Kia EV4 SUV spied testing in Germany
The camouflaged Kia EV4 has been spotted on test for the first time on European roads, giving a glimpse of what we can expect from the small electric SUV
- Styling and tech from larger EV6 and EV9
- Expected range of over 300 miles
- Due to arrive in late 2023 or early 2024
We first heard about plans for the Kia EV4 last year, and development of the small electric SUV is now well underway. While the car is heavily camouflaged in our first spy shots, the images offer the most thorough glimpse of its styling to date.
It’s a fairly upright, boxy, yet practical-looking design which, despite being hidden under cover, clearly gets inspiration from the Kia EV6 and EV9 models. The front gets vertical light elements and a chunky look evoking Kia’s most recent ‘Opposites United’ design language, while the rear has a curved ridge shape that likely houses a single light bar in a similar vein to the styling of the EV6. The wheels are fully uncovered, sporting a futuristic triangular design which has already been seen on the EV9.
The dark C-pillar trim element seen on the EV6 also appears to have made an appearance on the EV4, while the EV4 also gets black wheel arches. Kia seems keen to keep the rear windscreen a surprise, as the test vehicle’s disguise appears to have something obscuring its shape under the black cover, perhaps concealing a spoiler or other sporty design element.
Although Kia already has three EVs in its repertoire, it has another 14 models planned for release before 2027. The Kia EV4 has been designed specifically for the European market, taking the form of a family crossover to go up against the likes of the forthcoming Volvo EX30 Recharge, Mercedes EQA and BMW iX1, sitting below the EV6 in its lineup.
Using previous teaser images released by Kia, we were able to produce render pictures to show what the EV4 might look like when it’s fully revealed, and it doesn’t look too far off from what we’ve seen from the spy shots. Those familiar with the larger EV6 will instantly recognise the EV4’s sleek headlight design and hexagonal rear light bar fixture.
On the inside, we expect to see Kia’s latest dual-screen infotainment setup; this has appeared in the majority of the brand’s latest models such as the Kia Niro EV. The system comprises a pair of 12.3-inch screens and boasts a plethora of unique built-in features such as ‘Sounds of Nature’, which plays relaxing sounds through the car’s speakers.
To emphasise the sustainable nature of electric cars, the EV4 is likely to be offered with an eco-friendly interior, just like in the EV6. In that car, the cabin is upholstered in fabrics made of 111 recycled plastic bottles. Of course, traditional cloth and leather seats will almost certainly be offered, too.
Kia EV4 powertrains
Under the metal, the Kia EV4 will sit on the Korean brand’s E-GMP electric car platform. This already underpins several models in the Hyundai-Kia lineup such as the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the Ioniq 6 saloon.
The EV4 will be similar in length to Kia’s own Sportage; therefore, we can expect battery sizes ranging from 58kWh to 77.4kWh, giving the electric crossover a maximum range of over 300 miles. Ultra-rapid charging speeds of up to 350kW will also likely feature, allowing owners to charge their EV4 from 10-80% in as little as 18 minutes when connected to one of the handful of compatible chargers around the UK.
Standard versions of the EV4 are expected to be powered by a single electric motor that produces 226bhp. Dual-motor setups are also likely to appear further up the range, offering all-wheel-drive grip and an output of 321bhp. We could also see a high-performance ‘GT’ version of the EV4, to rival the likes of the Volkswagen ID.5 GTX; however, this is unlikely to produce the same 577bhp as the larger EV6 GT.
At this stage it’s difficult to pinpoint what the EV4 might cost, but you can expect it to be slightly less expensive than premium-badged rivals when it goes on sale in 2024. Before it arrives, Kia plans to reveal a larger electric SUV, which will be dubbed either the EV7 or EV8. Whether this will come to the UK is another matter, however, as Kia has already stated that the EV7/8 has been designed with the US market in mind.
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