Kia EV3 revealed: compact electric SUV has more than 370 miles of range (officially)

Even more EV-badged Kias on the way

Kia has taken the wraps off its new compact electric SUV, the EV3, which will slot in between the Soul EV and Niro EV models in the Korean company’s already robust electric line-up.

The new model offers buyers a choice of battery sizes, with the largest providing an estimated range of more than 370 miles, anccording to the manufacturer, and a big boot for a vehicle of this size.

Design inspired by Kia EV9

Kia EV3

Kia’s publicity images also reveal a modern design inspired by the larger EV9, with flat surfaces and some futuristic, angular pieces of trim, as well as narrow lights at the front and rear. Aerodynamic alloy wheels are also fitted.

Similarly, the interior takes much from the EV9, and Kia makes no bones about the replication of the technology. The company hopes it will stand the EV3 in good stead alongside compact rivals such as the Hyundai Kona EV and the Honda e:Ny1.

Kia EV3

The cabin gets five seats that use similar sculpting and headrests to the EV9 and feature a “relaxation mode” that sees the backrests fold.

To add to the living-room feel, there’s a multi-level centre console with a sliding table and storage area, which, according to Kia, is intended for storing drinks and snacks, while the table can be used for “personal electronic items” when the vehicle is stationary.

Big boot for the class

But the table is not the only practical aspect to the EV3, which gets a 460-litre boot. That’s almost 100 litres more than the e:Ny1 accommodates, and Kia reckons it makes the EV3’s luggage bay the most spacious in its class.

Kia EV3

Back in the cabin, the design follows that of the exterior, with a clean and modern aesthetic similar to that of the EV9. The dashboard has a single housing for both the driver instrument display and the central touchscreen, as well as a five-inch air conditioning panel.

The screens are home to all the usual systems, including navigation and media, but Kia has also fitted the EV3 with AI Assistant technology. The “human-like” assistant is intended to “support and inspire users” and provides a more conversational tone for voice recognition tech.

Although many of the vehicle’s functions are accessed through the screens and the AI inside them, the EV3 still has some switchgear on the dashboard, as well as numerous steering wheel controls, allowing drivers to access cruise control, drive modes and media functions without taking their hands off the wheel.

Driver assistance and sustainability focus

Kia EV3

Speaking of safety, the EV3 will be offered with a number of assistance features, including collision avoidance technology and lane-keeping assistance, as well as reverse parking collision avoidance tech, which aims to stop the car if the driver doesn’t spot a hazard. There’s remote smart parking assistance, too, which is designed to move the car in and out of parking spaces remotely for easier access.

Sustainability is also key to the EV3, and Kia is keen to point out that the cabin is built with numerous sustainable materials, including recycled fabric on the door trims and polyethylene terephthalate (Pet) in the seats, headlining and floor mats.

Two battery options

The most interesting feature will be the electric powertrain that comes with a choice of two different battery sizes. Whether you opt for the 58.3kWh base battery or the 81.4kWh long-range version, you get the same 201bhp electric motor that enables a 0-62mph time of 7.5 seconds and a top speed of 106mph.

More importantly, the 81.4kWh battery pack will allow the EV3 to cover more than 370 miles on the official economy test, which should make the vehicle more useful on long drives. Real world range tends to be less than the quote figure, particularly in the UK where temperatures below the 23C of the test often impacts range, but a figure above 300 miles should easily be attainable.

No figures have been confirmed for the smaller battery, but at just over two-thirds the capacity of the bigger unit, an official range of more than 250 miles seems likely.

Kia EV3

While the bigger battery will charge at up to 128kW on a suitable public DC rapid charging point, the smaller unit has a maximum rate of 102kW, but because of the difference in capacity both should take around 31 minutes to recharge from 10 to 80 per cent in optimal conditions.

To maximise range, Kia has included a new “i-Pedal 3.0” regenerative braking system, allowing the driver to adjust the level of regenerative braking force (which recovers energy to the battery during decelerating) according to their preference. Kia says the highest levels will provide “one-pedal driving” which means that with forward planning, the driver will be able to accelerate and bring the EV3 to a full stop using only the right-hand pedal.

Kia has not yet announced prices or UK specifications for the EV3, which is expected to arrive later this year.

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