Kia is reportedly planning an announcement on a production version of the Telluride, a full-sized three-row SUV it unveiled as a concept at the 2016 Detroit auto show. The news comes after a year in which Kia lost sales in the hot-selling utility vehicle segment.
Wards Auto reports Orth Hedrick, Kia's vice president for product planning, as saying the company will "have some announcements soon" about the seven-passenger vehicle. Sister brand Hyundai is also expected to bring a large crossover in 2019 as a 2020 model.
The Telluride was built on the modified underpinnings of Kia's Sorento crossover. It featured a 270-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 paired with a 130-hp electric motor that combined for 30 miles per gallon on the highway in all-wheel drive, though of course there's no guarantee the production version would carry identical specifications.
Kia reportedly sees a need in its portfolio for a utility vehicle with more space than is offered by the Sorento, a midsize crossover now in its third generation that also offers three rows of seating. The company could use a boost in the popular segment: Sales of the Sorento slipped 13 percent in 2017 to 99,684, while sales also fell 10 percent for the Sportage, to 72,824.
Kia last offered a full-size SUV with the short-lived Borrego, which it launched as a 2009 model. The brand is also developing an electric version of the Niro crossover, which it unveiled recently at CES, that gets 238 miles of range.