Kia EV3.

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After many, many, many spy shots over the last few months, we finally get to see the production version of last year-s Kia EV3 concept. And so far, it doesn’t disappoint.

It looks very very close to the concept. And still like a smaller, much smaller, EV9. I personally think it also looks much more refined than the EV9 which still looks to me like a big heavy-handed Tonka toy.

The interior is of course not as futuristic as the concept, but it still seems very modern and pretty original. Especially for a lower-end EV. The dashboard has retained the cool cloth covering from the concept. But unfortunately, the seats are still covered in vinyl and not that cool-looking cloth. I also noticed that what looks like a big glass roof is actually a rather small sunroof. Just like in the larger Kia EV6.

The console incorporates a small tablet that sticks out. Where you could possibly use a computer while waiting inside the car during charging. Although that could just end up being a bit gimmicky.

The seats seem to fold completely flat. Which would be great for camping, if the car is long enough. (it might not be for most people)

It also looks like Kia has figured out how to increase the cargo space under the front hood, but not really by much. As it is still a very small area. At least it’s not as ridiculously small as in the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6.

Initially, the EV3 will be available with only one motor producing 201HP. The larger 81.2kWh battery pack is rated at over 370 miles. Although the final EPA figure for the US will be closer to 320. The charging rate for the larger battery tops at 128kW, which isn’t that great. It is even a bit slower than the Toyota BZ4X. However, Kia claims you can charge from 10 to 80% in 31 minutes.

The new Kia EV3 is a pretty small car that is about 5 inches shorter than the Kia Niro, or about the length of the Chevrolet Bolt. In Europe, it will be competing against the Electric version of the Peugeot 2008 I just test-drove a while ago. And also with the all-new Volvo EX-30.

The EV3 comes in in Korea this summer. But we will probably have to wait until early next year to see it over here. Pricing is rumored to start between $30 000 to $35 000 in the US. At $35 00 it would compete directly against the Volvo EX30, which I think would be a mistake. At $30,000, this could be quite a hit. While it won’t qualify for federal incentives, it will when leased. Which could translate into lease payments under $200 a month.

You can currently lease a $ 42,000 Hyundai Ioniq 5 for $209 a month! Or an Ioniq 6 sedan for $189 a month! Same thing for the Kona Electric. An even lower payment for a sub-$35 000 for a Kia EV would actually cost less than what most people spend on gas…

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