Kia Makes EV Triple Play, Debuts EV3, EV4 and EV5 Concepts, All Three Entering Production

When Kia first unveiled the EV6 and the EV9 we had questions on whether the duo would represent a broader leap for the Korean car giant in its attempt to expand its presence in the EV segment. Kia gave us an answer today at their first-ever EV day, with the unveiling of three EV concepts: EV3, EV4, and EV5. Each one brings something unique to customers, and all three promise to make a statement in the EV wars.


Kia EV3 Is Firmly Targeting The Youth Market

Kia claims that it wants to sell 1 million EV vehicles annually by 2026. This is a very ambitious goal, and while it’s tempting to think that models like the EV9, EV6, and even the EV5 will accomplish this goal, it’s ultimately in the suburban markets where the bread and butter of this idea can be found, and that’s where the EV3 comes in. While it’s a pure concept at the moment, Kia confirms that this small CUV is entering production as the figurative gateway into the EV family.

The CUV may be small, but it has a low, widened stance, with the exterior styling looking like a compact version of the EV9, which is pretty awesome. Four-spoke wheels are housed in flared wheel arches, and the front and rear lighting elements are very similar to what we have seen already in other Kia Evs, with some geometric patterns thrown in to perhaps channel a subtle connection to Hyundai models. The front and rear doors are designed to be coach doors, and while we highly doubt that this particular touch will make it into formal production, it’s still a good discussion starter among observers who see it in person. The climate control system slides out from underneath the dashboard, and the air vents have small backlit accents with motorized components. A movable center console is situated between the front seats and the rear bench seat can be flipped upwards to improve cargo space.

Specific powertrain information wasn’t revealed (a prevalent theme with the other two EVs revealed) but Kia reps did confirm that the company is attempting to make its Vehicle-to-Load technology work inside the vehicle. If they succeed in finding a way to do this, it would theoretically allow consumers to expand the kind of things that could be charged on the move, including large pieces of gear and even e-bikes.


Kia EV4 Straddles The Line Between Sedan and Utility; Success May Vary

When it comes to the EV4, it seems that Kia is embracing the contradictions that define the car’s broader segment. It’s no secret that sedan sales have been falling in the face of a stronger pool of CUV and SUV entries. But Kia is not ready to give up on the sedan segment itself, and it appears that they have chosen to straddle the line between sedan and utility with the EV4. Like other pseudo-sedan entries that we have seen from other automakers over the years, the car adopts a liftback look that helps create a large cargo area. We’ve seen this before in models like the Toyota Crown, but never with Kia’s unique styling elements. The lighting here follows the cues we saw in the smaller EV3, but the exaggerated rear end allowed Kia designers to add lighting elements that are wilder and longer which should give it a strong nighttime presence.

The interior is largely a remix of what we saw in the EV3, and the EV4 also adopts a alot of the same suite of features. However, it has a sportier theme, and we could easily imagine a performance version that would swap out some of the trappings for sportier bucket seats with carbon fiber and perhaps performance-focused features. However, it will be interesting to see how the EV4 measures up in sales, with other liftback offerings having varied degrees of success in overall sales.


Kia EV5 Will Come To North America, Where Is The Question

The Kia EV5 is designed to be a bridge model for Kia, with the EV being a two-row SUV entry that would give buyers utility but without the third-row seat that some buyers wouldn’t need. Kia claims that the EV is coming to North America, but the company didn’t specify where it would be sold in North America. While it’s easy to assume that North America is the United States, Canada, and Mexico also occupy the continent. Kia’s evolving statements on the matter seem to suggest that the company will sell the EV5 in one of those two markets, with the U.S. left out due to the revised EV tax credit program as part of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA.) A provision in that law states that EVs must be built in the United States to qualify for the credits. Kia doesn’t plan to build the model in the U.S., and as a result, it would be costlier to ship and sell the model here without the credits to help cushion some of that cost for customers.

While we have to wait longer to see Kia formally make up their minds about this bit of geography, the SUV itself is shaping up to be a unique entry. It’s the size of an ICE-powered Sportage, but unlike that model, the EV5 has a boxier look defined by three-spoke aero wheels and some of the same lighting elements we have seen in other Kia models. The interior (for better or for worse) carries over plenty of themes from the bigger EV9, including the dashboard design, the three screens mounted within, and the backlit flush-mounted controls further down the dash. The EV5’s front seats will also have a more traditional seat layout and won’t have the funky raised portion that made its appearance on the Chinese version of the car in August. Kia claims that this feature will be exclusive to that market but didn’t specify exactly what they chose to add it in the first place.


When Will We See All Three In Production

Kia’s EV Day event in South Korea certainly answered a number of key questions about the trio, but the prominent item that remains missing is a formal timetable for production. These vehicles will eventually become production models, but look for potential buyers to wait a few more years to see what these show cars transform into when they cross the line from showpieces to real-world production vehicles. The E-GMP platform will underpin all three, with the architecture already proving to be a very flexible architecture not only in the Kia EV6 but also Hyundai models like the Ioniq 5.





Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as

Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.

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