Kia Motors is all set to enter the Indian market, after announcing its brand debut earlier last year. The company’s first offering in the market would be a mid-size SUV crossover that will be based on the SP Concept that was showcased at the 2018 Auto Expo in Greater Noida. Reports suggest that the production version of the Kia SP SUV, likely to be called the Trailster, will be unveiled in India on June 20, 2019. However, an official launch will be scheduled later this year.
As mentioned above, this upcoming SUV will be based on the Kia SP concept. However, a better idea of what it would look like can be had by seeing the Kia SP Signature concept that was showcased at the 2019 Seoul motor show. The SP Signature featured some major alterations to the SP concept and looked a lot more production-ready. As a result, expected changes on the final SUV will likely be limited to bigger ORVMs and 17-inch alloy wheels, as compared to the 19-inchers shod on the SP Signature.
On the inside, the Kia SP SUV will come with tastefully laid out dashboard with high quality materials. We expect this as obvious, since Kia is essentially a sister brand of Hyundai, which is known for its high quality interiors. Features on offer include a large touchscreen infotainment system, wireless charging, electronic sunroof, 360-degree camera, cruise control, and powered driver seat.
The exterior design of the Kia Trailster will continue to be adorned with the company’s signature ‘Tiger Nose’ grille. Boxy headlamps with LED elements are located on either side. Additionally, a light bar on the top edge of the grille joins the two headlamps and works as the daytime running lamps (DRLs). Other exterior design elements on the production-spec Kia SP SUV are expected to include a contrasting roof on higher variants, roof rails, a chunky chrome bar on the tailgate joining the LED taillights, and dual tone alloy wheels.
Powering the production version of the Kia SP concept will either be a 1.5-litre petrol or a 1.5-litre diesel engine. We expect Kia to launch the BS-IV versions of the two engines initially to enter the SUV at an aggressive price tag. However, both engines will be upgraded to BS-VI standard before April 2020. We expect Kia to offer manual as well as automatic transmission options, at least with the petrol engine.
The Kia SP SUV is expected to be introduced in India in a price range of Rs. 10 – 16 lakh (ex-showroom). Depending on its exact price placement, the Kia SP’s production model will be competing with the Hyundai Creta, Renault Captur, Nissan Kicks, the upcoming MG Hector, and even the lower variant of Jeep Compass.