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Paris show: Kia ‘Trazor’ small SUV shapes up

Trazor sharp: Kia’s bid at the small-SUV segment could be dubbed Trazor if an online naming poll held by the South Korean car-maker in India is anything to go by.

Power and space should give Kia SP Concept-based baby SUV legs against Mazda CX-3

Kia logo13 Jun 2018

MORE details surrounding Kia’s upcoming small SUV have emerged, as the car-maker prepares to take on the best-selling Mitsubishi ASX and Mazda CX-3 in the first half of next year with an as-yet unnamed model featuring 2.0-litre power and family friendly levels of interior space.
 
Based on the SP Concept revealed at the Auto Expo in India in February, the sub-Sportage newcomer is expected to debut at the Paris motor show in October.
 
Mooted be badged Trazor (if an online naming poll held by Kia in India suggesting four possibilities including Tuster, Trailster and SP-Z is to be trusted), it will be built on the same architecture in South Korea that underpins the Hyundai Kona that was released last year.
 
The latter employs many platform components from the Hyundai i30 and latest Kia Cerato, bringing a larger overall base than key competitors such as the CX-3 and Honda HR-V, which are twinned with the smaller Mazda2 and Jazz light hatches respectively.
 
Importantly, it also means that the main front-drive versions of the Trazor/SP Concept will most likely be powered by the Kona’s gutsy 2.0-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol unit, producing 110kW of power and 180Nm of torque, and paired to a six-speed torque-converter automatic. 
 
Likewise, any up-spec all-wheel-drive versions could use a 130kW/265Nm 1.6-litre turbo-petrol and seven-speed dual-clutch combo, complete with multi-link rear suspension in place of the others’ torsion beam arrangement. 
 
Kia Motors Australia product planning general manager Roland Rivero said the Trazor’s larger footprint and 2.0-litre engine availability augur well for Australian consumers, particularly compared to the smaller and Euro-centric Stonic small SUV that Kia unveiled a year ago that is powered by a 1.4-litre petrol and 1.6-litre diesel.
 
“If we were ever going to fill that gap in the Kia model line-up, and it is a gap, we would do it properly,” he told GoAuto at the new Cerato sedan launch in Adelaide last week. 
 
“When we finally tick that small SUV box, we will do it with the right product … and with the SP Concept shown in India and coming out of Korea, when the time comes, I think we will have a better product that fills that gap, one which shares a platform with Kona and has the kind of powertrain Australians expect from a small SUV.
 
“Whilst the right product for Europe, the Stonic is based off the Rio platform – it has small displacement engines with good fuel economy, but it’s not what Australians want in a small SUV.
 
“Australians want at least 100kW of power, so to get that you need at least a 2.0-litre displacement, and Australians want something they could treat like an SUV – load it up with kids, load it up with groceries.”
 
Mr Rivero added that Kia Europe benchmarked the Stonic against the Ford Fiesta-based EcoSport, a bad omen since the latter sells only a fraction of what the CX-3 manages in Australia (6946 registrations for the Mazda against just 402 for the Ford in the first five months of this year).
 
“So, we deemed that Stonic was not the right product for our market,” he said.

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