Hang on, wasn’t this vehicle unveiled last week? Close, but not quite. This is the Kia EV5 Concept, a preview of the EV9 crossover’s smaller sibling. While it seems that Kia is adopting the same sausage, different lengths philosophy favored by some German automakers, a closer look reveals some neat details on the EV5 Concept.
How come the EV5 Concept looks so different from the EV6? Divorce the two in your mind and things start to make sense. While the EV6 is a swoopy Stinger replacement, the EV5 Concept is an early look at a crossover with more mass appeal.
Part of the reason why the Kia Telluride sells so well is because it looks like the box it came in, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if future EV5 customers wanted something as squared-off as a milk carton. A tall hood, sharp beltline, and pronounced haunches dominate the EV5 Concept’s styling and emphasize the corners of the vehicle.
However, a monolithic silhouette requests delicacy in the details, else you end up with something like the BMW XM. With this in mind, the EV5 has a face full of wafer-thin swooping chrome, tail lamps that feel a bit Polestar, fantastically-complex alloy wheels, and intricate forward lighting.
Add it all up and you get something that looks a bit more thoughtful than say, a Nissan Rogue which also has squared-off styling. The EV5 Concept looks expensive, which is a good thing considering the premium EVs typically command.
Step inside the EV5 Concept and things look flight-of-fancy even for a concept car. Kicking things off, there is no B-pillar, just a wide open chasm when the doors are open. Ford pulled this feat off in a production-spec crossover with the B-Max MPV a decade ago, so I’d love to see another manufacturer get brave and have no B-pillar but front and rear doors that can open independently of each other.
With the EV5 Concept’s doors wide open, we catch a glimpse of its swiveling seats, classic car tech that’s making a comeback on the EV9. One of the benefits of dedicated EV platforms is that there’s no fuel tank to package, so wacky rear seat arrangements are back on the table.
Slide into the front seat and swivel around like you’re 10 and playing with an office chair and you’ll notice there’s no lower dashboard on the EV5 Concept. I mean, there’s obviously a panel to cover the firewall, but everything below about armrest height is just wide open. It feels like such an invitation to bring bench front seats back, but Kia’s used the opportunity to give the seats in the EV5 Concept some extra thigh room.
This means that the center console passes underneath the front seats which is really weird. It makes the strange C-shaped pedals look damn near normal, a difficult feat to accomplish.
Powertrain details haven’t been released as the EV5 Concept is a visual exercise for now, but there will be a real production model based on the concept coming later this year. As for why the Kia EV5 Concept debuted so close to the debut of the EV9, the brand showed this off at an event where it announced its entry into the Chinese market, so the production model is initially focused on a different demographic than the EV9.
However, Kia claims that “Details regarding any future plans for the other global markets will be made in due course.” So, let’s see if this two-row crossover makes it anywhere near North America.
(Photo credits: Kia)
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Hopefully they can bring in 3 x 2 seating?
ewww, i did not realize the 6 was supposed to be the stinger replacement, what a let down.
I do think that is a design element that was sadly lost in the late 70’s swivel bucket should have never gone away.
Klaatu barada nikto.
I was thinking more “Robocop.”
This thing bears an uncanny resemblance to Ed-209. Without, one hopes, the propensity toward mayhem.
I was more thinking 6000 SUX
1). This thing is dumb. Stop finding solutions to problems that no one has. Steering wheels work great. Buttons, knobs, and switches work great. Seats work great. All of these things have been around as we know them for decades at this point. Some tech bro engineer who had 3 Long Islands during his lunch break isn’t going to revolutionize *checks notes* steering wheels.
2). I am getting moderated into oblivion. I’m not sure if the algorithm changed or something but pretty much half of my posts are getting flagged at this point. I know the comment system is a work in progress but I hope this can be addressed soon. I’m not spamming, I promise.
….go to http://www.definitelyrealsite.n3t to find out how I make $420.69 per hour by spamming car blogs!
Oh god lmao I made that up off the top of my head and it posted an actual link….whatever it is don’t click it
This is going to end up a pretty normal vehicle before it hits production. It’ll have a pillar between the doors, a regular steering wheel, and mostly regular controls. Some of that will be sad, some will be necessary.
I’ve been getting moderated more, too. Looking forward to the new system when it arrives.
So steering wheels have now gone from squircle to rectircle?
Bringing on the octagon.
Quick! Hire Chuck Norris as the spokes person!
Someone tell the manufacturers: stop messing with the basic controls in the name of fashion.
Some ideas need to stay in the back room, out of sight, until there’s a good, compelling argument in their favor. Don’t normalize a bad idea.
Steering controls other than a simple wheel fall into this category.
As does “let’s have a tablet control every function of the car”. Basically everything under the “what if we copied Tesla” umbrella fits in that back room. Or better yet, what if we gave this whole category a shed on the moon? Because that’s where it belongs.
Lexus’ yoke is actually solving a problem inherent to directly connected steering wheels. It could still be wheel-shaped, but with how they implemented it, it’s not necessary nor helpful.
From an ergonomic standpoint, I’d rather have this squished octagon than either Lexus’ or Tesla’s yokes. At least this solution has grab points around all 360 degrees of rotation, even if you would have to move your hands laterally more than a trivial distance.
It is hard to tell from the camera angle, but this could provide better view of the instruments/display, at least for tall folk. The non-circular shape might also make it a tad easier to slide your legs in under the wheel as you are spinning in your seat.
All that said, I’d still prefer the good ol’ fashioned circle.