All-New Kia EV3 Debuts as Tiny, Affordable Yet High-Tech EV

Kia today unveiled the all-new EV3, a small electric crossover that’s largely similar to the EV3 Concept shown in October of last year and a perfect little brother for the EV9 that was recently voted as the 2024 World Car of the Year.

Following its launch in South Korea this summer and Europe in the fall, Kia plans to sell it in other global markets including Canada sometime in 2025.

EV for All

The goal here is to offer a compact and affordable electric vehicle that doesn’t really sacrifice passenger space or range, helping a greater number of budget-minded drivers make the switch to electric mobility, as Kia President and CEO Ho Sung Song explained in a media presentation which The Car Guide attended.

Photo: Kia

Based on the same e-GMP architecture as the EV6 and EV9, the EV3 measures 4,300 mm long, 1,850 mm wide, 1,560 mm high and has a wheelbase of 2,680 mm, making it roughly the same size as the Niro EV. The two will co-exist for a while until the Niro EV eventually bows out. Just like this model, the EV3 will launch with front-wheel drive only. However, a performance-focused, dual-motor, AWD-equipped GT model will join the lineup in the future.

Customers will have a choice of two batteries—58.3 kWh and 81.4 kWh—with maximum range said to reach 600 km based on the WLTP test cycle. Kia executives said during the presentation that drivers in North America can expect around 480 km. In the best-case scenario, the battery will charge from 10-80 percent in approximately 31 minutes using a DC fast charger.

The electric motor generates 150 kW (201 horsepower) exactly like the Niro EV, but torque is more robust at 209 lb-ft. As a result, the EV3 sprints from 0-100 km/h in 7.5 seconds instead of 7.8 seconds. Top speed is 170 km/h.

Photo: Kia

A Shrunken EV9

As yet another interpretation of Kia’s Opposites United design language, the new EV3 looks a lot like the three-row EV9 from every angle, but in a smaller package. Of course, the so-called Star Map lightning signature up front and the aerodynamic wheel design are unique to this model.

The lower fascia at both ends adds a sense of ruggedness to the exterior, especially in GT-Line trim pictured here. On the flip side, visibility out the rear window appears to be extremely limited, while the liftgate opening isn’t very large. In fact, trunk capacity is a mere 460 litres. Another 25-litre trunk can be found under the hood.

Photo: Kia

By the way, Kia offers the EV3 in nine body colours, two of which have been created exclusively for the new model: Aventurine Green and Terracotta.

Cutting-edge and Highly Customizable Interior

Inside, the layout is once again very similar to that of the EV9, although the steering wheel is shared with the updated 2025 EV6. Various colours, textures and materials (includigng recycled ones) inspired by nature’s elements are available. That being said, a highlight of the cabin is the new centre console complete with a sliding table, which will be great for eating or working on a laptop while the vehicle is charging. More storage can be found below.

Photo: Kia

Multi-adjustable ambient lighting, ultra-comfortable seats that incorporate a fold-back relaxation mode, a large digital interface combining a pair of 12.3-inch screens with a 5-inch screen in between, and a 12-inch head-up display are also part of the mix. Kia’s latest infotainment system gains a virtual assistant with generative AI (based on ChatGPT), allowing drivers to interact with the vehicle in more enjoyable ways. They’ll even have the ability to play video games when parked or customize the displays with a number of themes including their favourite NBA team.

Other tech bits worth mentioning include a digital key that can be shared with other people using a smartphone, and vehicle-to-load capability for powering all sorts of electric devices.

Photo: Kia

We believe the new Kia EV3 could make its first public debut in North America at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. Keep following The Car Guide for more details as they become available.

Watch: 2024 Kia EV9 AWD GT-Line Review

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