Meet the Mini-EV9: Production-Spec Kia EV5 Revealed in China

We should see it sometime next year

Kia EV5
(Images: Kia)

The Kia EV5 will go on sale in China in the coming months, but we should get it in the US next year.

If you’re looking for a boxy, angular SUV but don’t need something quite as large as the Kia EV9, this could be your answer. The automaker just revealed the production version of its EV5 concept, and like the EV9’s transition to market-ready status, the production EV5 looks an awful lot like the concept did back in the spring. From most angles, this essentially looks like a baby EV9 with all the lines, edges and thin LED lights.

Kia says this is a compact SUV, meaning it will compete against the Tesla Model Y as well as the Toyota bZ4X and Volkswagen ID.4, among others. The taller, boxier shape suggests this model is a bit more practical than the EV6, though the company has not yet released techincal specs, including exact dimensions, for the produciton model.

Power numbers are also up in the air, though the EV5 should sport similar powertrain options to the EV6. It will ride on Hyundai-Kia’s E-GMP platform, bringing single- and dual-motor configurations. While the entry-level EV6 packs up to 225 horsepower, I am curious whether we’d see a EV5 GT with up to 577 horsepower. Regardless of actual output, the EV5 may use the same 77.4-kWh battery pack. I suspect the GT model will be exclusive to the EV6 as a sportier option, though nothing is confirmed for the US model just yet.

Looking inside

As for the interior, the production-spec EV5 does dial things back from the concept. That said, the layout looks remarkably similar to the EV9 in terms of the steering wheel, switches and displays. The dashboard is a different shape to the larger SUV and the HVAC vents look similar to what we’re getting with the updated Sorento.

Interestingly, it looks like the Kia EV5 has a six-seater layout, with the passenger seat upholstery extending over the center console. There’s no middle seatbelt or legroom for a passenger, though, so we’re pretty certain the EV5 will still be a five-passenger EV (never mind making a six-seater compliant with federal safety regulations). It is an interesting design touch to keep both driver and passenger from dropping small, slim items between the seats, though.

We’ll know more about the Kia EV5 over the coming weeks. The automaker decided to debut this model in China, as it will actually go on sale in the Chinese market first. Beyond that, we should see it in North America sometime in 2024.

Kia plans to share more details on its electric vehicles (including this one) at an EV Day in October.