Sleeping in Kia’s EV9 Went Way Better Than I Thought It Would

Sleeping in Kia’s EV9 Went Way Better Than I Thought It Would

Fresh off the heels of writing about just how good it is to work in the Kia EV9, it’s time to talk about how good the EV is to sleep in. See, with the Kia EV9 being the biggest car Gizmodo Australia has ever reviewed, I wanted to get my time’s worth with the car. So I did what I usually do – I drove it up to Newcastle and hung out with my family for the weekend and Monday. Except this time, one of the nights, I turned the back seats into a bedspread.

The Kia EV9 is a blocky seven-seater; it’s an expensive car that starts at nearly $100,000 and is the most pricey car Kia has ever sold. The model we reviewed, the ‘Earth’ mid-range variant, includes a gigantic 100kWh battery, giving it a 512km WLTP range (though internally, the car reports a range upwards of 600km).

This huge battery, dwarfing most other electric car batteries currently on the road, is probably why I only noticed about 8 per cent energy eaten while working in the car during the day.

When I was sleeping overnight in the EV, I was doing so with the car plugged in, and I didn’t notice any battery usage with the 2.4kW emergency slow charger plugged in. Whenever I checked, the car reported a usage of 1.3kW, and throughout the entire night, I had the aircon set to the second fan setting and set at a comfortable 20 degrees. I was able to have the aircon only on in the back so the cold air wouldn’t go to waste. The car’s three-way zoning (driver, passenger, and rear two rows) allows you to do this, and having four roof-bound air vents for the back two rows makes things a breeze.

To the surprise of some, energy rose by 5 per cent over the night. For comparison, on a night when I wasn’t sleeping in the car, I saw energy rise by about 15 per cent.

On the energy side, things worked out well. You could have this car plugged into, say, a caravan plug at a holiday park, and comfortably sleep in it without needing to worry about running out of power. You’d likely want to disable the unnecessarily loud ‘Start Charging’ voice that chimes whenever the car begins charging, as this was quite annoying.

But what about actually sleeping in it?

Well, I really enjoyed sleeping in the EV9. With the back two rows folded flat, you can easily organise a double bed-sized space for sleeping (I’m 5’10 and found the space big enough). Just avoid my mistakes, and remember to fill in the holes underneath you with soft pillows or blankets; it’ll make things much more comfortable.

Naturally, the only thing I could hear was the air conditioner, so noise wasn’t a problem. Light, however, was for a moment. The central screen in the front needs to be manually turned off if you don’t want it running all night, and the screen behind the driver’s wheel will stay on persistently throughout the night with the car charging (though it shouldn’t appear if you had the car unplugged, as indicated when I worked from the car).

With the front seats set as far forward as possible, you’ll also have space for things like travel bags and laptop cases, which I happily took advantage of, and also changed clothes in the car and used my laptop to play games in the back as I wound down for the evening.

Perhaps the only awkward part of this exercise was getting in and out of bed. Sliding in and out of the boot felt naturally awkward but doable, and there wasn’t enough leg space to climb in through the rear two doors.

At least there’s an abundance of space. With the back two rows dedicated to sleeping, you can move all your luggage to the front seats, or into the frunk under the bonnet (though it is quite small), into the rear footwells, into the small rearmost row footwell, or the limited space under the trunk (though this is reserved for the emergency repair kit).

Anyhow, I’d rate sleeping in the EV9 as a positive experience. It was lots of fun and I could comfortably travel in this car on a holiday without a camping trailer. The range it offers, coupled with its fast public charging speeds, could make it a great car for travel. That’s rich for me to say, though, while it costs nearly $100,000 and I earn nowhere near enough to make that purchase. But if you do, and have been looking for an EV to sleep in, this is the car for you.

Stay tuned for the full review.

Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

Want more Aussie car news? Here’s every EV we’ve reviewed in the last two years, all the EVs we can expect down under soon, and our guide to finding EV chargers across the country. Check out our dedicated Cars tab for more.

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