Ostensibly a rival to Nissan’s hugely successful Juke SUV, the new KX3 concept pushes Kia’s design language in a new direction that we could soon see appear across the Korean carmaker’s wider range.
Interestingly, the concept also represents a significant step away from last year's Niro concept, believed at the time to be a preview of Kia's eventual entrant in the compact SUV segment.
Although developed for Chinese buyers, where it will sell alongside its platform-mate the Hyundai ix25, the KX3 could eventually land a global release.
Although strictly a concept for now, the KX3 is unlikely to go through many changes before what will likely be a mid-2015 Chinese market debut.
Power in the 4.25m long concept is provided by Kia’s 1.6 litre turbocharged petrol engine, matched to the company’s new seven-speed DCT dual-clutch auto.
Kia is also believed to be planning a dedicated hybrid-only compact SUV, suggesting last year's Niro concept may yet have its day in the sun.
Watch for news on a potential global launch to surface in the coming year.