The upcoming Kia sub-compact SUV has been spotted and snapped by our spy photographers whilst undergoing testing on the streets of Europe.
We believe that the vehicle seen here is a close relation to Kia KX3 concept, which made its debut at the Guangzhou auto show in November 2014.
Last year's KX3 concept looked practically production ready, except for maybe its headlight internals. The production KX3 crossover is currently being co-developed with the company's Chinese joint venture partners Dongfeng and Yueda. It's claimed that it will be “[offered] exclusively for the Chinese market”.
The prototype vehicle, as with the KX3 concept, features a pair of small, high-mounted headlights and a tiger-nose grille set lower down the front fascia. Likewise the profile and window shapes seem to be an almost perfect match between the two.
Despite its presence on German roads, this prototype may not necessarily indicate that the KX3 will be sold outside of China.
If Kia does decide to green light the KX3, or a KX3 derivative, for sale outside of China, the local division would be more than keen to receive it.
Kevin Hepworth, Kia Australia's general manager of media and corporate communications, told Car Advice last year: "As soon as [a sub-compact SUV] comes on the table we’ll have our hand up. It’s one of the areas that’s showing growth."
Last year, Car Advice heard rumours that Kia was working on a dedicated hybrid sub-compact SUV aimed at Europe and other developed markets. This car could take on styling cues from the more radically styled 2013 Niro concept car.