Kia is considering adding a second supermini size crossover, in line with autocar, possibly branded as Xrio, to meet growing demand for off-road vehicles, according to the company's head of planning. The new model will complement the existing Kia Stonic B-segment SUV.
The Korean manufacturer's expansion of high-end body models was recently backed by XCEED, a model that Kia claims could be the firm's bestseller.
“We are looking at whether the market is going to split into low and high seating for SUVs and crossovers and whether we need five models or four to cover the market,” David Labrosse, head of product planning at Kia Europe, told Autocar. "And some have to be electric or not."
Kia classifies the SUV segments as B-high/Blow and C-high/C-low for different seating positions. Kia currently covers the market with four models: the B-segment Stonic (B-low) and, in the C-segment, Xceed (C-low) and Niro and Sportage (both C-high).
The Stonic is a relatively new model that should be refreshed at the end of 2020/2021, with a replacement coming in 2023/2024.
Even though the Stonic has a crossover, its seating position is set at the same height as the Rio's hatch, which some insiders believe should change for the next model.
The next generation Stonic could evolve into a more "formal" SUV, making room for a Rio-based Xceed-shaped Xceed-shaped low-roof sports crossover.