Review of the Kia EV3: Is it the Next Small Electric Vehicle Sensation?

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This is Kia’s all-new small EV. It looks like a small Kia EV9, doesn’t it? Because this is here the EV3, and we’ll dig into the details. How good is it, for example, against the competitors like a Volvo EX30 or VW ID.3? We’ll find out with Thomas and Autogefühl in 4K, full screen, full length. Let’s go! In the front it’s a very bold design, so it won’t be the most aerodynamic one, but it’s definitely fun in design. Aventurine Green is the color here. Yes, Porsche also calls it that way, but there it’s a little bit darker. Here it’s really light green color. Of course, there are different colors available if you don’t like this specific one. Interestingly, with the daytime running lights, this and this, these are the daytime running lights. These are the main LED headlamp units. And you get them in two different versions, but Matrix LED is there not available. This is the GT line. So in the lower part, you have the black sportier contrast. A non-GT line would look a little bit more subtle actually. The length here is 4 meters 30, 169 inches. So, it’s a really small electric vehicle meant for city use and so on. However, you have two different battery sizes. One that is indeed for city use, about 58 kilowatt hours. And the other one, however, is already bigger. That’s 81 kilowatt hours. And this can also be then something for long term. We have to see in the driving later on, the later stage, how much we can score as for the consumption and so on. And for the bigger battery, some 400 kilometers, 250 miles are surely realistic, more than in ideal conditions. The battery size that Kia publishes, by the way, they are not net, they are gross. You can calculate with around like 5% buffer, approximately like that. But Kia, Hyundai and Genesis, they are very reserved in releasing the net battery figures, actually. You can see this flying roof effect because you have the black panel right here. Then the top part looks to be flying, so to speak. The rear doors are attached right here. So kind of like hidden. It has a very good door closing sound as well. And you can see here the door handles. They are flush integrated. Then when you open the vehicle, they get open as well. And also very good door closing sound. You can also push them in like that, but usually it does just work with the key. Wheel sizes, 17 or directly jumping to 19 inch. These are the 19 inch wheels, the bigger ones that are available. They look, of course, a little bit more massive. The best range, however would be with the 17 inch wheels and why is that? It’s not about the wheel size in this case, it’s more about the tire width. So for the best range, you would need actually very small tires in the width, and they would need to be very large in the diameter. That would be the ideal setup as for range. But of course, there are always other factors like, you know, grip, handling, and so on. And then at some point, you have to find a compromise, of course, for that. It is always front-wheel drive, around 200 horsepower. Just with the small and the big battery version, the difference is that the big battery is, of course, a little bit heavier. And then the acceleration is a little bit slower. So it’s 7.7 seconds, to 100 kilometers an hour or 62 miles an hour. Or 7.4 seconds then for the smaller battery. And the rear, here also the signature… Vertical plus horizontal. And this is supposed to be also taken from the EV9 like a star in a solar system and the stars are connected here with this universe scheme so to speak. The GT line also adds more black contrast here in the lower part. The rear camera is placed right here and then they have this new Kia logo. So overall a very square design once again giving us this Kia EV9 vibes but… just in small. And the turning indicators, they have this like battery status, bars, wipes so to speak. What do you think? And if you ask yourself, these lower two elements of the indicators, why do they remain blind? This is here when you put in reverse gear for the reverse light. So that’s why they are left blink. So I was wondering about before that and this actually on both sides. In the front here, the hazard lights or turning indicators replace the daytime running light. And talking about the front here. Is there actually a frunk available? Let’s find out. Let me open that thing. Deactivate the hazard lights now. I’m really looking forward to that. Oh, yeah, these beeping sounds when you have the ignition on. Actually, it’s the ignition on in the vehicle. Oh, yeah, we got a small one. So, yeah, at least it does fit than a charging cable, for example. Look at that, how the charging flap… It has here also the paint from the high gloss black wheel arches. That’s a very interesting detail. It’s here on the passenger side in the front actually. There we go. AC 11 kilowatt, DC around 100 kilowatt for the small or 130 kilowatt for the big battery. And then in both cases, that means 10 to 80% state of charge, fast charging in around 30 minutes. They do not use the 800 volt architecture from the Kia EV6 or the Kia EV9. Because here they say that’s not like the primary focus of like long mileage, fast charging and so on. And also they want to keep the price a little bit lower. That’s then the decision that they have no 800-volt architecture here. Keyfob, I really love it here with this structured element. Then… Let’s check out the interior. Here top part has a structure and also somewhat soft touch. So that’s actually very nice. A little bit softer than for your elbow. And window levers, they are also in… They are illuminated as well on the inside. That’s actually pretty fancy. Some fabric inserts, then a control unit here for example, heated seats, even cooled seats and heated steering wheel. So that’s fancy. By the way, here at the inside of the doors, this is a pre-production model, so this will be structured a little bit differently. However, there will be no felt at the inside of the doors. So this is maybe the only thing I would say that needs to be improved. And then steering wheel looks kind of also the square design alike. Also real buttons on the steering wheel. This one here for the cruise control, lane keeping assist, easy to activate or deactivate it. The drive mode is selected here in the very lower part so you can easily do it while driving. On the right side easy to scroll up or down the volume. More fabric inserts and also with the ambient lighting integration right here. That’s cool. Dashboard is hard pack however. And then you have this yeah, this multi-unit, so it’s one unit screen, but separated in three different screens. Soon more details to that. First of all, the seats. So the whole vehicle is animal-free. There are no animal materials being used. And it’s not only a high-grade leatherette that is perforated and also cooled. It feels nice. It’s really good. It fulfills all the durability tests and also way lower than any environmental impact. They also use recycling share and biomaterial share. So both. And depending on the material, then the shares actually vary a little bit. But that’s a very consistent approach. Kia really wants to make the car truly sustainable and not only marketing be as sustainable, you know, and I can applaud them for that. So here, 189cm, 6’2" is my height. Still have some headroom left. And this is also really cool. It is a real small panoramic roof you can actually open. And we have had so many times in discussion. These fixed panoramic roofs, I don’t see much use in them. I like to have either real air or then don’t use the panoramic roof at all and keep the heat out, you know. But here you can actually go for one. And yeah, that’s actually pretty nice as well. Steering wheel up and down, in and out. Oh, that feels really smooth, actually. So like that. And the switch gear is here behind the steering wheel. So here, D, reverse, parking on the side. This also hidden then to open to a… Actually, there we go. Nice one, Michel. Here to start or stop the vehicle right here. So the seats, indeed, are very comfortable. And my favorite is the head restraint. It has this fabric cover and really soft cushioning. That’s super relaxing indeed. So this area here is so, look at that, how plush it actually is. And there’s also, let’s say, a double use for that seat because you can also get this relaxation function. We also know from the EV6 or from the Hyundai IONIQ 5, for example, and there we go. So there’s this function here. You press it and this goes here for the… There we go. A little bit more. There we go. So this actually puts the rear part, you can also move it even further with the normal button like this, and the lower part goes up. And you can do the same actually also, then here for the driver’s seat like this. And you can imagine like a charging stop for example, and maybe it takes 30 minutes from 10 to 80% of the charge. And then you can just relax. Yeah, this done there. Then you can put this one further down and have a nice nap for example or do some other snuggling action. When it’s not about snuggling, you have more possibilities. For example, also when you have time during the charging stop. So here you can open this one and then you have this table, I would say. And you can slide this even forward. One use case of that is, using it as a work table like here, for the laptop. You see it works like this. Of course I would put the seat back in place then. Even actually when this is still down, this still fits here in the top part like this. But yeah, probably most sense would it make like this and then work a little bit. So I think it’s really nice that they also thought about these little details there. And you can also slide it back in place. Then the cockpit here, really interesting. They have some nice felt using here. Just listen to that. Car ASMR and very clean cockpit. At the same time, they also have a good user interface because, for example, here, look at that. The climate unit, colder and warmer, still manual to control, so that’s an easy solution and even for the passenger like there, also for the vents here to open and close them, manual volume jog. This is a dream for new vehicles. We hardly have that anymore. And these are some hot keys for the infotainment system. And they also, you feel that, also maybe hear that. They also give you some kind of feedback actually. New by the way in the guidance, it also calculates the charging stops now in the car internal GPS and also finds an optimum like up to which percentage you should charge. Then the Kia EV6 and EV9 will get that with a software update. And here 12.3 inch on both sides, left and right, and in the middle is 5.3 inch. And this is just a screen. for the climate unit which displays then at which temperature you are and the fan speed and so on. So this is a very clean and nice solution. And here you have then the most important info like the speed and so on, the range. And on the right side, of course, the infotainment system which has this home view set up would be then all the different settings you can use right there. And of course, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto is also available, which will be used most of the time. And you can also get a head-up display. Here, by the way, also wireless Apple CarPlay. It’s also possible now. However, if you want to charge with the cable, still possible down below here two USB-C chargers. And here you can switch if you just want to charge or if you want to have this USB-C charger here for the connection as well. And then you can just switch it on demand, actually. Then there’s also inductive charging pad right here. This is however like… I mean, it doesn’t feel that high premium, this rubber ground here. But then again, things don’t fly around. So that’s pro and con, I would say. Here, open area, but you can also open these cup holders here. It’s like speed of light, right? It’s like faster than you can actually watch it. Wow. Does it hurt actually? It’s like, you know, I could. It’s okay, but maybe nothing for children. And they’re also somewhat adaptive right here. Yeah, and then more space underneath. And there once again, this rubber ground, which is not that nice, but then again prevents things from flying around. Very exciting here in the rear. At this point here, they also have soft touch materials at the rear doors. We don’t have that often with cars that are double in the price. Also really solid for the build quality here. And also you can get heated seats. Of course, this is a high trim vehicle that will not be standard, actually. Nice that you have the fabric covering at the rear part of the seats. And for me, when I’m driving, so I can sit here also in the rear barely. I mean, it’s a short vehicle, but it can be driven with four tall adults, even five. Softness of the materials, by the way, is really nice. And also here in the rear, no cooling available, but still somewhat breathable because of the perforation. It does work with five tall adults. That’s astonishing. Of course, here with the knees, that’s somewhat of a compromise then. The USB-C chargers for the rear are hidden here in the back part of the seat. There’s also a very interesting place to put it right there. And you don’t need… I mean, you have wiring inside the seat anyway, so you don’t need wiring down there. There’s just some space. And since this is a dedicated EV platform, there’s also a through floor. That’s also a thing because maybe you have thought about it. Wait a minute, there’s also the Kia Soul. EV and the Kia Niro EV. The Soul EV will be gone soon. They were still set in Northern America as the combustion engine version. And the Niro EV is not a dedicated EV platform. It’s a little bit more, maybe more rear legroom, a little bit longer. But this one here now, new dedicated EV platform, and I would say more people will go for this one because this is better than all the EV facts and so on. And sliding down this one, this one is also good quality. The cup holders here however are not adaptive so it needs to fit from the sides. The overall comfort in the rear here is actually, really astonishingly good. So positive about that. Do you remember our Kia EV9 test ride? Because there is this new EU law that you have the speed limit warning even when you exceed the speed by one kilometer an hour. It always gives three warning sounds like beep, beep, beep. Also here in Hyundai, they have a warning chime when there’s a new speed sign recognition. And they had a part there with the EV9 where there was like 60, 40, 60. And that meant, oh, new speed sign recognition, beep. Then there was a speed warning because I was driving 61, beep, beep, beep. Then it was 40, beep. Oh, 41, beep, beep, beep. It was 60, beep. And it was maybe at 61 again, beep, beep, beep. So it was like 200 meters and had 11 warning chimes. This is not really intended. Yes, you should not exceed the speed, but one kilometer more or less is not the major difference. However, there is now a shortcut for that to deactivate it. Mercedes, BMW and Tesla so far offer these shortcuts. Kia now as well. First time in the EV3. It will be updated also via over the air updates for the EV6 and the EV9. And the secret to that is, like Mercedes does it, pressing and holding the volume button for four seconds, then the speed limit warning sound is off. Really exclusively that we can show that to you right here. And once again, it is EU law. This will not concern some other markets, but it’s really important because the EV9 was almost undrivable with that one. And even if you always stick to the speed limits, which I do, it’s not always possible to exactly hit like 50 kilometers an hour. Sometimes I hit 49 or 51. That just happens, you know. So and therefore it’s good that you can actually un-switch it off if you like it. And a feature I really like is the following. So when you have everything in your hands, you approach the vehicle from the rear. There we go. Beep, beep, beep. And then automatically opens the tailgate. You can activate or deactivate in the infotainment system. We know that for a long time now from Hyundai and Kia, it’s a great feature. You don’t need to do any swiping gestures and so on. And they can easily load in and out some things. Look at that. This is then the trunk. There we go. Small cover here. Looks everything good. And a meter or 40 inches in width. The length is about 80 centimeters or 31 inches. And the height is some 68 centimeters or 27 inches. You can easily fold the seats also from here two-thirds, one-third split. There we go. This is then the maximum setup. And when I put out the luggage, you can even go a little bit higher than that because this is a double ground here. So for charging cable, for example, you could also put it right here. You can take it out completely or you can slide it underneath like this. And then you would even have more, yeah, what do you say, luggage clearance? In height. This is then actually 80 centimeters or 32 inches. So that’s probably well done. And the liter figure is 460 liters. Yes, up to 1,280 liters maximum. And what details are missing? Towing capacity. There is one 300 kilograms for the small battery version, 1,000 kilograms or one ton then for the big battery version. Will there be an all-wheel drive version? That platform technology does allow that. They don’t say anything for that yet, but I expect there will be. There might be an all-wheel drive version at a later stage, but they start then with the front-wheel drive one. Then bi-directional charging, they also will enable that for this vehicle. Also interesting. And a heat pump is optionally available or when they do the final packaging, maybe also included in some higher trims and so on. And at the time of this shooting here, this video, the prices are not revealed yet, but we will keep you updated with that, of course, latest when we are driving this one here. What do you think about the all-new Kia EV3? Tell me about it. And they say at least they want to keep the prices, you know, as a very competitive one to like a Volvo EX30, VW ID.3, Cupra Born, Renault Megane E-Tech and so on. So really looking forward to that. I think overall the concept looks really cool. Let’s see how it is with the consumption efficiency, of course, because this very nice, cool, small Kia EV9 building form. So the CD value is at 0.267. Not the best. Will not play a major role inside the city, but of course at higher speeds on the Autobahn, where, for example, then again, a Kia EV6 would be better. Well, and now tune in to the competitors.

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