Kia's compact EV3 electric SUV spotted in South Korea

Max McDee, 21 November 2023

Kia is getting ready to introduce a smaller, more affordable electric SUV next year. The Kia EV3, a slightly smaller compact SUV than the recently introduced EV5, was recently spotted testing on South Korean roads, offering a glimpse into what the future of affordable electric crossovers could look like.

Kia officially introduced the EV3 concept at the 2023 LA Auto Show, marking its debut in the North American market. Before that the EV3 made its appearance at Kia's annual EV day in October, where it garnered attention for its blend of technology, practicality, and design elements clearly influenced by the larger EV9.

The EV3 inherits some key design cues from its two bigger siblings - the EV5 and EV9. With its forward-pushed windshield, sloping roofline, and distinctively disconnected C Pillar, the EV3 exhibits a shrunken version of the EV9's imposing crossover presence. The front fascia features Kia's new "Opposites United" design theme with signature star map lighting and vertical LED headlamps that contribute to the vehicle's futuristic appearance.

Inside, the EV3 offers flexibility with four different modes: focus, social, refreshing, and storage, allowing drivers to adapt the layout to their needs. The center console is made from sustainable materials, specifically mushrooms, showcasing Kia's commitment to environmentally friendly design.

The recent sightings of the Kia EV3 during testing provide valuable insights into its size and proportions. The vertical LED lights peeking through the camouflage and square-cut wheel design, reminiscent of the EV9, are clear indicators of its lineage. What stands out is the EV3's compact nature, noticeably smaller than the typical SUVs on the road.

In terms of size, the Kia EV3 is expected to be closer in dimensions to vehicles like the Volvo EX30 and Smart #1. The Volvo EX30, for reference, measures 166.7 inches in length, 72.3 inches in width, and 61 inches in height, making it one of Volvo's smallest offerings. Volvo’s technological twin, the Smart #1, is slightly longer and wider. This suggests that if the EV3 is of similar dimensions, it’ll be a nimble and maneuverable option for urban driving.

One of the most compelling aspects of the Kia EV3 is its expected starting price, which is estimated to be around $35,000. This puts it in the same price range as the Volvo EX30 and fairly close to its sibling, the Smart #1, making it an enticing choice for budget-conscious buyers looking to make the switch to electric mobility. The EV3 could be a game-changer in the EV market, providing accessibility to electric vehicles for a wider audience, albeit in a smaller package.

The Kia EV3 is set to be launched next year, and it will make waves in the electric vehicle market by offering an affordable and compact electric SUV with a range of features and a design inspired by its larger sibling, the EV9. While the flexible interior and sustainable materials are important, it’s the hopefully competitive pricing that gives the EV3 the potential to redefine the entry-level electric vehicle segment.


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