Kia prepping Provo-inspired Mazda CX-3 challenger for 2017

Subcompact CUV would ride on the next-generation Rio's platform.

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Kia will be joining the fray in the sub-compact crossover segment, Australia's Motoring reports. The company could introduce a challenger to the Mazda CX-3, Jeep Renegade, Honda HR-V, and Toyota C-HR as early as this year's Los Angeles Auto Show.

Kia Australia COO Damien Meredith told Motoring the new CUV will ride on the same platform as the redesigned Rio, and Kia will build the two compacts alongside each other, in South Korea. Kia hasn't gotten so far as naming the new crossover – at least it's not as far as wanting to publish a name – but it should draw inspiration from the Provo Concept the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.

But it's tough to predict what that means. The Provo is, after all, a small hatchback. If Meredith came out and said it'd inspire the next Rio, it'd be an easier pill to swallow, but converting such an aggressive vehicle to CUV duty while retaining the overall look could be a challenge. That said, Kia's designs have become increasingly extroverted over the past several years – we can't wait to see what Peter Schreyer and his team come up with.

According to Motoring, the Rio-based CUV could hit the market in the third quarter of 2017, which would put it several months behind the redesigned Rio. While that applies to the Australian market, a debut at Los Angeles or even in January 2017 at Detroit could lead to a similar timeline for a US on-sale date.

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