The production Kia EV3 has been spied testing, and it’ll slot in under the Sportage-sized EV5 in the Korean brand’s growing electric vehicle (EV) lineup.

    While still wearing plenty of bulky camouflage, the prototype looks production-ready, backing up reports Kia will reveal the production model this year. It’s expected to be sized similarly to the petrol-powered Seltos.

    The South Korean company says now it has established itself as an EV brand with the EV6 and EV9, it’s illustrating how it’ll broaden its lineup further with more accessible small- to medium-sized electric models.

    One such model will be the EV3, which along with the Sportage-sized EV5 (which has been confirmed for Australia), will have prices ranging from US$35,000 to $50,000 (A$54,516 to $77,880).

    The EV3 features the brand’s latest Opposites United design language, and has a clear visual kinship with the EV9.

    Although the EV3 prototype’s camouflage hides numerous details, various design cues from the EV3 concept can still be seen.

    Though it’s slightly less boxy than the EV9, we can see similarly pronounced fenders to the flagship SUV, as well as vertically oriented headlights and tail lights.

    The concept’s horizontal daytime running light strips found above the headlights are also still present on this prototype.

    The ‘disconnected’ C-pillar that gives the concept EV3’s roof a floating look is harder to spot on the prototype, however. What are visible, though, are the rear door handles that are integrated into the C-pillar.

    The EV3 concept’s interior was quite minimalist, with next to no physical switchgear. Kia has taken a different approach with the prototype EV3, which now more closely resembles the EV9.

    There’s a digital instrument cluster and infotainment touchscreen situated in one expansive assembly, with a row of buttons below the infotainment screen that look to offer haptic feedback, and a selection of controls in the floating centre console for features like hill descent control.

    Physical rocker switches for the dual-zone climate control are found next to the hazard light switch.

    As with the EV9, gear selection is done via a chunky stalk jutting out of the steering column.

    Kia has yet to confirm whether the EV3 will come here.

    Production of the larger EV5 will take place in both Korea and China, with Australian-specification models to be sourced from China.

    Kia already has an electric SUV similar in size to the Seltos: the Niro. This isn’t based on a dedicated EV architecture, and is also offered with both hybrid and (in other markets) plug-in hybrid powertrains.

    James Gelding
    James Gelding is a Contributor at CarExpert.
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