10 features in the Kia EV9 that make you go 'wow'

The 2024 Kia EV9 three-row electric SUV is now available, and we’ve already had plenty of good things to say about it. It fills a rare segment in the EV space, offering three rows of seating for less than the luxury options that are already out there. It’s good to drive, quiet and powerful, with decent range and excellent charging times. The styling is also quite interesting, with respectable aerodynamics despite its big, boxy profile. You can read all about the 2024 Kia EV9 in our first drive, as well as our buying guide review.

A lot of thought went into the EV9, and it is full of neat features that may or may not surprise you, and that you’ll find quite useful and convenient. Each adds a bit of comfort, convenience or intrigue to this big EV, and a few of them are things we don’t see often — or at all — in other vehicles. Here are 10 interesting features we discovered and deemed worth highlighting when we recently drove the EV9.

1. Reclining seats

Taking a cue from the comfy Kia Carnival, the EV9 has some interesting seating features. The “Relaxation Comfort” seats recline as usual, but have a power legrest as well. It’s like your own in-car La-Z-Boy. It’s standard for the driver and optional for the passenger in the Land trim, and standard for both front seats in the GT-Line. It’s an option for the second-row seats in the Land and GT-Line trims. They’re pretty nice to sit in, too, especially when paired with seat heating and ventilation. Not a bad way to spend your time waiting on a charge.


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2. Ergo Motion seat

Only available in the top GT-Line trim, in which it is also standard equipment, is the “Ergo Motion” driver’s seat. This includes seatback and cushion massaging, which consists of large air bladders inflating and deflating rather aggressively to sooth those stiff muscles. Even though they push pretty hard, they steel feel soft, unlike the hard, knobby massagers in some premium brands.


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3. Second-row shelf and cubby

Termed the “second-row slide-out center console” in Kia literature, this is essentially a covered cubby that slides out from the back of the center console. The cover acts as a shelf to place items, and slides away to expose the drawer beneath. It’s the perfect place to stash some snacks or wipes for the kiddos in the back.


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4. Haptic menu controls

These are a double-edged sword. They look great, especially when illuminated, and they otherwise blend in well with the trim they’re embedded into. They’re responsive when you touch them, and give you a little haptic feedback that actually makes it feel like you’re pressing a button. The only problem is that they’re placed just below the infotainment screen, where I tended to rest the heel of my palm when poking around in the menus (I’m not alone, Honda literally puts a ledge under its touchscreens for this very purpose). That would lead to me accidentally changing the menus I was actually trying to navigate.


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5. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Phone projection is a nice thing to have in an infotainment system, and making it wireless makes it even easier. We’re glad that this is now part of the feature set. If you’re worried about battery life, the EV9 also provides a wireless device charger as standard content. If you still prefer the stability and better battery-zapping prowess of a wired connection, you can still do that.


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6. A custom drive mode

One thing we lamented not having in our long-term Kia EV6 was a drive mode in which you could individually customize the settings. In the Kia EV9, in addition to Eco, Normal, Sport and (in higher trims) Snow modes, the “My Drive Mode” lets you do just that. That allows you to pair the Sport steering setting with the Eco motor mode if you like. We do like.


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7. Rearview camera mirror

What if you’ve packed your EV9 full of six or seven people and their belongings? It might get a little difficult to see out the rear window. The Land and GT-Line trims come with a standard “full display mirror” that turns the rearview mirror into a crisp, clear camera feed with a wide view of what’s behind you. You can even adjust the vertical angle of the view, as well as the brightness.


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8. Nature sounds

Like other Hyundai Group products, the Kia EV9 comes equipped with a “Sounds of Nature” audio program that lets you put on soothing loops of sounds that make you feel like you’re relaxing on the beach, walking through the snow or flying through space. Unlike earlier versions of this feature, the new nature sounds also include some ambient music to go along with the waves crashing or raindrops falling. We preferred when they were not accompanied by the instrumentals, except for the angelic “Experience the Universe” track, which is simply sublime.


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9. A cute, little frunk

The Kia EV9 doesn’t have a big frunk like some other EVs, but like other Hyundai/Kia products, there is a small amout of storage under the hood. It’s 3.2 cubic feet in the Light trims, and 1.8 cubic feet (the volume you see in the photo above) in Wind and up. That’s plenty big to hold a mobile charging cable, a first aid kit and some rope. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you should always keep some car rope on board.


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10. Digital key and fingerprint sensor

The Kia EV9 has a few ways to unlock and start the car, which are standard across the lineup. You can use the key fob like a boring person. You can use a key card like a slightly less boring person. Or you can use your phone as the key like the future person you are. You can also text a key to someone (which you can later revoke) if you need to let them access your car. There’s also a fingerprint sensor inside the car that you can use to start the car, unlock your driver profile, or turn off valet mode. But really, it’s the phone-as-key feature that’s the best.

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