While some cars keep getting bigger and bigger, crossovers keep getting smaller to the point that the subcompact crossover segment is quickly turning into the new frontier – with mass-market automakers clamoring to get on the action. And the latest, it seems, could be coming from Korea.
Both Hyundai and its sister brand Kia are tipped to be preparing subcompact crossovers to take on the likes of the Nissan Juke, Mazda CX-3, Honda Vezel/HR-V, Jeep Renegade, and Fiat 500X (to name just a few). Judging by its similarity to previous Rio prototypes, what we appear to be looking at here is Kia’s version, undergoing cold-weather testing way up in the north of Sweden.
Internally known as project SE, sources indicate that the model will reach the market as the Kia Stonic. Whatever it’s called, the model is slated to slot in underneath the Soul (and well underneath the Sportage), and with a less boxy, more conventional SUV-like shape. It’s also expected to pack a range of turbocharged four-cylinder engines driving the front wheels, with all-wheel drive a likely option.
Expect the South Korean automaker to lift the veil on its littlest sport-ute at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, with a US debut likely to follow by year-end at the LA show.