EVs have gotten many “best car” awards in the last few years, even as their sales growth has faltered. Motor Trend Car of the Year finalists for 2024 included the Tesla Model 3, the Lucid Air, and the Hyundai Ioniq 6. The North American Utility Vehicle of the Year for 2024 was the Kia EV9. The EV9 has just won another “best of” honor. It won the Edmunds “Best of the Best” award for 2024.
Edmunds is an online auto review company. Its ratings of cars are well-regarded. Its 2024 award was based on evaluations of over 500 vehicles. The Edmunds team tests over 300 cars, trucks, and SUVs regularly using their track and garage facilities.
Among the factors that made the Kia EV9 stand out is its practicality. It is a three-row SUV that can carry at least seven passengers. It has a range of 306 miles, which is impressive for a large, heavy EV. American drivers have made it extremely clear that they worry about range and charging time. Edmunds points out that the charging time for the EV9 is better than the industry average.
Kia and Hyundai
Many American drivers are unfamiliar with Kia and its South Korean stablemate, Hyundai. A third brand, Genesis, has become the luxury member of this family. Last year, the three brands quietly had a 7.5% share of the US EV market. Among them, the brands have nine EV models. GM and Ford should be so fortunate after spending billions of dollars to crack the EV segment.
Based on price, Kia is aimed at the low end of the American market. The least expensive car in its model line is the gas-powered Rio, under $17,000. That makes it one of the lowest-priced new cars sold in America.
Its least expensive EV in the Kia family is the EV6, with a base price of $42,600. The base price for a Tesla Model 3 is $35,990. The base MSRP for the E9 is $54,900. The Infiniti QX60, which has similar features but is gas-powered, has a base price of $51,650.
Will the Edmund’s award help Kia as it moves further into the EV segment? It is a part of the auto industry which faces headwinds. However, a visible endorsement like the one from Edmunds should help.