Being totally honest, I didn’t really want to like the Kia EV9. Sure, it’s a nice design and the technology is impressive, but look at it: it’s a big, heavy SUV with an almost absurdly big battery – and a price that matches Kia’s ambitious push into the premium sphere.

It’s a long way from the Kia Picanto is all I’m saying.

But then I drove one and it turns out I really do quite like the EV9.

For something of its size, it’s disarmingly easy and relaxing to drive.

It’s comfortable too: that huge body allows for a cavernous and bright interior and the seats – in particular the reclining passenger chair – are wonderfully cosseting.

Kia EV9 side tracking

Mostly, I quite like the EV9 because while many big, premium SUVs feel overblown and imposing, it somehow feels bright and optimistic.

And that’s why it’s my favourite car I’ve driven this year: it is upbeat and makes you smile.

Of course, the fact that the EV9 is good shouldn’t really be a surprise. It’s underpinned by the Hyundai Motor Group’s excellent E-GMP platform, so it’s built from a very solid base.

But it’s still impressive that it has been done with such finesse and quality that the EV9’s chunky Range Rover-baiting price doesn’t feel unreasonable.

Kia EV9 rear quarter tracking