Spy Shots: Kia's big body-on-frame SUV

TheCarBlogger just posted several photos of what we believe to be Kia's new full-size SUV. Shown originally as the Mesa KCD II Concept in Detroit in '05, this so-called "HM" vehicle is a true body-on-frame SUV. The photos show a partially-disguised vehicle with a profile that wouldn't be out of place at a GMC or Jeep dealership. And from the interior shot, Kia's definitely moving further into Cadillac and even Lexus territory. The tasteful two-tone leather and light wood look good along the dash and doors. It appears far less retro and much more conservative than the show car, but still has a large presence.
The new full-size Kia was spotted in South Korea, and looks to be very near production ready, suggesting we'll see it officially in the very near future. The HM should seat seven and take the Kia faithful another rung up the ladder from the Sorento. A 3.0L V6 diesel will be the base engine in Asia, but U.S. buyers should get the 3.8L gas V6. Expect about 260 hp from the latter. One of the bigger rumors swirling around this vehicle, however, is that it may usher in the use of Kia's first V8. The HM may get the 4.6L Tau V8 that will be used in the upcoming Hyundai Genesis sedan, as well. That engine would likely be mated to a new 6-speed automatic that helps parse out the power.

HM sales are expected to start in fall, with North American sales following early next year. If that's true, we should see the production version bow this show season, perhaps in Frankfurt. Follow the Read link to see several more full-size photos.

[Source: TheCarBlogger]

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