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Kia EV3 revealed as a small electric family crossover

23rd May 2024
Ethan Jupp

Kia has revealed the new EV3, an all-electric crossover sporting highly competitive range figures and pricing. While the EV9 was an affirmed push upwards in terms of pricing and segment occupation for the Korean brand, the EV3 is a welcome value proposition. Let’s take a look.

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Riding as all these cars do on a version of the E-GMP platform, the EV3 is launching first with an e-Niro-matching 204PS (150kW) single-motor powertrain, fed by either a 58.3kWh or 81.4kWh battery. The larger battery will be good for 339 miles and though no official figure has yet been given for the smaller battery, expect 250-270 miles. Joining the range down the line will more than likely be a dual-motor all-wheel-drive option, with increased performance at the expense of some range. There’s even hope for an EV3 GT.

A key change for the platform however is a move downward to a 400-volt electrical architecture. That means slower charging speeds of 102kW or 128KW for the larger battery. This is a similar move to Peugeot, which very deliberately elected to stick with 400-volt for a EV3 rival, the new E3008. For reference, 128kW will still be good enough for 10-80 per cent charge in 31 minutes.

The benefit of that, of course, comes in terms of price. The lineup is expected to undercut competitors on price. To compare, the Volvo EX30, another key rival for this car, starts from almost £34,000 on the road and offers just 209 miles of range.

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The EV3 is so disruptive in fact, that it’ll no doubt make waves inside Kia dealerships, comparing highly favourably to the long-serving Niro EV. In terms of dimensions the EV3 is very similar, though it feels the benefits of an electric-only platform in its more spacious interior. That interior is also obviously newer, with sharper, more cohesive styling and obviously, the option of far more electric-only range.

In terms of the styling, it is as described: EV family cues, like the star map light signatures and cuboidal musculature of the EV9, draped over a family crossover-sized vehicle. It’s a bit more curvaceous, and thanks to some innovative design work and active aero, it’s a very slippery car, with a drag coefficient of just 0.267. All in all, it’s thoroughly modern, thoroughly contemporary, and highly appealing. At this point, Kia might have the most distinctive family of EVs of any manufacturer.

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The family resemblance continues on the inside too, with Kia’s new triple screen and haptic panel as seen on the EV9 making an appearance. The continued retention of a physical button for key functions and on the steering wheel is welcome, too. Newer for the EV3 will be the customisation options in the operating system, with a wider range of different looks for drivers to choose from. Of course, Kia’s push to use sustainable materials also continues with the seats, armrests, floor mats, and headliner all using recycled fabric and PET plastics.

Once the EV3 is on stream the true mini EV9 - the EV5, will be next in line to join the fray as a family SUV not dissimilar in size to the Sportage. But for now, what do you think of the EV3? Will it be the hammer blow Kia needs in an increasingly crowded marketplace? Let us know your thoughts…

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