Kia plans to introduce an ultra-luxury SUV to steal some customers from fastselling SUVs like Toyota Land Cruiser and Prado.
The extra-large Kia flagship SUV is expected to have the real interpretation of “SUV”.
This means that it will use the body-on-frame chassis —- giving it the towing capacity or go-anywhere capability.
Kia’s biggest current unibody SUVs, the Telluride and Sedona do not use ladder-frames that allows serious off-roading.
According to Kia Australia product planner, who spoke with Carsales, the flagship Land Cruiser’s rival will reach production around 2023.
No name has been attached to the upcoming project; but the extra-large Kia SUV is expected to have the real interpretation of “SUV”.
That means it will use the body-on-frame chassis —- giving it the towing capacity or go-anywhere capability that the Prado and Land Cruiser are known for.
“If you did want to penetrate that particular segment, you’d have to have an offering closer to a ladder frame vehicle,”
“Or if not, if it was alongside a large SUV, in that it was, say, built off a ute platform, they could achieve a similar result. So it’d be a nice to have if we had a ladder-frame SUV.”
Kia’s new flagship SUV is aimed at markets like Australia and the Middle East; where the Land Cruisers outsells the rebadged Highlander crossover, called the Kluger.
“Our desire, if we were to bring in an upper-large SUV, would be a ladder-frame execution. The Australian market, the way they look at upper large SUVs are looking into [Toyota] Land Cruiser or Prado territory and a ladder-frame SUV has specific capabilities, in off-road ability and towing capacity, that your monocoques just aren’t designed to deliver.”
Kia Motors biggest current 5-door mid-size crossover SUVs, the Telluride and Sedona; do not use ladder-frames and, instead, are based on the unibody frames.