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2025 Kia EV3 First Look: This Little EV Could Be a Big Deal

Kia hopes to price the rad-looking EV3 around $35,000

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  • The subcompcat Kia EV3 will arrive in the U.S. next year.
  • Both single- and dual-motor versions will be offered, and Kia is targeting 300 miles of EPA-estimated range.
  • Most impressively, Kia is hoping to price the EV3 around $35,000, which will make it one of the most affordable new EVs out there.

The EV3 is the next step in Kia's electric vehicle offensive, taking all of the good learnings from the three-row EV9 and bundling them into a smaller, more affordable package. The first batch of EV3s will hit the road in South Korea this summer, but it'll still be a while before the little electric crossover makes its way to other markets. Kia estimates U.S.-spec models will arrive in the first half of 2025.

Because of that, there's still a lot we don't know right now, including some powertrain specs, official EPA-estimated range, or pricing. That said, Kia really wants the EV3 to make electric cars more accessible to a broader range of buyers, and the company is targeting a base MSRP of around $35,000, stretching as high as $50,000 for top-trim models.

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Well, aren't you cute

The best thing about the EV3 is that the production version looks almost identical to the adorable concept car Kia first showed last year. We love the boxy shape, and those weird four-spoke wheels are super rad.

Dimensionally speaking, the EV3 is 169.3 inches long, 72.8 inches wide, 61.4 inches tall, and rides on a 105.5-inch-long wheelbase. That makes it a good 15 inches shorter in length than the midsize EV6, and only slightly longer than a Kia Soul hatchback.

Kia will offer standard and GT-Line variants of the EV3, and the latter will take a similar approach to Kia's other GT-Line models. That means we can expect a slightly more aggressive look and large wheels at all four corners. The higher-performance EV3 GT — which should arrive in late 2025 or possibly 2026 — will have a similar sporty look.

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What powers the EV3?

The EV3 is built on the same E-GMP flexible architecture as the Kia EV6 and EV9. The standard-range model is powered by a 58.3-kWh battery while the long-range version has an 81.4-kWh unit. Kia says both are paired with a single electric motor that makes 201 horsepower and 209 lb-ft of torque, but the company also confirms a dual-motor, all-wheel-drive version will come online later. With front-wheel drive, the EV3 is expected to accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 7.5 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 106 mph.

As for range, Kia executives are targeting roughly 300 miles by U.S. EPA standards and as much as 600 kilometers (373 miles) on the more optimistic European WLTP test cycle. Maximum charging speeds are still TBD, but we know the EV3 will use 400-volt electrical architecture rather than the more expensive 800-volt system found in the EV6 and EV9. Kia says it should be possible to take the battery from a 10% state of charge to 80% in 31 minutes.

The EV3 will be loaded with driver assistance technologies, including Kia's Highway Driving Assist 2 suite that combines lane keeping tech and adaptive cruise control. Kia says the EV3 will also debut the company's i-Pedal 3.0 software, where the regenerative braking level is adaptive, and "learns" a driver's habits. We're excited to try that one out.

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Quirky interior with V2L charging

Well, for starters, it looks great. Everything about the EV3 concept carries over, from the quirky design to the sliding center console table to the vehicle-to-load (V2L) charging port in the rear that'll let you juice up an e-bike or other equipment while on the go.

Under the hood, there's a teensy-tiny frunk with about 1 cubic foot of cargo space. Around back, however, the EV3 offers 16.3 cubic feet of storage area with the rear seats upright.

The upright shape will likely provide lots of headroom, though given the EV3's small size, legroom could be tight for taller passengers — especially in back. Kia does plan to offer the EV3 with the Relaxation seat found in the EV9, so go on, have a quick snooze while you're waiting for this little guy to charge.

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Big screen with streaming entertainment

The EV3 will come with a 12-inch head-up display, and use the same 30-inch-wide dash-mounted screen as the EV9, with an updated version of the company's infotainment software. The big upgrade will be the inclusion of a generative AI voice assistant, which you can wake up by saying, "Hey, Kia," and then ask it, well, just about anything.

The multimedia software will also include integrated streaming services — Netflix, YouTube, TikTok, etc. — so you can binge your favorite online series while you're sitting around at the EV charger.

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Coming in 2025 — in theory

Right now, the biggest hurdle to selling the EV3 in the U.S. is whether or not Kia will be able to hit that $35,000 price. Because the EV3 will not initially be built in the U.S., it will not qualify for the $7,500 federal tax credit. However, Kia recently made a $200 million investment into its West Point, Georgia, manufacturing facility to locally produce the EV9, so it stands to reason EV3s could be built here as well.

Edmunds says

Assuming Kia can make good on the EV3's $35,000 estimated starting price, this could be a super-compelling electric crossover for those looking to take the plunge on EV ownership.

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