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Kia small SUV on track for late 2019 launch

The brand hopes to capture a youthful audience with its sub-Sportage offering.

Kia Motors in Korea has revealed sketches previewing its upcoming all-new small SUV.

Set for a “late 2019 launch” in Australia, the small SUV is positioned as Kia’s first ‘global’ small SUV as the Niro and Stonic (available in overseas markets) have so far been ruled out for Australia.

Kia Australia told CarsGuide the new SUV will be “smaller than the Niro” but larger than the Stonic and has been hinted at before with the brand's close-to-production-ready SP Concept of late 2018.

The styling points to a sporty youth-focused shape, similar to Toyota’s C-HR with which it will no doubt compete. It clearly shares some signature Kia design points with the embedded grille, angular rear lights and pumped wheelarches.

The styling seems to have not strayed far from the SP Concept, which – for better or worse – looks like a downsized Sportage.

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Kia is late to the small SUV party, which has been gaining steam over the last couple of years.

The styling hasn't strayed far from the SP Concept SUV teased several months ago. The styling hasn't strayed far from the SP Concept SUV teased several months ago.

Currently the brand’s smallest SUV offering in our market is the mid-size Sportage, although it has confirmed it will also launch an EV-only version of the Niro (touted to be one of Australia’s most affordable EVs).

The EV Niro shares its battery technology with sister brand Hyundai’s Kona for a max range of 455km.

Details on platform and drivetrains, likely shared with Hyundai, are yet to be confirmed although the upcoming Hyundai Venue compact SUV is a likely candidate.

With a short timeline to launch in Korea, expect to learn more in the coming months.

Would you consider a Kia small SUV over established rivals? Tell us what you think in the comments below.