Home » Kia EV3 First Look: Can Kia Deliver 300+ Miles Of Range For Around $30,000?

Kia EV3 First Look: Can Kia Deliver 300+ Miles Of Range For Around $30,000?

Kia Ev3 Ts2
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The next frontier for electric vehicles is serious affordability, and while some global regions have already achieved this, America needs to catch up. Maybe a compact EV from Korea could help. The Kia EV3 promises plenty of range and entry-level pricing, all in a stylish package. The catch? It could be a while before we see it on American roads.

As it stands, the electric car market in America is oversaturated with luxury goods, a terrible position in a post-near-zero interest rates environment. It’s easy to blow six figures on something you juice up from the mains, but good options with more than 250 miles of range below $40,000 remain far and few between. There’s the Tesla Model 3 and the Hyundai Kona Electric SEL, and that’s really about it for long-range EVs in that bracket at this time. The Volvo EX30 will soon join that crew, but given how sparse things are, the EV3 is definitely needed.

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While concept cars rarely survive the transition to production unscathed, the outward difference between the EV3 and its concept is just a matter of details. The air intake on the front bumper has lost a bit of trim, the wheels have been made more realistic, but the exterior of the production-spec EV3 looks rather similar to the preview we saw last year. Of course, this means it’s a properly compact electric crossover. Measuring 169.2 inches long, 72.8 inches wide, and only 61.4 inches tall, it’s only a smidge larger than the Volvo EX30.

Medium 25035 Kia Ev3 Gtline Aventurinegreen Interior Highres 007

See, compared to the concept, major changes are confined to the interior, and they’re largely for the better. Sure, there’s no mycelium here, but the rather Land Rover-like three-spoke steering wheel on GT-Line models appears to be an ergonomic improvement over the concept’s two-spoke squashed octagon, while the requisite extra controls and surfaces largely make sense. There’s a volume scroll wheel between the dashboard air vents, a number of physical rocker switches for climate control functions, and some buttons in the console for stuff like silencing the parking sensors and activating auto hold. If the total package looks very EV9, there’s a reason for that — when crafting a new language and identity, automakers like to start at the top of the range and work downward, and Kia is no exception.

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Original 25016 Kia Ev3 Gt Line Exterior 1

While the entry-level battery pack in some markets is a 58.3 kWh unit, there’s a chance American models may only get the larger 81.4 kWh battery pack. That’s certainly no hardship though, as with a targeted range of 372 miles on the optimistic WLTP cycle, the EV3 should still have plenty of real-world range, even for flyover country. It should be reasonably sprightly too, as Kia’s claiming an output of 204 horsepower and 208 lb.-ft. of torque. Potential negatives? Well, a peak DC fast charging rate of 128 kW isn’t spectacular, but it’s in the same ballpark as the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Volkswagen ID.4.

Original 25033 Kia Ev3 Gtline Aventurinegreen Interior Highres 009

Given that the EV3 is smaller than a Niro EV, we wouldn’t be surprised if it starts at a more affordable price than that car’s $40,975 including freight. Somewhere in the $30,000 to $40,000 range seems about right, and that would make the EV3 rather tantalizing. However, it could be a while before we actually see this little electric crossover in showrooms. Initially launching in Korea with a European launch scheduled after that, North America is fairly low down the list of launch markets, so it could be a few years before we get the EV3.

Medium 25060 Kia Ev3 Gtline Aventurinegreen Exterior Highres 001

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Original 25055 Kia Ev3 Gtline Aventurinegreen Exterior Highres 006

Do good things come to those who wait? In the case of the EV3, early signs look promising. We’ll have to put tire to tarmac to be sure, but a long-range, entry-level EV is something worth getting excited about. If you can charge at home, an electric vehicle makes a lot of sense as a daily driver, and another affordable option should add some spice to the market.

(Photo credits: Kia)

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Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
29 days ago

So its an EV Soul?

It will sell like hotcakes when its brought to the US.

Why the delay?

Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
30 days ago

With EVs, moving to different markets is easier as it doesn’t need to meet emissions requirements. If only we could get more convergence on safety.

Ppnw
Ppnw
30 days ago

I’ve been a fan of the bold designs Kia/Hyundai has been putting out as of late. I don’t like them all, but at least they’re trying different things and being adventurous.

Can’t get behind this one. It’s heinous.

D-dub
D-dub
30 days ago

Can Kia Deliver 300+ Miles Of Range For Around $30,000?
“Somewhere in the $30,000 to $40,000 range seems about right”

Betteridge’s Law of Headlines again proves inviolable.

Last edited 30 days ago by D-dub
TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
1 month ago

Can’t wait for the AWD option to be $10k

Timbales
Timbales
1 month ago

It looks fine. I hate the front door handles.

EmotionalSupportBMW
EmotionalSupportBMW
1 month ago

I’ve never been so Kia-curious in my life. I would go into a Kia showroom voluntarily to a least consider buying this. If your reading this, Kia, no guarantees I’m going home with it! Would at least sit in it, and maybe talk to the respective sales person.

Schrödinger's Catbox
Schrödinger's Catbox
1 month ago

I’ve had several Hyundai and Kia vehicles.

They have come such a long way since my first one, which was a ’99 Sportage. Say what you will about those crude early year SUVs but it was unstoppable, cheap to own, reliable. Ugly as hell but I didn’t care.

I currently daily a 2018 Sorento SX AWD and it is just about a luxury SUV. Fully loaded with every option you can think of except for overhead 360-degree view camera, heated/ventilated rear seats, and a wood accented steering wheel (wtf, but it was an option). Wine colored leather interior which apparently is pretty unusual.

It pulls a trailer like it’s not even there, hauls stupid amounts of stuff inside, and looks great taking the far better half of our relationship out to dinner or a date.

My son told me I can never sell it. He loves the room and the rear AC (yes, it has front and rear AC in this generation).

It’s at about 51k miles now, quiet, powerful, and utterly comfortable.

Don’t fear the H/K twins. Check ’em out. If you’re feeling frisky, hell, slip into a Genesis.

10001010
10001010
1 month ago

I don’t know what color this thing actually is in person but on my computer screen it looks like it should glow in the dark. I know it probably doesn’t in reality but that would be awesome.

Detroit Lightning
Detroit Lightning
1 month ago

Why would they limit the charging speed compared with other vehicles on that platform? Differentiation vs more expensive models? Savings?

ElectrifyAllTheThings
ElectrifyAllTheThings
1 month ago

I suspect it’s probably based on the same platform as the Kona EV / Niro EV, rather than the more advanced / probably-more-expensive e-GMP platform (Ioniq 5, EV6, EV9).

Detroit Lightning
Detroit Lightning
1 month ago

I believe it’s on e-GMP though, but I’m sure there’s still flexibility within that platform.

ElectrifyAllTheThings
ElectrifyAllTheThings
30 days ago

You’re right, the press-release states it’s e-GMP.

Thevenin
Thevenin
30 days ago

e-GMP, but a cheaper 400-volt version.

Chronometric
Chronometric
1 month ago

Kind of a poor man’s Rivian R2.

Citrus
Citrus
1 month ago

Now do it in a form factor that isn’t “chunky crossover.”

I want an EV. But I also want something low and sleek – not just for looks, but for that extra efficiency. I want something less Tonka, more Hot Wheels.

I want a lot of what this is doing on paper, but like most crossovers this looks like something you settle for, not something you want to own.

Last edited 1 month ago by Citrus
10001010
10001010
1 month ago
Reply to  Citrus

A sporty 2-door hatchback EV for under $40K would be awesome.

Schrödinger's Catbox
Schrödinger's Catbox
1 month ago
Reply to  Citrus

The Kia EV6, Hyundai Ioniq 5, and its relative, the Ioniq 6, might be worth a look. Those should check a lot of boxes for you. Probably others as well, but those came to mind first.

Citrus
Citrus
1 month ago

They’re great, and if I had the money I’d get an Ioniq 6, but I’m thinking of this much lower price point and wishing there was some actual style in it.

Toecutter
Toecutter
1 month ago

Want affordability for your average Joe Sixpack, to where it will actually save them money vs their 20 year old clunker ICE?

Then the BYD Seagull’s price point, or maybe slightly above it, is the one to target. $30k is way too much.

Anything over $20k is getting to the point where the monthly payment won’t cancel out the gasoline + maintenance costs of a 20 year old clunker ICE. So long as this is the case, even someone that has a place to charge the car overnight will not switch over. An SUV/CUV is not the right way to go about this. Too inefficient, driving the battery cost up.

Thus far in the USA, EVs are the purview of the upper 20%. They’re inherently cheap to make and operate, so things should NOT be this way. Yet here we are.

Last edited 1 month ago by Toecutter
Fjord
Fjord
1 month ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Dacia Spring might be a better target, since Chinese EVs seem like they’ll have to fight to get in for a little while yet.

B3n
B3n
1 month ago
Reply to  Fjord

The Dacia Spring is a rebadged Chinese EV (Dongfeng EX1).

Raptor
Raptor
30 days ago
Reply to  Toecutter

This is exactly my scenario. Three 20+ year old Toyota/Lexus products at my house with poor fuel economy (Sienna, T100, and LS400). I would gladly add an EV to the fleet and put the miles on that to save on gas, but I Can’t afford to spend $30k+ on a new car, regardless of its propulsion system. A cheap EV around $20,000 or so, even with reduced range, would pay for itself in energy savings vs buying gas. Frankly, I have been tempted by the used Bolt EUVs from Hertz at around $15k each.

Toecutter
Toecutter
30 days ago
Reply to  Raptor

With proper aerodynamic streamlining, it is very doable to get a sub-$20k EV that has a 200+ mile range on the highway, and maybe 120-150 miles range in the city, with a battery no bigger than 30 kWh, 25+ years ago. By necessity, it would have a small frontal area, and could be anything from a subcompact sports car or hatchback, to a long-wheelbase sedan with lots of leg room.

But the auto industry won’t built it. They’d have to put planned obsolescence, at least regarding vehicle styling, on the chopping block, and use a form that is already as good as possible and doesn’t lend itself well to future changes, and doesn’t have its aerodynamics diluted with trim pieces, cladding, fake or real vents/grills, ect. It would by necessity be a clean, no-bullshit design that they couldn’t nickel and dime the buyer with on bullshit. And every on of these sold, would mean a larger, thirstier, more expensive, higher-margined vehicle doesn’t get sold.

By not doing this, the auto industry is going to price most people out of having cars, and eventually collapse. The field is already ripe for the Chinse to take over because of this, but the stablished auto industry had government step in and protect them from meaningful competition, at taxpayer expense…

Last edited 30 days ago by Toecutter
Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
1 month ago

I’ll believe it when I see it. Hopefully I still have decent vision by the time it actually happens.

30k and 300 miles is great, but will Kia actually build any with a modest feature set? Or will every single one have 12k in options that are entirely software based? That’s one of the main issues right now with the available EVs. It’s not the base prices that people are running away from, it’s the attempt by manufacturers to claw back losses with unreal options costs.

People don’t love the bait and switch of seeing “starting at 42k”, heading to the dealer and finding nothing but 60k examples.

Nycbjr
Nycbjr
1 month ago

This is really cute, as an owner of a ’23 Niro HEV this could be our next car if we decide to go full EV. But charging in NYC still sucks lol

Outofstep
Outofstep
1 month ago

If it gets 300 miles of range and starts near 30k I’d probably put down a deposit on one. If it starts near 40k then my interest will quickly fade away.

Alexk98
Alexk98
1 month ago

I love the Top Shot of this directly above the Silverado EV, just pointing out what a horrendous value proposition the S-EV is in comparison.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
1 month ago
Reply to  Alexk98

I noticed this immediately. Hard not to really.

Icouldntfindaclevername
Icouldntfindaclevername
1 month ago

The big EV push from Hyundai/Kia will be when they finish their new plant in Georgia. That plant will be detected to EVs

Suss6052
Suss6052
1 month ago

Well was the initial plan, sounds like they may build hybrids there as well now based on the latest news and customer demands though.

Mike B
Mike B
1 month ago

Looks nice, Hyundia/Kia really do a good job with the interior and exterior styling of their small cars.

Maybe it’s because I’m cheap and always buy used cars, but even 30K sounds like a lot of money for a commuter/runabout type car. I guess what I would expect to be low operating and maint costs would help make up for it, but 30K is what, 600/month?

I’m starting to feel like EV’s are kind of over. I know a few people who were so hot on them a year or two ago and are now over them and looking into ICE or hybrids. I realize that’s an extremely small sample size, but I image that has to be a common attitude.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike B

EVs aren’t over. They’re inevitable, in fact. However, the initial hype is definitely gone. Many of us knew that first generation EVs were largely beta products that required a ton of compromises…that’s now come home to roost, and early adapters have already adapted.

No one wants BEVs right now. There’s a reason companies are slashing prices on them maniacally and willingly eating huge financial losses on every one they sell. They’re also scaling back their plans for them. That’s because it’s technology that isn’t ready for prime time yet.

But over? Not by any stretch of the imagination. They’re going to continue to get better and become more usable, more affordable, etc. But if you need a car right now and are conscious of your carbon footprint definitely get a hybrid or PHEV.

Fjord
Fjord
1 month ago

Probably a good spec for a ‘compact’ EV with extended range, but still too big and too expensive for a city EV.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
1 month ago

Hyundai and Kia, despite their numerous flaws, are doing a lot for the industry right now. They’ve found a way to make affordable cars that are actually desirable, and as a result it’s forcing other manufacturers to have to up their games. Do we really think the Trax and Envista would wind up as good as they are without the Kona and Seltos being great products? Probably not.

Do we think the family hauler market would be exploding and getting better rapidly if not for the Palluride twins? Probably not. Hyundai/Kia have also been wise to adapt a similar model to BMW when it comes to electrification. You want an EV? They’ve got them. You want to dip your toes into electrification? They’ve got tons of traditional hybrids and a surprising amount of PHEVs. You just want to stick with ICE? They’ve got that too.

I hope this thing winds up here and succeeds. It’s an incredible important and poorly populated niche…and if anyone can pull off making an affordable car that doesn’t suck it’s probably the industry leaders in doing just that. I just hope it comes with an immobilizer….

Last edited 1 month ago by Nsane In The MembraNe
GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
1 month ago

Do we really think the Trax and Envista would wind up as good as they are without the Kona and Seltos being great products? Probably not.

I mean, probably – their predecessors were quite successful and had the early mover advantage, and the segment got real crowded real quick, I don’t think any one product had more impact on it than another. Some of the things that make those GM twins good products are because they deviate from some of the segment norms rather than lean into it.

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