Kia unveils EV3, its new compact electric SUV

Kia has unveiled the EV3, a new compact SUV with electric drive. The 4.30-meter-long model adopts many elements of the large EV9 inside and out; even the platform is essentially the same. It will launch in Europe later this year, with further versions already announced for 2026.

At first glance, the presented production model has changed surprisingly little compared to the Concept EV3 study, as was the case with the EV9, when the concept car was extremely close to the final product. In the case of the EV9, we know that the study was only designed after the series design. Looking at the final EV3, we can only assume it was a similar situation.

Interior space

The design with the now typical Kia daytime running lights (the EV6 was also adapted to the design language with the current facelift) is more or less familiar.

Still, some facts and figures about the compact model are new: the EV3 is 4.30 meters long, 1.85 meters wide, and 1.56 meters high. At 2.68 meters, it offers the same wheelbase as the Sportage combustion model, which is noticeably larger at 4.52 meters. This provides the EV3 with plenty of interior space and compact exterior dimensions.

Specifically, Kia puts the headroom at 1,015 mm in the front and 955 mm in the rear. Legroom in the front is 1,060 mm, and 950 mm in the rear. Nevertheless, the load compartment offers between 460 and 1,200 liters of volume. There is an additional 25-litre frunk under the front bonnet for stowing the charging cable.

A steep front and a rather steep rear are necessary to achieve the large interior space with these compact dimensions. Kia uses active air flaps and a 3D underbody cover that takes up 80% of the surface area to smooth the airflow under the vehicle. It results in a drag coefficient of 0.267, not exactly record-breaking.

“The EV3 embodies our design philosophy perfectly. A combination of playful design combined with thoughtful functionality. Though compact, the inspiring exterior envelops an open interior space that emphasizes restorative relaxation for every journey,” commented Karim Habib, Executive Vice President and Head of Kia Global Design.

Front-wheel-drive, 2 battery options

When it launches in the fourth quarter of 2024, the EV3 will be offered with a 150 kW front motor. Kia is already familiar with this drive layout from the EV5, which has yet to be available in Europe. The larger EV6 and EV9 models are known to be available as rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive models.

The battery options also come from the 4.61-meter-long EV5: The standard model gets a 58.3 kWh battery, while the EV3 Long Range has an 81.4 kWh battery. That allows for WTLP ranges of 410 and 560 kilometers, respectively (these are still provisional figures).

Kia presented these figures to the media prior to the launch. However, the official announcement mentions up to 600 kilometers for the EV3 Long Range. The exact WLTP values will only be available later anyway.

As the electric motor delivers 150 kW in both cases, the standard model accelerates to 100 kph in 7.4 seconds, slightly faster than the Long Range version at 7.7 seconds; the smaller battery is simply lighter. Top speed is 170 kph.

The EV3 is based on the more cost-effective 400-volt version of the E-GMP platform, not the 800-volt version like the EV6 and EV9. Thus, high charging capacities beyond 200 kW are unavailable in the EV3. Specifically, Kia specifies a peak output of 102 kW for the base model, while up to 128 kW is possible with the 81.4 kWh battery. In both cases, charging from ten to 80% takes 31 minutes.

There is an 11 kW onboard charger for AC charging, which also supports vehicle-to-load charging, and the EV3 is also equipped for bidirectional charging. That means the built-in technology also supports vehicle-to-grid or vehicle-to-home charging. It remains to be seen exactly when this will be offered, but the basis is on board.

‘Highly functional’

The EV3’s spacious and ‘highly functional’ cabin will have a modern lounge character to ensure that passengers feel also comfortable on longer journeys. Kia promises that five people will be able to sit comfortably.

However, as is usual in the class, the rear seat is likely to be a little cramped above a certain height, and according to the pictures, the EV3 cannot exceed the class standards here, either. However, in combination with the front seat adjustment, a few centimeters can make the difference between being comfortable in the rear seat and not. If the rear seat is not occupied, the ‘Relaxation’ seats in the front can be set very flat for a relaxing break during charging stops.

The operating concept is familiar from the large EV9; in fact, the displays in the EV3 are the same size. Information for the driver is shown on a 12.3-inch cockpit display. To the right of this is a 5.3-inch area where some climate settings can be made.

The 12.3-inch central touchscreen for infotainment is located to the right of this. The screen will also be easily accessible for the front passenger to access entertainment and navigation functions. Streaming video content via the touchscreen will also be possible, and small in-car games for charging breaks have also been announced.

This division of the three displays, in combination with the integrated quick selection buttons under the center screen and the steering wheel buttons, was designed to help the driver concentrate on the road. With the head-up display and, according to Kia, improved voice control, the cockpit display and buttons are (theoretically) hardly needed.

In the press release for the EV3, Kia also highlights the new center console. It has a storage compartment and a small table that can be moved and thus flexibly adapted to the occupants’ needs. Drinks, snacks, or even a large handbag can be stowed in the lower storage area. Electronic devices such as laptops or tablets can be placed on the table during breaks.


While Hyundai and Kia almost always use recycled materials, totaling 28.5 kilograms, in the interior, the EV3 also uses components made from recycled materials on the outside.

Parts of the front bumper are made from recycled automotive plastic. The wheel arch is made from recycled industrial PET, and the side sills are also made from previously used plastics.

Additional variants in 2026

“The Kia EV3 has been designed and engineered to meet the needs of customers who want a car that matches their sustainability values but do not want to compromise their practical everyday needs. It provides one of the best living and luggage sizes in its class. At the same time, our flexible E-GMP architecture delivers a best-in-class AER driving range,” said Spencer Cho, Vice President and Head of Global Business Planning.

“With the EV3, Kia has redefined the EV SUV segment to create a compact model that is comprehensively equipped with innovative technology and features,” he added.

The EV3 will be introduced first in Korea in July 2024, followed by its European launch in the second half of the year. Kia plans to expand the EV3’s sales into other regions, with subsequent launches expected after the European market entry.

The prices of the two variants of the EV3 to be launched initially are not yet known; Kia intends to communicate these at a later date.

However, it has already been confirmed that an all-wheel drive and GT version will be available in 2026. Here, too, a look at the EV5 could provide initial clues: the all-wheel-drive version of this bigger brother also has a 70 kW electric motor on the rear axle. Probably, the GT version will even have more powerful variants. In an electric vehicle, increasing the power is a child’s play.



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