Kia Reveals EV3: Finally an Affordable Electric Crossover?

May 23, 2024 | by magnews24.com

The Kia EV3 electric crossover is a small new model with big styling. It’s aimed at finally cracking the affordable electric vehicle nut, and promises long range with plenty of features.

The target is a starting price of $30,000. Yes, plenty of automakers are aiming for that figure, and no, none of them are hitting it. Not really, and not yet, at least, unless you count even smaller city car models with very short range like the Nissan Leaf and Mini Cooper Electric.

Baby EV9 Styling

2026 Kia EV3
(Photo/Kia)

Scaled-down EV9 styling and loads of black plastic cladding help make the EV3 look larger, at least in photos. But this one is quite compact, smaller even than Kia’s own Niro at 169.2 inches long versus 174.

It could end up with a more spacious interior than the Niro, though. Because while the Niro is based on a gas model’s platform, the EV3 is purely an EV from the start and benefits from not needing to accommodate gas vehicle components.

The closest current competitor for the EV3 might be Volvo’s EX30. The electric Volvo is slightly shorter but equally tall and wide. The Kia is likely to undercut the Volvo in price. While the brand is making strides, Kia still doesn’t have the luxury cachet of the Swede or the ability to pull its somewhat premium price tag.

Long-Range Pack Offers 370 Miles

2026 Kia EV3
(Photo/Kia)

Kia said that two electric battery packs will be offered: the standard pack, with 58.3 kWh of capacity, and the Long-Range pack, with 81.4 kWh of capacity. The larger of the two packs is estimated to offer around 370 miles of range on the WLTP cycle (likely equal to around 300 when tested for the U.S.), which should exceed what Volvo manages from its 69kWh pack.

EV3 has a 400V architecture instead of the 800V battery system in Kia’s other electric models. The system costs less, helping with the sticker price, but does increase charge times. Kia says it should charge from 10% to 80% in around 30 minutes, which seems quite reasonable given the estimated range that it would provide.

Both EV3 battery packs will come with the same electric motor. The motor will make 202 horsepower and will power the front wheels. Kia mentioned a 0-60 miles per hour time of 7.5 seconds, but did not mention the possibility of all-wheel drive.

30 Inches of Cabin Screens

2026 Kia EV3
(Photo/Kia)

The cabin gets a screen that measures nearly 30 inches, but it is actually a series of screens in one large bezel. There is a 12.3-inch digital dash, a same-sized center display for navigation and infotainment, and a 5.0-inch screen in the middle to control the HVAC.

Kia says many of its controls can be operated through the steering wheel instead of the screen. There are buttons for cruise control as expected, but also for picking drive modes, operating the infotainment system, and for running the nav system. Another row of buttons below the center screen offers redundant control of maps and media functions.

The automaker says that the EV3 will be the first model to get its new regenerative braking tech. Called i-Pedal 3.0, it will allow one-pedal driving, as well as multiple selectable regen braking levels.

Campsite Electric Power

2026 Kia EV3
(Photo/Kia)

While it won’t have AWD, at least to start (the EX30 offers it), the EV3 will have Kia’s adventure-friendly Vehicle-to-Load system. The system lets you run large electric devices like laptops, fridges, coffee makers, or even hair dryers (Kia claims) using either a 110V plug or a special adaptor that plugs into the external charge port.

The Kia EV3 will launch in Korea in July 2024 and will head to Europe in the second half of this year. It has been confirmed for the U.S. — through the concept reveal and at a press backgrounder on the vehicle — but reports suggest we won’t see it until sometime next year.

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