The first spy photos of Kia’s new mid-sized electric SUV have emerged.

    Images shared by Korean Car Blog and Chinese media reveal the vehicle looks very similar to the concept that previewed it shortly ahead of its reveal.

    Korean Car Blog previously reported Kia will reveal its Sportage-sized EV5 at the Chengdu motor show, which commences August 25 2023.

    Based on the Concept EV5, it’s expected Kia will employ a version of the Digital Tiger Face front-end styling that also features on the EV9.

    It appears Kia may have adjusted the LED daytime running light and headlight design of the Concept EV5 to more closely resemble the EV9.

    Likewise, there’s a different wheel design on this prototype that more closely resembles that of the EV9.

    According to Korean Car Blog, Kia may use a 400V electrical architecture. By using this instead of an 800V system like the larger EV6 and EV9, Kia can make the EV5 more affordable.

    The EV5 will reportedly use lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery technology in China, while other markets are expected to receive a nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) battery.

    Customers outside China are expected to receive a 82kWh battery, which is larger than the EV6’s 77.4kWh battery pack.

    This means the vehicle will charge at slower speeds based on its 400V architecture, but it may be able to go further as a result of its larger battery capacity.

    It’s reported the EV5 could have up to 600km of range, according to an undisclosed testing standard.

    The EV5 will initially be focused on the Chinese market, but will be offered globally in both left- and right-hand drive.

    Kia Australia is yet to confirm if the EV will be sold locally, however it says it’s keen for the EV5 if it’s made available to Australia.

    As previously reported, the EV5 will not ride on the brand’s E-GMP architecture that currently underpins the EV6 and EV9, but on a new platform which is designed for more affordable EVs.

    It’s unclear at this stage if this architecture is a variation of the recently announced Integrated Modular Architecture (IMA) or if it’ll be a standalone architecture altogether.

    Kia’s head of global product planning Hyunsik Park, previously said the EV5 will be 4700mm long, which makes it a very similar size to the 4660mm long Sportage.

    The brand has previously confirmed that it plans to reveal 14 new EVs between 2023 and 2027.

    Should the EV5 come Down Under it will enter a growing pool of electric SUVs, including the Tesla Model Y – currently the best-selling electric SUV both here and globally.

    Autocar recently reported word from Kia Europe marketing chief David Hilbert that the brand will “have coverage in all major segments” for electric vehicles, including passenger cars.

    “All the major segments will be covered in some form [by 2027],” he said.

    Mr Hilbert specifically mentioned the B-SUV segment in Europe and how it is now the largest segment there. 

    It currently fields the petrol-powered Stonic, but doesn’t have a rival to similarly sized electric SUVs like the Peugeot e-2008 and Jeep Avenger.

    Such a model could reportedly wear the EV3 name, and Kia has hinted it could offer everything from an EV1 all the way up to the previously revealed EV9.

    In 2021, Kia teased a range of upcoming EVs including a coupe, sedan, and what looked like a light hatchback.

    MORE: Kia confirms Model Y-rivalling EV5 won’t be China-only
    MORE: Cheaper Kia electric car platform coming to EV5
    MORE: Kia’s Sportage-sized electric SUV remains unconfirmed for Australia

    Jade Credentino

    Jade Credentino is an automotive journalist currently based in Melbourne, Australia. Jade has had a chance to review a variety of vehicles and particularly enjoys SUVs. She enjoys traveling and going on road trips exploring Australia.

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