Kia EV5 concept (exterior, profile and interior views)
Justin Hart's picture

Kia Unveils EV5 Concept SUV Days After Its Stunning EV9 Reveal

Kia seems like it may be trying to take things up a notch with EV reveals this month, showing off two striking new designs, one in production form and the second in concept. We could reasonably surmise Kia is trying to compound on the buzz its new electric vehicles are creating. Afterall, churning out new models quickly isn’t something the leading brand of EVs does that well (sorry Tesla), but it is something legacy car brands typically do, at least for gas powered cars.

Kia started last week with the reveal of the production EV9, a stunning new 6-7 passenger midsize electric SUV that should shake things up in its segment once it goes on sale later this year. Somewhat surprisingly, Kia followed up this week with the smaller, seemingly subcompact sized, EV5 (though it may also be a little bit larger compact size). According to electrek, the EV5 will first be released in China, later this year, which is at least a little bit amazing (to go from a concept to production model in such short order). However, given the vehicle's platform, and at least passing resemblance to the larger EV9, it is likely there will be some (or many) parts in common with Kia’s other EVs, so that would help achieve the short turnaround.

The EV5 concept is every bit as stunning as its larger “brother” the EV9, perhaps even a little more so. The boxy, angular lines portray a rugged, futuristic, and high tech elegance that would certainly appeal to large segments of US car buyers. Its interior, in concept form at least, is devastatingly modern. It looks like a well crafted shuttle craft from some recent sci-fi epic and those who may aspire to get behind the wheel might envision themselves on such space age adventures (even if they’re just rolling into the parking lot of the Trader Joe’s down the street). As a concept vehicle it is meant to evoke design language and inspire a final product and it certainly does so.

Being a concept, it is likely some of the design elements we can see in it now won’t make it to production (dig those wild seats!), but don’t be surprised if the most functional aspects do. It seems like there is certainty for its delivery in China later this year, so perhaps calling it a concept isn’t exactly right. It might be closer to a pre-production version, depending on whether we are talking about the exterior and powertrain, versus the interior. The real question though, as Jalopnik calls out, is: will Kia bring the EV5 to markets other than China, and in particular will it be available in the US market at some point?

Kia is mum on that topic for now, but it would make sense for Kia to offer such a vehicle, or something similar, in the US given the popularity of smaller compact and subcompact SUVs here, and the relative dearth of affordable all electric options for such vehicles in the US, ones that have a little more off-road bonafides anyway. By that I mean extra ground clearance, AWD, and perhaps some other features that would add extra capability (limited-slip differential anyone?) to the more rugged looking little sibling of the EV9.

But what do you think of the EV5, readers? Is it perhaps more appealing than the EV9, or maybe even the EV6? Would you be more inclined to buy this little EV SUV over say the other Kia and Hyundai EVs, or perhaps over the more popular Ford Mustang Mach-E or most popular Tesla Model Y? Please leave your questions or comments below.

Images courtesy of Kia.

Justin Hart has owned and driven electric vehicles for over 15 years, including a first generation Nissan LEAF, second generation Chevy Volt, Tesla Model 3, an electric bicycle and most recently a Kia Sorento PHEV. He is also an avid SUP rider, poet, photographer and wine lover. He enjoys taking long EV and PHEV road trips to beautiful and serene places with the people he loves. Follow Justin on Twitter for daily KIA EV news coverage.

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