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Pillar of the Kia community – Kia EV5 NZ launch and prices

According to Kia NZ, the all-new EV5 is the perfect midsize electric SUV that Kiwi families have been waiting for, and to emphasise the point, they have priced it well too. We were invited to hear more about it.

Kia EV5 NZ

The EV5 is Kia’s latest venture into the EV world and its local launch was held on the top floor of the Auckland Museum (no I didn’t know there was an event location there either). The launch itself was a cosy affair, with a fact-based introduction (including the 4 main pillars of the vehicle – Design, Performance, Connectivity and Safety), followed by a drive segment that has been embargoed for a couple of weeks – so expect to hear more about the EV5 soon.

In terms of line up, Kia NZ have launched with two trim variants, the Light and Earth, while the more sportier looking GT-Line will join in the party later this year. Dimensionally, the EV6 sits between the Sportage and the Sorento, making it as downtown-friendly as the former and yet as spacious in the inside as the latter, and underlining its ‘family-fave’ positioning. So the wheelbase has been maximised, while the overhangs are short both front and rear. 

Kia EV5 NZ

Its roadside appearance is certainly very boxy and rugged, and yet attractive nonetheless, with a drag-coefficient number that sits just over 3cd. Kia says that the reason for its more upright look is around its ‘suv for family’ proposition too, maximising the roominess inside, making it practical and versatile and gives you the feeling of being in a vehicle segment size up. 

Kia EV5 NZ

The inside garners a huge influence from the brand’s flagship EV9, so the same design language and layout scheme carries over, but in a smaller, more compact way.  There’s a massive, panoramic 29.6-inch display and a hidden touch bar which illuminates at night. Earth and GT-Line come with a fill colour 12-inch HUD display too. Kia says that the graphics are ebay to read and the menu’s easy to operate.

Kia EV5 NZ

The ‘transmission’ is shift-by-wire, which offers up more space and less clutter, removing the transmission tunnel need and additional linkages. But oddly, the front passenger seat trim seeps over to the centre console – not sure why. 

Kia EV5 NZ

Sustainability is a big theme with the EV5, and Kia has applied a multitude of recycled, clean and repurposed materials throughout the interior. This also keeps the EV5 in line with their global messages for sustainability. 

Kia EV5 NZ

There are two unique features at the back of an EV5, standard across the range, there are specialised luggage hooks that can be repositioned (6 at top – 4 bottom) to accommodate a myriad of items – just be careful not to lose them. Plus, for the very first time, a foldable table (exclusive for the GT-Line spec), so you can now comfortably ‘dine’ in the rear of the EV, and since it also has V2L capability, you can set up your laptop and work in there too.  And 

And exclusive to GT Line, there’s a mini chilly bin in the centre console – need I say more. Oh and while on the matter of cool stuff, there’s 67L of frunk under the bonnet, which is quite unique. 

Kia EV5 NZ

For the drive and performance, Kia has implemented a front wheel drive version of this platform for the very first time, a move that they believe offers the vehicle a more universally accepted handling feel (apparently the average mom and dad doesn’t like oversteering). FWD offers a 160kW/310Nm motor, while the AWD option adds a 70kW/170Nm motor to the rear.

In terms of battery, Kia is only bringing in the long range for the EV5.  to our New Zealand market. So across the entire range, an 88.1kWh (Blade tech) battery is fitted, giving a maximum range of 525km for the 2WD (AWD 500km). Charging rate is one of the fastest in the segment – up to 11kW three phase and up to 141kW DC.

Adopting the blade technology means that the energy density has been increased by almost 20% and the ‘stack design’ further increases the chassis rigidity – so it improves safety, drivability and NVH. Plus having a 574kg in the middle of the chassis, improves the EV5’s low centre of gravity. 

Kia NZ are proud to say that when it came to steering and suspension, over 80 engineers have spent time in Aus and NZ fine-tuning them to local terrain. And the EV5 is fitted with the second generation integrated electric brake boost, which saves weight, builds up brake pressure quicker than before and gives a more consistent brake feel. There are multiple options when it comes to brake regen too, from automatic to manual , level 1 to max, tailor making your driving experience.

Kia EV5 NZ

Kia connect is now available in NZ and free for 5 years. The app comes with a vast array of features such as location of NZ chargers and availability. (this can be found on the mainscreen too). Using your phone, you can set your charging rates, set your timer, you can search your vehicle location, adjust the AC settings everything is possible, the list goes on. There is also a red button above the rear view mirror for SOS emergency calls. And obviously OTA software updates. 

Last but not least, safety.  Not only has the EV5 had its passive safety increased with stronger and more clever use of steel and materials. And for Active safety, Kia have brought all the alerts and aids from the EV9 and squeezed them into the 5 – and the list is way too long to mention here.  

Kia EV5 NZ

When it comes to pricing, Kia has really sharpened their pencil. The Light starts at $67,990 for the 2WD and $70,450 for the AWD. While the Earth comes with a $75,450 price tag (2WD) and $80,450 for AWD.

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