With the unveiling of the sub-compact Hyundai Ix25 SUV only days away, it appears that sister brand Kia is also working on a small city-sized SUV to compete in the fast growing segment.
The company’s design boss, Peter Schreyer, told media at today’s New York Auto Show that the sub-compact SUV (B-SUV) segment is something Kia is certainly interested in.
“I think the B-SUV segment is a very interesting segment, we are considering these kind of things, the Niro was a show car that was in this direction.”
The Kia Niro was shown at the 2013 Frankfurt Motorshow as a concept car which gave hints as to what a Kia sub-compact SUV would look like.
Schreyer believes that given the growth potential of the segment, both Kia and Hyundai can successfully compete for marketshare.
“I think that B SUV is an up coming segment that as well as for say emerging markets but also in the European and American markets in the lifestyle segment, I think it’s a very attractive segment and should be enough space for both Kia and Hyundai.”
The Niro concept measures 4185mm long, 1850mm wide and 1558mm high. Although unconfirmed for production, the concept also makes use of a hybrid drive system.
Utilising a 118kW turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine for the front wheels and a 33kW motor for the rear wheels, the little SUV concept delivers power to all four wheels.
We suspect that entry into the sub-compact SUV segment will still be at least 12 to 18 months away for Kia.