New Kia Rio-based SUV planned, to rival VW T-Cross?


Kia is planning to introduce a second subcompact crossover after the Stonic in response to growing demand for tall-riding cars, Autocar reports. The new sporty crossover is said to be based on the B-segment Riohatchback, possibly called Xrio, for obvious reasons.

Kia Europe’s head of product planning, David Labrosse said the company may look into splitting low- and high-seating driving positions for its crossovers and SUVs, classified into B-high/B-low or C-high/C-low. Currently, Kia’s offerings in Europe consist of the Stonic (B-low), XCeed (C-low), Niro and Sportage, both of which are classified as C-high SUVs.

In general, there are no mentions of powertrain choices for these SUVs, but pure electric versions are possible, Labrosse said, and that extends to the Xrio. Company COO Emilio Herrera added: “Booming XCeed sales would make a strong case for a sporty Rio-based SUV. Nothing is decided, but that’s a decision on the table right now.”

Kia XCeed 4

In Europe, Herrera believes the more car-like driving characteristics of the XCeed could see sales break past the 100,000 mark in 2021, with first year sales hovering around 80,000 units. As the Sportage ages, sales are tipped to drop from 125,000 in 2018 to 110,000 in 2019, before eventually dipping below the XCeed.

Meanwhile, the Stonic has a low-seating position that is identical in height to the existing Rio hatch, which some insiders believe should change for the next-generation model. That means the Stonic could evolve into proper tall-riding SUV territory, making way for a low-roof, sporty crossover based on the Rio platform. Sounds good, doesn’t it?


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