A Small Kia CUV With A Turbo Engine And Dual-Clutch Could Be Awesome


A turbo and DCT would make Kia's new crossover a true Nissan Juke rival.

Business is booming in the small crossover segment and every automaker is eager to cut off its own slice off the money pie. Hyundai and Kia are working quickly to roll out entries into the segment. We've seen the Hyundai baby crossover out testing before, but this is the first time our spies have captured Kia’s version out in the wild, on a frozen lake in north Sweden to be specific. The two cars will share a platform and other bits from the parts bin but styling (interior and exterior) is where they will differ.

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Like with most models the two South Korean companies jointly develop, the Kia looks to be the funkier and more fun of the two. Maybe it’s the way both cars were camouflaged, but the Kia appears to have a rounder hatch and a higher ground clearance. The Hyundai, by comparison, appears to be nothing more than a jacked-up hatchback. The only thing the two appear to have in common at the moment are cool wheel designs. Of course the two will share more than that. A range of turbocharged engines is expected to be on offer for both CUVs, and while AWD hasn’t been confirmed yet we expect that it will be available. Hopefully Kia puts its dual-clutch transmission, which it offers in the turbocharged Soul, in this crossover.

Both models do not have names as of yet. Our spies suggest that “Stonic” is the current moniker for the Kia. That is, in a word, terrible. Hopefully the South Koreans come up with something better before the covers come off. A debut date is still being decided upon, but we hear that the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show could be where the Kia Stonic—that name sounds worse every time you hear it—makes its auto show debut. If so that means the Hyundai version could take the stage at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show a few months later.

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