The Kia EV5 electric SUV has officially debuted in production form at the Chengdu motor show in China, ahead of a market launch in that region before the end of this year.
Is it coming to Australia? We don’t know yet. Kia Australia says it has expressed interest in the new Sportage-sized EV, but is unable to confirm if and when we might see it Down Under – though we know it’ll eventually be produced in right-hand drive (RHD).
“[The EV5 is] still unconfirmed, but we’d like to bring an EV5 to the Australian market if we get the chance. We’ve never kept it a secret that just about every product that’s been part of this Plan S global strategy, we want to put our hand up for,” Roland Rivero, general manager of product planning for Kia Australia, told CarExpert in June
We’d expect the EV5 to eventually be confirmed for our market, but with a sales launch staggered until late 2024 or early 2025.
Closely resembling the Concept EV5 that previewed it at the brand’s Chinese EV Day in March, the 2024 Kia EV5 is a mid-size SUV that “has been designed and engineered to provide the flexibility required by modern families and enhance their enjoyment on every journey”.
Like the larger EV9, the EV5 has a tall, boxy aesthetic with straighter lines and squared off edges. ‘Signature Star Map Lighting’ is incorporated in the EV5’s LED daytime running lights, which Kia says were inspired by stellar constellations.
Specifications around dimensions and drivetrain will be detailed at the next Kia EV Day in October, but the Korean brand has confirmed a total of 10 exterior finishes will be available – Snow White Pearl, Clear White, Starry Night Black, Magma Red, Ivory Silver, Frost Blue, Iceberg Green, Tide Blue and Shale Grey.
Ivory Silver will also be available with a matte finish, and likely emulates the finish of the Concept EV5.
Like the exterior, the interior is heavily inspired by the Concept EV5, with Kia detailing in its press release the cabin of the production model is “closer in concept and execution to a home lounge than a traditional car cabin”.
There’s the brand’s latest connected car Navigation & Cockpit (ccNC) dual-screen array incorporating the driver’s cluster and touchscreen infotainment system, which we will see here in the EV9 and new Sorento in the coming months – Kia Connect services and wireless smartphone mirroring are starters.
Kia says the EV5’s cabin design draws inspiration from the EV9, and pursues “seamless harmony between nature and man-made elements”.
Configurable LED ambient lighting accents the various cabin surfaces like the dashboard and door trims, with up to 64 colours available and adjustable brightness. The mood lighting synchronises with the vehicle’s drive modes, dims in low-light conditions, and will subtly link to driver assistance alerts.
The cabin will be available in four key finishes and five different seat patterns, including two woven options and an artificial leather option for the base model.
At the end of June, Kia’s global head of product planning Hyungsik Park confirmed the EV5 won’t just be built for the Chinese market – though it is primarily focused there – but produced in both left- and right-hand drive for the world.
Mr Park also confirmed the EV5 will measure around 4700mm long, making it a very close in size to the 4660mm-long Sportage currently on sale in Australia.
Under the skin, the EV5 will ride on a new platform designed for more affordable electric cars rather than the E-GMP platform currently underpinning the EV6 and EV9. It’s not clear if it’ll be a standalone architecture, or a variation of the recently announced Integrated Modular Architecture.
It will be a lower-voltage (400V) platform, which suggests it won’t be able to hit the same charging speeds (350kW claimed, 230kW in the real world) as cars built on the 800V E-GMP platform. IMA will offer the choice of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) and nickel manganese cobalt (NCM) batteries.
The EV5 is part of the 14-strong range of all-electric models Kia plans to launch globally before 2027. The new EV9 is joining the EV6 and Niro EV in Kia’s local EV line-up later this year.
Globally, Kia has also released the Ray EV city car in its home market in Korea, taking the total to five ahead of the 2027 deadline.
It’s unclear what the other two vehicles will be, though spy photographers have snapped what is believed to be an early prototype for an upcoming EV4 crossover, which should be similar in size to the Seltos. It’s also understood that an even smaller EV3 will go into production around mid-2026.
Kia Australia has previously confirmed it’s putting its hand up for any electric model it can get.
Stay tuned to CarExpert for all the latest
MORE: Everything Kia EV5