hyundai’s IONIQ 5, IONIQ 6, and Kia’s EV6 and EV9 are dedicated EVs built on the brand’s E-GMP platform.
Hyundai and Kia are already gearing up for next-gen EVs with a new dedicated “eM” platform due out in 2025. The brand’s new IMA system “encompasses nearly all vehicle classes, ranging from small and large SUVs to pickup trucks,” Chang said.
In 2030, Hyundai plans to build 3.64 million EVs annually with 31 electric models from the Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis brands.
Meanwhile, Toyota’s bZ4X uses the company’s e-TNGA platform, a modified architecture that shares parts with gas-powered vehicles.
Toyota’s first dedicated EV platform is expected to launch in 2026. Despite big claims of next-gen battery tech and other advancements to boost range and cut costs, Toyota still has little to show.
On the other hand, Hyundai will be a brand to keep an eye on as the industry shifts to electric.
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