Kia could introduce a new small SUV to its family and sell it alongside the Stonic.
Like many other car manufacturers, Kia is acutely aware of the growing demand for SUVs and crossovers and believes building a small SUV based the Rio hatchback could be one way to boost its sales.
“What we are looking at is whether the market is going to split into low and high seating positions for SUVs and crossovers and whether we need five models to cover the market or four and whether some should be electric or not,” Kia Europe’s head of product planning David Labrosse told Autocar.
“Nothing is decided, but that’s [Rio-based SUV] a decision on the table right now,” Kia Europe chief operating officer Emilio Herrera added.
If Kia is to make a Rio-based SUV, it is possible that the next-generation Stonic will evolve into something a little big bigger to make room for the new model at the bottom of Kia’s family. Such a vehicle would likely pair its Rio architecture with the sporty styling of the Xceed.
In the meantime, Kia is focused on its new Seltos, an SUV that slots under the Sportage and goes up against the likes of the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, and Toyota C-HR.
The entry-level Seltos is sold with a 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine with 147 hp paired with a CVT while sitting at the top of the range is a 1.6-liter turbo petrol with 175 hp and working alongside a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. Certain markets will also receive a 1.6-liter diesel with 134 hp.