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Seltos-sized electric SUV leaked! 2025 Kia EV3 breaks cover as affordable electric car to rival BYD Atto 3 and MG ZS EV

It looks just like the concept! (Image: CarWale)

Kia’s most affordable electric car yet will launch on May 23rd but thanks to CarWale we get an early glimpse of the small SUV. 

Based on a front-drive version of Kia and Hyundai’s 'E-GMP' architecture, the South Korean EV3 will sit below the soon-to-launch EV5 and target affordable Chinese-made electric cars such as the BYD Atto 3 and MG ZS EV. 

No further details have been confirmed but the futuristic-looking EV3 has been revealed with Kia’s familiar closed off front ‘mask’, futuristic alloy wheel designs and airy cabin architecture. 

Compared to the EV3 concept unveiled last year its body lines have become a little more conventional in production form but this is still a distinctive small SUV. From the rear three-quarter angle the pinched quarter window/piano black detail and tailgate shape have shades of BMW’s 2014 i3 hatch

Flush, almost imperceptible door handles from the EV9 appear to be on the flanks. LED lighting details blend into the body seams of the EV3 for a crisp look. Measuring 4.3 metres long, the EV3 is roughly Kia Seltos sized. 

The cabin has a familiar layout to Kia’s other E-GMP products and Hyundai’s Kona electric. The twin screens are incorporated into a single tablet while the software is very reminiscent of the EV9’s. 

The EV3's cabin is familiar. (Image: CarWale)

There’s a new three-spoke steering wheel with a grey airbag cover that looks handsome. A tall centre storage cubby doubles as an armrest and it looks like there will be wireless charging and some physical shortcut buttons. 

CarWale suggests there will only be two trim levels: standard and GT-Line (pictured). Expect variance in battery pack to hit price points. 

Powertrain details are unconfirmed, though like the EV5 the EV3 will use a 400-volt version of the E-GMP architecture limiting charging speed and power compared to the EV6 and EV9. 

Do you see a hint of BMW i3? (Image: CarWale)

China-built EV5s coming to Australia will use a 150kW motor in front-drive configuration allied with a 64.2kWh LFP battery. A similar set-up for flagship EV3 variants could be possible, while Kia could also offer a lower trim level with 112kW motor at circa 45kWh battery rumoured overseas.

That would equate to driving ranges between 350-km and 500km, about right for this style of vehicle. An all-wheel drive EV3 is unlikely. 

Pricing is a long way from being confirmed but don’t expect Kia to get stuck into the bloody price war at the lower end. Product planning boss Roland Rivero has previously told CarsGuide the brand doesn’t plan to dip below $40K. 

Affordable but not bargain basement, says Kia. (Image: CarWale)

“If you’re developing your brand – and we’ve put a lot of work into that – and getting great product, if you can easily translate that to the customer that this is still great value, like the EV9, then do you really want to play in the puddle that is $30,000, or $25,000?

"You just need to make those decisions if you want to play in that price point. If you can stay at $40K-$50K, $50K-$60K, and there’s still value, that’s what we’re looking at,” he said. 

Hyundai recently registered an ‘Ioniq 3’ trademark locally suggesting it could play in a similar area to Kia’s EV3 and EV5 models.

Kia is expected to follow up the EV3 – which will sit below the EV5 and EV6 – with an EV4 sedan. More details to come at the EV3’s full reveal next Thursday, May 23rd. 

John Law
Deputy News Editor
Born in Sydney’s Inner West, John wasn’t treated to the usual suite of Aussie-built family cars growing up, with his parents choosing quirky (often chevroned) French motors that shaped his love of cars. The call of motoring journalism was too strong to deny and in 2019 John kickstarted his career at Chasing Cars. A move to WhichCar and Wheels magazine exposed him to a different side of the industry and the glossy pages of physical magazines. John is back on the digital side of things at CarsGuide, where he’s taken up a role as Deputy News Editor spinning yarns about the latest happenings in the automotive industry. When he isn’t working, John can be found tooling around in either his 2002 Renault Clio Sport 172 or 1983 Alfasud Gold Cloverleaf.  
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