Kia has unveiled its production version of the EV5, the third electric model based on the dedicated E-GMP platform, similar to the EV6 and EV9. Initially, it is intended for the Chinese market, where it will also be manufactured. In the future, it is expected to arrive in Europe and other markets, although the exact timeline is still uncertain.
The exterior design closely resembles the concept that was presented about six months ago, featuring unique lighting units, distinctive wheels, and retractable door handles, but without a camera system replacing the mirrors.
The interior of the EV5 is less futuristic than the EV6, featuring a pair of screens—a digital instrument cluster and a touchscreen—that are connected to create a unified appearance, while retaining physical controls on the central console, including mode selectors (drive, reverse, park) on the right-hand side. The front seats are connected similarly to a bench seat in older American cars but without the option of seating a third passenger in the front. The rear seats can be folded for a flat cargo floor with storage compartments underneath.
Technical details are still being kept under wraps by Kia, but certification documents published by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology provide some information. In comparison to the Sportage, the EV5 is longer by 10 cm (approximately 461.5 cm), and taller by 6.5 cm (about 171.5 cm) with the base wheels extending 7 cm (around 275 cm). The width is similar (approximately 187.5 cm, 1+).
The powertrains will be the familiar offerings from the Hyundai-Kia group. In the Chinese market, it will have a single rear-mounted electric motor (approximately 218 horsepower), while in Europe, it will also have an additional front-mounted motor for dual-motor all-wheel drive. The Chinese version will be equipped with a battery produced by BYD (the capacity has not been disclosed) and a high voltage (800V) system that enables ultra-fast charging.
Our take on this is that the EV5 will position Kia in the rapidly growing segment of compact electric SUVs, competing with models such as the Skoda Enyaq, Toyota bZ4X, Tesla Model Y, and, of course, its sibling from Hyundai, the Ioniq 5. Utilizing the advanced E-GMP platform should contribute to a high-quality driving experience, offer advanced drivetrain options, and provide one of the fastest charging capabilities in its category.
The only remaining question is when it will arrive in Europe and Israel. If delayed, it could face tougher competition against a variety of Chinese models that are expected to be introduced soon.