The large and relatively expensive Kia models EV6 and EV9 will be followed by a smaller model in 2024: the EV3. The compact electric SUV will be officially unveiled on 23 May 2024, as the Korean manufacturer has now announced. Until then, three new teaser images should keep interest high. 

The Kia EV3 was already presented as a design study last autumn. The new images prove that the production version remains very close to the look of the study. The overhangs at the front and rear are extremely short, which should ensure a relatively long wheelbase and a correspondingly large amount of interior space.

Kia EV3 (teaser image)

Kia EV3: Extremely short overhangs

The EV3 also features the "Star Map" light signature - this is what Kia calls the shape of the daytime running lights introduced a year ago on the EV9, which are apparently intended to be reminiscent of the lines in star maps (or constellations). The EV6 will soon also receive this light signature in a facelift. The exact shape of the lines will remain model-specific. 

Kia EV3 (teaser image)

The "Star Map" light signature with the angular lines can also be seen at the rear

The black plastic parts on the wheel arches also remain, which, together with the angular body cut-outs, are intended to visualise robustness. There is also a small roof spoiler at the rear, which is visually connected to the side windows and rear window via a black part on the C-pillar. These features also link the EV3 with the EV9. However, the side windows are probably smaller in relation to the sheet metal walls.  

Kia EV9 (2023)

Kia EV9

Kia EV3 Concept

Kia EV3 Concept

While the Kia EV3 is very similar to the flagship EV9, the technology differs significantly. Both are based on the Electric Global Modular Platform E-GMP. However, while the EV9 is available with rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, the EV3 only has front-wheel drive. In addition, the normal voltage level of 400 volts is used here instead of an 800-volt system. As a result, charging times will be significantly longer.

According to Kia, the dimensions are "compact"; the brand has not yet revealed more. However, the car will be shorter than the EV5 (4.62 metres in China according to CarNewsChina ) and the EV6 (4.68 metres). If you subtract the usual 20 cm difference in length between two classes, you end up with around 4.40 metres.

Kia Niro EV (2022) in the first seat test

Kia Niro EV: 4.42 metres long, from around 45,690 euros

Kia e-Soul (2023)

Kia e-Soul: 4.20 metres long, from 47,450 euros

However, this would put the newcomer in competition with the Kia Niro EV (4.42 metres). The example of the EV5 and EV6 shows that this need not be a problem as long as the two models are otherwise very different. While the EV5 is boxy and has a 400-volt system, the EV6 is more of a crossover and has an 800-volt system. However, a 4.40 metre long EV3 would have the same voltage level as the Niro EV and also a similar box shape. It is therefore more plausible that the EV3 will replace the Kia Soul EV (4.20 metres), which was launched in 2019. We will have to wait and see whether we are right with this admittedly rather hypothetical consideration.

The world premiere of the new Kia EV3 will take place on 23 May at 12 noon CET. It will be broadcast live on the YouTube channel of Kia Worldwide.

The bottom line

The model range is already well stocked with electric SUVs. There are also some strange overlaps. For example, the smaller Soul EV is more expensive than the larger Niro EV. Will the EV3 replace one of the two? The Niro has only just been relaunched, which would be more likely with the Soul. Or does the EV3 slot between the two in terms of size? It doesn't help, we'll have to wait the two weeks until 23 May. Then we will hopefully know more about the dimensions and price.