Kia unveils new EV5 compact SUV concept

Mike Askew

20 Mar 2023

Kia is continuing the rapid expansion of its all-electric EV range, with a new EV5 compact SUV set to follow its seven-seater EV9 SUV into showrooms early next year. Unveiled in concept form in China – where initial sales will start – the new model will sit just below the EV6 in Kia’s line-up and will compete in the ultra-competitive mid-size SUV market. 

Although Kia has yet to release any specific details about the production version, the concept version gives a strong indication as to how the production version will look. The EV5 has clear similarities to the larger EV9, and features many of the styling cues of its larger, seven-seater sibling. These include the Digital Tiger Face front end, star map LED running lights and the angular surfacing around the wheel arches. 

While the exterior design of the Concept EV5 gives a very strong indication as to how the final production version will look, the interior showcases a number of ideas that are are unlikely to get the green light. The rear-hinged doors are expected to be replaced by standard front-hinged ones (as they are in the EV9), while swivel seats that provide a small raised balcony are also likely to get the chop. According to Kia, the interior design of the Concept EV5 “takes influence from the contrast and complementarity of natural landscapes and man-made architecture.” For potential buyers who don’t speak designer, this is likely to mean a well-equipped and practical cabin with the usual array of Kia technology. The brand’s familiar twin screen infotainment system is expected to take centre stage, along with a centre console arrangement which mirrors that of the EV9. 

The EV5 will be based on Kia and Hyundai’s E-GMP platform, although sources suggest that the brand will use a slight evolution of the design that underpins the EV6 and EV9. This, along with the likelihood of LFP batteries (which are cheaper to produce but offer less range), suggests that Kia is working hard to reduce material and production costs for the EV5 in order to give it a price advantage over rivals.

No official announcement has been made regarding European sales, but understands that the EV5 is part of the brand’s UK product plan for 2024 as it expands its all-electric line-up. Should the production version mirror the dimensions of the concept, the EV5 will be around the same size as Kia’s current Sorento SUV, which has been a strong-seller for the brand. 

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