KIA Insider

Haven't We Met Before? Kia's Upcoming Crossover Looks Awfully Familiar

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By on May 14, 2019

Kia continues to tease the global market — well, most of it, anyway — with a small crossover it plans to reveal this summer. Our latest glimpse of the upcoming model is this artist’s rendering, which appears to be a rendering of a concept vehicle we’ve already seen.

Suffice it to say the new small Kia will look almost exactly like the SP Signature Concept, a vehicle that, unlike other concepts, looked perfectly ready for production during its reveal earlier this year.

Indeed, the Korean automaker says the model, likely destined for the subcompact CUV segment, is “inspired by the 2019 Kia SP Signature Concept.” That’s putting it mildly. The newly released images seem to show the SP Signature Concept, only with the usual flourishes and exaggerations seen in artist’s renderings.

Following this summer’s reveal, the model goes on sale in Kia’s home county in late 2019, followed by other global markets (minus Europe) sometime after. The usual promises were made. Kia claims “the new vehicle possesses the space and capabilities of a traditional SUV in a compact package,” as if there’s Tahoe-like levels of interior room and Wrangler-like rock-crawling capability. The cabin may indeed be airy, but expect a unibody, all-wheel drive crossover — perhaps positioned on the higher end of the ground clearance scale. Perhaps not.

Will it beat the Mazda CX-3 in a grueling off-road test? Quite possible. (A subcompact CUV torture test is something this writer has always wanted to see; alas, automakers prefer not to see their loaners ruined.)

In another surprise bit of news, Kia claims the upcoming small crossover was built with Millennials in mind! That’s something new. Expect a competitive level of tech content, as that’s what that statement actually means.

You’ve seen the renderings; now, let’s look at the actual SP Signature Concept:

Dead ringers.

Anyway, Kia’s introduction of a new crossover to slot below the Sportage is part of the brand’s effort to reinforce its financial future with a heavier light truck mix. Through April, Kia’s U.S. sales volume rose 6 percent. The sales climb was helped by the addition of the new-for-2019 midsize Telluride.

[Images: Kia Motors]

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