Test Drive: There's A Reason Kia EV9 Keeps Winning Awards

Every time you turn around, the Kia EV9 has been awarded another accolade. 

There’s a reason: The vehicle is a stylish head-turner and affordable, compared to its competitors.  The family-friendly vehicle also offers up to 5,000 lb. of towing capacity.

The latest group to recognize the vehicle is the Women’s Worldwide Car of the Year jury, of which I am a member. The EV9 was named the World’s Best Car for 2024. 

Prior to casting their votes, the 75 motoring journalists hailing from 52 nations diligently tested numerous car models, thoroughly evaluating every aspect. Among the 63 contenders, the finest automobiles in each category emerged victorious in the initial voting round.

Besides the EV9, which was the best SUV, the other Women’s Worldwide Car of the Year winners were the Volvo EX30 (family car), BMW 5 Series, (large car), Volkswagen Amarok (4x4 and pickup) and Aston Martin DB12 (exclusive car).

Other organizations to recognize the EV9 include the North American Car of the Year (NACTOY) jury,  which named it North American Utility Vehicle of the Year.  Popular Science named it one of the 50 greatest innovations of 2023.

The car boasts an impressive seven-seat capacity -- and, despite its considerable length, it excels in aerodynamics, contributing to its exceptional performance. Notably, the Kia EV9 showcases a cutting-edge design, incorporating advanced technology and offering both bidirectional charging and ultra-fast charging capabilities.

Last April, when the vehicle was unveiled at the New York Auto Show, Kia Vice President of Marketing Russell Wager called the EV9 “the latest evidence of our brand’s transformation.”  Wager will join me onstage at MediaPost's Marketing: Automotive conference at the New York auto show to talk about the EV9 Super Bowl spot and the rest of its very robust media plan. 

The vehicle targets three distinct groups of consumers. "Pragmatic affluents" drive an SUV, but until now had not found an EV that was up to their standards. "SUV intenders" love the outdoors and the idea of an EV, but don't believe there's an EV that can deliver on the capability/versatility they need -- until now. Finally, "EV intenders" would be open to the Kia EV9 if it delivered unique tech features worth talking about. 

Having test driven the vehicle, I think it has the potential to score with all three groups. 

I'd go so far as to say the Kia EV9 is truly a game-changer for electric vehicles. It will be the vehicle we look back on down the road and say “this is when EVs became truly affordable, user-friendly and desirable for all consumers.” 

No other vehicle has taken the same risks and pushed the design and engineering boundaries to the same limit. There's a reason the vehicle is getting so many awards. 

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