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The Kia EV3 could be the cheap electric SUV we’ve been waiting for

White Kia EV3
Kia

The Kia EV9 was already one of the cheapest ways to get an electric SUV, but now the company is taking things to the next level. After teasing the Kia EV3 last year, the car is now official.

The EV3 is built to be a slightly smaller, cheaper version of the EV9 — following the path of the Rivian R2, which arrived after the Rivian R1S. It’s certainly not as technologically advanced as the EV9, but it still looks unmistakably like a modern Kia, and is clearly a sibling of the larger SUV. On the outside, the vehicle has the same split taillights and very similar Tiger Face front. But it is quite a bit smaller. The vehicle will be available in nine finishes — however only “Aventurine Green” and “Terracotta” are being announced right now.

Back of a white Kia EV3
Kia

The interior is very similar to tghat of the EV9 too. Unlike the three-row EV9, the EV3 has two rows of seating, so you’ll only be able to fit up to five people in it. That, of course, will be perfectly fine for many buyers who don’t have large families or border on needing a minivan-sized vehicle. The interior is designed to be open-feeling, with a large sunroof, and the door and dashboard are covered with a recycled fabric. Upfront, the EV3 has a similar dual display layout to Kia’s other EVs, with an infotainment display and a digital instrument cluster. Kia hasn’t confirmed CarPlay or Android Auto, but given its track-record of including the tech, we’re expecting to see it on the EV3.

So what about the actual EV parts of the EV3? According to Kia, the EV3 will be built on the E-GMP platform that has underpinned the EV6 and EV9. There will be two battery sizes at launch — a standard range battery that sits in at 58.3 kilowatt-hours and a long range battery that comes in at 81.4kWh. Kia says that the long range battery will deliver up to 600 kilometers of range, as estimated by the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP). That equates to 373 miles, which is excellent. However, keep in mind that the WLTP is generally a little more generous with range estimates than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the U.S., and it’s likely it’ll have an estimated range closer to 300 miles.

The fastest version of the Kia EV3 (called the Kia EV3 GT-Line) will accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 7.5 seconds. So, while it’s decidedly less powerful than the EV9, it’s certainly not slow.

Infotainment system of the Kia EV3
Kia

There are still some things we don’t know about the vehicle, like its price. We also don’t know when it will be available in the U.S. — Kia says that it’ll first launch in Korea in July, followed by a European launch in the second half of the year. After that, Kia says it will expand to other markets, so we may not see it in the U.S. until 2025. When we do finally get the vehicle here, however, it could end up being the budget electric SUV to beat.

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