New Kia Concept EV5 previews electric Sportage alternative

Kia's latest concept strongly hints that the brand's next dedicated EV will be a mid-size SUV, and the production version will arrive later this year

Kia has given us a glimpse of what comes next in its all-electric line-up with this: the Concept EV5. It’s billed as a prelude to Kia’s next dedicated EV model, and we won’t have to wait long to see the finished article. In fact, the Kia EV5 production car will be on sale in China later this year.

Europe? No word on that just yet, but Kia has hinted that the production EV5 could be a model with global availability, revealing that “details regarding any future plans for the other global markets will be made in due course”. 

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Few technical details and no dimensions for the Concept EV5 have been revealed by Kia, but the size of the newly revealed Kia EV9 – the flagship model in the firm’s next-generation EV line-up – as well as the numerical positioning of this model’s name do suggest a medium-sized SUV. It is, in effect, an electric version of the Sportage – the 6th best-selling car in Britain in 2022 – so it has a major role to play in Kia’s future range. 

In terms of shape, the EV5 takes after the larger EV9 – a traditional two-box SUV. The production version will effectively offer up a more practical experience than the lower-slung and sleeker EV6, with which it will probably share a similar footprint. However, with the concept EV5, Kia is keen to highlight how it plans to evolve its ‘Opposites United’ design language, and some of the details found on the concept are a departure from previous Kia EV tropes.

“The Kia Concept EV5 takes influence from the contrast and complementarity of natural landscapes and man-made architecture,” claims Kia design boss Karim Habib. Headlining this evolved design language is a new version of the brand’s trademark ‘Digital Tiger Face’, incorporating a new lighting signature that Kia says is inspired by constellations of stars. 

This lighting signature bends around the car’s front apron and meets the squared-off wheel arches, before continuing on the slim rear-view cameras. The boxy, robust design theme of the EV9 repeats down the flanks of this concept vehicle, but the rear end features a lighting signature wrapping from the lower corners of the car, around the back of the tailgate. It’s a similar, but more squared-off, treatment to the rear lighting of the EV6. 

The concept rides on large, 21-inch wheels, while the paintwork finish is called Iceberg matte green, and is said to be a nod to hues found in nature. 

This concept has an interior, too. Key influences from the EV9 are found in the integration of the widescreen infotainment display and digital instrument panel, on top of a floating dashboard. 

There’s a completely flat floor inside, maximising the interior space on offer. Swivel seats, like those in the production EV9, have made the cut. They allow occupants who enjoy the great outdoors to pull up, open the doors and take in the view uninterrupted, given that there’s no B-pillar getting in the way. Similarly, the large glass panoramic roof with integrated solar panels is there to allow stargazing at night. 

As we said, no technical details on the EV5 concept are out yet, but we can safely assume that the car will be underpinned by the 800-volt electrified E-GMP platform used under a growing number of bespoke, all-electric Kias and Hyundais. A maximum battery size of 77kWh would give the production model a range in excess of 300 miles.

More details regarding the Kia Concept EV5, the production version, and European availability should be confirmed later in 2023. 

Now read our full in-depth review of the Kia EV6…

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