2025 Kia EV5 First Look: The Smaller Electric SUV Lands Bad ‘n Boxy
So far, details on the new EV5 are coming out of Korea and apply to that market’s version—along with the version going to China—but expect the U.S.-market variant to arrive next year looking pretty much the same (which, in turn, looks just like our speculative rendering and Kia’s own EV5 concept from earlier this year). Likely a 2025 model-year introduction, the EV5 will be an all-electric, large-ish compact or midsize SUV sized somewhere between the compact Sportage and the midsize Sorento and relying on much the same E-GMP EV hardware that sits beneath the slinkier EV6 and bigger EV9.
Tell Me About That Telluride
Like the EV9, the EV5 wears boxy, squared-off styling clearly inspired by Kia’s wildly successful gas-fed Telluride three-row SUV. The lighting is thinner here and more futuristic, in keeping with the electric underpinnings, and the various angles and hard edges work even better on the EV5’s compact proportions.
It remains to be seen whether the EV5’s impossibly small headlights—they appear hidden in those small triangular nacelles at each front corner—will pass regulatory muster here in America; the EV9’s thin bands of LED accent lighting up front straddle a pair of beefier, more conventionally sized LED headlamps. Either way, the EV5’s styling is more dynamic than the chonkier EV9’s, with more angles on the nose and tail breaking up the otherwise rectilinear form nicely. One thing we’ll note: Feel free to get excited about the striking wheels pictured here. The EV9 launched globally with a set of wicked triangular three-spoke wheels, and those rims are coming to the U.S., making us think these wildly cool rollers will also make the jump.
Don’t Call It A Bench Seat
Before we get to the EV5’s BMW-like interior environment—we see a lot of the iX electric SUV’s influence in here, albeit massaged to suit Kia’s corporate screens and such—we gotta point out the padded area between the front seats. At first glance, it looks like the EV5 has a bench seat up there, which would be unusual and fun. Look closer, and that padded bit is an extension of the passenger seat and appears to lack a seat belt. A fold-down armrest handles elbow-support duty, leaving this lower cushion-like surface’s true intent a mystery. Our best guess? It’s a kind of sweetheart perch allowing the driver or passenger to cozy up with each other, maybe to watch a movie on the central display while the EV5 charges. Who knows? Kia isn’t saying yet.
Another fun detail? The apparently hinged platform that can be extended upward from the cargo floor to create a tall shelf on which to set things, creating a double-level cargo solution. Folding second-row seatbacks are standard SUV fare, but here they do seem to lay nicely flat and level with the cargo floor, making it easier to slide larger objects in. The rest of the cabin mixes current Kia switchgear and seemingly the same 12.3-inch gauge cluster and central displays as the EV6 with some newer-age stuff like the stealth-fighter buttons around the air vents. Those blend with faceted details on the dashboard reminiscent of those on BMW’s iX EV SUV, though they’re also evocative of the angular exterior styling.
Powertrain? Dimensions? What Details?
Beyond what we can see in these photos and the limited details Kia’s home office in Korea has revealed about the EV5, things get fuzzy. Sans official powertrain and battery info, we can assume the EV5 will be offered in dual-motor, all-wheel-drive form (and, possibly, single-motor, rear-drive form like the EV6) and rely on the same 76.1-kWh battery from the entry-level EV9. Expect power outputs around 379 hp for the AWD variants and 215 hp for the rear-drive model. Pricing is also a mystery, but look for an MSRP in line with the EV6’s—starting in the mid-$40,000 neighborhood when the EV5 arrives in 2024 as a 2025 model.