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Kia EV5 Debuts as Shrink-Rayed EV9 With a Clever Interior

Kia's EV5 changes little from concept to production and is set to take a stab at the competition in 2024

Kia EV5 front 3/4
  • The Kia EV5 is set to arrive in the U.S. sometime in 2024.
  • First, the compact SUV will go on sale in China.
  • The EV5 is expected to ride on Kia's E-GMP platform and come with dual- and single-motor powertrains.

Kia has revealed the production-ready EV5 SUV, the brand’s third E-GMP platform electric vehicle. While it may look a lot like someone scaled down an EV9 with a shrink ray, the SUV has some clear differences. For starters, the EV5 sits inside the much smaller compact SUV class. That means when it hits the market, the Kia EV5 will sit in a more traditional role in the compact SUV segment (we consider the EV6 to be a swoopier take), competing with the likes of the Volkswagen ID.4 and Toyota bZ4X/Subaru Solterra twins.

While it is very clear what this new SUV will compete with, it’s difficult to say how well it will compete — Kia has yet to release specifications for the EV5, but given its sizing and the brand’s prodigious use of the E-GMP platform, we’re putting power outputs in line with the EV6. For the EV5, that means single-motor variants starting around 225 horsepower, but numbers could shift come production time here in the States.

Kia EV5 interior

Hard numbers notwithstanding, the EV5 stays very true to its concept form. Unsurprisingly, the production car’s wheels have shrunk, and minor changes have been made to the car’s front and rear fascias. However, the car’s lighting signature stays almost completely true to the concept.

Inside, the story is different. Kia has changed quite a lot from the concept, but that’s no surprise given the concept’s more abstract interior. The design elements are still very standout, even when compared to the concept’s minimalist-futuristic take, and still very Kia. The wheel is significantly more rounded than the concept’s, and it sits just in front of the brand’s familiar two-screen dash layout. A single oddity remains in the front row, left over from the concept. The bench-ish middle seat doesn’t seem to feature a seat belt, but it’s possible this is some sort of jump seat. Hyundai has not said anything to that effect.

More information on the EV5 will be coming from an EV Day event slated for October, but the model won’t arrive in the U.S. for some time. The EV5 is set for sale in China first, and we expect to see the EV5 stateside by the middle of next year. 

Kia EV5 rear 3/4

Edmunds says

Given the current crop of competitors in this segment, the Kia EV5 is sure to shake things up a bit. We’re excited to see what features Kia brings into the compact electric SUV space, and we'll be watching closely for more info in October.