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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Kia shrinks EV9 into new entry-level all-electric EV3

Marque's fourth EV model also takes up station as its most affordable and smallest SUV.

Kia has added a fourth model to its range of EV-badged electric models in the shape of the EV3 which also becomes its smallest and entry-level SUV.

Positioned below the EV5 and EV9, the Sportage-sized EV3 is said to carry its own identity relative to its siblings, though styling draws heavily from both, as well as certain Chinese vehicles.

New small electric Kia

Unlikely to be offered in the People’s Republic though, the EV3 rides on the same Electrical Global Modular Platform (e-GMP) as the EV5, fastback-styled EV6 and EV9, with dimensions of 4 300 mm in overall length, width of 1 850 mm, height of 1 560 mm and wheelbase of 2 680 mm.

Incorporating the EV-specific Opposites United styling language, but with the mentioned EV5 and EV9 elements, the EV3 will have its line-up topped by a sporty GT-Line resplendent with sportier bumpers and door sills, gloss black accents and a redesigned lower air intake as well as model specific alloy wheels.

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Inside, subtle differences from the EV9 feature, namely the steering wheel and placement of the Kia logo from the centre of the hub to the upper right.

Carried over is the dashboard complete with the dual 12.3-inch displays for the infotainment system and instrument cluster, but not the pair of screens on the flanks of the dash supposed to serve as an alternative for the side mirrors.

In addition to a less bulky centre console than on the EV9, the EV3 also comes equipped with a Head-Up Display projecting information onto the windscreen, as well as Kia’s i-Pedal function that allows for single pedal driving without the use of the brake pedal due to the regenerative braking system.

Kia unwarps EV3 as newest and smallest electric SUV
Interior has been changed slightly from the EV9. Image: Kia

Offering 460-litres of boot space with a further 25-litres available underneath the bonnet, the interior makes extensive use of renewable materials in that the roofliner, floor mats, seats, armrests and luggage cover are all largely made out of recycled plastic bottles.

Providing seating for five unlike the three-row EV9, the EV3’s suite of safety and driver assistance systems comprise Lane Keep Assist, Forward Collision Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert with Automatic Braking, Reverse Park Barking and a revised version of the semi-autonomous Highway Driving Pilot system called Highway Driving Assist.

Power of two

On the propulsion front, the EV3 range will consist of two models; Standard Range and Long Range, the former utilising a 58.3-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, and the latter an 81.4-kWh battery.

In both instances, the cells power a 150kW/283Nm electric motor Kia says will see the EV3 get from 0-100 km/h in 7.5 seconds and on to a limited top speed of 170 km/h.

Kia unwarps EV3 as newest and smallest electric SUV
Rear facia borrows traits from EV6 and EV9. Image: Kia

While the claimed range for the Standard Range wasn’t disclosed, the Long Range will have a single distance mileage of 600 km, and require a wait of 31 minutes from 10-80% when using a DC fast charger.

Regardless of the battery pack, the EV3 supports vehicle-to-load charging or V2L, which allows it to charge certain household appliances such as laptops small fridges and even hairdryers for a limited time.

Don’t hold your breath

Going on-sale in South Korea first before arriving in other key markets such as Europe and the United States in the second half of the year, the EV3 is not expected to be offered in South Africa anytime soon.

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