It's no secret that Kia is getting ready to launch a subcompact seven-seat MPV. After all, models such as the Toyota Avanza, Mitsubishi Xpander, and Suzuki Ertiga have enjoyed sales success in parts of Asia. For years, Kia didn't have an answer to those MPVs, but the South Korean automaker wants to change that.
Dubbed the KY, it's Kia's upcoming entry to the competitive segment. That said, there are no photos or even teasers from the company to prove its existence. However, several spy shots not only prove it's a real model, but it's also fairly close to production spec.
We don't see much of it for now as Kia hid most of its panels in camouflage. Thankfully, some parts peek through the covers, giving us an idea of what it might look like once it's revealed. As far as we can tell, the KY will have high-set headlights because of the height of its LED daytime running lights. We can also expect an angular front end since that is the current design language Kia has for its models. The MPV's ground clearance also caught our attention, and it could be as high as the Xpander.
Most of its flanks are still covered, but we see it has large windows with elongated rear doors. Roof rails appear to be standard on the KY. Also, some spy shots show the MPV with a sunroof, an interesting option in this segment. The only thing that isn't covered on the KY is the wheels with split five-spoke alloys shod in rather chunky tires.
The engines are still a mystery, but there are three possible options. It can use the 1.4-liter from the Stonic that's good for 100 PS and 134 Nm of torque. Another engine they can use is the 1.6-liter Smartstream found in various Hyundai and Kia models. A 1.5-liter turbodiesel is, reportedly, an option as well.
When can we expect the Kia KY to be revealed? Back in January, a leaked document revealed Kia's 2021 to 2022 product timeline. There, it shows an MPV model that's slated for a January 2022 launch. It will primarily be assembled in India, although we're not ruling out production in Indonesia. Either way, the KY's country of origin will prove an advantage should the safeguard measure become permanent. That's because India and Indonesia are exempt from the bond.