With the international launch of the all-new Kia EV3 subcompact electric crossover, the South Korean automaker is aiming for a new slice of the market–that of the affordable EV.

But Kia already has the Niro EV in that segment, with the souped-up hatchback having secured its place on the “most affordable new EVs on the market” lists over the years. So what will happen now that two models from the same manufacturer will compete for the same loaf of bread? In short, nothing, as Kia explained during its tech talk before the official reveal of the EV3.

Get Fully Charged

New EV3 or older Niro EV?

The all-new Kia EV3 is the South Korean automaker's smallest model based on its modular E-GMP platform. As a result, it boasts all the latest tech that can be crammed into an entry-level model, including all the possible efficiency improvements. By contrast, the older Niro EV, which is just a few inches longer than the EV3, is still going strong on Kia's old combustion platform that was adapted for plug-in hybrid and all-electric powertrains.

The South Korean automaker said there will be a place for both the Niro and EV3 because customers who choose the Niro typically go for the hybrid instead of the all-electric version, paving the way for the EV3 to get a bigger cut.

“We will continue to sell Niro EV together with the EV3 because each market has different tastes or customer preferences,” said Spencer Chou, Head of Kia’s Global Business Planning. “In the meantime, the Niro has a hybrid model and we expect that [customers] will choose the Niro hybrid model rather than EV.”

In other words, Kia expects hardcore EV enthusiasts to buy the new EV3 when it arrives in the United States later this year, while the Niro hybrid will continue to target customers who prefer the safety net of a gas tank.

Kia EV3 subcompact electric crossover

Kia EV3 subcompact electric crossover

2024 Kia Niro EV exterior

2024 Kia Niro EV compact crossover

However, that begs the question: why keep the Niro EV in the lineup? Kia has never disclosed sales of both the electrified and all-electric Niro in the U.S. in its reports, so it’s hard to gauge how many units have been shifted. One report from last year claimed that the fully electric Niro has amassed a little over 200,000 sales globally since its introduction in 2018. Still, no details about U.S. sales of the fully electric version were offered. Nor have any sales figures been provided for the hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions.

Size-wise, the current Niro EV is roughly 5 inches longer and has a wheelbase that’s bigger by almost 2 inches compared to the EV3. The Niro is also 1 inch narrower and has a battery capacity of 64.8 kilowatt-hours, whereas the shiny new EV3 boasts an 81.4-kWh pack, although we assume that this figure is for the long-range version and that a smaller pack will also be offered.

Gallery: Kia EV3 (2024) in European specification

In the pricing department, the Niro EV starts at $40,925 (including $1,325 destination), while the Niro Plug-In Hybrid has a base MSRP of $35,715. The cheapest electrified Niro, the hybrid, is even more affordable, starting at $28,265.

Meanwhile, the EV3 is expected to carry a price tag of around $35,000 to $45,000, making it slightly more affordable than the Niro EV. However, this pricing strategy is not official yet, so we’ll have to wait and see how Kia positions its new entry-level electric crossover.

Until that happens, let us know in the comments below which you would choose: EV3 or Niro EV.

Get the best news, reviews, columns, and more delivered straight to your inbox.
For more information, read our
Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.
Got a tip for us? Email: tips@insideevs.com