Kia reveals EV5 electric SUV concept, targets Chinese market

EV9's little brother, complete with swivelling seats, unveiled at Kia Chinese EV Day with a launch slated later this year.

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 21 Mar 2023 Views icon2817 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

Less than a week after it revealed the EV9 seven-seat electric SUV with 540km range, Kia Corporation unveiled the EV9’s little brother – the EV5 electric concept SUV. Similarly styled as the EV9, the EV5 concept also has swivelling seats and is targeted at China with the production model destined for launch there later this year.  

Fittingly, the Concept EV5 was unveiled at Kia Chinese EV Day, the latest in the Korean carmaker’s strategy to achieve global leadership in electrification. The new Kia EV5 is, as the name suggests, smaller than the freshly revealed EV9 but follows the larger car in adopting the 'Opposites United' design ethos that will define all future models from Kia. 

EV5 SUV (right) is smaller than the EV9 (left) but follows the larger car in adopting the 'Opposites United' design ethos that will define all future Kias.

“The Kia Concept EV5 takes influence from the contrast and complementarity of natural landscapes and man-made architecture. It is designed to inspire our customers on every journey, while providing sustainable and environmentally responsible solutions. Created for those who seek inventive new ideas, the SUV brings together emotional form language with innovative, user-focused interior architecture,” explained Karim Habib, Executive Vice President, and Head of Kia Global Design Center. 

Kia has not revealed any technical details about the EV5 but the production version of the all-electric SUV is likely to ride on a variation of the E-GMP platform that underpins the two existing Kia bespoke EVs and another four that will follow before 2026.

Other than the confirmation that the EV5 will be launched in China later this year, Kia has not offered any guidance to other launch plans. Its statement says, "Details regarding any future plans for the other global markets will be made in due course."

Kia has presented the EV5 as an SUV that supports the lifestyles of owners pursuing a "borderless life where there is no boundary between their enjoyment and appreciation of nature and the city".

Like the EV9, the EV5 is sharply proportioned and overtly focused on practicality, and the larger car's swivelling seats feature here too, allowing occupants in both rows to turn 90deg to "enjoy uninterrupted views of the scenery", courtesy of rear-hinged rear doors and the absence of an A-pillar. Those doors also appeared on the original EV9 concept but didn't make it to production. 

Uniquely, the EV5 concept also seemingly features bench-style front seats, taking advantage of the lack of a transmission tunnel to provide more space for the front occupants. Whether or not such a feature could be homologated for sale in China or elsewhere remains unclear, but no doubt the panoramic roof (hosting battery-boosting solar panels on the concept) will be retained, as will the sustainably sourced interior materials and wrap-around digital infotainment screen atop the dashboard. 

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