Crossovers are getting increasingly popular and Kia wants in on the action with their new subcompact crossover.
Spy photographers caught a camouflaged prototype on film while it was undergoing hot weather testing and it seems to be sporting a stubby tail and long hood. Another feature that stands out are those floating LED eyebrows above the headlights.
We really don’t know much about this new crossover but it could share a platform with Kia’s new Niro hybrid hatchback or maybe even one of the brand’s most popular model, the Kia Soul.
If Kia wants to sell a large number of their new crossover, it would make sense to base it off a platform that has good driving dynamics, is affordable and has good fuel economy. Last year, Kia managed to sell 147,133 Souls in the U.S. alone which makes it their best Soul year yet. Something from the Soul must appeal to us and it’ll behoove Kia to replicate this in their new crossover.
As for the powertrain, maybe Kia will give us a choice between the standard engine and a sportier one. Car And Driver speculates that the Soul’s 164-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine could make an appearance in the base model with a 200-ish-hp turbocharged 1.6-liter four engine in the sportier variant. Either way, front-wheel drive should come as standard with an optional all-wheel drive and we’ll most likely see it paired with an automatic drivetrain.
Since the prototype has already been spotted, maybe we’ll see it in all its uncovered glory next year as a 2018 model. Once the crossover goes on sale, it'll be competing against the Mazda CX-3, Honda HR-V,Chevy’s Trax, and Toyota's new C-HR.