Kia EV3 revealed as sub-£30k electric SUV with 373-mile range

Kia EV3 front quarter static
Kia EV3 front quarter static

Kia is targeting the Volvo EX30, Cupra Born and Renault Mégane E-Tech as rivals

The new Kia EV3 will bring ‘flagship’ technology from larger bespoke electric models to the compact SUV segment, according to the firm – with European versions offering a range of more than 370 miles.

First shown in concept form last year, the third model in the Korean firm’s range of bespoke electric cars takes clear styling and technology cues from the large EV9, which was launched last year. With a target starting price of under £30,000, the EV3 is targeted at mainstream buyers and the likes of the Volvo EX30, Cupra Born and Renault Mégane E-Tech are claimed to be rivals.


The EV3 will be a key part of Kia’s efforts to further grow its global EV sales, but with a particular focus on the European market. The firm is aiming to sell around 200,000 vehicles per year, with around nearly half of those in Europe.

At 4300mm long, the EV3 is slightly shorter than the multi-powertrain Kia Niro although, at 1850mm, it is slightly wider than that model. But because the EV3 sits on a dedicated EV platform, it has a wheelbase of 2680mm, which matches that of the larger Sportage and allows it to offer a bigger interior than many B-segment SUVs.

The exterior styling is notably close to last year’s concept version and takes obvious design cues from the larger EV9. Despite its upright stance, the crossover has a drag coefficient of 0.267, aided by a 3D aerodynamically sculpted underfloor and active air flaps.

The interior is designed to offer a ‘living space’ feel. The dashboard features large digital displays comprising two 12.3in touchscreens and a 5.0in display, complemented by a head-up display. Buttons have been retained for essential controls, while the operating system will feature AI-enhanced voice control. Kia design chief Karim Habib said the retention of physical buttons was about offering “balance”, adding “we don’t believe every button has to be eliminated”.

Kia EV3 dashboard – wide view
Kia EV3 dashboard – wide view

The system features over-the-air updates and Kia will offer a range of entertainment services that can be used while the car is stationary, including access to video streaming services. The look of the operating system can also be customised. For example, in the US, Kia has offered skins based on NBA teams.

The interior also features a number of storage areas, including a central unit between the front seats with a sliding table that can be used as a workspace. The boot has a capacity of 460 litres and there is also a 25-litre 'frunk'. Both the interior trim and boot make use of sustainable materials, including recycled fabric and recycled PET in the seats, headliner, armrests and floor mats. A QR code on the EV3's dashboard and interior bodywork gives more information on the material used.

The EV3 will initially be offered with a single electric motor producing 201bhp – matching the Niro EV – but with a choice of two nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) batteries. Standard Range models will feature a 58.3kWh unit, giving a range of around 255 miles, while Long Range cars will gain an 81.4kWh version, which officially yields a range of 373 miles. That is substantially more than most key rivals. For example, the leggiest Volkswagen ID 3 has an official range of 339 miles.

Kia EV3 rear quarter
Kia EV3 rear quarter

The EV3 uses a modified version of the Hyundai Motor Group E-GMP platform used by the EV6 and EV9, although because it has a 400V architecture, it can’t charge as fast as those cars. Instead, standard versions can charge at 102kW, rising to 128kW for Long Range models. But it will be capable of bi-directional charging and feature a vehicle-to-load power outlet in the rear.

The EV3 will be launched first in Korea, but is set to arrive in the UK and mainland Europe later this year. While it will be available initially in Standard and Long Range forms, more variants are planned, including a performance-honed GT model.

The EV3 will be followed in the coming years by the larger EV5 SUV, which has already been shown in production form. That will be joined by an EV4 saloon. The firm has also confirmed a smaller EV2 with a sub-£25,000 target price.

Kia has no concerns about the EV3 splitting sales with the similarly sized Niro EV, according to the firm’s European marketing chief.

Kia EV3 front end
Kia EV3 front end

David Hibberd, Kia’s Europe marketing director, said the EV3 will “complement” the big-selling, multi-powertrain Niro and is likely to serve as more of a “conquest car” that would help win over buyers who are new to the brand and looking for a dedicated EV.

“With the Niro offering three powertrains [petrol, hybrid and electric], it can help people transition one step at a time,” said Hibberd. “It’s been very successful for us. The EV3 is for people who want a dedicated EV that’s the next step. It will probably attract a different type of customer because it’s more polarising. It might not be for all customer types.”