Baby crossover to be part of Kia’s new generation of small cars
With the small crossover market being red-hot across the globe, automakers are quickly rustling up their entries into the growing segment. Kia is the latest, apparently working on a rival to the segment’s handling champ, the Mazda CX-3. According to a report from Australia’s Motoring, the South Korean brand’s CX-3 rival will be part of a new generation of small cars coming next year, which also includes the next-generation Rio subcompact.
Damien Meredith, Kia Australia’s COO, spoke with Motoring and said that the automaker’s new small crossover could debut at either the 2016 Los Angeles auto show in November or early next year at the 2017 Detroit auto show. Meredith made it clear that their entry into the small crossover segment is aimed directly at the CX-3 but he also acknowledged that it could eat into sales of the Rio. In the North America, Kia’s yet-to-be-named small crossover has the potential to eat into the sales of at least three cars in its lineup: the Rio, Soul, and Forte.
The exterior design of the new small crossover will come from the Provo Concept, which was originally shown at the 2013 Geneva auto show. Due to the addition of another crossover slotting under the Sportage, Meredith told Motoring that the Soul will be repositioned at the same time it receives a mid-cycle refresh, which includes the addition of a turbocharged variant.
Kia’s new small crossover should go on sale next year just after the next-generation Rio, which is reportedly scheduled to debut at this year’s Paris auto show. The Korean brand’s upcoming rear-drive sports sedan based on the GT Concept that first debuted at the 2011 Frankfurt auto show will also launch next year. That car is said to bear the Stinger name from the GT4 Stinger Concept that was shown at the 2014 Detroit auto show. A 3.3-liter twin-turbo V-6 is expected to be offered.